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AMERICAN REVOLUTION :: :: :: :: :: :: :: 



,/m. D. 

Author of The Fitch Genealogy in England and America, A. D. 

433-1904; .Editor of Southern Medicine , Savannah, 

Georgia; Member of the Society of the Sons 

of the Revolution, Etc. 




v *1905 , 


♦ « 


5.7 f%S 





In acknowledgment of his consummate wisdom as a states- 
man, his valor as a soldier, his incorruptible integrity and 
his researches in the history and causes of the Revolution 
of the Regulators, unsurpassed by any writer; and 



Because of his love for the "Old North State," his venera- 
tion for her heroes who bled at Alamance, his success as 
a model man, his philanthropy and loftiness of character. 



^A Plan of the Battle of Alamance Frontispiece. 

>l Stamp Act Riot at Newberne in 1765 Facing 36 

* Front View of Tryon's Palace " 44 

v Husband Tossing the "Taxes" on the Table 

Before the Governor " 52 

^ Portrait of Edmund Fanning " 176 

* Regulator Battle-ground " 208 

v Armorial Seal and Signature of Gov. William 

Tryon " 214 

^Battle of Alamance " 218 

^Execution of James Pugh " 248 

^ The First Liberty Bell " 260 

>/ Monument to the Battle of Alamance " 262 





Early Settlers Inherited Liberty-loving Spirits 
Which Their Fathers and Forbears of Old Fought 
for with Cromwell on English Soil; the Province 
of North Carolina from 1735 to 1740; Unlawful 
Taxes and Oppressive Government ; Want of a Cir- 
culating Medium; William Tryon Commissioned 
Governor, 1764; Passage of the Stamp Act, 1765; 
Arrival of the Sloops "Diligence" and "Viper"; 
Governor Tryon's Barbecue; Duel of Simpson and 
Whitehurst ; Boston Tea Party ; the Building of the 
Governor's Palace at Newberne and Description of 
the Edifice 33 


Harmon Husband, Member of General Assembly 
from Orange County; His Arrest While Attending 
Meeting of General Assembly; Governor Tryon's 
Proclamation to Weaken Organization of the Reg- 
ulators ; the Causes Leading to the Confederation of 
the Regulators; Proofs That the Regulators Were 
Justifiable in Their Acts and That They Had Just 
Cause for Grievances; the Royal Governor's Re- 
ports to Lord Dartmouth; Convention of Regula- 
tors and County Officers at Mrs. Steele's Inn at 
Salisbury on March 7, 1771 ; Governor Tryon's Let- 
ter to Maurice Moore Pertaining to This Meeting ; 
Unequal Representation of Western Counties as 
Compared with Eastern Counties; the Atticus Let- 
ter; the Sheriff of Orange County Sells "Home- 
spun" Dress at Auction from a Poor Woman's 
Back for Her Husband's Taxes 47 





Early Settlers Inherited Liberty-loving Spirits 
Which Their Fathers and Forbears of Old Fought 
for with Cromwell on English Soil; the Province 
of North Carolina from 1735 to 1740; Unlawful 
Taxes and Oppressive Government ; Want of a Cir- 
culating Medium; William Tryon Commissioned 
Governor, 1764; Passage of the Stamp Act, 1765; 
Arrival of the Sloops "Diligence" and "Viper"; 
Governor Tryon's Barbecue; Duel of Simpson and 
Whitehurst ; Boston Tea Party ; the Building of the 
Governor's Palace at Newberne and Description of 
the Edifice 33 


Harmon Husband, Member of General Assembly 
from Orange County; His Arrest While Attending 
Meeting of General Assembly; Governor Tryon's 
Proclamation to Weaken Organization of the Reg- 
ulators ; the Causes Leading to the Confederation of 
the Regulators; Proofs That the Regulators Were 
Justifiable in Their Acts and That They Had Just 
Cause for Grievances; the Royal Governor's Re- 
ports to Lord Dartmouth; Convention of Regula- 
tors and County Officers at Mrs. Steele's Inn at 
Salisbury on March 7, 1771 ; Governor Tryon's Let- 
ter to Maurice Moore Pertaining to This Meeting ; 
Unequal Representation of Western Counties as 
Compared with Eastern Counties; the Atticus Let- 
ter; the Sheriff of Orange County Sells "Home- 
spun" Dress at Auction from a Poor Woman's 
Back for Her Husband's Taxes 47 


North Carolinians have for decades past been 
interested to an unusual degree in the Provincial 
and Colonial history of the "Old North State." 
A growing taste for history and antiquities has 
become apparent in our history, as has been mani- 
fested in various quarters by some of the gifted 
sons of the Old North State diving among the 
records and searching the traditions of the past 
for incidents and subjects worthy of patriotic 

No State in the Union can present a wider or 
more diversified field for historical inquiry than 
North Carolina. On her shores the first settle- 
ment of English colonists in America was estab- 
lished; within her borders the first resistance to 
British authority was organized; by her people 
the first battle of the American Revolution was 
fought; and the first actual declaration of inde- 
pendence was made, and some of the most bril- 
liant and important transactions of the Revolu- 
tionary period took place upon her soil. 

The "Battle of Alamance" and the tyrannical 
oppression and extortion preceding this most 
important event in our provincial history is of 
great moment to all liberty-loving North Carolin- 
ians. Recorded instances of oppression and ex- 
tortion at the hands of all public officers, from 

14 Preface 

the chief magistrate down to the sheriffs, when 
no longer endurable called forth the spirit of suc- 
cessful resistance which culminated in taking up 
arms against the officers of the Crown. But in 
the study of the events before us — the causes 
leading up to the "War of the Regulators," the 
"Battle of Alamance," the first battle of the Am- 
erican Revolution — we see the colonists (Regula- 
tors) wearing a heavy yoke of British oppression, 
which they were attempting to throw off by 
means of arbitration, and when failing in this, 
although without an ammunition, not or- 
ganized, with no General to lead them in battle, 
unused to military tactics, but firmly and unitedly 
asserting their rights, and in their defense boldly 
stepping forth to meet a well-organized and prop- 
erly-officered army led by Tryon, Governor-Gen- 
eral of the Province of North Carolina. 

The struggle for American Liberty and Inde- 
pendence which began at the "Battle of Ala- 
mance" was a momentous event in the great 
drama of the world's history, which led up to the 
signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. At the "Battle of Alamance" was 
kindled the flame, though small in the beginning, 
that eventually, Vesuvius-like, spread with the 
rapidity of a wild forest fire, until the oppressed 
of the thirteen colonies were aflame with right- 
eous indignation and unitedly determined tc 
throw off forever the YOKE of British oppres 
sion. The incidents of extortion from 1765 t( 
1771 were fraught with such momentous conse 
quences upon the destinies of civilization through 
out the world that we can never tire in contem 
plating the instrumentalities by which, unde 

Preface 15 

Divine guidance, the liberty and independence of 
the Colonists were effected. The "War of the 
Regulators" has taught mankind that oppression, 
misrule, and extortion under any government 
tends to weaken and ultimately destroy the power 
of the oppressor ; and that a people united in the 
cause of freedom and their inalienable rights are 
invincible by those who would enslave them. 

Being a descendant of a Regulator, and having 
spent his childhood and early manhood in Ala- 
mance County, North Carolina; and having 
practiced his profession for three years in and 
around the spot made hallowed by the blood of 
patriots shed at the "Battle of Alamance/' where 
he has listened with enraptured delight to the 
narration of thrilling scenes and circumstances 
occurring previous to, during, and after the "Bat- 
tle of Alamance' (all tending to make indelible 
impressions upon the tablet of memory), the au- 
thor feels a willingness to "contribute his mite" to 
the store of accumulated materials relating to the 
"War of the Regulators" and the "Battle of Ala- 
mance" which at the hands of historians has never 
received due mention or proper credit. The au- 
thor in this small volume has undertaken to prove 
that the Regulators were not, as Tryon and his 
sympathizers would have you believe, a mob 
made up of rowdy characters, but "the staunch 
yeoman of the province ;" and that the "Battle of 
his feeble efforts in this undertaking shall impart 
additional information, assist in elucidating the 
justness of the cause of the Regulators, and add 
to the already glorious history of the Old North 

16 Preface 

State, by causing the "Battle of Alamance" to be 
recognized as the first struggle for American Lib- 
erty and Independence, his highest aspirations 
will be amply gratified and his agreeable labors 
abundantly rewarded. 

Many of the sketches and incidents herein re- 
corded are original. Others, somewhat condens- 
ed, have been taken from Wheeler's "Historical 
Sketches ;" "North Carolina Colonial and Revolu- 
tionary Records ;" "Sketches of North Carolina," 
by Dr. Foote; Hunter's "Sketches of Western 
NorthCarolina ^'"Revolutionary History of North 
Carolina;" Dr. CaruthersV'Life of Rev. Dr.Cald- 
well;" Maj. Joseph M. Morehead's "Address at 
Guilford Battle Ground ;" Bancroft's "History of 
the United States;" Mrs. Lutie McCorkle in 
"North Carolina Booklet ;" and "Old Time 
Stones of North Carolina," and others when fall- 
ing within the scope of this work. To the au- 
thors of the above compilations the author ac- 
knowledges his indebtedness for much valuable 
data gleaned therefrom. "Like Ruth following the 
reapers of old, he has found scattered here and 
there 'handsful' of neglected golden grains, and 
having sifted them out, herewith presents his 
'ephah of barley,' hoping it may be of use 
mentally to the present generation, as it was phys- 
ically of old to the inhabitants of Palestine." 

W. E. F. 
Savannah, Georgia. 
October, '04. 





In all ages and among all races there have 
been two elements which are well defined by the 
terms, when used in their broadest sense, "Cav- 
alier" and "Puritan." The Puritan was a pes- 
simist and represented the unfortunate, unsuc- 
cessful, unhappy and discontented of his race. 
The Cavalier was an optimist and represented 
the successful, happy, and contented of his 
race, and whien the Roman legions could no 
longer successfully resist the Barbarians it was 
he who preserved in the dark ages the virtue 

and beneficent portions of the Roman civili- 
zation for the further uplifting of mankind in 
the Renaissance. They were both religious. 

North Carolina, in the early days of her 
Colonial existence, was peopled by the Cava- 
lier emigrants from the Continent and the Brit- 
ish Isles. They were a practical people and 

18 Introductory 

emigrated to America, not as refugees from 
civil, metaphysical, philosophical, or religious 
intolerance incident to that bitter contro- 
versial age, but to challenge new opportuni- 
ties in fresh and undeveloped fields, and in 
search of fertile lands, that they might cultivate 
and reap the fruits thereof, with the avowee 
purpose of building a new state upon a new 
continent. They were a high-spirited people 
fully able to take care of themselves and to de 
fend their rights and liberties in either thi 
"old" or "new" world. 

Later on the Province became the home o 
the oppressed of all nations ; but Cavalier an< 
Puritan alike prospered in this goodly lane 
They both came to the Province of Carolina t 
better their condition, and there is still and wi 
always be in every country and in every rac 
the Puritan element, which by its very discor 
tent and determination to better its conditio 
is always adding to the Cavalier elemen 
The Puritan of today will be the Cavalier t 
the next decade. 

The descendants of both Cavalier and Pur 
tan have just reason to bless the kind Prov 
dence that guided their fathers in their wa 
derings to such a place of comparative rest, c 
in the words of Governor Berkeley of Virgini 
"to the land of Eden." 

Introductory 19 

On the sandy banks of Roanoke Island, be- 
tween Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, the 
English flag was first unfurled to the breeze of 
the new world. It was on this island the first 
expedition of Sir Walter Raleigh landed on 
July 4, 1584. "The fragrance of the flowers, 
as they drew near the island," says Amadas 
in his report to Queen Elizabeth, "was as if 
they were in the midst of some delicate garden, 
abounding in all manner of odoriferous flow- 
ers." Such, no doubt, it seemed to them dur- 
ing their sojourn on the island; and notwith- 
standing the disastrous termination of that and 
several succeeding expeditions, this same tide- 
water section of the Province of North Caro- 
lina has presented its peculiar fascinating at- 
tractiveness to many generations who have 
arisen, enjoyed its magnificent grandeur, and 
passed away. "In this same report is to be 
found mention of the celebrated Scuppernong 
grape, yielding its most abundant crops under 
the saline atmospheric influence and semi-trop- 
ical climate." Sir Walter Raleigh found grow- 
ing on this island a vegetable of the night-shade 
family, the Solatium tuberosum, whose escu- 
lent tubers now form a part of the bill of fare 
for almost all nations — the Irish potato. It is 
said Sir Walter Raleigh carried a cargo of this 
new and strange vegetable to England in 1586 

20 Introductory 

and brought them to the attention of Queen 

From the glowing description of the coun- 
try in its primitive abundance, transmitted to 
Queen Elizabeth and her court, they named the 
new country Virginia, being discovered in the 
reign of a virgin Queen. But having failed in 
his several attempts to plant a colony on Ro- 
anoke Island, Sir Walter Raleigh surrendered 
his patent and gave up the problem of coloni- 

In 1587, thirty years before the Pilgrims 
landed in New England, John White, who had 
visited the new world two years before with 
Captain Amadas of Raleigh's expedition, fitted 
out a colony of one hundred men with their 
wives and children and came to Roanoke Is- 
land. Landing on July 22, 1587, they found a 
few houses standing, left by the men of Sir 
Walter Raleigh's expedition, who had attempt- 
ed a settlement two years before. They named 
the place "Fort Raleigh." On the 18th of 
August, 1 587, was born the first white child of 
English parentage in the new world — Virginia, 
daughter of Annias and Elenor (White) Dare. 
This baby was the granddaughter of Gov. John 

"In 1607, at Jamestown in Virginia, was 
established the first permanent English settle- 
ment (colony) in America. The charter of this 

Introductory 21 

colony contained none of the elements of lib- 
erty, not even an elective franchise, and no 
rights of self-government; but it was clearly 
stipulated that the rights and doctrines of the 
Church of England should be adopted as the 
religion of the colony. The infant colony suf- 
fered many hardships — dissensions, threatened 
famine, and from the fear of unfriendly In- 
dians; but through the energy of Capt. John 
Smith was enabled to maintain its stand and in 
due time to show signs of prosperity. 

"In 1 619, Lord Delaware, Governor of Vir- 
ginia, seeing among the new settlers an impa- 
tient desire for liberty and the rights of self- 
government, convoked a provincial congress, 
the first ever convened in America, and restor- 
ed to the settlers full rights as Englishmen. 
This guarantee of political rights led to rapid 
colonization. By various modifications of 
their Charter, in a few years the colonists ob- 
tained nearly all the rights and privileges which 
they could claim as British subjects, but the 
Church of England was coeval with the settle- 
ment at Jamestown, and seems to have been 
considered the religion of the colonists and 
the established church/' (Hunter, Sketches of 
Western North Carolina. ) The exact date the 
first permanent settlement was made in the 
Province of Carolina has not been ascertained. 
It is recorded that in 1622 the Secretary of the 

22 Introductory 

Virginia Colony traveled overland to the 
Chowan River and described in glowing terms 
the fertile lands, the salubrious climate, and the 
kindness of the natives. In 1629 Charles I 
granted to Sir Robert Heath, under the name 
Carolina, the territory between 31 and 36 de- 
grees North latitude, in which to plant colo- 

In 1643 Sir William Berkeley, Governor of 
Virginia, issued an ultimatum which "ordained 
that no minister should preach or teach publicly 
or privately, except in conformity with the doc- 
trines of the church of England, and non-con- 
formists were banished from the colony." 
(Bancroft, Vol. 1, p. 270.) Hunter in his 
sketches says it was natural to suppose that in- 
dividuals as well as families, who disliked such 
religious persecution, would descend the 
streams until they found suitable soil in Caro- 
lina for locations where they could dwell in 
peace and happiness and serve God according 
to the dictates of their own conscience. In 
1653 Roger Green led a company across the 
wilderness from Nansemond in Virginia to the 
Chowan River and settled near where the pres- 
ent town of Edenton now stands. There they 
prospered, and others, influenced by their suc- 
cess, soon followed. In 1662 George Durant 
purchased from the Yeopin Indians the neck of 
land on the north side of Albemarle Sound, 

Introductory 23 

which still bears his name. In 1663 Governor 
Berkeley, of Virginia, visited the Chowan set- 
tlement, and was so well pleased with its pros- 
perity that he decided to take it under his gov- 
ernment, and appointed Mr. William Drum- 
mond as Governor of the Chowan settlement. 
Sir Robert Heath, having failed to make use of 
his grant issued by Charles I, embracing the 
lands from "sea to sea" between 31 ° 36 N., it 
was revoked by Charles II in 1 663 and patent- 
ed to the Earl of Clarendon and seven other 
Lords Proprietors, and in 1665, upon request 
of the "County of Albemarle," or Chowan set- 
tlement, which wished to be out of the territory 
of Virginia, the territory of Carolina was in- 
creased to extend from 29 to 36 30" north lati- 
tude, including the whole region from the pres- 
ent northern boundary of North Carolina to the 
St. John's River in Florida, including all of the 
present States of North Carolina, South Car- 
olina, and Georgia, and a portion of Florida, 
extending from "sea to sea." These charters I 

were liberal in the concession of civil rights ' 

and the proprietors were permitted to exercise 
toleration toward non-conformists if it should 
be deemed expedient. Flattering inducements 
were extended to new emigrants from abroad, 
and settlements steadily increased. They were 
allowed to set up a representative government 
with certain limitations, and thus a degree of 

24 Introductory 

popular freedom was conceded, though not in- 
tended to be permanent — but once permitted 
could never be recalled. It had an important 
influence in producing an insatiable desire for 
and a determination to exercise the rights of 
freemen; principles which caused the organi- 
zation of the Regulators and the rights for 
which they fought at "Alamance," and which 
we now enjoy. In 1667 Governor Drummond 
died and the Colony of Carolina was without a 
governor. The General Assembly was con- 
vened, the first to make laws for the Province 
of Carolina, and Samuel Stephens was chosen 
Colonial Governor. "Here," says Bancroft, 
"was a colony of freemen scattered among the 
forests, hermits with wives and children resting 
upon the bosom of nature, in perfect harmony 
with the wilderness of their gentle clime." The 
planters of the Albemarle settlement were men 
led to the choice of their residence from a 
hatred of restraint. Who doubts that these 
men were capable of self-government? Let 
those who do study the history of North Caro- 
lina. Its inhabitants were restless and turbu- 
lent in their imperfect submission to an op- 
pressive government from abroad. The ad- 
ministration of the Province was humane and 
tranquil when left to themselves, but any laws 
not of their own making were oppressive. 


Introductory 25 

"North Carolina was settled by the freest of 
the free and the bravest of the brave. The set- 
tlers were gentle in their tempers, of serene 
minds, enemies to violence and bloodshed. Not 
all of the successive revolutions had kindled 
vindictive passions. Freedom, entire freedom, 
was enjoyed without anxiety or without guar- 
antees. The charities of life were scattered at 
their feet like the flowers of their meadows." 
(Bancroft, Vol. 2, p. 158.) "North Carolina 
was the most free and independent country 
ever organized by man. Freedom of con- 
science, exemption from taxation except by 
their own consent; gratuities in land to every 
immigrant and other equitable considerations 
claimed the prompt legislative action of the col- 
onists. These simple laws suited a simple peo- 
ple, who were as free as the air of their coun- 
try; and when oppressed were as rough as the 
billows of the ocean." (Wheeler's History of 
North Carolina, Part 1, p. 30.) "In 1673 John 
Locke was employed by the Earl of Shaftsbury, 
one of the Lords Proprietors, to draft and pre- 
pare a constitution for the government of the 
Province of Carolina. He prepared an elabor- 
ate scheme, the 'Fundamental Constitution,' 
which provided for three orders of nobility and 
four houses of Parliament. It was never fully 
and successfully put into operation and was en- 

26 Introductory 

tirely abandoned in 1693." (Hunter, Sketches 
of Western North Carolina.) 

"In 1707 a company of Huguenots, as the 
French Protestants were called, settled on the 
Trent, and in 1709 the Lords Proprietors grant- 
ed to Baron de Graffenreidt ten thousand acres . 
of land on the Neuse and Cape Fear rivers for 
colonization purposes. In a short time after- 
wards a great number of Germans and about 
fifteen hundred Swiss followed the Baron and 
settled at the confluence of the Neuse River ; the 
town was called 'New Berne/ after Berne in 
Switzerland, the birth place of De Graffen- 
reidt. This was the first important introduc- 
tion into the eastern section of the Province 
of a most excellent class of liberty-loving peo- 
ple, whose descendants, wherever their lots 
were cast in our country, gave illustrious proof 
of their valor and patriotism during the Revo- 
lutionary War. 

"On September 21, 171 1, the Tuscarora In- 
dians fell upon the settlements along the Roan- 
oke, Pamlico, and Neuse rivers and massa- 
cred several hundred of the inhabitants and 
burned their villages. For three days the sav- 
ages made war with fire and tomahawk, until 
stopped by aid sent from Virginia and South 
Carolina to assist Governor Edward Hyde in 
subduing the Indians. In 1718 a treaty of 

Introductory 27 

peace and friendship was entered into by the 
planters and the Tuscaroras. 

"In 1 729 the Lords Proprietors, with the ex- 
ception of Lord Granville, surrendered to the 
British Government the Province of Carolina 
and its government with all its franchises under 
the patent of Charles II, and their property in 
the soil, for 2,500 pounds sterling. The popu- 
lation at that time did not exceed ten thousand 
inhabitants. George Burrington was governor 
at the time the sale was made, and on recom- 
mendation of the Lords Proprietors the Crown 
reappointed him the first Royal Governor of the 
Colony of North Carolina. In February, 1731, 
he officially wrote the Duke of New Castle; 
The inhabitants of North Carolina are not in- 
dustrious, but subtile and crafty to admiration ; 
always behaved insolently to their governors; 
some of them, they have imprisoned; drove 
others out of the country and at other times 
have set up a governor of their own choice sup- 
ported by men under arms. These people are 
neither to be cajoled or outwitted. Whenever 
any governor attempts to effect anything by 
such means he loses his time and labor and 
shows his ignorance/ " 

Lord Granville's portion of the colony of 
Carolina was not laid out in severalty for him 
until 1734* His portion, being one-eighth, was 
adjoining the southern boundary of the Prov- 

28 Introductory 

ince of Virginia. At this time a strong tide of 
emigration was moving toward the western 
hills, from the Chowan and Roanoke settle- 
ments. Already adventurous individuals and 
even families of hardy pioneers had extended 
their migrations as far west as the head waters 
of the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers. 

"In 1734 Gabriel Johnston, a Scotchman by 
birth, and a physician by profession, once a pro- 
fessor of Oriental Languages in the University 
of St. Andrew, a man of broad mind and liberal 
views, was appointed Governor, under whose 
prudent administration the province increased 
in population, wealth, and happiness. At the 
time of its purchase by the Crown the population 
did not exceed 13,000; it was now more than 
45 ,000. About this date a tide of migration 
began to pour into the Province from Virginia 
and Maryland. A company from Virginia, 
headed by James Crump and his son Rowland, a 
mere lad, settled on the Yadkin River near the 
mouth of the little Yadkin. Col. Jacob Byrd, of 
Virginia, with a party of followers located on 
the Hyco in North Carolina, just across the 
Virginia line about twenty miles. Nehemiah 
Hearne, from Summerset, Maryland, emigra- 
ted to the Province and located at the junction 
of Rocky River with the Great Yadkin. In 
1752 the Moravians from Wachovia, in Ger- 
many, settled the town of Salem. Their first 

Introductory 29 

settlement was called 'Bethabara;' the first 
house erected, however, was their church, on 
which they placed a bell brought from Wac- 

"In 1754 Arthur Dobbs was appointed Gov- 
ernor by the Crown. His administration of 
ten years presented a continued contest between 
himself and the legislature on frivolous and un- 
important matters; his high-toned-temper for 
Royal prerogatives was sternly met by indom- 
itable resistance on the part of the colonists. 
The people were grievously oppressed by Lord 
Granville's land agents, Childs and Corbin. 
The latter was seized and carried to Enfield, 
where he was compelled to give bond and se- 
curity to produce his books and disgorge his il- 
legal fees. During the entire administration of 
Governors Johnston and Dobbs, commencing 
in 1734 and ending in 1765, a strong tide of 
emigration had been pouring into the Prov- 
ince of North Carolina from two opposite di- 
rections. One current from Pennsylvania, pas- 
sing down through Virginia, forming settle- 
ments, and another current coming from the 
South, was spreading over the inviting lands 
and expansive domains of the Carolinas. Near 
the close of Governor Johnston's administra- 
tion numerous settlements had been made on 
the beautiful plateau country between the Yad- 
kin and Catawba Rivers. In 1756 Fort Dobbs 

30 Introductory 

was built, about twenty miles west of Salisbury, 
for the protection of settlers in this territory. 

"In 1764, Governor Dobb's health beginning 
to fail, he was given a furlough and William 
Tryon was commissioned Lieutenant-Governor 
on October 2j t 1764, and on the death of Gov- 
ernor Dobbs, April 3, 1765, he qualified as Gov- 
ernor, Commander-in-Chief, and Captain-Gen- 
eral of the Province of North Carolina. Tryon 
was a soldier by profession and looked upon the 
sword as the true sceptre of government. [See 
Appendix A.] He knew when to flatter and 
when to threaten ; he knew when discretion was 
the better part of valor ; and when to use such 
force and cruelty as achieved for him from the 
Cherokee Indians the bloody title of The Great 
Wolf of North Carolina.' He could use courtesy 
toward the Assembly, when he desired large 
appropriations for his magnificent palace; and 
knew how to bring to bear the blandishments of 
the female of society of his family, and all the 
appliances of generous hospitality." (Wheeler's 
History of North Carolina, part 1, p. 49.) 

On March 22, 1765, Great Britain passed the 
odious Stamp Act. This act produced great 
excitement throughout the Province. Meetings 
of the people were held, who, with a unanimity 
never before heard of, declared they would not 
submit to the law. The Speaker in the Gen- 
eral Assembly then in session told the Governor 
the law would be resisted to "blood and death." 

Introductory 31 

In 1765 the British sloop Viper, with the 
stamp paper aboard, accompanied by the British 
man-of-war Diligence, carrying twenty-one 
guns, arrived at Brunswick. Colonel Ashe, at 
the head of a concourse of people, proceeded 
to the Governor's mansion, demanded and 
arrested Dr. William Houston, the stamp agent 
for the Province, and compelled him to take 
oath never to perform the duties of his office. 
(See Appendix B.) The event of greatest 
historic importance during Tryon's administra- 
tion was the organization and revolution of 
the Regulators and the "Battle of Alamance," 
the first battle for American liberty and inde- 
pendence. It is not deemed necessary here to 
enter into details of the circumstances leading 
to this unfortunate occurrence. The reader 
will find in the succeeding chapters a full 
history of the revolution of the Regulators. 
Many true patriots, who did not comprehend 
the magnitude of their grievances, fought 
against them. But the principles of right and 
justice for which they fought could never die. 
In less than four years all the thirteen colonies 
were found battling for the same principles, 
and borne along on the rushing tide of revolu- 
tion. The men on the seaboard of Carolina, 
with Colonels Ashe and Waddell at their head, 
nobly opposed the Stamp Act in 1765, and pre- 
vented its execution. The patriotic people of 

32 Introductory 

Orange, Granville, and Anson counties in 1 766 
organized themselves into the famous Regula- 
tors to enforce their rights and liberties. (See 
Appendix C. ) The men on the seaboard looked 
for evils from across the waters, and were pre- 4 
pared to resist oppression on their shores before 
it should reach the soil of the State. The west- 
ern men were seeking redress for grievances 
that oppressed them at home, under the misrule 
of all officers, from the Governor down. Had 
Waddell, Ashe and Caswell understood all the 
circumstances, and the yoke of oppression 
which the Regulators had to bear, they would 
have acted like Thomas Person of Granville, 
James Hunter, Harmon Husband, and others 
of Orange, and favored the distressed, even 
though they might have felt under obligations 
to maintain peace and uphold the dignity of 
the law. "Harmon Husband, the leader of the 
Regulators, has been denounced by Tryon's 
apologists as a turbulent and seditious charac- 
ter. If such he was, then John Ashe and Hugh 
Waddell, for opposing the Stamp Act laws, 
were equally seditious and turbulent." (Hunter, 
Sketches of Western North Carolina.) 

The next greatest event in the provincial his- 
tory of North Carolina was the Mecklenburg 
Declaration of Independence, signed and pro- 
claimed on May 20, 1775, at Charlotte, North 


Early Settlers Inherited Liberty-loving Spirits Which 
Their Fathers and Forbears of Old Fought for With 
Cromwell on English Soil; the Province of North 
Carolina from 1735 to 1740; Unlawful Taxes and 
Oppressive Government; Want of a Circulating 
Medium; William Tryon Commissioned Governor, 
1764; Passage of the Stamp Act, 1765; Arrival of 
the Sloops "Diligence" and "Viper"; Governor 
Tryon's Barbecue; Duel of Simpson and White- 
hurst; Boston Tea Party; the Building of the Gov- 
ernor's Palace at Newberne and Description of the 

"At length the thrill of action drew forth an 
errand of war, the long-smothered passions 
which so slowly deepened into a settled convic- 
tion that peace could never smile upon the 
Province of North Carolina while the suprem- 
acy of Great Britain endured. Multiply all 
assumptions of superiority, all public tokens of 
contempt, all enforcements of unpalatable law, 
all restraints upon provincial commerce, and 
all espionage upon the brainwork which really 
wrought in behalf of peace, seeking a fair re- 
conciliation, with guarantees of representation 
and personal rights, and their product repre- 
sents that incubus whose dead weight was upon 

34 Some Neglected History 

the colonists. It is a historic statement that, the 
longer a burden remains, the heavier it is felt. 
It fretted, then aroused, then inspired, and at 
last set free the pent-up fires which cast it off 
forever. Rocked to and fro by the heaving of 
the heart it would smother, at last it was com- 
pelled to increase in force in proportion as the 
real vitality of a true soul-life pervaded its 

British will was as firm and daring in the 
child as with the parent. 

The legacies of English law, the inheritance 
of English liberty were inherited by the colonists 
— their eradication or withdrawal was impossi- 
ble. The time had passed for compromise or 
termination of their enjoyment. The issue 
long before fought out on English soil by Crom- 
well was bearing fruit in an English ascendency 
to be renewed under new conditions. And the 
authority which might have gladly welcomed 
the prodigious elasticity and growth of the 
American dependencies as the future glory of 
Great Britain was used to convert the filial 
relation into slavery. 

"The love of country springing up from the 
rich soil of domestic affections is a feeling coex- 
tensive with social union itself. Although a 
dreary climate, barren lands, treacherous In- 
dians, and unrighteous laws, wickedly admin- 
istered, may repress the luxurious growth of 

Of North Carolina 35 

this sentiment, it will still maintain firm root in 
the heart and bear with patience most cruel 
wrongs. When exiled from his fatherland he 
yearns for it as a child yearns for home, and 
though he may, by legal oath, renounce and 
disclaim allegiance to his own and swear fealty 
to another government, yet the invisible links of 
patriotism which bind him to his country can- 
not be severed, his lips and his hands bear false 
witness against his truthful heart." 

Stronger, far, is the sentiment in the bosom 
of him whose country is a pleasant land, where 
nature in glorious beauty and rich beneficence 
woos him on every side; where education 
quickens into refining activity the intellect of 
society and where just laws, rightly adminis- 
tered, impress all possessions, whether of prop- 
erty or character, with the broad seal of security. 
An honest justified pride elevates the spirit of 
the citizen of a land so favored ; makes him a 
vigilant guardian of its rights and honor; and 
inspires him with a profound reverence for the 
heroes and their valorous deeds consecrated by 
the opinions of the just as the basis upon which 
its glory, rests. 

In the Province of North Carolina from 1735 
to 1740, while Governor Johnston was in power, 
Lord Granville's land agents were making 
trouble with the colonists, and the lawful taxes 
were many times multiplied by the tax gather- 

36 Some Neglected History 

ers. There was a lack of currency, no gold or 
silver, and barely enough English money to pay 
taxes. Contentions were arising between the 
rulers and the ruled. (Col. Rec, Vol. 8, pp. 

395> 396.) 
When William Tryon was commissioned 

Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of North 

Carolina on October 27, 1764 (and on the death 

of Governor Dobbs, April 3, i765,he qualified as 

Commander-in-Chief and Captain-General of 

the Province of North Carolina), like Reho- 

boam of old he made the burdens of the colonists 

more grievous. He denied many of the western 

counties the right of representation and vetoed 

the acts of the General Assembly at will. (Col. 

Rec, Vol. 7, pp. 146, 283, 539.) 

About 1765 the British Parliament asserted 
the right to tax the colonists without their con- 
sent, and early in 1765 was passed the odious 
Stamp Act. From one end of the Province to 
the other meetings of the people were held, in 
which their indignation was forcibly expressed, 
and with a unanimity never before equaled, be- 
fore or since, they declared they would not sub- 
mit to the law. 

On the 28th of November, 1765, the British 
man-of-war Diligence, carrying twenty-one 
guns, accompanied by the British sloop-of-war 
Viper, arrived at Brunswick in the Colony of 
North Carolina, with the stamps on board, but 


Stamp Act Riot at Newbeme in 1765. 

Of North Carolina 37 

her arrival having been anticipated for some 
time, an armed force from Brunswick and New 
Hanover counties was on the ground ready to 
resist the landing of the stamp paper. (Colo- 
nel Waddell in North Carolina Booklet, June 
10, 1901.) 

Two weeks prior to this date, a body of men, 
on learning that Dr. William Houston, the 
stamp distributor, was a guest at the Governor's 
Mansion, surrounded that place and requested 
to speak with the stamp distributor; this Gov- 
ernor Tryon refused. The people then began 
to make preparations to burn the mansion. 
When Tryon realized their intentions he asked 
the leader into his residence. He boldly 
entered and in a few moments returned with 
Houston, the stamp distributor. Governor 
Tryon was then made prisoner in his palace, 
while Houston was taken to Wilmington and 
carried before the Mayor, Moses John de Ros- 
sett, and the Board of Aldermen, in the Court- 
House, where he was forced to take oath that 
he would never offer for sale within the borders 
of the Province of North Carolina any of the 
King's stamp paper. Here is Houston's resig- 
nation and comments on same, as published in 
North Carolina Gazette: 

38 Some Neglected History 

Copy op Mr. William Houston's Resignation of His 

Office of Stamp Distributor for the Province 

of North Carolina. 

I do hereby promise that I will never receive any 
Stamped paper which may arrive from Europe in conse- 
quence of any Act lately passed in the Parliament of 
Great Britain, nor officiate in any means as Stamp Mas- 
ter or Distributor of Stamps within the Province of 
North Carolina, either directly or indirectly, and I do 
hereby notify all the inhabitants of His Majesty's prov- 
ince of North Carolina, notwithstanding my having re- 
ceived information of my being appointed to the said 
stamp office, not to apply hereafter for any stamp oaper, 
or to distribute the same until such time as it will be 
agreeable to the inhabitants of this Province : Hereby de- 
claring that I do execute these presents of my own free 
Will and Accord, without any Equivocation or mental 
reservation whatsoever 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 
16th day of November, 1765. 

Wm. Houston. 

(Reprinted from North Carolina Gazette, 20th Novem- 
ber, 1765.) 

(November 20.) (Numb. 58.) 

North Carolina Gazette. 

Wilmington, November 20, 1765. 

On Saturday, the 19th of last month, about Seven of 
the Clock in the evening, near Five Hundred People as- 
sembled together in this town, and exhibited the effigy of 
a certain HONOURABLE GENTLEMAN ; and after 
letting it hang by the Neck for some Time, near the 
Court-House, they made a large Bonfire with a Number 
of Tar Barrels, &c, and committed it to the flames. The 

Of North Carolina 39 

reason assigned for the People's dislike to that Gentle- 
man, was, from being informed of his having several 
times expressed himself much in favour to the STAMP- 
DUTY. After the Effigy was consumed, they went to 
every House in Town, and bro't all the Gentlemen to the 
Bonfire, and insisted upon their drinking, LIBERTY, 
PROPERTY, and no STAMP-DUTY, and confusion to 
Lord B — te and all his adherents, giving three Huzzas at 
the conclusion of each Toast. They continued together 
until 12 of the Clock, and then dispersed without doing 
any Mischief. And on Thursday, 31st of the same 
Month, in the evening, a great Number of People again 
assembled, and produced an Effigy of Liberty, which they 
put in a coffin, and marched in solemn Procession with it 
to the Church Yard, a Drum in mourning beating before 
them, and the Town Bell, muffled, ringing a doleful 
Knell at the Same Time : But before they committed the 
Body to the Ground they thought it advisable to feel its 
Pulse'; and when finding some Remains of life, they re- 
turned back to a Bonfire ready prepared, placed the Effi- 
gy in a large Two-arm'd Chair, and concluded the even- 
ing with great Rejoicings, on finding that LIBERTY had 
still an existence in the colonies. Not the least injury was 
offered to any person. 

On Saturday, the sixteenth of this Inst, Dr. William 
Houston, Esq., Distributor of STAMPS for this Prov- 
ince, came to this Town, upon which three or four Hun- 
dred People immediately gathered together, with Drums 
beating and Colours flying, and repaired to the House 
where the said Stamp Officer put up at, and insisted upon 
knowing "Whether he intended to execute his said Office 
or not ?" He told them "that He should be very sorry to 
execute any Office disagreeable to the People of the Prov- 
ince." But they, not content with such a Declaration, 
carried him to the Court-House, where he signed a 
Resignation satisfactory to the whole. 

As soon as the STAMP-OFFICER had comply'd with 
their desire, they placed him in an Arm-Chair, carried 
him first around the Court-House, giving three Huzzas 
at every corner, and then proceeded with him around one 
of the squares of the town, and sat him down at the door 
of his Lodgings, formed themselves in a large Circle 
round him, and gave three Cheers. They then escorted 
him into the House, where was prepared the best Liquors 

40 Some Neglected History 

to be had, and treated him very genteelly. In the evening 
a large Bonfire was made, and no person appeared in the 
Streets without having LIBERTY, in large capital let- 
ters, in his Hat. They had a large Table near the Bon- 
fire, well furnish'd with several Sorts of Liquors, where 
they drank in great Form all the favorite AMERICAN 
Toasts, giving three Cheers at the conclusion of each. 
The whole was conducted with great Decorum, and not 
the least insult offered to any person. 

Immediately after the appointed STAMP-MASTER 
had comply'd with their COMMANDS, they called upon 
Mr. A. STUART, the printer (who had not printed the 
Gazette for some weeks before the STAMP-ACT took 
Place, it having pleased God to afflict him with a danger- 
ous fever). When he appeared they ask'd him if "He 
would continue his Business, as heretofore, and publish a 
Newspaper ?" He told them that "As he had no stamp'd 
paper, and as a late ACT of Parliament FORBID the 
printing on any other paper, He could not." He was then 
positively told that "IF HE DID NOT, he might expect 
the same treatment of the STAMP MEN," and de- 
manded a positive answer. Mr. Stuart then answer'd, 
"That rather than run the Hazard of Life, being maimed, 
or have his Printing Office destroy'd, that he would com- 
ply with their Request ;" but took the WHOLE for wit- 
ness, that he was compelled thereto. 

His Excellency our GOVERNOR has been for some 
time ill of health : but we have the pleasure to say he is 
now recovering. 

Circular letters were sent last week by the Governor 
to the Principal Inhabitants in this part of the Province, 
requesting their Presence at his Seat in Brunswick, on 
Monday last; where, after dinner, his Excellency con- 
ferr'd with them concerning the STAMP-ACT, the Re- 
sult of which shall be in our next. 

We hear from New Berne, that the inhabitants burn'd 
Doctor William Houston in Effigy during the sitting of 
their Superior Court. Mr. Houston, however, thinks 
there was too much of the Star Chamber Conduct made 
Use of, in condemning him unheard ; especially as he had 
never solicited the office. Nor had he then heard he was 
appointed STAMP- OFFICER. At Cross-Creek, 'tis 
said, they hanged his Effigy and Mr. Carter's together 

Of North Carolina 41 

(Carter murdered his own wife), nor have they spared 
him in Duplin County, his home. 

We are told that no clearances will be granted out of 
our Port till a Change of Affairs. 

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol VII, pp. 
124, 125, 126.) 

After Dr. Houston was released he returned 
to the palace to comfort his dejected and dis- 
comfited master. (Colonel Waddell in North 
Carolina Booklet, June 10, 1901.) 

On the arrival of the Diligence and Viper the 
armed force under command of Col. Hugh 
Waddell and Col. John Ashe took up arms 
against the British man-of-war and would not 
permit the officers to land a single piece of the 
King's odious stamp paper within the borders 
of the Province of North Carolina. They also 
forced them in February, 1766, to release 
several small vessels they had seized for not 
carrying stamp paper. 

The amazed Governor sought to conciliate 
the enraged colonists by an ostentatious parade 
of hospitality. He caused three oxen to be 
roasted whole, a load of bread, and several bar- 
rels of beer to be provided as a feast for the 
common people. They attended on his invita- 
tion, but not to participate in nor partake of his 
hospitality, but only to throw the untasted bar- 
becue into the Cape Fear River, to burst the 
barrels and empty the beer upon the ground. 
The officers of the Diligence espoused the cause 

42 Some Neglected History 

of the Governor, and a general fight ensued, 
and during the excitement Thomas Whitehurst, 
a relative of Mrs. Tryon, was killed. He fell 
in a duel with Simpson, master of the British 
sloop Viper, who took the side of the colonists. 
(Lossing, Field Book of the Revolution.) 

The people gave three hearty cheers for 
North Carolina and quietly dispersed. Here is 
an act of North Carolina's sons worthy of all 
Roman or Grecian fame. It was then that the 
Royal Governor realized the character of the 
colonists he had to deal with. He and his party 
were much chagrined and insulted, and writhed 
under the mockery, and from that hour the 
Governor sought to annoy and oppress the col- 

Eight years after this (December, 1773), a 
party of forty or fifty men, disguised as Mo- 
hawk Indians, under cover of darkness, and 
without any resistance, boarded a British ship 
in Boston Harbor, containing a consignment of 
tea, and throwing the chests of the cargo over- 
board into the sea, came ashore echoing their 
bravery, which made the "Boston Tea Party" 

This "Boston Tea Party" has been celebra- 
ted by every writer on National history and 

"Pealed and chimed on every tongue of fame." 

Of North Carolina 43 


'North Carolina's children are taught to read 
it in their daily lessons; it adorns the picture 
books of the nurseries, and is chronicled in the 
remotest points of the republic." 

Here is an act of the sons of "Old North 
Carolina" not committed on a harmless mer- 
chant vessel, nor on the crew of a freight ship ; 
not done under any disguise or mask, but on 
the representative of Royalty itself, command- 
ing a man-of-war of King George's Navy, on 
the one hand, and on the King's Royal Gov- 
ernor in his palace on the other, and in the open 
daylight, by well-known men of reputation; 
much finer and more decided in its charac- 
ter, more daring in its action, more important 
in its results ; and yet not one-half of her sons 
have ever read of this exploit. Why ? Because 
it is not recorded in history, for the reason that 
our histories are written by Northern histori- 

"There are deeds that should not pass away 
And names that must not wither ; tho' the earth 

Forgets her empires with a just decay, 
The enslavers and enslaved, the death and birth. 


"Men will not be able to fully understand 
North Carolina until they have opened the 
treasures of her history and become familiar 
with the daring deeds of her brave sons before 
and after the 'War of the Regulators.' The 
names of those who participated in these trying 

44 Some Neglected History 

scenes are still preserved in North Carolina by 
their descendants, who are distinguished, as 
were their ancestors, by their intellect and pro- 

William Tryon, prior to his appointment as 
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of North 
Carolina in 1764, held an office in the British 
Army. (See Appendix A.) He secured his 
commission, it is said, through the influence of 
his sister, Miss Tryon, a maid-of-honor to the 
Queen. The Governor's tastes and desires for 
luxury were gratified in 1767 by carrying 
out his scheme of taxing the colony to erect a 
palace, and to accomplish his plans he devoted 
all the intrigue of the politician and the bold- 
ness of the soldier by taxing the Colonists 
20,000 pounds sterling ($100,000) to build his 
palace at Newberne, the capital. (Wheeler's 
History of North Carolina.) 

To a people in an embryonic state of society 
with but few resources and less money, this 
bold determination on thie part of the Gov- 
ernor to gratify his royal vanity was produc- 
tive of serious results. 

The building at this date was superior in 
beauty, finish, and architectural design to any- 
thing of its kind in either North or South 
America. (Wheeler's History of North Caro- 
lina. ) Judge Martin says he visited this edifice 
in 1783 in company with the unfortunate Gen. 




Of North Carolina 45 

Don Francisco de Miranda, of South America, 
who stated that "even in South America, a land 
of palaces, it had no equal." 

The edifice stood at the foot of St. George 
Street. The view given in the illustration was 
from the north front of the building toward 
the town. The center edifice was the palace, 
the right wing was the secretaries' offices, the 
left wing was the kitchen, store-rooms and ser- 
vants' dormitory. The wings were connected 
with the palace by a covered curviform colon- 
nade of five columns each. Between these 
wings and in front of the palace was a hand- 
some court. The rear of the building was 
finished after the style of the Mansion House 
in London. The building was constructed of 
brick and marble imported from England. The 
cornices and mantles in the council-chamber, 
dining-hall, ball-room, and drawing-rooms 
were made of beautifully carved Italian marble. 
The great hall contained four niches for statu- 
ary. The palace was burned in 1798, though 
the foundation walls and the right wing are 
still standing. 

Governor Tryon dedicated his palace to his 
friend Sir William Draper, who is said to be 
the author of the lines placed over the door of 
entrance : 

46 Some Neglected History 

"Rege pio felix diris inimica tyrannis 
Vertuti has aedes libera* terra dedit, 

Sint domus et dominus saeclis exempla futuris, 
Hie astes mores, jura legesque colnat" 

When translated into English verse from 
Francis Xavier Martin's History of North 
Carolina it reads as follows : 

"In the reign of a monarch who goodness disclaimed 
A free and happy people, to dread tyrants opposed, 
Have to virtue and merit erected this dome. 
May the owner and household make this their loved 

Where religion, the arts, and the laws may invite 
Future ages to live in sweet peace and delight/' 

How complete a burlesque upon its origin, 
object and tendency! But its princely halls 
offered little comfort to its vain occupant, for 
while he was feasting, wining, and dining to 
the pleasant strains of music, the colonists were 
becoming more restless under the yoke of 
oppression which he had forced upon them. 


Harmon Husband, Member of General Assembly from 
Orange County; His Arrest While Attending Meet- 
ing of General Assembly; Governor Tryon's Procla- 
mation to Weaken Organization of the Regulators; 
the Causes Leading to the Confederation of the Reg- 
ulators; Proofs That the Regulators Were Justin- 
able in Their Acts and that They Had Just Cause 
for Grievances; the Royal Governor's Reports to 
Lord Dartmouth; Convention of Regulators and 
County Officers at Mrs. Steele's Inn at Salisbury on 
March 7, 1771 ; Governor Tryon's Letter to Maurice 
Moore Pertaining to This Meeting; Unequal Rep- 
resentation of Western Counties as Compared With 
Eastern Counties; the Atticus Letter; the Sheriff of 
Orange County Sells "Home-spun" Dress at Auc- 
tion from a Poor Woman's Back for Her Husband's 

In 1769, 1770 and 1771 Harmon Husband 
was a member of the Lower House of the Gen- 
eral Assembly from Orange County, but his 
presence was, of course, not very agreeable to 
the Governor, and his conduct while there, if 
accounts be true, was not calculated to con- 
ciliate one of Tryon's temper. The continued 
extortions of sheriffs and other county officers 
led to the assembling of the people to discuss 
the abuses of power, seeking redress for their 

48 Some Neglected History 

grievances. We reproduce here the "advertise- 
ments of their four (4) first meetings/' 


August, 1766. 

Whereas that great good may come of this great de- 
signed Evil, the Stamp Law, while the sons of Liberty 
withstood the Lords in Parliament in behalf of true Lib- 
erty, let not Officers under them carry on unjust Oppres- 
sion in Our own Province in order thereunto, as there is 
many Evils of that nature complained of in this County 
of Orange in private amongst the Inhabitants thereof; 
let us remove them (or if there is no cause), let us re- 
move the jealousies out of our minds. 

Honest Rulers in power will be glad to see us examine 
this matter freely; there is certainly more honest men 
among us than rogues, & yet rogues is harbored among 
us sometimes almost publickly ; every honest man is will- 
ing to give part of his substance to support rulers and 
laws to save the other part from rogues, and it is his duty 
as well as right to see and Examine whether such rulers 
abuse such trust, otherwise that part so given may do 
more hurt than good, even if all were rogues; in that 
case we could not subsist, but would be obliged to frame 
laws to make ourselves honest, and the same reasoning 
holds good against the notion of a Mason Club : this tho' 
it must be desired by all or the greatest number of men, 
yet when grievances of such public nature are not re- 
dressed, the reason is everybody's business is Nobody's ; 
therefore the following proposals is offered to the pub- 

An Advertisement 

Let each Neighborhood throughout the COUNTRY 
meet together and appoint one or more men to attend a 
general meeting on the Monday before the next Novem- 
ber Court at a suitable place, where there is no Liquor 
to be had (at Maddock's Mill, if no objection), at which 
meeting let it be judiciously inquired whether the free 
men of this Country labor under any abuses of power 
or not, and let the same be notified in writing if any is 

Of North Carolina 49 


found, and the matter freely conversed upon and proper, 
measures used for amendment; this method will cer- 
tainly cause the wicked men in power to tremble, and 
there is no damage can attend such a meeting, nor noth- 
ing hinder it but a cowardly, dastardly Spirit, which if it 
does in this time while Liberty prevails, we must mutter 
and grumble under any abuses of power until such a 
noble spirit prevails in our posterity; for take this as a 
maxim, that while there are men, though you should see 
all those "Sons of Liberty" (who has just now reduced 
us to Tyranny) set in Offices and vested with power, they 
would soon corrupt again and oppress, if they were not 
called upon to give an account of their Stewardship. 

(Col. Rec. of N. G, Vol. VII, pp. 249, 251.) 


At a meeting of the Neighborhood of Deep River, the 
20th of August, 1766, unanimously agreed to appoint 
Wm. Cox and Wm. Masset to attend a general meeting 
on the first Monday before the November Court, at Mad- 
dox Mill, on Enoe River, where they are to judiciously 
examine whether the true men of the country labor under 
any abuses of power, and in particular to examine into 
the Publick Taxes, and inform themselves of every par- 
ticular thereof, by what Law and for what uses it is laid, 
in order to remove some jealousies out of our minds; 
and the representative vestrymen and other Officers are 
requested to give the members of said meeting what in- 
formation and satisfaction they can, so far as they value 
the good will of every honest Freeholder and the exe- 
cuting of public offices pleasant and delightsome. 


At a meeting of the Inhabitants of Orange County on 
the 10th of October, 1766, for a conference of Publick 
Affairs with our representatives and vestrymen, &c, it 
was the judgment of the said meeting that by reason of 
the extent of the County no one man in a general way 
was known by above 1-10 men of the inhabitants, for 
which reason such a meeting (for a Public and free Con- 
ference yearly, and as often as the case may require), 
was absolutely necessary in order to reap the profit de- 

50 Some Neglected History 

signed us in that part of our Constitution of choosing 
representatives and knowing of what uses our money is 
called for. 

We also conceive such a representative would find him- 
self at a loss to answer the designs of his constituents if 
deprived of consulting their minds in matters of weight 
and moment. And whereas at the said meeting none of 
them appeared, tho' we think properly acquainted with 
our appointment and request, yet as the thing is some- 
what new in the County, though practised in older Gov- 
ernments, they might not have duly considered the reas- 
onableness of our request. We therefore conclude that if 
they are hereafter inclinable to our requests, and answer 
it, we will attend them at some other time and place, on 
their giving us proper notice. It is also our judgment 
that on further mature deliberation the Inhabitants of 
this County will more generally see the necessity for such 
a conference and the number increase in favour of it to be 
continued yearly. 

Ordered that a copy of the above be delivered to each 
of our representatives & another Copy set up in Publick 
at next General Muster. 

Their objection sent was because we had used the word 

(Col. Rec, Vol. VII, pp. 251, 252.) 


We, the underwritten subscribers, do voluntarily agree 
to form ourselves into an Association to assemble our- 
selves for conferences for regulating Publick Grievances 
and Abuses of Power in the following particulars, with 
others of like nature that may occur : 

1st. That we will pay no taxes until we are satisfied 
they are agreeable to Law and Applied to the purpose 
therein mentioned, unless we cannot help and are forced. 

2nd. That we will pay no Officer any more fees than 
the Law allows, unless we are obliged to do it, and then 
to show a dislike to it & bear open testimony against it. 

3rd. That we will attend our meetings of Conference 
as often as we conveniently can or is necessary in order 
to consult our representatives on the amendments of such 
Laws as may be found Grievous or unnecessary, and to 
choose more suitable men then we have heretofore done 

Of North Carolina 51 

for Burgesses and Vestrymen, and to petition His Ex- 
cellency our Governor, the Hon*ble Council and the Wor- 
shipful House of Representatives, His Majesty in Par- 
liament, &c, for redress of such grievances as in the 
course of this undertaking may occur, and inform one 
another & to learn, know and enjoy all the Privileges & 
Liberties that are allowed us and were settled on us by 
our worthy ancestors, the founders of the present Con- 
stitution, in order to preserve it in its Ancient Founda- 
tion, that it may stand firm and unshaken. 

4th. That we will contribute to collections for defray- 
ing necessary expenses attending the work according to 
our abilities. 

5th. That in cases of difference in judgment we will 
submit to the Majority of our Body. 

To all of which we do solemnly swear, or, being a Qua- 
ker or otherwise scrupulous in Conscience of the com- 
mon Oath, do solemnly Affirm that we will stand true 
and faithful to this cause until We bring them to a true 
Regulation according to the true intent & meaning of it 
in the judgment of the Majority. 

(Col. Rec, Vol. VII, pp. 672, 673.) 


The Regulators organized first in April, 1766, 
in Orange County, had refused partly by the 
influence of Harmon Husband to pay the taxes 
demanded by the sheriffs and he undertook to 
act as sheriff by collecting the exact amount of 
tax lawfully due from every Regulator in the 
county, and took it with him to the Capitol. 
When the two houses were in session and when 
his name was called as a member from Orange 
County, Governor Tryon, in a haughty tone, 
demanded the reason why the King's subjects in 
his county had refused to pay their taxes. 
Walking to the Speaker's desk with the firm- 
ness, plainness, and boldness of a Quaker, and 

52 Some Neglected History 

throwing a bag of specie on the table in front of 
the Governor, Husband replied, "Here, sir, are 
the taxes which my people refused your roguish 
sheriff. " (Lossing, Field Book of the Revolu- 
tion, Vol. 2, p. 571 ; Dr. Caruthers's Life of Dr. 
Caldwell, p. 575.) "I brought it to keep it from 
dwindling, seeing that when money passes 
through so many fingers, it, like a cake of soap, 
grows less at each handling. The people have 
sent it down by their commoner and I am now 
ready to pay it over to the treasurer if he will 
give me a receipt to sh|ow my people that the 
money has been paid." 

This incident shows that the Colonists were 
willing to pay just and honest taxes, and it 
also shows their confidence in Husband, who 
afterwards became one of the foremost leaders 
of the Regulators. 

The Governor eyed him with contempt and 
wanted to have him arrested on various pre- 
texts. Calling his Council together he submit- 
ted the propriety of it to their consideration, 
but they disapproved ; however, at his request. 
Chief Justice Martin Howard, who, as it ap- 
pears, was also a member of the Council, issued 
a warrant for his apprehension and committed 
him to jail in Newberne (Col. Rec. of N. C, 
Vol. 8, pp. 9, 546), where he was confined for 
some days, but he was released when the 
Governor heard that a band of Regulators, 


Of North Carolina 53 

about 2,000 strong, had crossed Haw River and 
were on their way to the Capital to take him 
from prison. (Col. Rec. of N. G, Vol. 8, pp. 
500, 646.) 

In order to weaken the organization of the 
Regulators, Governor Tryon had Orange 
County divided, and erected three new counties 
(Col. Rec. of N. G, Vol. 8, pp. 341, 481) one, 
of parts of Orange, Cumberland and Johnson — 
called Wake County; another of parts of 
Rowan and Orange— called Guilford County; 
another from parts of Anson and Orange — 
called Chatham County. He also had an act 
passed (Appendix C) making it unlawful for 
any number of persons above ten meeting to- 
gether, and issued a proclamation to merchants I 
and others prohibiting them from selling or \ 
supplying any person or persons with powder, 
shot, or lead until further notice. (Col. Rec. of 
N. G, Vol. 8, p. 481 ; Lossing, Field Book of the 
Revolution, Vol. 2, p. 575.) 

♦The causes that led to the confederation of 
the Regulators were : First, The want of a 
circulating medium sufficient in volume for the 

♦Colonel Joseph M. Morehead, in an address deliv- 
ered at Guilford Battle-ground, July 3, 1897, "On the 
Life and Times of James Hunter," "General" of the 
Regulators, defends the cause of the Regulators, evinc- 
ing a research unsurpassed by any writer, and so just 
to North Carolina and the cause of the oppressed Reg- 
ulators that I hope to be pardoned for drawing almost 

54 Some Neglected History 

needs of the province ; England prohibiting the 
colony from emitting a currency that all knew 
to be essential to its progress. Second, Extrav- 
agant taxation by the Governor and the legis- 
lature, and the failure rightfully to apply and 
account for the taxes raised. Third, Religious 
intolerance. Fourth, The peculation and extor- 
tion upon the people of officials from the Chief 
Justice down. (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 7, 9 
and 10, Pref. Notes.) 

We can do the truth of history no greater 
service than to point honest inquiry to the 
prefatory notes of the Colonial Records of 
North Carolina by the late gifted and patriotic 
William L. Saunders. (Vols. 7, 8, 9 and 10.) 

From these rather recent reproductions of 
the originals in the British archives and else- 
where, a few extracts will prove that from the 
beginning to the end of these troubles right and 
justice were on the side of the Regulators, their 
enemies being their judges. We quote first 
from Lord Tryon himself. 

In a letter — misleading, explanatory, and 
apologetic upon its face — he writes the home 
government in England and says: 

entirely upon it for the facts which led to the organiza- 
tion of the Regulators. Colonel Morehead has ex- 
hausted the sources of information on this portion of 
the Colonial History of North Carolina, and nothing 
can be added to it; and as far as the writer can judge, 
nothing can be taken from it without marring the 

Of North Carolina 55 

"To say that the insurgents had not a color 
for their shewing dissatisfaction at the conduct 
of their public officers would be doing them an 
injustice; for on a prosecution in the Superior 
Court carried on by the Attorney-General by 
virtue of my directions, both the register and 
clerk of the court were found guilty of taking 
too high fees." (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 
884; see Copy of Court Records, p. 169.) 

The officer here found guilty of extortion 
and corruption in office was the infamous Ed- 
mund Fanning. An advisari was taken by the 
court and the culprit never punished, though 
three Regulators, "all that were tried" (Col. 
Rec. of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 885), were convicted, 
fined heavily, and imprisoned — and Fanning 
was advanced by Tryon. 

Governor Josiah Martin succeeded Tryon in 
the governorship of the Province in August, 
1 77 1, just after the Battle of Alamance, fought 
on the 1 6th of May preceding. Governor Mar- 
tin, though commissioned several months pre- 
viously, failed, because of sickness, to arrive 
within the Province until the nth of August. 
Meanwhile the battle had been fought and 
Tryon had gone to New York. On the 15th, 
four days after his arrival in Newberne, Mar- 
tin wrote the home government in regard to the 
recent suppression of the Regulators and 
Tryon's connection therewith as follows: 

56 Some Neglected History 

"The ability and address with which that 
gentleman has acquitted himself leave me noth- 
ing to lament on the public account, but for 
myself I feel sensibly in being precluded all 
share of the honor attending this very seasona- 
ble and glorious exertion of the loyal spirit of 
this Province, so happily directed by Mr. 
Tryon to secure respect to the laws and to give 
vigor and stability to his Majesty's govern- 
ment," etc. (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 9, pp. 
16, 17.) 

But the next August, 1772, Martin visited 
Hillsborough and Guilford, the "hot-bed" of 
the Regulators, according to Tryon, and on the 
30th of that August he wrote home to this 
effect : 

"My progress, my Lord, through this coun- 
try has opened by eyes exceedingly with respect 
to the commotions and discontents that have 
lately prevailed in it. I now see most clearly 
that they have been provoked by insolence and 
cruel advantage taken of the people's ignor- 
ance by mercenary, tricky attorneys, clerks, 
and other officers, who have practiced upon 
them every sort of rapine and extortion. Hav- 
ing brought upon themselves their (the peo- 
ple's) just resentment, they engaged govern- 
ment in their defense by artful misrepresenta- 
tions, so that the vengeance of the wretched 
people aimed at their heads was directed against 

MaatfflaMIBlfl i M 

Of North Carolina 57 

the constitution; and by this stratagem they 
threw an odium upon the injured people that 
by degrees begot prejudice which prevented a 
full discovery of their grievances. Thus, my 
Lord, as far as I am able to discern, the re- 
sentment of the government was craftily work- 
ed up against the oppressed, and the protec- 
tion, which the oppressors treacherously ac- 
quired where the ignorant and injured people 
expected to find it, drove them to acts of des- 
peration and confederated them into violences, 
which your Lordship knows induced blood- 
shed, and, as I verily believe, necessarily. 

"Inquiries of this sort, my Lord, I am sensi- 
ble are invidious ; nor would anything but a 
sense of duty have drawn from me these opin- 
ions of the principles of the past troubles of this 
country." (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 9, p. 330.) 

Earl Dartmouth, then Secretary for the Col- 
onies, replied: 

"I have not failed to give attention to the re- 
marks you make upon the state of the back set- 
tlements, the temper and character of the in- 
habitants, and your own opinion of the origin 
of these discontents, which produce such disa- 
greeable consequences; and I must confess to 
you that I see but too much reason to believe 
that those deluded people would not have been 
induced to involve themselves in the guilt of 
rebellion without provocation. But it is neither 

58 Some Neglected History 

fit nor necessary for me to recur to transactions 
of so disagreeable a complexion, not doubting 
that the late Governor had examined into and 
redressed their grievances, ,, etc. 

Whereas the late Governor had done noth- 
ing of the kind. 

One of Tryon's three Superior Court Judges, 
who was first to recommend bayonets and bul- 
lets, and declare the paralysis of the civil arm, 
and who condemned to speedy death the un- 
happy prisoners taken at the Alamance, is 
credited with the authorship of the "Atticus" 
letter. (Moore's History of North Carolina, 
Vol. i, p. ioo; Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 
718.) This letter was written November, 1 77 1 , 
after Tryon had left the Province. It was 
addressed to Tryon, now Governor of New 
York, and from it we make these extracts: 
(See letter in full, p. 81.) 

"Your active and gallant behavior in extin- 
guishing the flame you yourself had kindled 
does you great honor. 

"It seems difficult to determine in which 
your Excellency is most to be admired, for 
your skill in creating the cause or your bravery 
in suppressing the effect." 

Governor Josiah Martin had been instructed 
to issue, upon his arrival within the Province, 
writs for the election of a new Legislature to 
succeed that of the spring preceding. He 

FWiflfrfri Jiil^ 

Of North Carolina 59 

assembled the old Legislature, however, under 
the advice of Tryon and Hassell of the Council. 
(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 9, p. 17.) It devolved 
upon this body to meet the expenses of the 
war — £40,000 — it had just waged — when the 
war was commenced there was only £500 in the 
treasury — that is, pay themselves largely — 
which it was believed no other would. Governor 
Martin's language on this point is this: "It 
was, however, necessary to keep that, to provide 
for the present exigencies ; since it is universally 
agreed that a future assembly would not have 
been found to do it" (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 
9, p. 76.) Many — "a majority" (Col. Rec. of 
N. C, Vol. 9, p. 17) — of this legislature had 
been at the Battle of Alamance and had accom- 
panied Tryon in his tour westward enforcing 
the oath of loyalty, etc. 

Having assembled at Newberne, then the 
seat of government, on November 19, 1771, 
they requested of the Governor a general par- 
don of all offenses for all Regulators, with an 
exception of three individuals only, and went to 
work perfecting the identical measures so long 
and so ineffectually advocated by the Regula- 
tors. (Journals of the Assemblies of 1769, 
1770, and 1771.) 

Governor Martin having arrived in New- 
berne in August and remained there till No- 
vember and having been in communication 

60 Some Neglected History 

with Tryon only before his arrival, was of 
course imbued with his ideas and views, and in 
fact party spirit between Tryonites and Mar- 
tinites, soon to become bitter, had not yet 
arisen. Nevertheless, he had learned the true 
cause of the recent war, for in his address to 
the Legislature of November 19, 177 1, having 
congratulated them "that tranquility and good 
order have succeeded tumult and violence, 
which during some time had disturbed so fair 
a part of this promise/' says, "I most heartily 
congratulate you gentlemen on this event; 
and I take the first occasion to recommend to 
you in the most earnest manner to consider of 
an effectual means to prevent future evils of a 
like nature ; to this end it appears to be neces- 
sary to give all force and vigor to the laws ; to 
obviate all just grounds of discontent to the 
people that shall be found to exist; to give 
them the fullest evidence that is possible of 
the just administration of the public finances ; 
to correct as far as human prudence may all 
manner of abuses ; and above all things to give 
every facility to the administration of justice/' 
(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 9, pp. 101, 102.) 
Taking no umbrage at this, the Legislature 
promised, in reply, "to provide effectual means 
to prevent future evils of a like nature ; and we 
shall rank amongst the first objects of our atten- 
tion the several matters which your Excellency 

Of North Carolina 61 

has recommended as necessary for the attain- 
ment of that end." (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 
9, p. 104.) 

These declarations of Tryon, of his judge, 
of Governor Martin, the confessions of the 
home government, and the actions of this Leg- 
islature established beyond cavil the righteous- 
ness of the Regulator's cause. 

But the plea of Tryon and the Legislature 
and of their. apologists to this day is by way of 
confession and avoidance. Admitting the jus- 
tice of the people's complaint and the lawful- 
ness of their proceedings at first, the allegation 
is that the association or confederation had de- 
generated into an uncontrollable and danger- 
ous mob, despising all law and order, and that 
having changed their original righteous into 
unrighteous purposes, they ought to have been 
suppressed by arms. 

In reply, we ask had their original griev- 
ances been redressed? On the contrary, their 
lawful assembling of themselves and respectful 
petitionings (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, pp. 75, 
81) to the Governor, the Legislature, and the 
court had been met with only criminal or 
designed neglect and the most tyrannical de- 
nunciations. According to Governor Martin's 
statement, and as the records show, their unre- 
dressed wrongs had been greatly aggravated by 
cruelty and insolence. 

62 Some Neglected History 

But had the organization degenerated into a 
mob subject to no control and upon wild and 
mischievous purposes bent ? Had it become, as 
is charged in the latest and most complete His- 
tory of the State, "an intolerable nuisance — an 
impediment alike to legislation and the adminis- 
tration of public justice?" (Moore, Vol. I, p. 
127.) Of this court for the administration of 
"public justice" to which the Regulators final- 
ly put an end after years of forbearance, Mr. 
Moore himself says that the records of Hills- 
borough court are witnesses "of eternal shame 
resting upon this court" (p. 118). "They allow- 
ed Governor Tryon with his loose morals and 
bad passions to sully the reputation of a court 
that might have been illustrious for rectitude, 
as it was for the real learning of its judges" 
(p. 119). That there is "proof positive that 
on the name of (two of the three members of 
the court ) should lie the odium of an infamous 
defeat of justice" (p. 119). And it may be 
added that the third, according to the evidence, 
was the most thoroughly and naturally hated 
judge of the three. 

There certainly is intelligent purpose and 
there is method in the madness that would 
impede the so-called administration of justice 
by a court of which there was "proof positive" 
that it was corrupt; and where peaceable 

Of North Carolina 63 

remedy has failed, mankind will always justify 
and applaud resort to violence. 

In this connection let us observe, that so late 
as the fall of 1 770, at the most exciting period 
of the disruption of the court at Hillsborough, 
James Hunter urged Judge Henderson, then 
upon the bench, to proceed with the long- 
delayed causes of the Regulators, and assured 
him of his own personal safety. Certainly no 
indignity was offered the judge, which would 
seem to be proof that Hunter and others still 
had the crowd well in hand. 

However, this charge of intolerable demor- 
alization is fully disproven by proceedings had 
at Salisbury on March 7, 1771, only about two 
months before the battle. This was a meeting 
of the civil officers of Rowan County and the 
Regulators. We reproduce in full the papers 
then and there drawn up between the parties, 
entitled, "Agreement for restitution by Rowan 
County officers to the Regulators." (Col. Rec. 
of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 521.) 

"We, the subscribers, officers of Rowan 
County, now met at Mrs. William Steele's,* 

♦Mrs. Elizabeth Steele was known in early Revolu- 
tionary history as a very patriotic woman and revered 
for a most praiseworthy act. On February 1, 1781, Gen. 
Nathaniel Greene spent the night at her house, Steele's 
Tavern. Dr. Reade, who had charge of the American 
hospitals at Salisbury, called on the General, and in 
conversation the General said to Dr. Reade: "I have 

64 Some Neglected History 

with a committee of the people called Regula- 
tors, now assembled at the meeting for a 
redress of grievances of officers' fees and dis- 
putes, to wit: Mr. James Hunter, Daniel 
Gillespie (and others) to receive the proposals 
that shall be offered by the several officers for 
the approbation of the people, who are desirous 
of nothing more than justice and peace with 
every person whatsoever, and that all debates 
hereafter may subside, now the several officers 
hereto subscribed do here agree to settle and 
pay unto any and every person in the county 
any and all such sum or sums of money as we 
or our deputies have taken through inadvert- 
ence or otherwise over and above what we 
severally ought to have taken for fees, more 
than the law allowed or entitled us to receive, 
without any trouble or law for the recovery of 
same. And it is further agreed by the com- 
mittee that when any debate may arise that all 
persons in this county do give in their demands 
to such person as shall hereafter be appointed 

ridden hard all day in the rain. I am fatigued, hungry, 
lone, and penniless." Mrs. Steele overhearing the con- 
versation, went to her hiding-place and brought out 
two bags of gold, all she had, the savings of years, and 
gave them to General Greene, saying, 'take them, you 
will need the gold; I can do without it/ In her parlor 
was hanging a picture of George II. General Greene 
turned the face to the wall and wrote across the back, 
'O, George ! hide thy face and mourn/ " 

Of North Carolina 65 

by the people in each neighborhood to see the 
same and to be determined by the several 
gentlemen jointly and unanimously chosen 
between the parties, to wit: Matthew Locke, 
Harmon Husband, James Smith, James 
Hunter, Samuel Young, Thomas Pearsons 
(and others) and their determination to be 
final end to all differences whatever, and that 
they meet at John Kimbrough's on the third 
Tuesday of May next. Given under our hands 
this 7th of March, 1771. John Frohock, C. C, 
William Frohock, D. S., Griffith Rutherford, S., 
Thomas Frohock, C. S. C, Alexander Martin" 
(and seven others). (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 
8, p. 522.) 

In a letter to Tryon from Salisbury, of 
March 18, Alexander Martin says of these pro- 
ceedings (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 535) : 

"This proceeding we expect will have more 
effect upon their minds than all the formalities 
of law whatsoever, as they would suggest that 
they had had injustice done them. They want, 
they say, to converse with the officers who have 
taken their money to satisfy them for what 
(this is surely reasonable) and they will all be 
quiet again. This we have undertaken to do, 
and time must produce the effect. If our hopes 
and wishes be not too sanguine, perhaps this 
may be the foundation of putting an end to all 

66 Some Neglected History 

future tumult and disorder." (For letter in full 
see Appendix B.) 

This is signed by John Frohock and Alex- 
ander Martin. 

The Regulators "urged very hard and strenu- 
ously" (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 520) to be 
led against troops then within the town, and if 
from that fact it be inferred that our brave 
forefathers then and there intended to force 
justice at any cost, to their everlasting honor 
be the fact promptly admitted. But, as we 
see, they were restrained, and with a perfectly 
legitimate and praiseworthy end in view ; their 
proceedings were had decently and in order. 
They had neither lost their moorings nor were 
they sailing without a compass. James Hunter 
"and others" were present and still in charge. 
Of Hunter, some twelve months later, March, 
1772, Governor Josiah Martin wrote home: 

"Hunter was a most egregious offender; he 
was the leader of the insurgents in arms, and 
was called their general, and has appeared 
from the beginning a ring-leader in sedition. 
He is said to have a better capacity than his 
associates, who pay him implicit obedience and 
treat him with a respect savoring of reverence." 
(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 9, p. 269.) 

Daniel Gillespie, whose whole life attests the 
firm, wise and judicious conservatism of the 
man, was there. He was afterwards in the 

Of North Carolina 67 

convention that framed the State and adopted 
the Federal Constitution, and was an eld£r in 
one of Rev. Dr. David Caldwell's churches, as 
James Hunter was a member and afterwards 
an elder in a church of his own building. The 
Regulators here appointed on their committee 
their old leaders, James Hunter, Thomas Person 
and others. It is true, and we joyfully proclaim 
it abroad, that as time had elapsed between 
1765, the beginning of these troubles, and 1771, 
and as their repeated peaceable and lawful 
efforts had failed them, these brave men had 
proven themselves equal to the emergency 
and had risen with the necessity for stronger 

Had Tryondone his duty at this juncture — 
March, 1771 — by Alexander Martin, Hunter 
and others, law and order, coupled with justice, 
would have instantly reigned and left him no 
excuse for polluting with the blood of patriots 
the pure waters of the Alamance. The Regu- 
lators were endeavoring for an equitable and 
just system of government for the community 
— arbitration, the last that was left them. 

But personal preferment at the hands of the 
King was the end Tryon had in view, and the 
wise efforts of these good men were to bear no 
fruit. As proof of this and as a vivid picture 
of Tryon's imperious spirit, I cite his reply to 



68 Some Neglected History 

Alexander Martin and Frohock (Col. Rec. of 
N. C, Vol. 8, p. 545) : 

Newbkrne, 5th day of April, 1771. 

I have received your letter of the 18th of March re- 
specting your negotiations and agreements with the 
Insurgents. If you have abused your public trust it is 
your duty to give satisfaction and make restitution to 
the injured. As for my own part I entertain a just ab- 
horrence of the conduct of that man who is guilty of 
extortion in the execution of his public character. The 
mode, however, of your agreement with the Insurgents, 
including officers who are amenable only for their pub- 
lic conduct to the tribunals of their country, is intro- 
ductory to a practice most dangerous to the peace and 
happiness of society. On the 18th of March last it was 
determined, with the consent of his Majesty's council, 
to raise forces to march into the settlement of the In- 
surgents in order to restore peace to the country upon 
honorable terms and constitutional principles. This 
measure is not intended to impede nor has it the least 
reference to the agreement between you gentlemen and 
the Regulators, though it is expected in the execution 
of it more stability will be added to our government 
than by the issue of the convention ratified at Salisbury. 

I am, gentlemen, &c., 

Wm. Tryon. 

Though brilliantly caustic that, aimed in 
part at a man — Alexander Martin — destined 
thereafter repeatedly to be Speaker of the 
Senate, many times to fill the gubernatorial 
chair of North Carolina, and later to become 
a Senator of these United States, it was, never- 
theless, under the circumstances unconscionable 
and heartless. 

But if we grant any and all alleged increase 
of violence and demoralization, still the effort 


Of North Carolina 69 

to base Tryon's anxiety for war upon these is 
hollow pretense. Before Husband's "insinua- 
tion"at Newberne in December, 1770, before the 
disruption of the court at Hillsborough, March, 
1 77 1, or even before Judge Moore had pro- 
nounced the courts powerless in the spring of 
1770, the character of this man and his bloody 
purpose were apparent and fully understood by 
the legislature. At a council of war held at 
Hillsborough so early as the summer of 1768, 
Tryon being absent because of temporary sick- 
ness, it was determined to pardon all Regula- 
tors, a few leaders excepted, and take their 
bonds for their good behavior. Upon hearing 
this, Tryon asked for or demanded a recon- 
sideration of their finding, and suggested in its 
stead instant war. The court reconsidered, 
but rejected the suggestion of war. The same 
proposition from the same source was again 
rejected even by his Council, the second and 
last time this body ever thwarted his will. 

The people's resistance to wrong was the 
occasion, but the cause of this war lay in the 
breast of an ambitious and tyrannical ruler, up- 
held by an unfriendly, subservient legislature — 
to the new-comers in the west, its actions based 
on offended dignity. 

Tryon was the creature of his age and 
environments. The King and ruling classes 
of England at that time had no proper regard 

70 Some Neglected History 

for the rights or even the lives of the common 
people. "Within this century," says Col. J. M. 
Morehead, the great lawyer, reformer and 
humanitarian, "Sir Samuel Romily found them 
being driven daily in herds to the gallows — one 
of them at least, and a woman, for the trifling 
offense of stealing a pocket handkerchief." 

Mr. Moore affirms : "No fact is more dis- 
creditable in our history than the ascendency 
which Tryon then demonstrated over men who 
should have been wise enough to have scorned 
him as he deserved." (Moore's History, Vol. 
i, p. 123.) 

If, as he says, the Governor was false and 
tyrannical, the court guilty of "infamous" 
servility from the bench, and the speakers of 
the assembly, "John Harvey, Richard Caswell, 
John Ashe, and many other brave and reverend 
men" (Moore's History, p. 122) were obsequi- 
ous to "degradation," surely the people were 
justified in refusing obedience to their ruinous 
mandates and ought, had the power been theirs, 
to have driven them from the Province. 

Naked charges like the above, however, are 

well calculated, though true, to affix to the 

memory of these, in many respects great and 

noble men, an obloquy they do not deserve. 

;red that they, like their fathers 

were the born subjects of Great 

Of North Carolina 71 

Britain two hundred and fifty years ago; and 
thus to measure them by the standard of today 
is of course to hold the individual responsible 
for the infirmities justly chargeable to the age 
in which they lived. These charges are quoted 
and thus reproduced here in vindication of 
other North Carolinians who rose superior to 
their age. (Records of the Court of Orange 
County, at Hillsborough, N. C.) 

In this connection we cannot but see in the 
war of the Regulators another proof that the 
liberties of any people are safest in the hands 
of its middle classes — both as regards their 
maintenance intact and their perpetuity. Com- 
pelled to personally supervise and attend to 
their several private occupations in life, these 
men are strong in body, and healthful in mind 
and spirit and frequently in morals beyond 
others; and being moderately circumstanced 
they have something to lose, and feel keenly 
and quickly the abuse of government. On the 
other hand, not having yet attained to court 
circles they are neither tempted by powerful 
appeals to cupidity nor ambition to stoop to 
either the frowns or blandishments of power. 

Into the justice of the charge that the Regu- 
lators were an "impediment to legislation" of 
the times, let us now inquire. The small coast 
county of Pasquotank, with a population of 

72 Some Neglected History 

433 white men eighteen years of age, had five 
representatives in the lower house of the legis- 
lature; Orange and Rowan combined, — the 
home of the Regulators, we may say, — extend- 
ing from about Raleigh westward indefinitely 
across the mountains, with a like population of 
6,487, had four representatives ; Chowan, with 
a population of 571, had five; Currituck, with 
709, had five; Perquimans, with 455, had five, 
and Tyrrell, with 594, had five. (Col. Rec. of 
N. C, Vol. 8, p. 341, and Vol. 7, pp. 283, 539.) 
That is to say, Orange and Rowan combined 
had four representatives to a population of 
6,000, while the five small counties above had 
twenty-five representatives to a population of 
2,000. In the Upper House, or Council, the 
west seems to have been entirely ignored. To 
strengthen earnest men in the legislature, too 
weak to force reform of abuses ever promised 
but never fulfilled, to remove officials ever 
reprimanded but never replaced, and to stop 
the levying of cruelly extravagant taxes, under 
an unfair system (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, 
pp. 14-17, Pref. Notes), that had grown simply 
beyond their ability to meet, the Regulators 
entered into a solemn compact (see oath of 
Regulators, p. 166) to stop the payment of all 
taxes other than "what were agreeable to law, 
and this of course could not be known till the 
public accounts were settled/' (Col. Rec. of 


Of North Carolina 73 

N. C, Vol. 8, p. 637.) This finally resulted as 
the Regulators had foreseen and intended it 
should, but unfortunately too late for a number 
of themselves. In January, 1771, Cornelius 
Harnet, a most influential member from Wil- 
mington, chairman of the Committee on Griev- 
ances, reported: "That the several officers 
of this Province, extorting, exacting and 
receiving greater fees than the law allows is a 
very great grievance; and unless prevented in 
the future may be of dangerous tendency." 
That the taking fees on certain bills "in either 
house of the assembly is a grievance and not 
warranted;" that the method of prosecuting 
certain causes in the courts "is a very great 
grievance and tends only to enhance and in- 
crease the fees of attorneys, sheriffs, clerks, 
etc." ; "that the Regulators by obstructing the 
sheriffs of the frontier and other counties, by 
rescuing goods taken by distress for public taxes 
and their opposition to the courts is a grievance 
detrimental to society and manifestly tends to 
distress the peaceable and loyal subjects of the 
Province who are compelled to pay the taxes 
for the support of the government." And Mr. 
Harnet recommends that "their leaders be com- 
pelled by law to answer for their conduct." 
"Concurred in." 

In connection with this deliverance of the 
legislature of December, 1770, and January, 

74 Some Neglected History 

1 77 1, hear that of Tryon in his address the fall 
before. For three years he had urged a rem- 
edy, to use his own language, "for expelling 
that cloud which has ever obscured the public 
accounts of the Province, The community 
will then cheerfully pay the public levies, satis- 
fied they are fairly adjusted and applied to the 
service intended." (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, 
p. 88.) "The plan I laid before you for the 
public funds, if accepted by the legislature, will 
produce the happiest effect to this country ever 
experienced ; though the only act passed in the 
session. But this blessing is not to be obtained 
for this country while the treasurers, late sher- 
iffs, and their sureties can command a majority 
in the lower house, and while a treasurer is 
suffered to absent himself, and withhold the 
public accounts from the General Assembly, let 
the pretence of his absence be ever so urgent." 
(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 140.) These are 
declarations of both the legislature and of Tryon 
that an adequate and the proper remedy for 
pacifying the Regulators was — justice at the 
hands of their rulers ; that war was unnecessary ; 
and being unnecessary it was therefore criminal. 
To this legislature of 1770-1771, that finally 
made war upon the people, the Regulators had 
elected Husband from Orange, and Thomas 
Person from Granville — the last certainly as 

Of North Carolina 75 

good a man as the Province contained. Soon 
after the assembly met, Person was bitterly at- 
tacked. He was vindicated however and the 
charges pronounced to be malicious, and the 
prosecutor saddled with the costs (afterwards 
remitted, however). (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 
8, p. 118.) 

Two days afterwards Husband was also 
arraigned before the house on the charge of 
libel, for the publication of a caustic letter 
bearing the signature of James Hunter and ad- 
dressed to Judge Moore, all by predetermina- 
tion, as Tryon's address shows. (Col. Rec. of 
N. C, Vol. 8, p. 330.) A jury speedily 
assembled, and pronounced the publication to 
be "no libel." (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, pp. 
494, 511.) But Husband was expelled (Col. 
Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 269) nevertheless, for 
"an insult," among other things said to the 
legislature, for insinuating that if under these 
circumstances he was imprisoned "the Regula- 
tors would release him." 

Such would seem the ability of the Regu- 
lators to impede, and such the manner in which 
they "impeded," legislation. 

From the strangely inconsistent course of 
conduct pursued by Judge Maurice Moore 
throughout these years the inference is drawn 
(Moore's History, Vol. 1, p. 131, note) that 

76 Some Neglected History 

theirs was indeed a bad cause and that the 
Regulators themselves were the "host of 
scoundrels" the Judge pronounced them to be. 
As we see it, the recorded events of the period, 
as transmitted and now in hand, seem to show 
this inference to be based upon false premises, 
and most unjust to the Regulators ; and that if 
the course of Judge Moore reflected unfavor- 
ably upon any one it was upon himself alone. 

"His sympathy for their distresses classed 
him as a Regulator." (Moore's History, Vol. 
I, p. ioo.) That he, "their best friend in all 
the Province, should have conceded the neces- 
sity for Governor Tryon's coercive measures 
is the most pregnant circumstance in all that 
unhappy year in vindication of the stern policy 
so recently adopted." (Moore's History, Vol. 
i, p. 131.) Let us inquire into the correct- 
ness of this. Tryon writes, under date of 
28th April, 1766: "I have suspended Mr. 
Maurice Moore from the office of Assistant 
Judge for the District of Salisbury for his in- 
temperate zeal and conduct in opposition to the 
Stamp Act. He is a leading man in this river, 
though he enjoys no great share of popularity 
in other parts of this Province. The commis- 
sion of Assistant Judge I have given to Mr. 
Edmund Fanning." (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 
7, p. 199.) He qualified in March, 1766 (p. 


Of North Carolina 77 

191). Fanning, declining to serve longer, in 
March, 1768 (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 
698), Judge Moore had been reinstated upon 
the bench. Tryon, writing March 12,1 768, says : 
"The former gentleman (Moore) I suspended 
during the late disturbances in the colony. His 
proper conduct and behavior since that period 
and the British act of grace subsequent to 
those troubles induced me, with the approba- 
tion of my council, to reinstate Mr. Moore in 
his office. ,, (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 697.) 

The disturbance in Orange increasing and 
"being ascribed to me as its author and 
encourager," the Judge declares (August, 
1768) : "I have been calumniated before, but 
never so capitally as in this instance. I assure 
you it gives me much concern in spite of the 
consolation a clear conscience gives me. I 
never knew or ever in my life, as I know of, 
even saw any man or men engaged in this un- 
lucky affair, except Hunter and Howell, and I 
made you fully acquainted with the advice I 
gave them." (Wheeler's History of North 
Carolina, p. 101.) This was addressed to 

At a Superior Court for Rowan, Judge 
Moore presided with the other two judges 
Tuesday, September 6, following. (Col. Rec. 
of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 838.) On the 13th we find 

78 Some Neglected History 

this entry in Tryon's journal : "Maurice Moore, 
Esq., is appointed Colonel Commandant (with 
rank of colonel) of a Troop of Gentlemen 
Volunteer Light Dragoons." (Col. Rec. of N. 
C, Vol. 7, p. 829.) Thence they marched to 
Hillsboro, and we find: "Hillsboro Camp, 
23d — Colonel Moore's Light Dragoons — in 
King street, opposite headquarters." (Col. Rec. 
of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 834.) On the next day, 
the 24th, Judge Moore took his seat upon the 
Superior Court bench, when Edmund Fanning 
and William Butler, Hunter and other Regula- 
tors were arraigned before the court, with what 
result is known and read of all men. ( Col. Rec. 
of N. C, Vol. 7, pp. 843, 844.) Colonel Moore 
had sat in the council of war on the 22d and 
23d. (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 842.) 

In March, 1770, he announces the paralysis 
of the civil arm of government, in a letter to 
Tryon, in these words : 

"This is an evil, Sir, No civil process can 
remedy — the reason is obvious, none such can 
be executed — I have therefore recommended to 
the sheriffs to petition your Excellency and the 
assembly at its next meeting on this subject, 
and I wish it may not be found necessary to 
redress them by means equal to the obstinacy 
of the people who have given occasion for it." 
(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 192.) 


Of North Carolina 79 

This to the tyrant, the weight of whose 
"iron fists" he had himself felt for two years, 
and whose anxiety for war upon the people 
he had witnessed at Hillsborough in 1768, and 
being himself a member of the council of war 
then and there held. (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 
7, p. 842.) He wrote, February 22, 1771, 
"signifying his desire to be present at the court 
(soon to be held) when the Insurgents are to 
be tried, and to show no further leniency to 
a people who have been so regardless of the 
clemency extended to them for former offences. ,, 
(Tryon's letter, February 27, 1771, Col. Rec. 
bf N. C, Vol. 8, p. 694.) 

In June, 1771, the court was found "waiting 
[at Hillsborough] to try the persons taken in 
battle [Alamance]. Twelve of fourteen tried 
were capitally convicted as traitors and two 
acquitted," who "established their innocence, 
one day being given." ("Atticus" letter ; Col. 
Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 650.) 

In December, 1770, a committee of seven, 
"Messrs. Howe, Johnston, Maurice Moore 
(and four others) were appointed to prepare 
an address in reply to His Excellency's — Gov- 
ernor Tryon's — speech and report." "Mr. 
Maurice Moore informed the House that the 
said committee had prepared the same, which 
he read in his place and delivered at the table" 
(Col. Rec of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 311), being its 

80 Some Neglected History 

author, it is inferred. This address concludes 
in this language, Tryon having been granted a 
leave of absence from the Province by the King : 
"The palace erected by this Province for the 
residence of your Excellency and successors in 
office is truly elegant and noble. To your un- 
wearied attention and influence, and to the 
ability and diligence of the architect, the inhabi- 
tants of this country owe what honor and credit 
it may reflect upon them. 

"Your approaching departure from your 
government is a circumstance truly detrimental 
to the interest of the Province, and is justly to 
be lamented. It is a misfortune peculiar to 
this country that as soon as its governor has 
become acquainted with its constitution and 
the temper of its inhabitants he is, by some ill- 
fated means or other, remof ed from us. Noth- 
ing, sir, on this afflicting occasion, can afford us 
consolation but the firm reliance that the well- 
known benevolence of your disposition and 
friendly concern for the welfare of mankind 
will dispose you to use the influence your merit 
and station justly entitle you to in favor of the 
constitutional liberties of North America in 
general and the interests of this Province in 
particular. Your steady and uniform endeav- 
ors to render every service to this country have 

Of North Carolina 81 

a just claim to the warmest return of gratitude 
and respect; and whithersoever you may go 
you have the united and unfeigned wishes of 
this people for the peace and happiness of your- 
self and family." (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, 

p. 3"0 

This was followed the next fall, Tryon hav- 
ing left to assume the government of New 
York, by the "Atticus" letter, regarded as un- 
surpassed invective. 

Notwithstanding the fact that Judge Moore 
personally delivered the above address, and is 
believed to have written it, still the committee 
was as such partially responsible therefor ; but 
his friends claim that the conception and pub- 
lication of the letter were his exclusive per- 
sonal acts. We give the letter in full as pub- 
lished in the Virginia Gazette, November 7th, 
1771 (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 718) : 

To His Excellency William Tryon, Esquire: 

I am too well acquainted with your character to sup- 
pose you can bear to be told of your faults with temper. 
You are too much of the soldier, and too little of the 
philosopher, for reprehension. With this opinion of 
your Excellency, I have reason to believe that this let- 
ter will be more serviceable to the Province of New 
York, than useful or entertaining to its governor. 

The beginning of your administration in this Province 
was marked with oppression and distress to its inhabi- 
tants. These, sir, I do not place to your account; they 
are derived from higher authority than yours. You 


82 Some Neglected History 

were, however, a dull, yet willing instrument, in the 
hands of the British Ministry to promote the means of 
both. You called together some of the principal inhab- 
itants of your neighborhood, and in a strange, inverted, 
self-affecting speech, told them you had left your native 
country, friends, and connections, and taken upon your- 
self the government of North Carolina with no other 
view than to serve it. In the next breath, sir, you ad- 
vised them to submit to the Stamp Act, and become 
slaves. How could you reconcile such baneful advice 
with such friendly professions? But, sir, self-contra- 
dictions with you have not been confined to words only ; 
they have been equally extended to actions. On other 
occasions you have played the governor with an air of 
greater dignity and importance than any of your prede- 
cessors; on this, Your Excellency was meanly content 
to solicit the currency of stamped paper in private com- 
panies. But, alas, ministerial approbation is the first 
wish of your heart ; it is the best security you have for 
your office. Engaged as you were in this disgraceful 
negotiation, the more important duties of the governor 
were forgotten, or wilfully neglected. In murmuring, 
discontent, and public confusion, you left the colony 
committed to your care, for near eighteen months to- 
gether without calling an assembly. The Stamp Act re- 
pealed, you called one; and a fatal one it was! Under 
every influence your character afforded you, at this 
assembly, was laid the foundation of all the mischief 
which has since befallen this unhappy Province. A grant 
was made to the Crown of five thousand pounds, to 
erect a house for the residence of a governor ; and you, 
sir, were solely entrusted with the management of it. 
The infant and impoverished state of this country could 
not afford to make such a grant, and it was your duty 
to have been acquainted with the circumstances of the 
colony you governed. This trust proved equally fatal 

Of North Carolina 83 

to the interest of the Province and to Your Excellency's 
honour. You made use of it, sir, to gratify your vanity, 
at the expense of both. It at once afforded you an op- 
portunity for leaving an elegant monument of your taste 
in building behind you, and giving the ministry an in- 
stance of your great influence and address in your new 
government. You, therefore, regardless of every moral, 
as well as legal obligation, changed the plan of a prov- 
ince house for that of a palace, worthy the residence of 
a prince of the blood, and augmented the expense to 
fifteen thousand pounds. Here, sir, you betrayed your 
trust, disgracefully to the governor, and dishonorably 
to the man. This liberal and ingenious stroke in poli- 
tics, may, for all I know, have promoted you to the 
government of New York. Promotion may have been 
the reward of such sort of merit. Be this as it may, 
you reduced the next assembly you met to the unjust 
alternative of granting ten thousand pounds more, or 
sinking the five thousand they had already granted. 
They chose the former. It was cost pleasing to the gov- 
ernor, but directly contrary to the sense of the constitu- 
ents« This public imposition upon a people, who, from 
poverty were hardly able to pay the necessary expenses 
of government, occasional general discontent, which 
Your Excellency, with wonderful address, improved into 
a civil war. 

In a colony without money, and among a people al- 
most desperate with distress, public confusion should 
have been carefully avoided; but unfortunately for the 
country, you were bred a soldier, and have a natural, as 
well as acquired fondness for military parade. You 
were entrusted to run a Cherokee boundary about ninety 
miles in length; this little service at once afforded you 
an opportunity of exercising your military talents, and 
making a splendid exhibition of yourself to the Indians. 
To a gentleman of Your Excellency's turn of mind, 

84 Some Neglected History 

this was no unplcasing prospect; you inarched to per- 
form it, in a time of profound peace, at the head of a 
company of militia, in all the pomp of war, and return- 
ed with the honourable title, "Great Wolf of North 
Carolina." This line of marked trees, and Your Ex- 
cellency's prophetic title, cost the province a greater 
sum than two pence a head, on all the taxable persons 
in it for one year, would pay. 

Your next expedition sir, was a more important one. 
Four or five hundred ignorant people, who called them- 
selves Regulators, took it into their heads to quarrel 
with their representative, a gentleman honoured with 
Your Excellency's esteem. They foolishly charged him 
with every distress they felt; and, in revenge, shot two 
or three musket balls thro' his house. They at the same 
time rescued a horse which had been seized for the pub- 
lic tax These crimes were punishable in the courts of 
law, and at that time the criminals were amenable to 
legal process. Your Excellency and your confidential 
friends, it seems, were of a different opinion. All your 
duty could possibly require of you on this occasion, if 
it required anything at all, was to direct a prosecution 
against the offenders. You should have carefully 
avoided becoming a party in the dispute. But, sir, your 
genius could not lie still ; you enlisted yourself a volun- 
teer in this service, and entered into a negotiation with 
the Regulators which at once disgraced you and dis- 
couraged them. They despised the governor who had 
degraded his own character by taking part in a private 
quarrel, and insulted the man whom they considered as 
personally their enemy. The terms of accommodation 
Your Excellency had offered them were treated with 
contempt What they were, I never knew. They could 
not have related to public offences; these belong to an- 
other jurisdiction. All hopes of settling the mighty con- 

Of North Carolina 85 

test by treaty ceasing, you prepared to decide it by 
means more agreeable to your martial disposition, an 
appeal to the sword You took the field in September, 
1768, at the head of ten or twelve hundred men, and 
published an oral manifesto, the substance of which was 
that you had taken up arms to protect a superior court 
of justice from insult. Permit me here to ask you, sir, 
why you were apprehensive for the court? Was the 
court apprehensive for itself? Did the judges or the 
attorney-general address Your Excellency for protection? 
So far from it, sir, if these gentlemen are to be believ- 
ed, they never entertained the least suspicion of any 
insult, unless it was that which they afterwards experi- 
enced from the undue influence you offered to extend to 
them, and the military display of drums, colours, and 
guards, with which they were surrounded and disturbed. 
How fully has your conduct, on a like occasion since, 
testified that you acted in this instance from passion, 
and not from principle ! In September, 1770, the Regu- 
lators forcibly obstructed the proceedings of Hillsbor- 
ough Superior Court, obliged the officers to leave it, 
and blotted out the records. A little before the next 
term, when their contempt of courts was sufficiently 
proved, you wrote an insolent letter to the judges and 
attorney-general, commanding them to attend it. Why 
did you not protect the court at this time? You will blush 
at the answer, sir. The conduct of the Regulators at the 
preceding term made it more than probable that these 
gentlemen would be insulted at this, and you were not 
unwilling to sacrifice them to increase the guilt of your 

Your Excellency said that you had armed to protect 
a court Had you said to revenge the insult you and 
your friends had received, it would have been generally 
credited in this country. The men, for the trial of whom 

86 Some Neglected History 

the court was thus extravagantly protected, of their 
own accord squeezed through a crowd of soldiers and 
surrendered themselves, as they were bound to do by 
their recognizances. 

Some of these people were convicted, fined, and im- 
prisoned; which put an end to a piece of knight-errant- 
ry, equally aggravating to the populace and burthen- 
some to the country. On this occasion, sir, you were 
alike successful in the diffusion of a military spirit 
through the colony and in the war-like exhibition you 
set before the public; you at once disposed the vulgar 
to hostilities, and proved the legality of arming, In 
cases of dispute, by example. Thus warranted by pre- 
cedent and tempered by sympathy, popular discontent 
soon became resentment and opposition; revenge super- 
seded justice, and force the laws of the country; 
courts of law were treated with contempt, and govern- 
ment itself set at defiance. For upwards of two months 
was the frontier part of the country left in a perfect 
state of anarchy. Your Excellency then thought fit to 
consult the representatives of the people, who presented 
you a bill which you passed into a law. The design of 
this act was to punish past riots in a new jurisdiction, 
to create new offences and to secure the collection of the 
public tax ; which, ever since the Province had been sad- 
dled with a palace, the Regulators had refused to pay. 
The jurisdiction for holding pleas of all capital offences 
was, by a former law, confined to the particular district 
in which they were committed. This act did not change 
that jurisdiction; yet Your Excellency, in the fullness 
of your power, established a new one for the trial of 
such crimes in a different district Whether you did 
this through ignorance or design can only be determined 
in your own breast ; it was equally violative of a sacred 
right, every British subject is entitled to, of being tried 

Of North Carolina 87 

by his neighbors, and a positive law of the Province you 
yourself had ratified. In this foreign jurisdiction, bills 
of indictment were preferred and found, as well for 
felonies as riots, against a number of Regulators; they 
refused to surrender themselves within the time limited 
by the riot act, and Your Excellency opened your third 
campaign. These indictments charged the crimes to 
have been committed in Orange County, in a distinct 
district from that in which the court was held. The 
superior court law prohibits prosecution for capital of- 
fences in any other district than that in which they were 
committed. What distinctions the gentlemen of the 
long robe might make on such occasion, I do not know ; 
but it appears to me those indictments might as well 
have been found in Your Excellency's kitchen; and 
give me leave to tell you, sir, that a man is not bound 
to answer to a charge that a court has no authority to 
make, nor doth the law punish a neglect to perform that 
which it does not command. The riot act declared those 
only outlawed who refused to answer to indictments 
legally found. Those who had been capitally charged 
were illegally indicted, and could not be outlaws ; yet 
Your Excellency proceeded against them as such. I 
mean to expose your blunders, not to defend their con- 
duct; that was as insolent and daring as the desperate 
state your administration had reduced them to could 
possibly occasion. I am willing to give you full credit 
for every service you have rendered this country. Your 
active and gallant behavior, in extinguishing the flame 
you yourself had kindled, does you great honor. For 
once your military talents were useful to the Province, 
you bravely met in the field, and vanquished, an host of 
scoundrels whom you had made intrepid by abuse. It 
seems difficult to determine, sir, whether Your Excel- 
lency is more to be admired for your skill in creating 
the cause, or your bravery in suppressing the effect This 

88 Some Neglected History 

single action would have blotted out forever half the 
evils of your administration; but, alas, sir, the conduct 
of the general after his victory was more disgraceful to 
the hero who obtained it than that of the man before it 
had been to the governor. Why did you stain so great 
an action with the blood of a prisoner who was in a 
state of insanity? The execution of James Few was 
inhuman ; that miserable wretch was entitled to life till 
nature, or the laws of his country, deprived him of it 
The Battle of the Alamance was over; the soldier was 
crowned with success, and the peace of the Province 
restored. There was no necessity for the infamous ex- 
ample of an arbitrary execution, without judge or jury. 
I can freely forgive you, sir, for killing Robert Thomp- 
son at the beginning of the battle ; he was your prisoner, 
and was making his escape to fight against you. The 
laws of self-preservation sanctioned the action, and 
justly entitle Your .Excellency to an act of indemnity. 

The sacrifice of Few, under its criminal circumstances, 
could neither atone for his crime nor abate your rage; 
this. task was reserved for. his unhappy parents. Your 
vengeance, sir, in this instance, it seems, moved in a 
retrograde direction to that proposed in the Second 
Commandment against idolaters ; you visited the sins of 
the child upon the father and, for want of the third and 
fourth generation to extend it to, collaterally divided it 
between brothers and sisters The heavy affliction, with 
which the untimely death of a son had burthened his 
parents, was sufficient to have cooled the resentment of 
any man whose heart was susceptible of the feelings of 
humanity ; yours, I am afraid, is not a heart of that kind. 
If it is, why did you add to the distress of that family? 
Why refuse the petition of the town of Hillsborough 
in favour of them, and unrelentingly destroy, as far as 

Of North Carolina 89 

you could, the means of their future existence? It was 
cruel, sir, and unworthy a soldier. 

Your conduct to others after your success, whether 
it respected person or property, was as lawless as it 
was unnecessarily expensive to the colony. When Your 
Excellency had exemplified the power of government in 
the death of a hundred Regulators, the survivors, to a 
man, became proselytes to government; they readily 
swallowed your new coined oath, to be obedient to the 
laws of the province, and to pay the public taxes. It is 
a pity, sir, that, in devising this oath, you had not attend- 
ed to the morals of those people. You might have easi- 
ly restrained every criminal inclination, and have made 
them good men as well as good subjects. The battle of 
the Alamance had equally disposed to moral and to 
political conversion; there was no necessity, sir, when 
the people were reduced to obedience, to ravage the 
country or to insult the individuals. ' 

Had Your Excellency nothing else in view than to 
enforce a submission to the laws of the country, you 
might have with perfect safety disbanded the army 
within ten days after your victory; in that time the 
chiefs of the Regulators were run away, and their de- 
luded followers had returned to their homes. Such a 
measure would have saved the province twenty thou- 
sand pounds at least But, sir, you had further employ- 
ment for the army ; you were, by an extraordinary bustle 
in administering oaths, and disarming the country, to 
give a serious appearance to rebellion to the outrage of 
a mob; you were to aggravate the importance of your 
own services by changing a general dislike of your ad- 
ministration into dissatisfaction to His Majesty's person 
and government, and the riotous conduct, that dislike 
had occasioned, into premeditated rebellion. This 
scheme, sir, is really an ingenious one; if it succeeds, 

90 Some Neglected History 

you may possibly be rewarded for your services with 
the honour of knighthood. 

From the* ioth day of May to the 16th day of June, 
you were busy in securing the allegiance of rioters, 
and in levying contributions of beef and flour. You oc- 
casionally amused yourself with burning a few houses, 
treading down corn, insulting the suspected, and hold- 
ing courts-martial. These courts took cognizance of 
civil as well as military offences, and even extended 
their jurisdiction to ill-breeding and want of good man- 
ners. One Johnston, who was a reputed Regulator, but 
whose greatest crime, I believe, was writing an impu- 
dent letter to your lady, was sentenced in one of these 
military courts, to receive five hundred lashes, and re- 
ceived two hundred and fifty of them accordingly. But, 
you, sir, however exceptionable, your conduct may 
have been on this occasion, it bears little proportion to 
that which you adopted on the trial of the prisoners you 
had taken. These miserable wretches were to be tried 
for a crime made capital by a temporary act of the 
assembly, of twelve months' duration. That act had, in 
great tenderness to His Majesty's subjects, converted 
riots into treasons. A rigorous and punctual execution 
of it was as unjust as it was politically unnecessary. 
The terror of the examples now proposed to be made 
under it was to expire, with the law less than nine 
months after. The suffering of these people could 
therefore amount to little more than mere punishment 
to themselves. Their offences were derived from the 
public and from private impositions; and they were the 
followers, and not the leaders, in the crimes they had 
committed. Never were criminals more justly entitled 
to every leniency of the law which could be afforded 
them; but, sir, no consideration could abate your zeal 

Of North Carolina 91 

in a cause you had transferred from yourself to your 

You shamefully exerted every influence of your char- 
acter against the lives of these people. As soon as you 
were told that an indulgence of one day had been grant- 
ed by the Court to two men to send for witnesses, who 
actually established their innocence and saved their 
lives, you sent an aide-de-camp to the judges and attor- 
ney-general, to acquaint them that you were dissatisfied 
with the inactivity of their conduct, threatened to rep- 
resent them unfavorably in England if they did not pro- 
ceed with more spirit and despatch. Had the court sub- 
mitted to influence, all the testimony on the part of the 
prisoners would have been set aside, and excluded; they 
must have been condemned to a man. You said your 
solicitude for the condemnation of these people arose 
from your desire of manifesting the lenity of the gov- 
ernment in their pardon. How have your actions con- 
tradicted your words? Out of twelve men that were 
condemned, the lives of only six were spared. Do you 
know, sir, that your lenity on this occasion was less than 
that of the bloody Jeffries in 1685 ? He condemned the 
lives of five hundred persons, but saved the lives of two 
hundred and seventy. 

In the execution of these six devoted offenders, Your 
Excellency was as short of General Kirk in form, as 
you were of Judge Jeffries in lenity. The general hon- 
ored the execution he had the charge of with play pipes, 
sound of trumpets, and beat of drums; you were con- 
tent with silent play of colours only. The disgraceful 
part you acted in this ceremony, of pointing out the 
spot for erecting the gallows, and the clearing of the 
field around for drawing up the army in form, has left 
a ridiculous idea of your character behind you, which 
bears a strong resemblance to that of a busy undertaker 

92 Some Neglected History 

at a funeral This scene closed Your Excellency's ad- 
ministration in this country, to the great joy of every 
man in it, a few of your own contemptible tools only 

Were I personally Your Excellency's enemy, I would 
follow you into the shades of life, and show equally the 
object of pity and contempt to the wise and serious, and 
of jest and ridicule to the ludicrous and sarcastic Truly 
pitiable, sir, is the pale and trembling impatience of 
your temper. No character, however distinguished for 
wisdom and virtue, can sanctify the least degree of con- 
tradiction to your political opinions. On such occa- 
sions, sir, in a rage, you renounce the character of a 
gentleman and precipitately mark the most exalted 
merit with every disgrace the haughty insolence of a 
governor can inflict upon it To this unhappy temper, 
sir, may be ascribed most of the absurdities of your ad- 
ministration in this country. It deprived you of every 
assistance men of spirit and abilities could have given 
you, to blunder through the duties of your office, sup- 
ported and approved by the most profound ignorance 
and abject servility. 

Your pride has often exposed you to ridicule, as the 
rude petulance of your disposition has to contempt. 
Your solicitude about the title of Her Excellency for 
Mrs. Tryon, and the arrogant reception you gave to a re- 
spectable company at an entertainment of your own 
making, seated with your lady by your side on elbow 
chairs, in the middle of the ballroom, bespeak a littleness 
of mind which, believe me, sir, when blended with the 
dignity and importance of your office, renders you truly 

High stations have often proved fatal to those who 
have been promoted to them; yours, sir, has proven so 
to you. Had you been contented to pass through your 
life in a subordinate military character, with the private 

Of North Carolina 93 

virtues you have, you might have lived serviceable to 
your country and reputable to yourself; but, sir, when, 
with every disqualifying circumstance, you took upon 
you the government of a Province, though you gratified 
your ambition, you made a sacrifice of yourself. 

Yours, &c, 


Judge Moore writes in a very caustic style, 
with elegant invective, which is difficult to 
equal and is never surpassed. The criticisms 
come from a source high in authority, from 
one who was in position to know whereof he 
spoke. The act of converting riots into trea- 
sons was passed by the Assembly of which he 
was a member, yet no one man is responsible 
for the legislation of the whole Assembly. His 
sympathy for the "Regulators" and for their 
distresses classed him as a "Regulator." 
(Moore's History of North Carolina, Vol. i, 
p. ioo.) That he, "their best friend in all the 
Province," should have conceded the necessity 
for Governor Tryon's coercive measures is the 
most pregnant circumstance in all that unhappy 
year in vindication of the stern policy so re- 
cently adopted. (Moore's History of North 
Carolina, Vol. i, p. 131.) Tryon writes, on 
April 28th, 1766: "I have suspended Mr. 
Maurice Moore from the office of Assistant 
Judge for the District of Salisbury for his in- 
temperate zeal and conduct in opposition to the 

94 Some Neglected History 

Stamp Act." (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 


Remembering the prompt assistance as Col- 
onel Commandant of Volunteer Dragoons, 
judge upon the civil bench and judge in the 
council of war, rendered by the writer in this 
campaign of 1768, and at Hillsborough in June, 
1 771, we confess to astonishment at this public 
excoriation of Tryon. It came too late, how- 
ever, either to help the dead or blacken their 

In consequence of Judge Moore's letter to 
Gov. Josiah Martin, so late as January 9, 1776, 
suggesting accommodation between England 
and the colony on certain terms (Col. Rec. of 
N. C, Vol. 10, p. 395 ; Martin's reply, Vol. 10, 
P- 39^), Martin, in a letter home, declares 
Moore to be "whimsical" in politics and that 
"caprice and fickleness" were characteristic of 
the man. (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 10, p. 400. ) 
As to the correctness of Governor Martin's 
estimate of Judge Moore's character, the reader 
will form his own conclusions from the facts 
in the case. 

A number of good men, "in no wise con- 
nected with the Regulators," assigned as a 
reason for Hunter's pardon, chief of the Reg- 
ulators, that he was humane and compassion- 
ate. The Regulators, a large body of wronged 
and long-deceived men, embracing every ele- 



Of North Carolina 95 

ment of society, whipped a few of their oppres- 
sors, taking the life of not one ; but to pass the 
"infamous" Johnson bill (Col. Rec. of N. C, 
Vol. 8, p. 481, Appendix C) to shoot down and 
hand the heroic and the helpless, was reserved 
for the more aspiring and powerful few. (Life 
of Caldwell, pp. 163, 166.) 

"Criticisms of the patriotic labors of Mr. J. 
W. Moore are here thus candidly indulged in, 
because Mr. Moore's work is entitled a History 
of North Carolina. Being one of the latest and 
most complete histories of the State extant, it 
will be accepted as authoritative. It, therefore, 
becomes important that its errors be corrected 
if any such it contains." ( Maj. J. M. Morehead. ) 

Finally, if it had in fact become necessary to 
suppress with arms these desperate men, the 
responsibility therefor devolved upon those 
who administered the fearful corrective. They 
and those under their control were virtually 
the legislature as then constituted; and that 
the necessary physical as well as political power 
to have redressed all grievance was theirs is 
manifest. For only five years before this, their 
own dignity and interests being menaced, they 
had promptly set at naught Tryon's authority 
and imprisoned his person (Col. Rec. of N. C, 
Vol. 7, p. 127), and a little later on had driven 
his successor from his capital and the Province. 

96 Some Neglected History 

It were a suicidal and most ungracious folly 
for any North Carolinian wantonly to reflect 
upon those Revolutionary leaders to whose 
noble efforts the State is so largely indebted for 
both its freedom and honorable fame. Never- 
theless, their treatment of the Regulators was 
an outrage, and here to justify the guilty is to 
wrong the innocent and equally meritorious, 
and to deprive the present generation of a les- 
son to which it is entitled. 

In this controversy men must take sides. 
They cannot justify both the Regulators and 
those who made war upon them. Efforts at 
different times and upon different grounds so 
to do have failed. 

Dr. Caruthers, with the light before him 
(Old North State, p. 31, Series 1), "vindicates 
Caswell, Ashe," and others, upon the grounds 
of their ignorance of that true state of affairs 
which, in his opinion, justified the Regulators. 
These gentlemen, under Parliament, possessed 
and tenaciously held to the power, and so vol- 
untarily assumed responsibility for the conduct 
of the affairs of the people of the Province. 
They had ample opportunity to have correctly 
informed themselves, and if they were in fact 
ignorant, ignorance under the circumstances 
was only less criminal than wilful wickedness. 

Of North Carolina 97 

Caruthers says : "The conduct of these patri- 
otic men in aiding the Governor to put down 
the Regulators admits of ample vindication. Of 
course they could not be expected to know the 
imposition practiced upon the people further 
back, and therefore they were justified in lend- 
ing their co-operation." 

Let us inquire how this was. Mr. Ashe was 
speaker of the Provincial Lower House in 
1765, when Tryon assumed the governorship. 
From October, 1776, to January, 1771, Messrs. 
Harvey and Caswell successively held that posi- 
tion. Throughout these years Harvey, Cas- 
well, Harnet and others continuously sat in the 
legislature, and a part of the time with Thomas 
Person. Person was an able, courageous, and 
from his wealth and other causes, influential 
man. He was a Regulator, and the represent- 
ative from Granville of the Regulators. The 
Nutbush papers were issued from Granville 
June 6, 1765. These published papers, together 
with the published "advertisements" of the 
Regulators following on year after year, clearly 
set forth the grievances of Person's constitu- 
ents. From these facts alone the plea of ignor- 
ance will not be entertained. 

But we are not left to inference. The stench 
of corruption and oppression in this country 
had reached England. Upon his appointment 

98 Some Neglected History 

to the governorship Tryon received instructions 
from England to this effect : 

"You are hereby strictly enjoined and re- 
quired forthwith to cause fair tables of all fees 
legally established within the Province under 
your government to be fixed up in every public 
office within your said government [not effected 
April 1 2th, 1772; Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 9, p. 
279] , and also to publish a proclamation — ex- 
pressing our indignation at these unwarrantable 
and dishonorable practices and strictly enjoin- 
ing and requiring all public officers whatever 
from receiving other than lawful fees." 

On the 15th of August, 1765, Tryon wrote 
home that "they [the legislature] did not enter 
into an examination of their public funds; I 
shall, however, recommend again the necessity 
for such an inquiry." 

At the meeting of a new assembly, October, 
1766, in his address Tryon recommends "a 
remedy to prevent further neglect and embez- 
zlement of sheriffs," etc. November of that 
session the House appointed Caswell, Person, 
and Harnet a committee to settle these ac- 
counts. They were not settled, however, but 
the bill for building the palace was enacted and 
further taxes laid for the same. This in No- 
vember, 1766. And the following January, 
Tryon writes that through the "embezzlement 

Of North Carolina 99 

of sheriffs" (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 294) 
"and deficiency of currency" (Col. Rec. of N. C, 
Vol. 7, p. 570; Vol. 7, p. 792; Vol. 8, p. 651) 
"two-thirds of the taxes levied were never 
applied to the purpose for which they were 

At a session held December 5, 1767, he urges 
in his address, "The necessity for making as 
well your public funds as the embezzlement and 
irregularites practiced by several collectors of 
the Province for some time past a principal ob- 
ject of your important inquiries ; and I humbly 
submit that no provisions will be found against 
these abuses as long as a jealousy exists of the 
Chief Magistrate, being particularly informed 
of the receipts and disbursements of the public 
money and until his freedom of inspection and 
examination into the state of the funds (which 
cannot imply a possibility of abuse to the public) 
is admitted and acknowledged as necessary. 
Though this opinion is founded on a principle 
of equity and distributive justice to the public, 
I shall, nevertheless, on a delicate subject like 
this, rest my judgment entirely to your wisdom 
and discretion." 

On the reassembling of the legislature, Octo 
ber, 1769, in his address the Governor resub- 
mits a remedy for "expelling that cloud which 
has ever obscured the public accounts of the 

100 Some Neglected History 

Province. The community will then cheerfully 
pay the public levies, satisfied they are fairly 
adjusted and applied to the services intended." 
Here in his address to the legislature the Gov- 
ernor adopts the ideas and almost the identical 
language of the Regulators in their repeatedly 
published complaints. If he had not in hand a 
copy, he certainly had in mind their papers, as 
doubtless did the several members. He tells 
these men to do justice by the people and then 
the Regulators will "cheerfully pay" those 
taxes which by preconcert among themselves 
they had quit paying for the identical reasons 
here endorsed by the Governor. Finally, in 
dissolving this Assembly, November 6, 1769, 
declaring his great disappointment at their non- 
action in this matter, he says : 

"The plan I laid before you for your future 
funds, if adopted by the legislature, will pro- 
duce the happiest effect to this country ever 
experienced ; though the act should be the only 
act passed in that session. But this blessing is 
not to be obtained for this country while the 
treasurers, late sheriffs and their sureties can 
command a majority in the lower house," etc. 
(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 149.) 

On the 5th of December, 1770, in his speech 
to a new legislature — Caswell now being 
speaker — Tryon addressed them again in this 

Of North Carolina 101 

language : "I offer in the most urgent manner 
for your consideration abuses in public funds 
and general complaint against public officers 
and offices." (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 282.) 
The justice or injustice to the legislature of the 
Governor's charge of complicity with late de- 
faulting "sheriffs and their sureties," who filled 
the Province, in no wise affects the question of 
their knowledge or ignorance of the abuses so 
frequently and earnestly called to their atten- 
tion. But, like other facts here cited, it pre- 
cludes the possibility of ignorance on their part 
(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 570; Vol. 8, p. 


The vindication of those leaders who made 
war at Alamance upon their wronged fellow- 
subjects must be based upon other reasons than 
the necessity of the situation, or their own mis- 
take of the facts, or their fear of British gov- 

The offensive vaporings of Harmon Hus- 
band, if such they were, and the publication of 
a cruel slander upon a good man, if you please, 
do not excuse a grave and responsible body, 
clothed with power, for making war upon the 
homes, the wivei and the little ones of a 
wronged community. 

The fact is, that in Tryon's approach lay the 
presage of evil for the Province, wholly devoid 

102 Some Neglected History 

of compensation. His vanity subjected the 
country to debt and to taxation that took from 
the plow the workhorse of the poor and stripped 
from the back of his wife her "homespun dress." 
John Harvey declared it ruinous. (Col. Rec. 
of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 570.) In the County of 
Orange, and not very far from the present seat 
of the University of North Carolina, at Chapel 
Hill, when the sheriff was going over the 
county distraining and selling property of every 
man who did not instantly pay his taxes, or the 
amount demanded, accompanied, too, by his 
deputies, and perhaps others, well armed and 
attending him as a life guard, he came to the 
house of a poor man who was not at home; 
but, as if determined not to be wholly disap- 
pointed in his object, and not finding anything 
else, or enough of anything else to satisfy his 
demands, he took off the wife's dress, which she 
had on at the time, and which she had made 
with her own hands, sold it under the hammer 
for her husband's tax, and then, giving her a 
slap with his hand, told her to go and make 
another. This was related to me some four- 
teen or fifteen years ago by an old gentleman 
of respectability in that region ; and he gave it 
merely as illustrative of the course pursued by 
the "tax gatherers" in that quarter. (Rev. E. 
W. Caruthers, The Old North State in 1776, 
pp. 21,22.) 


Early Immigrants to North Carolina ; Tryon Denounces 
Harmon- Husband as a "Blatant Demagogue"; 
Husband a Prisoner of Edmund Fanning; His 
Friendship with Benjamin Franklin; "Sermon on 
Asses ;" Parentage and Early Life ; Location and Es- 
tates on Deep River; the Organization of the Regu- 
lators in April, 1767 ; Petition of Regulators to Gov- 
ernor and General Assembly; Regulators Go to 
Court; Copies of Cases as Disposed of at Hillsbor- 
ough Court ; Regulators Enter the Temple of Justice 
and Take Out Lawyers and Court Officials and Whip 
Them on Court-house Green ; They Compel Edmund 
Fanning to Plead Law Before a "Mock" Judge; 
Take Him Out and Whip Him, Then Destroy His 
Furniture and Burn His Home; Fanning's Nativity 
and Education; Lord Granville's Land Agents and 
Their Frauds; Unlawful Taxes and Extortionate 
Charges; Rednap Howell — His Nativity, Doggerel 
Poems, and Teachings as a Regulator; Prepara- 
tions to Resist Further Oppression and Extortion. 

The influx into central and western North 
Carolina at that time of a most desirable popu- 
lation — Baptists, Scotch-Irish Presbyterians 
and German Lutherans and Quakers — was 
unprecedented perhaps in the history of any 
colony. This Tryon declared it to be, and to it 
his ambition put an end, for he drove away many 
excellent men by his war upon the people. ( Col. 
Rec. of N. G, Vol. 8, p. 654.) In the first ad- 

104 Some Neglected History 

dress to its Assembly by this adroit, aggressive, 
bold, bad man, he sectionalized the Province 
and sowed seeds of dissension that bore un- 
happy fruits for nearly a century. Foreseeing, 
he foretold the rapidly approaching conse- 
quences of the heavy immigration just spoken 
of ; he excited the fears and jealousy of the then 
all-powerful eastern section of North Carolina, 
political and religious; and to these are due 
largely »the abuse and neglect that nurtured the 

Tryon, though an ambitious, despotic tyrant, 
seemed sincerely to have entertained "just ab- 
horrence" of these peculations practiced upon 
the people, although he tolerated such. His sin 
was ambition, as his urgent appeals for the gov- 
ernorship first of North Carolina and after- 
wards of New York show; and his evident 
desire for war and subsequent parade and exag- 
geration of feats performed before the home 
government clearly establish the same. ( Col. 
Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, pp. 694, 754. ) 

The old scheme of rendering Husband 
odious by the application to him of "blatant 
demagogue," etc., with the issue confessedly in 
his favor, and then seeking by association to 
cast reflected odium upon all Regulators, will 
neither longer succeed nor escape detection un- 
der present light. Nor will the commingling 

Of North Carolina 105 

of merited praise and adulation with unjust 
and hurtful criticism of the Regulators confuse 
the mind and prevent a righteous decision. 

Having adduced adequate cause and praise- 
worthy motive for the course pursued by a large 
body of men, why does Moore assign their cause 
to "one base and designing man ?" Moreover, 
having previously claimed for North Carolina 
(Moore's History, Introduction, Vol. i, p. 16) 
that the "first blood shed in America to resist 
British tyranny was at the battle of Alamance/' 
the author is estopped from justifying the 
murder of the patriots who fell upon that field. 
With this proud and just claim for North 
Carolina, how can we reconcile the subsequent 
statement that "upon the heads of his opponents, 
not Tryon's, lies the guilt of the blood of 
Alamance"? (Moore's History, Vol. 1, p. 132.) 

The legislature knew that they themselves, 
the Governor, and his judges were responsible 
for the condition of affairs; otherwise their re- 
jection of the Governor's petition for money 
with which to suppress "an host of scoundrels" 
who with strong arm had silenced the courts of 
the country is inexplicable. (Col. Rec. of N. 
C, Vol. 8, p. 525.) 

With the original records of the time, or au- 
thentic copies of the same at hand, intelligent 
readers will not believe that "Col. Wm. Dry," 

106 Some Neglected History 

of the Council, and collector of the port at 
Brunswick; that "Gen. Thomas Person," that 
"Governor Alexander Martin," and others of 
their standing were the "tools of one base and 
designing man. (Moore's History, Vol. i, pp. 
124, 131.) *Nor was Hunter ever his "lieu- 

Of this base man it is recorded : "He had 
been arrested May the 2d, and notwithstanding 
all his sermons and speeches urging the people 
to resist their oppressions, we have his own 
confessions of what a craven-hearted wretch 
the noisy demagogue was. It came into my 
mind that if I made Colonel Fanning some 
promise he might let me go. So on my notion 
he was sent for and came to see what I wanted. 
Says I, 'if I may go home I will promise not 
to concern myself any more whether you take 
large fees or not/ It took with him, and after 
humming a little he repeated what I must 
promise, which as near as I can remember was 
to this effect : 'You promise never to give your 

♦Note. — The Regulators had drunk "damnation to 
King George;" and in his appeal to the legislature of 
1770-71 (Tryon's Proclamation, Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 
8, P- 253) Tryon based it on the ground that they were 
the enemies of the "Constitution;" and in his address 
after the battle announced that the "fate of the Constitu- 
tion had depended on the success of that day." Herein 
lies the sole possible apology for their crime, for in com- 
mon* with all America at that time our people were at- 
tached to the crown — the Regulators alone excepted. 

Of North Carolina 107 

opinion of the laws nor frequent the assembling 
of yourself among the people, nor show any 
jealousy of officers taking any extraordinary 
fees, and if you hear others speaking disre- 
spectfully or hinting any jealousies of that na- 
ture, that you reprove and caution them, and 
that you will tell the people you are satisfied all 
the taxes are agreeable to law and do every- 
thing in your power to moderate and pacify 
them/ All of which I promised." (Moore's 
History, Vol. I, p. 117.) 

We have already stated that Husband was 
a friend and kinsman of Benjamin Franklin, of 
Pennsylvania, with whom he kept up regular 
communications. Franklin was accustomed to 
send Husband printed pamphlets, which he 
copied or printed, and distributed among the 
people. From one of these entitled "State of 
Affairs" it has been believed that he concocted 
his "Sermon on Asses." 

This, however, is a mistake. There is a vol- 
ume entitled "Sermons to Asses," the produc- 
tion of an English clergyman of republican 
tendencies, whose name was Murray. This 
was reprinted in Boston, but neither the Eng- 
lish nor American edition bore the author's 
name on the title page. In New England 
many attributed the work to Franklin. Oh a 
comparison of this work with the publication of 

108 Some Neglected History 

Husband it will be seen that the "Sermons on 
Asses" are, with slight alterations to adapt 
them to the latitude of North Carolina, copied 
from Murray. Will the reader allow us to de- 
tain him with some extracts from these pro- 
ductions? They indicate great shrewdness 
and good sense, and we fear are not without 
applicability in some respects to our own times ; 
at any rate, they will furnish him with ma- 
terials from which his own mind will form a 
better picture of the times than we can deline- 
ate (Rev. F. L. Hawks, Rev. His. of North 
Carolina, p. 19) : 

Jacob is the first that is mentioned in scripture who 
preached to asses; but many have been thus employed 
since his time. This is a most shameful monosyllable, 
when applied to reasonable creatures; — men endowed 
with reason and understanding to degenerate so basely; 
what a falling off is here ! 

* * * * * * 

What does these burdens mean, which Issachar 
couched down so decently under? Civil and religious 
slavery, no doubt. Strange, that such a number of Ra- 
tional creatures should bear two such insupportable 
burdens. Ah, I had forgot that they were asses; — for, 
to be sure, no people of any rational spirit could endure 
such grievous bondage. 

41 4c * * * 4> 

A strong ass, in the original word, denotes strength, 
but implies leanness. And truly all those who submit 
to slavery are poor. We have not a word of his notion ; 


Of North Carolina 109 

— he was strong, but not active to assert his rights and 

Rest was pleasant to him ; — and thus it happens now, 

we sit still at ease, trusting to the good of the land, and 

concluding, every one, I can live out my time in peace 

and quiet; — forgetting our posterity, and mourning not 

for the afflictions of Joseph. 

When men thus degenerate, they will always find some 
ready to fix burdens on them ; for slavery don't come 
in a day, it is a work of time to make men perfect 

Issachar stooped down ; he well deserved a heavy bur- 
den for his meanness ; — it is a just reward ; — for such at 
do not value freedom and liberty, before a little present 
ease, deserves to be slaves. — They are blessings too val- 
uable to be enjoyed without care and industry to main 

tain them. 


But Italy and Spain are not the only places where 
people believe absurdities; — in the land where freedom 
has been the privilege and boast of every subject, we 
may, perhaps, find plenty of asses. — You will say, not in 
America, a land renowned for all sorts of liberty; — A 
nation to which there is none equal upon the face of the 
earth, as we know of. In some provinces in America 
this may have been the case ; — but we, in North Caro- 
lina, are not free; — yet to the King, or to the plan of 
our constitution, nothing can be laid that tends to ef- 
fect our Liberties. — But we have sold that liberty which 
our ancestors left us by this constitution to such men 
as have not the least pretensions to rule over us. 

Are we free while our laws are disapproved of by 
nine-tenths of us?— Are we free while it is out of our 
power to obtain one law that is our choice? — Take out 
our oppressors themselves, and many of our laws are 
disagreeable to the inhabitants to a man: And worse 

110 Some Neglected History 

than all this, fo| bad as our laws are, the practice of 
them is worse, and our oppressors have got out of reach 
of them. 


Ye who, like Issachar, for the love of ease, or the 
gratification of some sordid passion, have sold your lib- 
erties, and submit to burdens, as unnatural as they are 
unreasonable, — your character is drawn, in the text, to 
that of asses. And worse than asses you are, who thus 
give up the cause of your country either to civil or re- 
ligious dominators. 


Issachar, I wish thy children had all died in the first 
generation; — for thy offspring is too numerous; they 
are in church and state; whoever will attend any place 
of concourse will find many of thy descendants so stupid, 
that they every day bring themselves under burdens 
they might easily prevent. 

I shall now consider some grievous oppressions that 
we labor under. 

First, — The public taxes is an unequal burden on the 
poor of this province, by reason the poorest man is 
taxed as high as the richest. Allowing the taxes to be 
all necessary, yet there ought to be some regard had to 
the strength of the beast; for all asses are not equally 
strong. We ought to be taxed according to the profits 
of each man's estate. And as we have no trade to circu- 
late money, this tax ought to be paid in country pro- 
duce. There would be men enough to be found to fill 
all posts of office for a salary paid in produce, as any 
man can afford to officiate in an office for country pro- 
duce as well as to farm or allow any other calling, the 
chief of which bring in nothing else. 

This is a grievous burden on the poor, as matters have 
been carried on, for money is not to be had : And when 

Of North Carolina ill 

a poor man's goods is distrained, the practice has been 
to take double, treble, yea, ten times the value has some- 
times been taken away. — And if they complain, they are 
not heard; if they resist, they are belabored like asses. 

Merciful Lord, would any people rise in mobs to dis- 
turb a peaceable nation if they could help it! Who is 
more ready than the poor to venture their lives in time 
of war for the safety of the nation? Nay, it is pinching 
hunger and cold, brought on them by abuse of officers, 
that is the cause. 

A few men may rise in a riot without a cause; and 
disaffected lords and great men may have such ambi- 
tious views encouraged by some enemy prince ; — but for 
the generality of the poor of a Province to rise, there 
must be some cause ; I dare say there always is a griev- 
ous cause. 

Neither is it any reflection on the King, to say, the 
poor are oppressed ; for he don't make our laws : — 
the subjects themselves, like the fish, devouring one 
another, with this difference, we are devoured by law. 

The narrow limits of our inferior court's jurisdiction, 
and likewise of a single magistrate, is a grievous bur- 
den on both poor and rich; and more so as we are 
obliged to fee lawyers; and in their demands they have 
got above the law, and have monopolized the whole 
power of the courts into their own hands. Our bur- 
dens exceed Issachar's; for truly we may be said to 
labour under three, — the lawyers use us as we do our 
stock, they kill one here and there, or pluck us well, 
and then let us run a while to feather again. 

We must make these men subject to the laws, or they 
will enslave the whole community. General and private 
musters are also an unnecessary burden, especially in our 
large counties, the outsides of which have to ride from 
thirty to fifty miles; and the outsides of a county con- 
tain more than the heart. Going to one of these mus- 

112 Some Neglected History 

ters generally costs a whole week's labor. — And on the 
whole, costs the counties at least a Thousand pounds 
each. A general muster is one week's loss in a year, 
which is one-fiftieth part of the year. — Four private 
musters one week more, which is one twenty-fifth part 
—Working on the roads and attending courts, will soon 
reduce it to one-twelfth part of our time. — And of what 
service is all this cost attending the militia law? It 
serves to bring custom to a few Ordinary Keepers, and 
for a day of gaiety and feasting to a few individuals, 
who have been vain enough sometimes to publish such 
a day's diversion in distant Gazettes. 

With what indignation must a poor ass read such 
a paragraph of such vain boasting of such a crowd of 
poor asses, faint with hunger, cold and thirst, laying out 
two or three nights by a fire in the wood, to perform 
this journey; destitute even of a great-coat or blanket; 
and of no use under the sun but to make a show of 
grandeur to a few who, perhaps, are the most unworthy 
in the county. 

This excess has not been practiced perhaps in many 
counties; — But it is not amiss to check it, lest it should 
grow, and you he tied neck and heels for the latest af- 
front, and made to ride the wooden mare. — It is enough 
to make a free man's flesh creep to read this law; — 
which might be more tolerable, were the people allowed 
to choose their own officers. — It would be needless to 
mention every circumstance of oppression in this which 
is yet but the civil burden. 

I shall now proceed to the 3d head, to consider of a 
method to remove these burdens. 

When the time of an election comes on, and those 
men of the world, who rnle by wealth, and whose busi- 
ness it is to corrupt their fellow-subjects, and cheat 

Of North Carolina 113 

them by flattery and corruption; out of their liberty, 
come to ask your votes, — do you despise their offers, 
and say to them : Your money perish with you. 

Gin it be supposed that such men will take care of 
your interests who begin with debauching your morals, 
and ruining your souls by drunkenness ? — Will that man 
have the least regard for your civil interest and property 
who first attempts to ruin your virtue? — What opinion 
must they have of such people, who, for a few days riot 
and gluttony will sell their liberties, but that they are 
asses, that want to be watered? 

While men are thus slaves to their lusts, they will 
never be free. Men that do so easily sell their souls will 
not value their country. — Where there is no virtue, there 
can be no liberty; — it is all licentiousness. What Issa- 
chars are such People who give their votes for a man 
who neither fears God nor loves mankind ! who, by the 
very method he pursues to obtain his election, has it in 
their view to make you pay for it in the round. 

Secondly, Forever despise that man who has betrayed 
the liberty of his constituents; this will lay a restraint 
upon the venal disposition of such as incline to sell their 
country for preferment. It. would be a check to hinder 
them from going into the schemes of a Governor. — 
Never send those who depend on favor for a living, or 
on the perp^city of the laws, nor any who have ever 
discovered a want of good principles. 

North Carolinians, if you remain under these bur- 
dens, it must be your own fault; — you will stand re- 
corded for asses to all generations if you do not assert 
your privileges before it is too late to recover them. 

It is not disloyalty, nor injurious, to give Instruc- 
tions to the candidates you choose, and take their sol- 
emn promise and obligation, that they will follow those 
instructions. This is far more noble than rioting a few 
days in drunkenness. Assemblymen are your servants, 

114 Some Neglected History 

and it is but reasonable they be made accountable to you 
for their conduct 

Mark any clerk, lawyer or Scotch merchant, or any 
set of men, who are connected with certain companies, 
callings and combinations, whose interests jar with the 
interest of the public good. — And when they come to 
solicit you with invitations to entertainments, &c, shun 
them as you would the pestilence. 

Send a man who is the choice of the country, and 
not one who sets up himself, and is the choice of a 
party; whose interest clashes with the good of the pub- 
lic. Send a Christian, or a man whom you think in 
your consciences is a real honest, good man ; — for this is 
the Christian, let his belief, as to creeds and opinions 
be what it will. 

Beware of being corrupted by flattery, for such men 
study the art of managing those springs of action 
within us, and will easily make us slaves by our own 
consent. — There is more passions than one that these 
men work upon; there is drunkenness, love of honour, 
flattery of great men, love of interest, preferment, or 
some worldly advantage. — They, by taking hold of these 
springs within us, insensibly lead us into bondage. 

When any man, who has much of this world, so that 
his interest weighs down a great number of his poor 
neighbors, and employs that interest contrary to the 
principles of virtue and honesty, any person of the least 
discernment may see he is a curse to the nation. 

When men's votes are solicited, or overawed by some 
superiors, the election is not free. — Men in power and of 
large fortunes threaten us out of our liberty, by the 
weight of their interests. 

North Carolinians, Are you sensible what you are 
doing, when, for some small favor, or sordid gratifica- 
tions, you sell your votes to such as want to enslave 

Of North Carolina 115 

your country? — You are publishing to all the world 
that you are asses. — You are despised already by the 
sister colonies. — You are hunting your trade ; for men of 
public generous spirits, who have fortunes to promote 
trade, are discouraged from coming among you. 

You are also encouraging your own assemblymen to 
enslave you; for when they, who are elected, see that 
those who had a right to elect them had no cencern for 
their true interest, but that they were elected by chance, 
or power of their own, or some great man's interest, 
such men will be the more ready to vote in the assem- 
bly with as much indifference about the interest of their 
constituents as they had in voting them in. 


You may always suspect every one who overawes or 
wants to corrupt you; the same person will load you 
with burdens. You may easily find out who was tools 
to the governor, and who concurred in past assemblies to 
lay burdens on us, the edifice, paying the troops, the 
associates' salaries, &c. Send not one of them ever any 
more; let them stand as beacons; set a mark on them, 
that ages to come may hold their memories in abhor- 

May not Carolina cry and utter her voice, and say, 
That she will have her public accounts settled; that 
she will have her lawyers and officers subject to the 
laws. — That she will pay no taxes but what are agreea- 
ble to law. — That she will pay no officer nor lawyer any 
more fees than the law allows. — That she will hold con- 
ferences to consult her representatives, and give them 
instructions; and make it a condition of their election, 
'that they assert their privileges in the assembly, and cry 
aloud for appeal of all oppressive laws. 

Finally, My brethren, 'whenever it is in your power, 
take care to have the house of assembly filled with 

116 Some Neglected History 

good honest and faithful men; and encourage and in- 
struct them on all occasions: And be sure to let your 
elections be no expense to them. 

Balaam, I confess, loved the wages of unrighteousness 
too much. His conduct with the Almighty seems to have 
been similar to some men who have too strong a desire 
after drink, or to gratify some other lustful passion, 
who will plead with conscience, and contrive a hundred 
ways to gain its consent. — I have heard a drunken man 
say he had made excuses in himself to go out with his 
gun, and kept working all day in his mind, till he had 
got the tippling house between him and home, when 
he has instantly got in a great hurry to get home by the 
dram-shop, and arguing, that now he really needed 
one dram; — has got so blinded by this time as, like 
Balaam, no more to see the angel that stood in his way. 

We generally get in a hurry of business before we 
can lose sight or get shut of our guide. — Lo, Balaam 
gets in great haste, was up early, and saddled his ass. 

And no doubt but his heart was full of the hopes of 
the rewards full of great expectations, and perhaps was 
telling over in his mind what large sums of money he 
should bring home and how he should be honored by 
the princes of Moab; and meditating, may be, what a 
pious work he would put the money to. — The Lord had 
given him leave to go, but no doubt he ought to have 
kept cool and resigned, and not have got in such a hurry, 
and filled his mind with such proclamations, that he 
could not see his guide that was to direct his steps. — 
Well, he is so blind, however, that conscience was in- 
visible to him — when on a sudden, the ass started aside, 
and crushed his foot against the wall. 

When the Lord opened the mouth of the ass to speak 
in human style, one would have thought it would have 
frightened any man almost out of his senses. — But 

Of North Carolina 117 

Balaam was not easily frightened, but he was lor cant- 
ing and killing her. 

So when any poor ass now-a-days opens her month 
in human style or by way of teaching and reproving the 
rulers, they use him as Balaam did his ass, cane him with 
discipline, and threaten him with excommunication as 
the Pharisees did the man who was born blind. 

And Balaam's ass spoke much like the complaints of 
an enslaved people. — Am not I thine ass? 

Balaam had his ass saddled and prepared for mount- 
ing before he got on to ride; — so likewise it requires 
some pains and furniture to prepare a people to bear the 
yoke of slavery. — In civil administration, their general 
cry is to maintain courts of justice. — In matters of re- 
ligious concern, it is necessary to have the people well 
persuaded of the rights and importance of the clergy, 
and the divinity of creeds and canons of churches, be- 
fore they will submit to be mounted or ridden like asses. 


Harmon Husband was by birth a Pennsyl- 
vanian, or of Pennsylvania parents, who had 
removed to North Carolina. He was a Quaker 
preacher and held large estates on the banks of 
the great Alamance, and between the Alamance 
and "Buffalo Ford" on Deep River. Husband 
was a member of the lower House of the Gen- 
eral Assembly and a prominent man in his com- 
munity. He was one of those independent Quak- 
ers (educated at the honest school of William 
Penn) who refused to pull off his hat and bow 
before the minions of despotism, in consequence 
of which he shared the contempt of the Gov- 
ernor. But the frowns of power could never 

118 Some Neglected History 

drive him from the faithful performance of 
what he considered his duty to his constituents. 
He was a man of grave deportment, superior 
mind and great influence, undoubted courage; 
charged with the highest element of bravery, 
having imbibed from Benjamin Franklin ideas 
of freedom and independence, he applied the 
spark which ignited the fuse that flamed into 
wild conflagration which eventually destroyed 
the system of English domination in the New 
World. On the 6th of June, 1765, he delivered 
an address at Nut Bush, in Granville County, 
on the deplorable situation of outrageous extor- 
tion with which the people were oppressed. 
From his book on the Regulation, we reproduce 
this address herewith. 


A serious address to the inhabitants of Granville County, 
containing a brief narrative of our deplorable situa- 
tion by the wrongs we suffer. And some necessary 
hints with respects to reformation. 

Well, gentlemen, it is not our form or mode of govern- 
ment, nor yet the body of our laws, that we are quarrel- 
ing with, but with the malpractice of the officers of the 
county courts, and the abuses we suffer by those that 
are empowered to manage our public affairs ; this is the 

Of North Carolina 119 

grievance, gentlemen, that demands our serious atten- 
tion. And I shall show you that most notorious and 
intolerable abuses have crept into the practice of the 
law in this county, and I doubt not into other counties 
also, though that does not concern us. 

In the first place, there is a law which provides that 
every lawyer shall take no more than fifteen shillings 
for his fee in the county court Well, gentlemen, which 
of you has had his business for fifteen shillings? they 
exact thirty for every cause; and three, four, and five 
Pounds Sterling for every cause attended to with the 
least difficulty; and in the Superior Court they exact as 
fees almost as many hundreds, and laugh at us for our 
stupidity and tame submission to these demands, &c. 

Again, a poor man gives his judgment bond for Five 
Pounds, which bond is by the creditor thrown into court. 
The Gerk of the Court has to enter it on the docket, 
and issue execution, the work of one long minute, for 
which the poor man has to pay forty-one shillings and 
five pence. The clerk, in consideration of his being a 
poor man, takes it out in work, at eighteen pence per 
day. The poor man works some more than twenty-seven 
days to pay for this one minute's writing. 

Well, the poor man reflects thus : When will I get to 
labor for my family, at this rate? I have a wife and a 
parcel of small children suffering at home, and here I 
have lost a whole month. I don't know for what, for my 
merchant or creditor is as far from being paid as ever. 
However, I will now go home and try to do whatever 
I can. Stay, neighbor, you have not half done yet, for 
there's a damn'd lawyer to stop yet, for you empowered 
him to confess that you owed this Five Pounds, and you 
have thirty shillings to pay for that, or go and work 
nineteen days more; and then you must go and work 
as long for the sheriff for his trouble, and then you may 

120 Some Neglected History 

go home and see your horses and cows sold, and all your 
personal estate, for one-tenth of its value, to pay off 
your merchant; and lastly, if your debt is so great that 
all your personal estate will not be sufficient to raise the 
money, then your lands the same way, to satisfy these 
accursed caterpillars, that will eat out the very bowels 
of our commonwealth if they are not pulled down from 
their nests in a short time. And what need I say to 
urge reformation? If these things were absolutely ac- 
cording to law, they are enough to make us throw off all 
submission to such tyrannical laws, for were such things 
tolerated, it would rob us of the means of living; and it 
were better to die in defense of our privileges than to 
perish for the want of the means of subsistence. But as 
these practices are contrary to law, it is our duty to put 
a stop to them before they quite ruin our country, and 
before we become slaves to these lawless wretches, and 
hug our chains of bondage, and remain contented under 
these accumulated calamities. 

I believe there are a few of you who have not felt the 
weight of these iron fists. And I hope there are none 
of you but will lend a hand towards bringing about this 
necessary work (viz., a reformation). And in order to 
bring it about effectually we must proceed with circum- 
spection, not fearful, but careful. 

First, let us be careful to keep sober — do nothing 
rashly — act with deliberation. 

Secondly, let us do nothing against the known* estab- 
lished laws of our land, that we appear not as a faction 
endeavoring to subvert the laws, and overturn the sys- 
tem of our government. But let us take care to appear 
what we really are, free subjects by birth, endeavoring to 

Of North Carolina 121 

recover our lost native rights, and to bring them down 
to the standard of law. 

6th June, A. D. 1765. 

Nutbush, Granville County, North Carolina. 
(Colonial Records of the State of North Carolina, Vol. 

VII, pp. 8ft 90.) 

In October, 1766, he drew up 3 written com- 
plaint entitled, "An Impartial Relation of the 
Rise and Cause of Recent Difficulties in Public 
Affairs." The signers agreed to form an asso- 
ciation to regulate public affairs in Orange 

In 1768-69 and 1770, Regulation meetings 
became frequent, notwithstanding the Gov- 
ernor's legislation to stop such meetings (Col. 
Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 481). This aggra- 
vated his Royal Highness, Governor Tryon, 
whom the Cherokee Indians had given the 
appropriate cognomen the "Great Wolf of 
North Carolina." Petition after petition was 
framed and addressed to the Governor and 
General Assembly. Below we give a tran- 
script of their conferences for March 22d, 1768, 
April 4th, April 25th and April 30th, 1768, in 
order that the reader may fully understand the 

At the last meeting held on April 30th, 1768, 
Harmon Husband was selected as one of the 
settlers to meet the county officers and vestry- 
men of Orange and adjoining counties. 

122 Some Neglected History 


The request of the Inhabitants on the West side of 
Haw River to the Assemblymen and Vestrymen of 
Orange County: 

The 22nd March, 1768. 

Whereas, the Taxes in the County are larger accord- 
ing to the number of Taxables than adjacent Counties, 
and continues so year after year, and as the jealousy 
still prevails amongst us that we are wronged, & having 
the more reason to think so, we have been at the trouble 
of choosing men, and sending them after the civilist 
manner, that we could know what we paid our Levy for, 
but could receive no satisfaction for. James Watson 
was sent to the Maddock's Mills, and said that Edmund 
Fanning looked upon it that the country called him by 
authority, or like as if they had a right to call them to 
accompt Not allowing the country the right, as they 
have been accustomed to as English subjects, for the 
King requires no money from His subjects but what they 
are made sensible what use it's for, we are obliged to 
seek redress by refusing to pay any more until we have 
a full settlement for what we have paid in the past, and 
have a true regulation with our Officers, as our griev- 
ances are too many to notify in one piece of writing. 
We desire that you, our Assemblymen and Vestrymen, 
may appoint a time before our next Court at the Court 
House, and let us know by the Bearer, and we will 
choose men to act for us, and settle our grievances until 
such time as you will settle with us. We desire that the 
Sheriffs will not come this way to collect the Levy, for 
we will pay none before there is a settlement to our satis- 
faction; and as the nature of an Officer is a servant of 
the publick, we are determined to have the Officers of 
this country under a better and honester regulation than 

Of North Carolina 123 

they have been for some time past. Think not to frighten 
us with rebellion in this case, for if the Inhabitants of 
this Province have not as good a right to enquire into 
the nature of our constitution and Disbursements of our 
funds as those of the Mother Country, we think it is by 
arbitrary proceedings that we are debarred of that right ; 
therefore, to be plain with you, it is our intent to have a 
full settlement of you in every particular point that is a 
matter of doubt with us, so fail not to Answer by the 
Bearer ; if no answer, we shall take it for Granted that we 
are disregarded in this request again for the Publick. 

(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. VII, pp. 699, 70a) 


At a general meeting of the REGULATORS, held 
April 4th, 1768, it was agreed to send Peter Craven and 
John Howe to request the late Sheriff and one Vestry- 
man to meet 12 men that we shall choose, on Tuesday 
after the Court, to produce to them a copy of a list of the 
Taxables for each year, and a list of the number and the 
names of the insolvents returned each year, with an ac- 
count how the money was applied, to whom paid, and to 
what uses both Vestrymens and Sheriffs, and to request 
our representatives to confer with them in our behalf, 
and to show us law for the customary fees that has been 
taken from Deeds, Indentures and Administrations, &c If 
the time appointed don't suit them, let them appoint them 
another more suitable ; 2nd, that we hold a general meet- 
ing the first Monday in July, October, and January and 
April of each year following, until the business be com- 
pleted to satisfaction, at the Meeting House near Moses 
Teague's, to which each Chief is to send one or more 
representatives from a private meeting of his own com- 
pany to attend to confer on further business, according 
to our Association Paper already agreed on the day, and 

124 Some Neglected History 

sooner, or at any other time when an emergency requires 
by public notice. 

(Col. Rec. of N. G, Vol. VII, pp. 702, 703.) 


At a council of REGULATORS, held the 25th April, 

Be it remembered, that our Minister has paid us a visit 
upon more than ordinary weight and concern, and by 
the power of persuasions and argument hath restrained 
us from going to the Town of Hillsborough until the 
nth day of May, unless there should be any Distress or 
Levys, on which day a certain Number, not exceeding 
twelve men, of penetrating judgment, shall be selected 
out of our REGULATORS and sent to the said Town 
of Hillsborough, then & there to propose and deliberate 
on such matters as shall be conducive to the preservation 
of our public and private Interest 

Signed and delivered in the presence of 

Ninian Hamilton William Butler 

Jno. Lowe Isaac Jackson 

James Hunter 


At a general meeting of the REGULATORS, on April 
30th, 1768, it was laid before us — an appointment of the 
Officers, by the means of the Rev. Mr. Micklejohn, to 
meet us on the nth day of May next, to settle the several 
matters of difference between us, and it was agreed on 
that we send 12 men that we have chosen, to meet on the 
said nth day of May at Thomas Lindley's, when we hope 
things will be set in a fair way for an amicable settle- 
ment, and Mr. Hamilton is appointed to contrive them a 

Of North Carolina 125 

copy hereof and bring from under our (their) hands if 
they will meet with us. 

John Marshall, John Pryor, 

Rednap Howell, Harmon Husband, 

John Burtson, William Maffet, 

George Henry, William Cox, 

Charles Smith, Simon Dixon, 

James Hunter, Thomas Christian, 

John Butler, 

Appointed Settlers. 

At a convention of REGULATORS & 

ASSOCIATES held at George Adam Sailings 

(Sally's) on Rocky River, April 30th, 1768 — 

the following articles of Settlement and Oath 
were agreed upon : — 

Instructions to the settlers appointed by the 

1. Procure for us a list of the Taxables for the years of 

the two late Sheriffs, with a list of the names of 
the insolvents returned and the delinquents. 

2. Procure us a fair accompt of the money paid, and for 

what uses applied, with a citation of every Law 
for the same. 

3. Procure us a copy of all the several particulars of the 

Tax for 1767, with a citation precisely for every 
Law for the same ; endeavor to be satisfied in your 
judgment that it is agreeable to the intent and 
meaning of it, so as you may be able to satisfy us. 

4. Procure also an account of the County and Parish 

Tax for the same year, endeavoring in the same 
manner to satisfy yourselves of its agreeableness 
in every particular. 


126 Some Neglected History 

5. Examine the true Cost by Law for recording and 

Proving Deeds. 

6. Examine the true cost by Law for Letters of Admin- 

istration, Letters Testamentary, Indentures, and 
Fees in Common Law. 

The Form of the Oath or Declaration. 

We do swear or declare that we will, in all the above- 
mentioned articles, above mentioned, for the settlement 
between the Officers and the country, do equal right and 
justice after our cunning, wit and power, according to 
law, as far as we know or can find out ; that we will not 
wrong any for Fee or Gift, Reward or otherwise, but 
will truly act honestly as Settlers for the Country, and 
that we will not suffer any officer to have his Oath in 
any matter depending before us, but will have them set- 
tled according to law, producing Receipts and other suf- 
ficient Discharges for the Country's money, with Lists 
of the Insolvents for every year. (Col. Rec. of N. C, 
Vol. 7, PP. 731-2.) 

It would be doing grave injustice, however, 
to the Regulators to omit special reference to 
the following petition setting forth in detail 
the grievances under which they labored and 
the remedies they proposed therefor. The peo- 
ple of Orange and Rowaif Counties in 1769 
addressed the following petition : 

To His Excellency, William Tryon, Esq., 

His Majesty's Governor in Chief, In and over the 
Province of the Colony of North Carolina, and 
Presiding Officer of the General Assembly of North 

Of North Carolina 127 

The petition of us, the citizens of Orange and Rowan 
counties, Humbly petition and ask that the following 
acts be passed : 

I. To disqualify lawyers and clerks from holding 
seats in the Assembly. 

II. To give the clerks salaries, and to take away fees. 

III. To confine lawyers to fees prescribed by law. 

IV. To call in all acting clerks and to fill their 
places with gentlemen of property and intelligence, and 
insert in said act a clause prohibiting all judges, law- 
yers, or sheriffs from receiving their fees before the suit 
in which they become due was finally determined, which 
they hoped would prevent the odious delays in justice, so 
destructive, yet fatally common among them. 

V. To repeal an act prohibiting dissenting ministers 
from celebrating the rites of matrimony according to 
the forms prescribed by their respective churches, a privi- 
lege they were debarred of in no other part of His Ma- 
jesty's kingdom, and a privilege they stand entitled to by 
the Act of Toleration, and, in fact, a privilege granted to 
the very Catholics in Ireland and the Protestants in 

VI. To divide the Province into proper districts for 
the collection of taxes. 

VII. To tax every one in proportion to his estates; 
that however equitable the law as it then seemed might 
appear to the inhabitants of the maritime ports of the 
Province, where estates consisted chiefly of slaves 
though their estates were in proportion in many in- 
stances as a thousand to one, for all to pay equal was 
very grievous and oppressive. 

VIII. To repeal the Summons and Petition Act, 
which was replete with misery and ruin to the lowest 
class of people in the Province, and in lieu thereof to 
pass an act to empower a single magistrate to determine 

128 Some Neglected History 

all actions for less than five or six pounds, without ap- 
peal, to be assisted, however, by a jury of six men, if 
demanded by either party. 

IX. To make inspection notes on imperishable com- 
modities of the produce of this Province lawful tender, 
at stated prices, in all payments throughout the Province. 

X. To divide the county. 

XL To make certain staples of manufacture to an- 
swer foreign demands. 

XII. To ascertain what taxes were collected in 1767, 
by whom, and to what purpose they were applied spe- 
cially, and look into the matter of taxes generally. 
[This was done in view of the belief that £27,060 were 
collected more than was due.] 

XIII. To provide that the yeas and nays should 
be inserted in the journals of the Assembly, and that 
copies of the journals be sent to every magistrate. 

The people of Anson County petitioned the 
Governor and General Assembly, complain- 
ing that while the Province labored under gen- 
eral grievances, the western part thereof la- 
bored under particular ones. "Particular Re- 
strictions" which they claimed the right to 
make under the English Bill of Rights : 

Mr. Speaker and Gent of the Assembly : 

The. Petition of the Inhabitants of Anson County, be- 
ing part of the Remonstrance of the Province of North 

That the Province in general labour under general 
grievances, and the Western part thereof under partic- 

Of North Carolina 129 

ular ones, which we not only see, but very sensibly feel, 
being crouch'd beneath our sufferings: and notwith- 
standing our sacred privileges, have too long yielded 
ourselves slaves to remorseless oppression. Permit us to 
conceive it to be our inviolable right to make known our 
grievances, and to petition for redress, as appears in the 
Bill of Rights pass'd in the reign of King Charles the 
First, as well as the act of Settlement of the Crown of 
the Revolution. We therefore beg leave to lay before 
you a specimen thereof, that your compassionate endeav- 
ors may tend to the relief of your injured Constituents, 
whose distressed condition calls aloud for aid. The 
alarming cries of the oppressed possibly may reach your 
Ears; but without your zeal how shall they ascend the 
throne — how relentless is the breast without sympathy, 
the heart cannot bleed on a View of our calamity; to 
see tenderness removed, cruelty stepping in ; and all our 
liberties and privileges invaded and abridg'd (by as it 
were) domesticks ; who are conscious of their guilt and 
void of remorse. O how daring ! how relentless ! whilst 
impending Judgments loudly threaten and gaze upon 
them, with every emblem of merited destruction. A few 
of the many grievances are as follows (viz) : 

i. That the poor Inhabitants in general are much op- 
pressed by reason of disproportionate Taxes, and those 
of the Western Counties in particular, as they are gen- 
erally in mean circumstances. 

2. That no method is prescribed by Law for the pay- 
ment of the Taxes of the Western Counties in produce 
(in lieu of a Currency), as in other Counties within this 
Province, to the People's great oppression. 

3. That lawyers, Clerks, and other petitioners, in place 
of being obsequious Servants for the Country's use, are 
become a nuisance, as the business of the people is often 
transacted without the least degree of fairness, the in- 

130 Some Neglected History 

tention of the law invaded, exorbitant fees extorted, and 
the sufferers left to mourn under their oppression. 

4. That an Attorney should have it in his power, either 
for the sake of ease or interest, or to gratify their male- 
volence and spite, to commence suits to what Courts he 
pleases, however inconvenient it may be to the Defend- 
ant, is a very great oppression. 

5. That all unlawful fees taken on Indictment, where 
the Defendant is acquitted by His Country (however 
customary it may be), is an oppression. 

6. That Lawyers, Clerks, and others, extorting more 
fees than is intended by law, is also an oppression. 

7. That the violation of the King's Instructions to his 
delegates, their artfulness in concealing the same from 
him, and the great Injury the People thereby sustains, is 
a manifest oppression. 

And for remedy whereof, we take the freedom to rec- 
ommend the following mode of redress, not doubting 
audience and acceptance, which will not only tend to our 
relief, but command prayers as a duty from your humble 
Petitioners : 

1. That at all elections each suffrage be given by 
Ticket & Ballot. 

2. That the mode of Taxation be altered, and each 
person to pay in proportion to the profits arising from 
his Estate. 

3. That no future tax be laid in money, until a cur- 
rency is made. 

4. That there may be established a Western as well as 
a Northern and Southern District, and a Treasurer for 
the same. 

5. That when a currency is made it may be let out by 
a Loan office (on Land Security), and not to be calTd in 
by a Tax. 

6. That all debts above 40s. and under 10 Pounds be 
tried and determined without lawyers, and by a jury of 

Of North Carolina 131 

six free holders, impanneled by a justice, and that their 
verdict be enter'd by the said justice, and be a final 

7. That the chief Justice have no perquisites, but a sal- 
ary only. 

8. That clerks be restricted in respect to fees, costs 
and other things within the course of their office. 

9. That lawyers be effectually barr'd from exacting 
and extorting fees. 

10. That all doubts may be removed in respect to the 
payment of fees and costs on Indictments where the de- 
fendant' is not found guilty by the jury, and therefore 

11. That the Assembly make known by Remonstrance 
to the King the conduct of the cruel and oppressive re- 
ceiver of the Quit Rents, for omitting the customary 
easy and effectual method of collecting by distress, and 
pursuing the expensive mode of commencing in most 
distant courts. 

12. That the Assembly in like manner make known 
that the Governor and Council do frequently grant lands 
to as many as they think proper without regards to Head 
Lights, notwithstanding the contrariety of His Majes- 
ties Instructions; by which means immense sums has 
been collected, and numerous Patents granted, for much 
of the most fertile lands in the Province, that is yet vat- 
inhabited and uncultivated, environed by great num- 
bers of poor people who are necessitated to toil in the 
cultivation of bad lands whereon they can hardly sub- 
sist, who are thereby deprived of His Majesties liberal- 
ity and Bounty : nor is there the least regard paid to the 
cultivation clause in said Patent mentioned, as many of 
the said council, as well as their friends and favorites, 
enjoy large quantities of lands under the above-men- 
tioned circumstances. 

132 Some Neglected 

13. That the Assembly communicates in like manner 
the Violations of his Majesties Instructions respecting 
the Land Office by the Governor and Council, and by 
their own rules, customs and orders, if it be sufficiently 
proven, that after they have granted Warrants for many 
Tracts of Land, and that the same was in due time sur- 
veyed and return'd, and the Patent fees timely paid in 
the said office; and if the private council was called on 
purpose to avoid spectators, and peremptory orders made 
that patents should not be granted; and Warrants by 
their orders arbitrarily to have issued in the names of 
other persons for same Lands, and if, when entreated by 
a solicitor, they refus'd to render so much as a reason 
for their so doing, or to refund any part of the money 
by them extorted. 

14. That some method may be pointed out that every 
improvement on Lands in any of the Proprietors' part 
be proved when begun, by whom, and every sale made, 
that the eldest may have the preference by at least 300 

15. That all taxes in the following Counties be paid as 
in other counties of the Province (*. e.), in the produce 
of the county, and that warehouses be erected as follows 
(viz) : 

In Anson County, at Isoms Hasley's Ferry Land- 
ing, on Pe Dee River. 

In Rowan and Orange, at Campleton, in Cumber- 
land County. 

In Mecklenburg, at , on the Ca- 
tawba River. 

In Tryon County, at , on 


16. That every denomination of people may marry ac- 
cording to their respective Mode, Ceremony and custom, 
after due publication or License. 

Of North Carolina 


17. That Doctor Benjamin Franklin or some other 
known Patriot be appointed Agent, to represent the un- 
happy state of this Province to His Majesty, ami to so- 
licit the several Boards in England. 

Dated October ye 9th, 1769. 

John Snor, 
Isaac Armstrong, 
Wm. Thomson, 
Authd Hutchings, 
Seamour Almond, 
John Ryle, 
John Culpeper, 
John Jones, Sr., 
Wm. Griffin Hogon, 
Richard Maner, 
Samuel Gaylord, 
Richard Sands, 
Jason Irol Hinsinbru, 
Thomas Preslar, 
Thomas Culpeper, 
Isaac Falconburg, 
Francis Smith, 
Jno. Jeffry, 
Neal Frenck, 
Jero Miller, 
Tirey Robinson, 
Gabril Davis, 
Aquilla Jones, 
Thomas Tallant, 
James Denson, 
Wm. Raiford, 
John I. Merree 
Geo. Wilson, 
Robert Webb, 
Thomas Taylor, 

David Smith, , 

James Berker, 
John Mims, 
John Brooks, Junr. 
Wm. C. B. Bond, 
John Bond, 
Moses T. Tallant, 
Benja Dumas, 
Joseph White, 
Wm. Sidden, 
Silvanus Walker, 
John Smith Sondhill, 
David Dumas, 
Benjamin Smith, 
William Benton, 
Wm. Coleman, 
Alexd. McPherson, 
E. Pickett, 
Thomas Gowers, 
Jonathan Gowers, 
Stokey Yeamons, 
Thos. Harper, 
John Johnson, 
James Upton, 
Jacob Watson, 
Isaac Belyin, 
Owen Slaughter, 
Thomas Wright, 
Patrick Sanders, 
William Ussery, 


Some Neglected History 

William Jowers, 
Shadrack Denson, 
Joseph Harrison, 
Joseph Howlett, 
Tomas Ussery, 
John Thomas, 
Benj'm Covington, 
Isam Haley, 
Silas Haley, 
George Belvin, 
William Blewet, 
Dan'l Laws, 
Abraham Bellew, 
Thos. Donner, 
Joseph Hinds, 
Wm. Haley, 
Thomas Moorman, 
Frances Clarke, 
John Watts, 
John Davis, 
Rich'd Leak, 
Charles Hines, 
John Mcllvailly, 
Van Swearingen, 
William Hore, 
Joseph Martin, 
Thomas Nelson, 
William Burns, 
John Leveritt, 
Theofilis Williams, 
Wm. Leveritt, 
James Williams, 
John Coleman, 
Meager Edwards, 
Antho Mathis, 
Fegan Gring, 

Samll Ratdiff, 
Burlington Rudd, 
John Murphy, 
John Liles, 
James Liles, 
Thos. Arrington, 
James Macnejh, 
Thomas Fox, 
Henry Stokes, 
John Brooks, Jun., 
Thadwick Hogins, 
Thos. Barrotz, 
Jas. E. Arnet, 
Daniel Culpeper, 
John Snider, 
Wm. Mims, 
Robert Smith, 
Zacheriah Smith, 
John Smith, 
John Thomas, 
Will'm Burt, 
Edward Smith, 
Elijah Clark, 
John Clark, 
James Adams, 
Thorn. Mason, Junr., 
John Bennett, 
Jonathan Turner, 
Barnabee Skipper, 
George Skipper, 
John Jenkins, 
David Phelps, 
John McNish, 
John Cockerham, 
Jonathan Lewellyn, 
Leonard Franklin, 

Of North Carolina 


Edward Almond, 
Thos. Mims, 
John Stinkberry, 
William Leaton, 
Luke Robinson, 
John Webb, 
Andrew Griffin, 
George Estress, 
James Griffinn, 
Wm. Estress, 
Stephen Bush, 
Joseph Burcham, 
Stephen Piecock, 
David Jernigan, 
Robt. Jarman, 
William Thredgill, 
Robt. Lowery, 
Dennis Norlen, 
Lewis Lowery, 
Edward Chambers, 
Thos. Pickett, 
Jowl Jorman, 
Jomond Lloyd, 
Tho. Word, 
William Lucas, 
Christopher Butler, 
Jacob Sowl, 
Edward Morris, 
William Treneen, . 
John Williams, 
John Burcham, 
William Sowel, 
John Carpenter, 
Francis Jourdan, 
Henry Burcham, 
William Morris, 

John Morgan, 
James Burcham, 
James Sanders, 
Joseph Morris, 
Jeremiah Terrill, 
Darass Bruns, 
Thos. Bailey, 
Stephen Bush, 
Jacob Cockerham, 
John Flowell, 
Stephen Jackson, 
John Jone, 
Archelam Moorman, 
William Digge, 
Bennakia Moorman, 
Will'm Halet, Junr., 
John Mathews, 
James Mathews, 
Joseph Web, 
John Falconberry, 
Andrew Falconberry, 
Isaac Falconberry, Junr., 
Henry Falconberry, 
Thos. Trull, 
Wm. Culpeper, 
John Cooper, 
Jno. Thos. Scruggs, 
John Long, 
Charles Smith, 
James Bound, 
Abraham Pelyou, 
Jason Meadow, Jr., 
Jason Meadow, 
Robert Broadway, 
Saml Tonehburg, 
Samuel Flake, 


Some Neglected History 

Thos. Balice, 
John Preslie, 
John Cartright, 
Thos. Lacy, 
John Jackson, 
Joseph Freeh, 
William Newberry, 
Loenaed Webb, 
Julius Holley, 
John James, Jun., 
John James, Sr., 
Jimmy James, 
Jonathan Helms, 
Tilmon Helms, 
James Sanders, 
John Bailey, 
David Cox, 
John Horback, 
Beaty Webb, 
Isaac Incest, 
William Webb, 
Walter Gibson, 
Silvester Gibson, 
William Dinkins, 
Thomas Dinkins, 
Marverick Lyan, 
Waterman Boatmen, 
John Simmons, 

Augustine Prestwood, 
Richard Downs, 
Elisha Ratcliff, Junr., 
Elisha Ratcliff, 
John Poston, 
John Hornbeck, 
John Poston, Sr., 
Ned Mathes, 
Benjamin Hunt, 
Samuel Sowell, 
Charles Sowell, 
James Gibson, 
William Gibson, 
Joseph Hunt, 
Richard Braswell, 
George Braswell, 
William Lucas, Junr., 
Joseph Allen, 
Wm. Morris, Junr., 
Lewis Sowell, 
John Skinner, 
Jesse Wallas, 
Welcome Ussery, 
Mathew Raiford, Junr., 
Elisha Thomson, 
John Thomson, 
Goin C. Morgan, 
Christopher Christain. 


To the Governor & Council, &c. 

The humble Petition of us the Subscribers sheweth 
that We the Inhabitants of Orange County pay larger 
Fees for recording Deeds than any of the adjacent Coun- 
ties, and many other Fees more than the Law allows, by 

Of North Carolina 


all that We can make out, from which a jealosie prevails 
that we are misused, and application has been made to 
our representatives to satisfy us. But we were disre- 
garded in the said application upon which the said dis- 
content, growing more and more so as to threaten a dis- 
turbance of the public peace ; we therefore beg that those 
matters may be taken under your serious consideration 
and interpose in our Favour, so that we may have a fair 
hearing in this matter, and (be) redressed where we 
have been wronged. Our complaints are too numerous 
and long to be notified in a Petition, but have sent here- 
with copies of the Applications, Petitions, &c, that has 
been made on this Occasion, with a small sketch of our 
misusage, and begging your protection and approbation 
in so just and equitable an undertaking and an opportun- 
ity to be heard, We conclude, your humble Petitioners, 

Simon Hadley, 
John Youngblood, 
John Bullen, 
James Barnes, 
Peter Youngblood, 
George Wilson, 
James Youngblood, 
Samuel Dark, 
William Paine, 
John Grubbs, 
James Barns, 
Richd. Copeland, 
William Levy, 
Brinceley Barnes, 
Eron Harlow, 
Ulrick Whit, 
John Baxter, 
John Bricks, 
John Crow, 

Richard Smith, 
David Thornton, 
Thomas Riddle, 
Jeremiah Melton, 
Jonie Maudlin, 
Randolph Check, 
Benjamin Maudlin, 
James Willet, 
Charles Landron, 
Aaron Evans, 
Jereh Duckworth, 
Noel Brur, 

George Adam Sailing, 
Frances Dorset, 
William Jons, 
James Emberson, 
Thos. Sellers, 
Thomas Hamm, 
Henry Smith, 


Some Neglected History 

Cornelius Latham, 
Alex. Awtry, 
Thos. Hopper, 
Richard Webb, 
Daniel McCay, 
William Green, 
Peter Cravin, 
Jacob Horn, 
John Wilson 
Joseph Park, 
William Inglish, 
Thos. Youngblood, 
Nickless Brewer, 
Rednap Howell, 
David Smith, 
William Copeland, Sr., 
Thomas Glover, 
Enoch Spinks, 
Eshmael Williams, 
Luke Welsh, 
Jacob McDanil, 
Neheh Williams, 


John Maudlin, 
John Henderson, 
Marton Firmer, 
John Ramsey, 
Will Boilstone, 
Larance Muchucenes, 
Eron Stinton, 
Andrew Culbison, 
Robert Wilkins, 
Nath. Henderson, 
Thomas Moore, 
William Sanders, 
Thos. Branson. 

Josiah Rogers, 
Thos. Thornton, 
Sam'l Culberson, 
Thos. Pugh, 
Edward Teage, 
John Hornaday, 
Enoch Davis, 
Richard Henderson, 
Solomon Cox, 

Thomas Jones, 

ThoS. Bailey, 
Thos. Craven, 
Jas. Murray, 
James Copeland, 
John Penton, 
William Hutson, 
Math. English, 
William Copeland, Jr., 
William Dunkin, 
John Marshills, 
William Caps, 
Abram Bradley, 
Laurence Bradley, 
Charles White, 
Joseph Clark, 
James Will, 
Benjamin Grubbs, 
John Erwin, 
David Brown, 
James Wilson, 
Andre Jones, 
Enoch Pugh, 
Matthew Davis, 
Alex. Kenedy, 

Of North Carolina 


Walter Walsh, 
Mansfield Crow, 
Thomas Waller, 
Thos. Alexanders, 
Jacob Grigg, 
Jacob Grigg, 
Henry Bray, 
Henry Welsh, 
Nicholas Barker, 
Thos. Cox, 
Jesse Harrison, 
John Hart, 
John Fike, 
John Smith, 
Daniel Smith, 
Adam Mbser, 
Jacob Whit, 
Edward Bray, 

Daniel , 

John Murphey, 
Joseph Carr, 
Frederick Temple, 
John White, 
John Graves, 
David Jackson, 
Edward Moore, 
Peter Craven, 
Joseph Craven, 
Calib Dixon, 
Wm. Henderson, 
Abrm. Hammer, 
Neh. Howard, 
Saml. Barker, 
Thos. Needom, 
Wm. Needom, 
Joshua Edwards, 

George Raines, 
Joseph Henson, 
Timothy Tukins, 
William Henson, 
Jacob Fudge, 
Geo. Hendrey, 
James Williams, 
John McVay, 
Gidn. Gilbert, Jr., 
Charles Goldstone, 
Wm. Drinkin, 
Charles Miles, 
Daniel Dowdy, 
John Miles, Sr., 
Robert Wilkins, 
Wm. Bannistor, 
Wm. Wilkins, 
Alex. Wilkins, 
Wm. Caps, 
Francis Pooey, 
Randol Check, 
Jerem. Melton, 
John Miles, Jr., 
Nathaniel Powel, 
Oyen Doud, 
Neh. Howard, 
Umfrey Pooey, 
Thos. Miles, 
Wm. Barber, 
Richd Barber, 
Solomon Morgan, 
John Wilkins, 
Wm. Learey, 
Philip Hartzo, 
Marverick Layux, 
Jonathan Gilbert, 


Some Neglected History 

Joshua Gilbert, 
John Miles, Jr., 
John Maudlin, 
Joseph Boggs, 
John Noe, 
John Hilton, 
Larance Marmanee, 
John Capin, 
Nath. Henderson, 
Wm. Croswell, 
Daniel Winter, 
Frances Cheny, 
Michael Ramsouer, 
John White, 
John Hart, 
Zach. Harman, 
Rubin Landrum, 
Patrick Calley, 
Ayen Brady, 
John Sidewell, 
Richd. Hutson, 
Wm. Moffit, 
John Pugh, 
Joseph Sutton, 
Jeffrey Beck, 
Thos. Grames, 
Patrick Kelly, 
Prusley Wren, 
Harmon Cox, 
Stephen Harlan, 
John Fudge, 
Thos. Hendrey, Jr., 
James Maudlin, 
Benjamin Maudlin, 
Daniel Brown, 

John Boe, 

Jas. X Hugh, 

James Willet, 
Isaac Brooks, 
Wm. Tomson, 
John Brooks, 
James Brooks, 
Walter Welch, 
Geo. Adam Sailing, 
Thos. Fullar, 
John Youngblood, 
Peter Youngblood, 
Amos Vernon, 
James Brown, 
Robert Brown, 
Jonathan Davis, 
Thos. Davis, 
Jesse Hadley, 
Abrm. Thornton, 
John Smith, 
John Brox, 
Nich. Aldridge, 
Roger Marfey, 
Wm. Tague, 
Howel Brooer, 
Charles White, 
James Aldridge, 
Wm. Ward, 
Jas. Brantley, 
Benj. Bras well, 
John York, 
Robert Delap, 
Enoch Pugh, 

Of North Carolina 


John Shiphard, 
Thos. Roberson, 
Charles Clauton, 
Nichlos Coplin, 
Argulus Henderson, 
Benj. Clanton, 
Valentine Corlin, , 
Nicklos Coplin, 
John Fuller, 
Thos. Fuller, 
Thos. Coplin, 
James Pugh, 
John Raines, 
John Tarrance, 
Saml. Latham, 
Peter Vonstrauoer, 
Adam Andriss, 
Conrad Andriss, 
Nehemiah Odle, 
Edward Lang, 
Abraham Stroud, 
Walter Ashmore, 
Thos. Hendrey, Sr., 
Gidn. Gilbert, Sr., 
John Fruit, 
Richard Smith, 
Thos. Swift, 
Jacob Marshill, 
Joshua Hadley, 
John Acuage, 
John Croswell, 
Muicher Lille, 
Jacob Dobbins, 
Ely Branson, 
Thos. Thornton, 
John Marswatne, 

. :_ •*. 

Thos. Beaty, 
Thos. Wilborne, 
Thos. Moon, 
Saml. Skin, 
Wm. Marly, 
John Cowen, 
Daniel Sanders, 
Uldric White, 
Gilbard Croswell, 
Peter Givil, 
Hendrey Senderman, 
John Patterson, 
John Barton, 
John Bery, 
Will Smith, 
Slan Richardson, 
Aquila Jones, 
Charles Jones, 
Thos. Jones, 
John Moris, 
Jas. Oliver, 
John Barnes, 
Thos. Greaves, 
James Ramsey, 
Wm. Greaves, 
Richard Wineham, 
James Ellis, 
John Duncum, 
Wm. Alrid, Sr., 
Wm. Alrid, Jr., 
Wm. Norton, 
Thos. Ranetalor, 
Wm. Craswill, 
John Craswill, 
Thos. Belhany, 
Thos. Sellers, 


Some Neglected History 

Harmon Husband, 
Nimian Hamilton, 
Wm. Butler, 
Stephen Jones, 
Peter Richardson, 
Sam Curtis, 
Stephen Owen, 
James Morgan, 
Thos. Green, 
Wm. Ward, 
James Burgiss, 
Barth. Dunn, 
Wm. Ward, Jr., 
Philbert Wright, 
Wm. Hintrand, 
Jos. Jonson, 
Thos. HiU, 
Zekel Thomas, 
John Clap, 
Wm. Gillmore, 
Jesse Pugh, 
Bartoledum Dun, 
Peter Julian, Jr., 
Joseph Chafen, 
Adam Larence, 
Thos. Kumian, 
Joseph Phipps, 
John Flemmin, 
John Phipps, 
Peter Smith, 
Peter Julian, Sr., 
Wm. Kiniman, 
Hugh Wyley, 
James Phipps, 
Stephen Johns, 
Wm. Raney, 

Powell Glase, 
Philip Glase, Sr., 
Philip Glase, Jr., 
Christian Glase, 
James White, 
Augustin White, 
Joshua Fuller, 
James Bly, 
John McClewland, 
James Aiken, 
Timothy Penton, 
Joseph Routh, 
John Gapen, 
Patrick McSwaine, 
Drury Rollins, 
Thos. Wilson, 
Peter Youngblood, 
Thos. Elick Sanders, 
John Wilkins, 
Alex. Wilkins, 
Howell Brewer, 
Philip Sitton, 
John Fanin, 
James Moffitt, 
Joshua Hadley, 
George Cortner, 
Peter Cortner, 
John Goble, 
Nicholas Goble, 
Philip Shew, Sr., 
Geo. Navit, 
Nathan Aldridge, 
John Morris, 
Timothy Code, 
James Hunter, 
Robert Walker, 

Of North Carolina 


Samuel Devine, 
James Sweany, 
Thos. Hamilton, 
WnL Davis, 
Jerem. Fields, 
Wm. Jones, 
John Berry, 
Jacob Johns, Sr., 
Jacob Johns, Jr., 
Arch. Hamilton, 
David Ruine, 
John McCoy, 
Ruddy Morgan, 
Henry Pickral, 
Archey Lane, 
Wm. Cane, 
Thos. Melone, 
James Davis, 
James Christian, 
Thos. Feutral, 
Jacob Rogers, 
Hyram Rogers, 
Sion Rogers, 
Hysom Waver, 
Damsey Roles, 
James Younger, 
Wm. Morrow, 
Joseph Foshea, 
Wm. Mitchell, 

Wm. Fany, 
Peter Ceinght, 
Wm. Springfellow, 
Wm. Walker, 
Joseph Richerson, 
John Par, 
Lodwick Clapp, 
John Walker, 
Ezekiel Cure, 
Geo. Clap, 
Tobias Clap, 
John Pleourt, 
Abr. Hilton, 
Philip Shaw, Jr., 
Barnit Swing, 
Lodwick Swing, 
Christen Fall, 
Conrad Shoemaker, 
Jacob Soots, 
Michael Honest, 
Jacob Droy, 
Nich. Hillerman, 
Christian Sike, 
Jacob Christman, 
John Luin, 
James Low, 
James Oliver, 
Jacob Stelie. 


There are also thirty-one Dutch names which 
the English reader could not make out. 

(Colonial Records of the State of North Carolina, Vol. 
VII, pp. 733-737.) 

144 Some Neglected Hi 


At a General Meeting of the Regulators and numbers 
of other inhabitants of the County of Orange, held at 
George Sally's, on the 21st May, 1768, agreed on last 

It was unanimously agreed to continue our Petition to 
the Governor, Council & Assembly for redressing very 
grievous, cruel, iniquitous and oppressive practices of 
our Officers, which We generally conceive We have la- 
boured under these many years, contrary to Law and in 
pursuance to a verbal message sent us by His Excellency 
our Governor, sent express by His Secretary, Mr. Ed- 
wards, delivered to us the third day of this Instant. We 
unanimously agree to renew our Petition to the Gov- 
ernor, and as sundry forms of said Petition have been 
read here this day and signed by sundry neighborhoods, 
We appoint Wm. Maffit, Wm. Cox, Hermon Cox, John 
Lowe, John Marshall, James Hunter, Rednap Howell 
and George Hendrey to form one out of the whole re- 
ferring to the separate complaints for information of 
Grievances, and, being conscious of our loyalty to King 
George the Third, now on the British Throne, and our 
firm attachment to the present Establishment and form 
of Government, which we sincerely believe all our griev- 
ances are quite opposite & contrary to, by the downright 
roguish practices of ignorant and unworthy men who 
have crept into Posts of Office and Practised upon our 
ignorance and new settled situation, We therefore order 
the above Committee to implore the Governor's pardon 
and forgiveness in the most submissive manner for any 
errors we have committed that is or may be construed 
to derogate from the honor of His Majesty's Person, 
Crown, or Dignity, or tending to (derogate from) the 
peace or good order of Government ; and, for His better 
information, We likewise order said Committee to pre- 

Of North Carolina 145 

pare copies of all our proceedings which (have been) 
agreed on by our body from the beginning, to go with 
the said Petition, and they are to send a suitable number 
of said Committee to wait on the Governor as soon as 
possible with the same. And as we have received a let- 
ter from Anson County informing us of an Association 
there on the same account, and requesting an informa- 
tion of the manner of our proceedings, We order a copy 
of this to be sent them immediately to prevent speedily 
their running into errors, believing their scruples to be 
well grounded & their intention good and honest, and to 
be followed with copies of all the rest of our papers. 
And the Public who have any grievances are desired to 
send the same to some one of the Committee before Next 
Monday come week, when they are to meet at the house 
of Hermon Cox, on Deep River, for the purpose above 

(See Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VII, pp. 
758, 759) 


Address of the Regulators to Governors Tryon and 

the Council. 

May It Please Your Excellency and Your Honors : 

At a Committee of the Regulators, held May 21st, 
1768, a Committee was appointed to form a Petition to 
be laid before Your Excellency and your Honors, where- 
in among other things it was ordered us to implore the 
pardon & forgiveness of the Legislature, for whatsoever 
has been acted amiss, &c. (See Paper No. 10.) And 
as a Petition had been- already formed, we agree to let 
stand, and in lieu of a better present you with a plain, 
simple narrative of Facts accompanied with and sup- 
ported by authentic Papers, and such as have been from 
time to time sent to our Officers. This We humbly con- 

146 Some Neglected History 

ceive will give you a more clear and distinct idea of our 
grievances and the several causes thereof than anything 
could be conceived in form of a Petition. As to the 
other part of our instructions, which were to implore 
your Clemency in behalf of the poor oppressed People, 
we undertake it with innate pleasure, humbly beseeching 
your Excellency and your Honors, and every one of you, 
graciously to forgive, and pardon not only them, but 
every one of Us, anything that by you may be construed 
as derogatory to His most sacred Majesty's Prerogative, 
Person, Crown, or Dignity, or in opposition to His Laws, 
or that may in any wise contribute to the Disquiet, Dis- 
satisfaction, or Infelicity of your Excellency's Admin- 
istration whereby to deprive you of that Bliss you prom- 
ised yourself when appointed by His Majesty to rule 
over Us. And we assure, Gentlemen, that neither Disloy- 
alty to the best of Kings nor disaffection to the whole- 
somest Constitution now in Being, nor yet Dissatisfac- 
tion to your present Legislative Body, gave rise to these 
commotions which now make so much noise throughout 
the Province. Which, after you have candidly perused 
this Paper, together with the concomitant proofs, yon 
will easily perceive that those disturbances had their 
source in the corrupt and arbitrary Practices of ne- 
farious & designing men, who, being put into Posts of 
Profit and Credit among us, and not being satisfied 
with the legal benefits which arose from the execution 
of their Offices, have been using every artifice, practic- 
ing every Fraud, and where these failed threats and 
menaces were not spared whereby to squeeze and ex- 
tort from the wretched Poor, who, as Colonel Fanning 
himself observes in the petition he has sent us (if 'tis 
his), with their utmost efforts can scarce gain a 
wretched subsistence for themselves and families. Al- 
lowing this to be a truth, which it lamentably is, how 

Of North Carolina 147 

grievous, judge you, dear Sirs, must it be for such 
wretches to have their substance torn from them by 
those Monsters in iniquity, whose study it is to plunder 
and oppress them! People can feel oppression, and yet 
be utterly ignorant how or where to apply for redress. 
This was absolutely the case with us, & looking on, 
Colonel Fanning, as our fast friend, in whom we could 
confide (in fact, the favors we have conferred on him 
one would imagine were sufficient to rivet him to our in- 
terest, were he susceptible to gratitude). We applied 
to him to screen us from the many arbitrary and fraud- 
ulent impositions we continually groaned under; how 
far and to what purpose that Gentleman has answered 
our Expectations, together with the Artifices he prac- 
ticed to elude our hopes, and evite (shun) the conse- 
quences of a Settlement, the several Papers wherein 
are contained the Transactions will more fully inform 
you. You will likewise perceive that those frequent ap- 
plications, and the satisfaction we promised ourselves 
to redound therefrom, prevented us from laying our 
Complaints & grievances sooner at your feet, as being 
unwilling to give You any trouble, on that score, before 
we had tried our every effort to accommodate and 
terminate matters among ourselves. But 'tis our fate to 
be constrained to give you this trouble, and, what we 
sincerely regret, great uneasiness. We therefore hum- 
bly beseech you to take our affairs under your serious 
consideration, and if it appears to you that we have 
been oppressed, to grant us such justice on our Oppres- 
sors as to you in your great goodness, candor and wis- 
dom shall seem meet. We shall just add, that we should 
have given you this Trouble sooner, but that we have 
been so embarrassed by your Officers ever since they 
understood our resolution to seek you for redress, that 
we could not bring our affairs to any Conclusion, seeing 

148 Some Neglected History 

they have left no stone unturned by the which they 
hoped to retard our designs. Flattery on one hand, and 
menaces on the other, have not been spared to deter us 
from our Purpose of complaining, as may be seen by the 
Papers marked B. C. D. ; but when they found all was 
ineffectual, they changed their Battery, and endeavored 
by their Emissaries to prevail on or frighten us to sign 
a Petition marked E, drawn up among themselves, and 
sent us in a letter marked C by Mr. Ralph McNair. 
You will see how this petition is calculated entirely to 
screen themselves, and throw the blame on your poor 
supplicants. We, however, have sent it to you, together 
with all the Papers we have received from them, that as 
it contains some truths, however disguised, whereby 
you will plainly discover the deplorable situation of Our 
miserable County, and the reason in a great measure, 
namely, the unequal chances the poor and weak have in 
contentions with the rich and powerful, and as 'tis at- 
tested by an enemy, you will the readier give it credit. 
However, not longer to trespass on your Patience, we 
shall, without further Preface, proceed to our promised 
Detail : 

In the year of 1766, there appearing a general Dis- 
content in the countenances of the People, & grievous 
murmurings ensuing, the Popular Voice gave out that 
the demands of Court Officers for Fees of every kind 
were exorbitant, oppressive and extra-legal. In order, 
therefore, to prevent such Frauds, if real, or if only 
imaginary, to give our Offices an opportunity to still 
those clamors by disproving their entity, We drew up the 
Paper No. 1, and John Marshall waited on them with 
Copies of the same at the Inferior Court, August Term, 
Mr. Thomas Lloyd being present, & the purport thereof 
appearing reasonable to Mr. Lloyd, he promised to give 
us a Hearing, but altered the day as by Appointment on 

Of North Carolina 149 

account of his attendance at the General Assembly. 
Wherefore, in consequence of and encouraged by Mr. 
Lloyd's approbation, Meetings were held in various 
Neighborhoods, wherein conjunctively was drawn up 
the Paper No. 2, and nominated 2 or 3 men in each, 
who signed the remainder of their Names, & exposed 
the same to Public View. 

In expectation, therefore, of a Meeting, and a satis- 
factory settlement as a consequence thereof, about 
twelve men went to Mr. Maddock's Mill, on Eno River, 
the place appointed, where, waiting until late in the day, 
and no Officers appearing, we made a motion to disperse, 
but at the instance of Mr. Maddock, we waited until 
he could dispatch a lad to Hillsborough to inform him- 
self of the reasons of the Officers' non-appearance, as he 
had frequently discoursed with them on the Subject, 
who had all signified their intentions to meet the Peo- 
ple, particularly Mr. Lloyd, who had said nothing but 
death or sickness should prevent him. In about an 
hour the Messenger returned and brought word they 
would all instantly be on the spot, but, quite contrary to 
our expectations, Mr. James Watson came alone and 
brought a Paper marked (A), which he said Colonel 
Fanning had drawn up, but said Colonel Fanning had 
not given him any Orders to show it, and then cavilled 
at a word in our Paper (viz), Judiciously, and said 
that the Colonel, with the others, had been preparing to 
meet us some time since, but on observing the aforesaid 
term in our Paper No. 2, they declined it, as the word 
denoted we intended to set up a Jurisdiction among 
themselves, to which he must be subject, and, therefore, 
he rejected our purposes as looking more like an Insur- 
rection than a Settlement; besides, he could not brook 
the meanness of being summoned to a Mill, the Court 
House appearing to him a more suitable place. To both 

150 Some Neglected History 

which frivolous objections, we replied that as to our 
Terra in question we were no Criticks; that as to the 
Terra in question We know not how many different 
Constructions it might bear, but as to ourselves we 
mean t no more by it than wisely, soberly and carefully 
to examine the matter in hand ; that with respect to the 
Court House, we had no right to appoint a Convention 
there, but to the Mill we had, having first obtained the 
Owner's leave to that purpose. However, in order to 
remove all objections, as we were conscious to ourselves 
that what we aimed at was just and legal, we drew up 
the Paper No. 3, couched, as we conceived, in such 
Terms as would remove all further remora (delay) to 
our designs; and Mr. Watson himself, after perusing 
the same, declared in his opinion it was reasonable, just 
and legal. And on our presenting Mr. Watson with a 
Transcript of the same, he engaged his honor to present 
our Officers with the same, which we think he did ac- 
cordingly, for in the ensuing Court Colonel Fanning 
read a prolix Instrument in Court to the Justices, in 
contrariety to our designs of which he vaunted and asser- 
ted he had served us with Copies thereof, but we declare 
no such Paper ever came into our hands. Sheriffs, &c, en- 
couraged as we imagine by the imperious Carriage of 
their Superiors, began now to assume airs, threatening us 
behind our backs, which menaces, working on the imbe- 
cility of some, and the Pusillanimity of others, caused 
the Association at that time to be laid aside. Neverthe- 
less, some of the Commonalty endeavoured, to be heard 
at Court about paying 2s more for recording Deeds 
than was paid in any other County, but they were si- 
lenced. The sheriffs now grew very arbitrary, insulting 
the Populace and making such Distresses as are seldom 
known. Double, Treble, nay, even Quadruple, the value 
of the Tax or debt was frequently distrained, and such 

Of North Carolina 151 

their seizures hurried away to Hillsborough, there to 
be disposed of, and so iniquitous were they in these 
Practises, that by taking contrary roads or some other 
indirect Methods, the Effects could never be recovered, 
altho' they were followed with the money in a few hours 
after, nor could we ever learn that they returned any 
Overplus. For better information we refer you to the 
grievances proved, &c. And early last Spring Mr. Har- 
ris, our High Sheriff, published the Advertisement 
marked (F), in consequence whereof the People who 
lived in Mr. Harris' Vicinity convened and paid off at 
8.4, taking receipts, but Colonel Fanning, arriving just 
after, gave out that the Taxes were 10.8. This height- 
ened the rising Discontent, and inflamed the minds of 
the People, notwithstanding Numbers paid the 10.8, but 
disputed the Authority of the Act, cited m the Adver- 
tisement. When at a Meeting in Deep River for pay- 
ment of Taxes, John- Wood, Deputy Sheriff, being then 
present, being questioned about the Act, confidently per- 
sisted in the affirmative, Upon which William Moffit, on 
examining the Laws, no such Act could be found. 
Wood now finding his knavery was detected, no less 
confidently denied the Advertisement to be Harris's. 
This unprecedented Effrontery convinced the Spectators 
that there was Knavery and Collusion, and judging all 
was of a piece, formed themselves into Bodies under the 
denomination- of Regulators, in order to oppose, if prac- 
ticable, the torrent of violence and oppression, and drew 
up the Paper No. (4), subscribing, swearing, or declar- 
ing to the same under various Chiefs, and now the for- 
mer application, coming afresh into every one's mem- 
ory, and being still desirous to accommodate matters, 
without coming to a rupture, drew up Paper No. (5), 
and two of the new-formed Regulators waited on our 
Officers with Copies of the same, but without receiving 

152 Some Neglected History 

any satisfaction; Whereupon a second Deputation was 
ordered to be sent with Copies of No. (6), but before 
they could be set off, one of the Regulators, going to 
Hillsborough on some private business, had the mare 
he rode on seized for his Levy. Whereupon the Reg- 
ulators assembled and went down in order to recover 
the mare, armed with clubs, staves, &c, and cloven mus- 
kets, when a Gentleman, coming to Colonel Fanning's 
door with his Pistols, threatened to fire among us, but 
a piece being presented at him, he incontinently with- 
drew, upon which some heated, unruly spirits fired 4 or 
5 pieces into the roof of the Colonel's House, making 
2 or 3 holes in the roof and breaking two panes of Glass 
in the dormer windows above ; then having secured the 
mare, they rode off without doing further damage. On 
this being convinced in our judgments, that our pro- 
ceedings were inadequate & would greatly contribute to 
your Excellency's dissatisfaction by embarrassing your 
Administration, Resolved to proceed on our first plan, 
viz: Petitioning your Excellency and Honors for re- 
dress (see Paper No. 4), seeing that it was denied us 
from every other quarter, and satisfied that we should 
find it in that source of wisdom, justice and Lenity. 
And this step, too, was resolved on by our whole Body, 
in pursuance whereof a Convention was held, in order 
to carry those salutary purposes into execution. The 
Paper No. 6 being delivered to Mr. McEljohn, our Rec- 
tor, while in- Town, about the Mare, desiring him to 
deliver it to the Officers in our names, which he accord- 
ingly did, for shortly after he came up among us with a 
verbal message, as he "said, from our Officers, and by 
their Orders, to the following effect, viz: That if the 
Regulators would nominate any Number of reasonable 
men to meet them the nth day of May, at Hillsborough, 
they would give them a settlement At the same time 

Of North Carolina 153 

Mr. McEljohn drew up a paper, which was signed by 
some private Regulators (see No. 7), but signifying 
withal that if the Majority dissented therefrom it should 
be void, Which Paper was objected to, first, because it 
insinuated a falsity, as tho' we intended violence, where- 
as, in fact, no such thing was designed, whatever pri- 
vate Papers might be handed about by particular Per- 
sons; secondly, it was objected to meet at the Town, 
as we had intimation they were fortifying that place, in 
order, as we apprehended, to secure us in Gaol, as soon 
as they had us in their Power, & that this was their 
design will appear by the Sequel. Nevertheless, we 
determined to give them a Settlement in conformity to 
their message by Mr. McEljohn, and, greatly pleased 
with the happy prospect of having our differences so 
speedily terminated, we convened April 30th in order 
to appoint proper Persons as Settlers, Where we drew 
up the Paper No. 8, and appointed the men therein spec- 
ified, Ordering one of our Body to notify the same to 
our Officers, and drew up and signed the Paper No. 9, 
lest the Officers, by again deceiving us, might put us to 
further trouble, which, should that be the case, it might 
be ready. Thus stood affairs when, on Monday Morn- 
ing, May 2nd, we were alarmed at the astonishing news 
that Colonel Fanning, at the head of 27 armed men, con- 
sisting chiefly of Sheriffs, Bombs, Tavern Keepers and 
Officers, after traveling all night, were arrived by break 
of day on Sandy Creek, and had made prisoners Mr. 
Harmon Husband & Mr. M. W. Butler, the former a 
Gentleman that had never joined the Regulators, had 
never been concerned in any tumults, and whose only 
crime was his being active in trying to bring on the in- 
tended settlement. This extraordinary step of the Col- 
onel's alarmed the whole County, Regulators or Anti- 
Regulators; all were unanimous in the recovery of the 

154 Some Neglected History 

Prisoners; many who had until then opposed the pre- 
vailing measures, now went down with the foremost, as 
judging none were now safe, whether active, passive, or 
neutral; but being arrived near the Town, we there 
met your Excellency's gracious Proclamation requiring 
us on sight thereof to disperse, and on acquainting you 
with our grievances, you would graciously take our case 
into consideration and redress them where found real, 
and, where only imaginary, kindly excuse the trouble in 
compassion to our ignorance ; instantly on hearing these 
glad tidings we dispersed accordingly, and greatly em- 
boldened by your Excellency's gracious Declaration, and 
by an agreement with Colonel Fanning to leave our case 
to Arbitrament of your Excellency and Honors, we 
convened again on May 21st, in order to consult such 
further measures as might facilitate our first designs. 
(See No. 4.) 

The result of which we now lay at your Excellency's 
and Honor's feet for your inspection. We humbly beg 
leave to observe on some of Colonel Fanning' s strange 
conduct — that on the very day he set off for Sandy 
Creek he directed letters to 3 of the Regulators, inviting 
them to Hillsborough, and promising them all imagin- 
able satisfaction, one of which he directed to Jacob 
Fudge, we send herewith for your perusal; and 
now, gentlemen, you see we have sent without reserve 
of disguise our whole proceedings of this affair, having 
concealed nothing, whether for or against us; and as 
you are chosen by the contending Parties to arbitrate 
the difference, and as we on our parts are fully deter- 
mined to abide by your decision, we humbly hope naked 
Truth and native Ignorance will poise a superior excel- 
lent Flourishes and consummate Declarations of our 
powerful Adversary, and, relying on your benignity 
and Justice, we humbly beg leave to subscribe Ourselves 

Of North Carolina 155 

your poor, oppressed Supplicants and very humble, ob- 
sequious servants. 

Signed on behalf and by Order of Regulators by us 

The Committee, 

John Low, 

James Hunter, 

Rednap Howell, 

Harmon Cox, 

John Marshall, 

Wm. Cox, 

Wm. Moffitt, 

George Hendry. 

(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. VIII, pp. 759-766.) 

Letter from Col. Fanning to Mr. Jacob Fudge. 

Hillsborough, North Carolina, ist May, 1768. 

I am pleased with your pacific, prudent and orderly 
conduct since I last saw you, and convinced from thence 
that you are a man of sense and reason, and therefore 
should be glad to see ye, Mr. Richard Cheek and Mr. 
Benjamin Saxon in Town on Tuesday next without fail. 
You shall be used and treated kindly and civilly, and I 
am hopeful, by your and the other Gentlemens* conduct, 
there will be no more tumultuous riots and Assemblies 
had or instances of open and lawless violence committed, 
for, as I told you before, and I repeat it now again, that 
I declare in my conscience I am, and ever was ready to 
give all the Information in my power to satisfy and 
convince the people why and wherefore Taxes have 
been laid and to what purposes they have been applied. 
That if the People of Orange labour under any public 
grievance, let some few of them come to me, and I will 
draw a Petition to the Governor, Council & Assembly 
for a relief, and will prefer it at the next meeting of the 

156 Some Neglected History 

Assembly; and if they have suffered any private injury, 
they shall, if they apply to me, find certain and sure re- 
dress by the Laws of the Land. Let me entreat you to 
visit me as soon as possible, as you regard the Peace, 
quiet and safety of the People, & the good order of 
the Government, but at the same time I must inform 
you that I will not suffer any Insurrection or Outrage 
to be committed, and I have orders from the Governor 
by an Express yesterday to raise our own Militia, and 
the Militia of Halifax, Bute, Granville, Johnston, Cum- 
berland, Anson, Mecklenberg and Rowan, to suppress 
the Insurrections, and if it be necessary he will come 
himself to enforce an obedience and subjection to His 
Majesty and His Laws, and to prevent further trouble, 
and perhaps mischief, but I do not intend that violence 
shall be offered to any one if I can prevent it. 

Mr. Fudge, I have taken the liberty of thus writing 
you, as I have talked with you on this Subject, and as 
you have declared to me your entire satisfaction on the 

I am, Sir, &c, 

Edmund Fanning. 

P. S. I have sent a copy of this to Mr. Cheek & Mr. 

Saxon. Yours, &c, 

E. F. 

(See Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. VII, p. 741.) 

Mr. Ralph McNair to Mr. Harmon Husband. 

Dear Sir : — 

I now, according to my promise, send you the Peti- 
tion which I think ought to be sent to the Governor, nor 
can any man who has the least sense of the Danger these 
inconsiderate men have run themselves into say it is in 

Of North Carolina 157 

• the smallest degree too submissive. You, Mr. Husband, 
to whom I have opened my thoughts on this subject 
more than to any other man, I expect will use your ut- 
most influence to prevail on all you see to choose it, for 
you may assure yourself, from my knowledge of things, 
that one couched in any other terms will not, cannot, 
go down with the Governor. I'm afraid many of the 
People who are to become Subscribers would object to 
it, imagining they have been only doing their Duty in 
opposing the Publick Collectors in the execution of their 
Offices, and, from this Principle, that a man once ex- 
acted upon may, with a safe conscience, take any meas- 
ures, however unlawful, for redress; or this, that not 
being satisfied as to the legality of the Collectors' de- 
mand, a man may oppose the measures of Government 
till his scruples are removed; but if these unfortunate, 
misguided People had the same opportunity of perusing 
and examining the Statutes of England & making the 
same impartial use of them that I have done since the 
latter disturbance, they would plainly see that their 
maxims, however plausible they may seem to them at 
first sight, are diametrically opposite to the law of na- 
ture and nations, which always were, are, and ever will 
be, the same. That their method of redress is wrong 
according to the opinion of all preceding Ages, I need 
only put you in mind of the ancient Fable, ascribed to 
Esop, of the Hands and Feet running in mutiny against 
the Head. 

The truth of the Fable, and its having been made use 
of to a good purpose, We may easily credit, whether we 
believe there ever was such a man as Esop or not. As 
I have your good, Mr. Husband, and the good of the 
whole Country at heart, I shall unbosom myself to you 
in a manner I would to very few concerned. I shall, 
therefore, impart to you some of the knowledge I have 

158 Some Neglected Hi 

gained by a perusal of the Law Books. For writing, 
copying, carrying about or dispersing a Libel (and any- 
thing tending to stir up a People to a dislike of a Gov- 
ernment, or even to a single Person, is a Libel), the 
Sentence is Confiscation of goods and chattels ; Painful 
Punishment — Public Shame and perpetual Imprison- 
ment — Mobs and Riots (that is, where a number rise 
without Arms, and only murmuring) are treated gen- 
erally with Lenity as to the multitude, tho' where the 
Offence is against Government and ringleaders are to 
suffer Death, without the King's pardon. But where 
they take up Arms to remove a Grievance or to alter the 
form of Government, it is treason, of which there are 
four sorts: i. Against the King's Person; 2. Against 
the Administration of His Laws; 3. That which con- 
cerns His Seal ; and 4. Counterfeiting His Coin. Speak- 
ing of the Second Sort, it is expressly said that whether 
it be to remove a real or a pretended Grievance, it is 
deemed High Treason, and the punishment is the for- 
feiture of goods and chattels, lands and Tenements, and 
the Guilty to suffer the most horrid death allow'd by the 
English Laws; something of this kind I mentioned to 
you when at your house, but with some degree of un- 
certainty, but since my return I have examined more 
particularly, and am now convinced beyond the possibil- 
ity of a doubt that the above Account is Truth. How- 
ever, Sir, I can assure (you) with the utmost confidence 
that this affair, if it stops here, will never be repre- 
sented by Col. Fanning any otherwise than as a Mob. 

I have now to inform you that I have been often in 
Colonel Farming's Company since I saw you, and I have 
had an opportunity of knowing his mind in almost every 
particular respecting this affair, and I find him most 
cordially disposed to give any who will come to His 
House all the satisfaction they can ask or is in his 

Of North Carolina 159 

power to give. He says he never was applied to by any 
man that was wronged to prosecute a Sheriff, but that 
he cheerfully undertook it, where he found the com- 
plaint just, and that he always would be ready to do it 
whenever required ; that he wishes for nothing so much 
as that some of the principal men of the Regulators 
would call upon him for information in any particular 
they are in doubt about, and that he expects the new 
Laws up this week, together with the Journals of the 
House of Assembly, a sight whereof would silence every 
murmur, dispel every fear, banish all distrust, and con- 
vince the whole country how much he has been our 
friend, our Patron, our Benefactor. It is impossible, 
Sir, in the small compass of a letter (already longer 
than I expected) to answer particularly all the charges 
that I have heard against him, such as his receiving 
£1,500 for his trip with the Governor, his receiving 
£40 of the Vestry for a dinner, &c, &c, &c. ; let it suf- 
fice to say that he has convinced me of the falsehood of 
these and many other lies that are spread abroad to his 
prejudice, and I shall inform you at full upon sight. 
And since he so much desires to see some of the prin- 
cipal men your way, let me beg, let me entreat you to 
come this way, tho' a little round about as you are 
going to George Sally's, and bring with you Mr. Wm. 
Butler, Mr. John Lowe, and Mr. James Hunter, and any 
two or three candid discerning men in your Neighbor- 
hood. I'm sure 'twill add much to your satisfaction, 
and greatly to the Peace, Quiet, Ease and happiness of 
the Country. For my own part I would rather you 
should come on Thursday evening than on Friday morn- 
ing, for as I could find provision for your horses and 
beds for yourselves, I should by that means have an op- 
portunity in some measure to return that kind and hos- 
pitable treatment which I so lately received on Sandy 

160 Some Neglected History 

Creek. I assure you, my dear Sir, you will find Coll. 
Fanning quite different from what he has been repre- 
sented, and I'm certain he would find you very different 
from the accounts he has heard of you. The stories 
that have been told backwards and forwards are really 
amazing, and I am now convinced that nothing but 
downright mistake has been the cause of all the late dis- 
turbances ; I therefore beg leave to return my request — 
nay, I conjure you, as you love yourself, as you love the 
peace and happiness of your country — to come down be- 
fore you go to the meeting. For until the Coll. and 
some of the principal men meet face to face, nothing 
much to the purpose can be done; this I am sure of— 
that the Governor's reception of the Petition. will depend 
greatly upon the Coll.'s account of the situation of 
things, for as he is the Chief Officer appointed by His 
Excellency, as he is the Representative of the County 
chosen by ourselves to watch over our interests, and as 
the Governor himself knows and was an eye witness 
how he labored for our Good at the last Assembly (as 
the Laws and Minutes of the House, I'm sure, will 
show us when they arrive), he undoubtedly will not 
attend to complaints against him till he hears what he 
has to say in his own vindication; but of this no more, 
as I expect to see you so soon & have the pleasure of 
seeing you in Town. This must also serve for an ex- 
cuse for my not sending you the Laws by this oppor- 
tunity; however, if it will afford you satisfaction, you 
shall carry the book home with you. The Book I spoke 
of borrowing for your perusal is too bulky and cum- 
bersome for transportation ; I have not, therefore, spoke 
of it. You see, Sir, by my taking no pains in writing 
to you that I treat you like my best friend; you have 
my thoughts just as they occurred, and every word, I 
assure you, is warm from my heart. My best wishes 

Of North Carolina 161 

are for the welfare of you and your Family, and you 
may rest assured that no man more ardently wishes the 
real good, peace, happiness and prosperity of this Coun- 
try, or would do more to serve it according to his abil- 
ities, than, dear Sir, 

Your most Obed' Servant, 

Ralph McNair. 

(See CoL Rec. of N. C, Vol. VII, pp. 767-770.) 

The above petitions contain the complaints of 
the Regulators, couched in their own language. 
Do they give any indication of a want of educa- 
tion, a want of patriotism, or a want of regard 
for the law ? Verily, the Regulators might well 
be content to rest their case, if any need there 
was for it, upon these two petitions, one from 
the inhabitants of Anson County and Regulator 
Petition No. 11. 

In the matter of the complaints against the 
lawyers of that day, it will be well enough for 
those of the present day, and for others, to re- 
member generally that while, as a rule, lawyers 
have been among the boldest and best patriots 
and the earliest and most earnest advocates of 
civil liberty, there is no rule without its excep- 
tion, and specially that the lawyers of that day 
were made such by license from the Governor, 
who received for his own use a fee for license 
issued. It must be remembered, too, that in 
those days the principal remuneration of the 

162 Some Neglected History 

Chief Justice arose from fees in suits originat- 
ing and pending before him. 

But it is said the "Regulators were men of 
low degree, ignorant, depraved, violent, lawless, 
opposed to all taxes, hostile to all government, 
and without property or other stake in the Prov- 
ince." But this sweeping denunciation is sim- 
ply untrue. 

In the matter of taxes and government, the 
Regulators not only made no opposition to the 
payment of taxes lawfully levied and honestly 
applied, but, on the contrary, they publicly and 
officially declared it to be the duty of every citi- 
zen "to give part of his substance to support 
rulers and law." 

But they say "the Regulators beat the law- 
yers." And so they did; that is to say, they 
beat Fanning and Williams. Who "Lawyer" 

k Williams was, or how he had made himself spe- 

cially odious, the records do not show. But 

, 1 Fanning was an extortioner and an odious 

J county official, as well as a lawyer; and will 

any one say that he did not richly deserve every 
stripe that was laid upon him ? Be it remem- 
bered, too, that the Legislature was the same 
one that passed the Johnson Act, absolutely re- 
fusing to compensate Fanning for his losses, 
the destruction of his house by the Regulators 
being an admitted and undeniable item among 


Of North Carolina 163 

those losses. Can any one say a word in de- 
fense of Fanning ? 

It is said also that "the Regulators broke 
up the courts," and so they did, but were the 
courts blameless ? Were the Regulators with- 
out the gravest provocation? Had not the 
court severely and promptly punished the Reg- 
ulators for rescuing a mare levied on by the 
Sheriff for taxes, at the same term that it re- 
fused to pass sentence upon their oppressor, 
Edmund Fanning, a duly convicted extor- 
tioner ? What respect could a court command 
while it refused to purge itself of corrupt and 
extortionate officers in its daily presence ? Fan- 
ning, the oppressor of the people, was an officer 
of the court and a convicted criminal in its 
dock ; but not only did the court refuse persist- 
ently to punish him, but the Governor forced 

him upon the people as their representative in 
the legislature. 

In the matter of education and social culture, 
in the question of morals and property, the Reg- 
ulators were quite as other people of their day 
and generation ; nor were they a class to them- 
selves in the community which they inhabited ; 
on the contrary, as oppression increased, they 
constituted the greater mass of the population. 
Will any of Tryon's or Fanning's apologists 
dare to say that the great body of the inhabi- 

164 Some Neglected History 

tants in the Central and Western portion of the 
Province, were men of low degree or ignorant 
or lawless or opposed to government, no matter 
how honest, or that they were poverty stricken, 
or even that they were in sympathy with such 
men? Certainly no one familiar with the his- 
tory of the settlement of the magnificent valleys 
of the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers, and in the 
portions of the State west of Raleigh generally, 
and the character of the splendid settlers there, 
will accuse the great body of the people thereof 
with special ignorance. 

If the grievances were redressed the peti- 
tioners said it would "heal the bleeding wounds 
of the Province ; would conciliate the minds of 
the poor petitioners to every just measure of 
government; would make the laws what the 
constitution ever designed they should be, their 
^^ protection and not their bane, and would cause 

joy and gladness, glee and prosperity diffu- 

' sively to spread themselves through every quar- 

s ter of this extensive Province, from Virginia to 

r ' the South, and from the great Atlantic to the 

western hills. ,, 

Bancroft says "that the Regulators' petition 
was signed by about five hundred men and for- 
tified with a precise specification of acts of ex- 
tortion, confirmed in each instance by oath." 
He further states they "asked no more than that 

Of North Carolina 165 

the extortioners be brought to fair trial and 
the collectors of public money be called to 
proper settlement of their accounts." It is a 
fact beyond dispute, "that a long concourse of 
years past great sums of money have been lost 
by negligence or insolvency of the sheriffs and 
other collectors, with their sureties, and it pre- 
sumed that in the same course of time consider- 
able sums have sunk after they were lodged in 
the treasury, whereof no account hath hitherto 
been made." 

In reply to the petition of the Regulators, 
Tryon made promises only to break them, until 
the people found to their sorrow that his "Ex- 
cellency" was determined not to lend a kind ear 
to their just complaints. 

Mr. Bancroft says, "Such was the craft and 
cunning of Fanning and the lawyers who aided 
and abetted his rascalities that the Regulators 
were doomed to disappointment in the sanguine 
'hope that naked truth and native ignorance' 
would poise the superexcellent flourishes and 
consummate declamation of their powerful ad- 
versary." Bancroft and other historians have 
given their verdict, which is not likely to be 
changed by the writings of those whose meth- 
ods and animus compel them to become the 
apologists and coadjutors of the tyrannical 
Tryon and the infamous, haughty Fanning. 

166 Some Neglected History 

No wonder that Harmon Husband found it 
an easy undertaking to organize men like him- 
self into the famous Regulators ("Sons of Lib- 
erty/') whose policy was mutual protection 
against unlawful taxation, and the villainous 
demands of county officers and rulers. At their 
organization, April, 1767, they passed resolu- 
tions "to pay only such taxes as are levied by 
law and applied to the purpose therein, and to 
pay no officer more than his legal fee." (Col. 
Rec., Vol. 8, pp. 14 to 17, Pref. Notes.) This 
was the first time in this country that a body 
of men breathed and echoed the free spirit of 
liberty and independence. 

The following was the form of oath admin- 
istered to Regulators (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 
7, p. 726): 

I, A B, do promise and swear that if any sheriff, 
county officer, or any other person, shall attempt to col- 
lect taxes unlawfully levied, or make distress on any of 
the goods or chattels or other estate of any person 
sworn herein, being a subscriber, for the non-payment 
of said unlawful tax, that I will, with the aid of other 
sufficient help, go and take, if in my power, from said 
officer, and return to the party from whom taken; and 
in case any one concerned should be imprisoned, or 
under arrest, or otherwise confined, or if his estate, or 
any part thereof, by reason or means of joining this 
company of Regulators, for refusing to comply with 
the extortionate demands of unlawful tax gatherers., that 
I will immediately exert my best endeavors to raise as 

Of North Carolina 167 

many of said subscribers as will be force sufficient, and, 
if in my power, I will set the said person at liberty; 
and I do further promise and swear that if, in case this, 
our scheme, should be broken or otherwise fail, and 
should any of our company be put to expense or under 
any confinement, that I will bear an equal share in pay- 
ing and making up said loss to the sufferer. 

All these things I do promise and swear to do and 
perform, and hereby subscribe my name. 


Hillsborough, Orange County, North Carolina. 

It was perfectly natural that this sturdy mid- 
dle class, with honorable character, respected 
homes, country gentlemen — proprietors of their 
own holdings, seeing the darkening clouds of 
oppression gradually growing deeper and 
darker, with critical eye began to look for relief 
from such a formidable future; and they 
thought as well as looked. At last they de- 
termined to give their energy and manhood to 
suppress oppression. If there had been among 
them one great leader the history of the Revo- 
lution might have been different. 

Harmon Husband, as leader of the Regula- 
tors, with James Hunter, James Pugh, Rednap 
Howell, Thomas Person, Daniel Gillespie, 
Jacob Byrd, and others as his allies, soon had 
an organization numbering more than two 
thousand offended farmers ensconced around 

168 Some Neglected History 

the little nestful of oppressors at Hillsborough 
headed by Edmund Fanning. 

Bad laws unjustly executed were the greatest 
trials the people of Orange and adjoining coun- 
ties had to endure. Besides, they had suffered 
grievous oppression from Lord Granville's land 
agents, which alone was sufficient cause for 

When the oppression from this state of af- 
fairs became no longer endurable, redress was 
sought; at first, in the courts. They had the 
sheriffs and other county officers indicted for 
extortion. In many cases they were found 
guilty and fined a penny and costs. The pun- 
ishment was not in accordance with the crime, 
and in fact all resort to the courts ended in a 
mockery of justice. 

"When there is no good 
For which to strive, no strife can grow up from faction." 

The following, copied from the docket at 
Hillsborough, will throw some light on the sub- 
ject, so that the reader can draw his own con- 
clusions as to the justice for the actions of the 
Regulators : 

Hillsborough, Orange County, North Carolina. 

March term of Court, 1770. 
Judge Richard Henderson, presiding. 

Of North Carolina 


No. 38. 

James Hunter et als. 

Edmund Fanning. 



Nill debit and issue plead. 

John Nunn, Thos. Donaldson, Gilbert Stray hern, Jos. 
McAlister, John Bartell, Thos. Wilburn, Hugh Barnet, 
Jeremiah Horton, Henry Groves, Thos. Bradford and 
Ralph Williams impanelled and being sworn on their 
oath to speak the truth on the issue pending say that the 
defendant oweth nothing. 

No. 39. 

King George 
Edmund Fanning. 


Indictment for extortion. 

Same jury impanelled and being sworn, listen to 
Fanning plead "not guilty/' bring in a verdict of guilty 
of extortion. Judge Henderson imposed a fine of one 
penny and costs. (Col. Rec. of N. G, Vol. 8, pp. 184, 

s. Sa 

me Indict f( 

>r extortion Same plea Same fine. 
tt « tt 


a tt tt 


tt tt tt 


It it it 


44 tt tt 


tt tt tt 


tt tt tt 


tt 44 tt 


tt tt tt 


tt tt tt 


tt it tt 

and many others of the same class. 

170 Some Neglected History 

No. 52. 

Harmon Husband 

vs. )■ Debt. 

Abner Nash 


Same jury as above being impanelled and sworn, find 
that there was no Duress and assesses the plaintiff with 
damages and costs. 

Frances Nash, ) 

Abner Nash and > Debt. 
Edmund Fanning j 
vs. ' 


Same jury as above being impanelled and sworn to 
speak the truth on the issue pending, listen to the plead- 
ings, each of the three come into open court and ac- 
knowledge themselves severally indebted to King George 
in the sum of 500 pounds sterling. The jury bring in a 
verdict accordingly. Judge Henderson ruled that verdict 
of the jury be void on condition that they each make 
their personal appearance at the next session of the court 
to be held for Hillsborough district. 

Jas. Hunter 

vs. }- Debt. 

Michael Holt. 


Same jury. Find defendant owes fifty pounds. Or- 
dered later that a commission De bene esse be issued for 

the examination of in the suit Butler vs. 


Ordered that the sheriff of Orange take Jas. Hunter 
into custody until he pay the fees due to the Crown 

Ordered that William Payne appear at next court to 
show cause if any he hath why he doth not pay the sev- 
eral fees due the Crown office. 

Of North Carolina 171 

Next day. 

The indictment preferred against James Hunter, Nin- 
ion Hamilton, Isaac Jackson, John Phillips Hartsoe, 
William Moffitt, John Pile and Francis Dorsett for a 
Rout, having been returned by the grand jury "a true 
Bill as to all except John Pile." It is ordered by the 
Court that the Bill be squashed, by reason of the irregu- 
larity of the return and that the Attorney-General pre- 
pare a new Bill. 

Another Indictment prepared against James Hunter, 
William Butler, Ninion Hamilton, Peter Craven, 
Isaac Jackson, Peter Julian for a Rout, having been re- 
turned by Grand Jury "a true Bill as to all except Peter 
Julian/' This Bill was also squashed because of irreg- 
ularity and Attorney-General to prepare a new Bill. 

The same proceedings against Wm. Payne, etc. 

At this wholesale miscarriage of justice ( Col. 
Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, pp. 235, 241 ) the Regula- 
tors assembled in the Court House yard under 
the leadership of Harmon Husband, Rednap 
Howell, James Hunter, William Butler, Jacob 
Byrd, Samuel Divinny, and many others, and 
forcibly entered the Court House, carried out 
several of the attorneys, and whipped them; 
after which they requested Judge Henderson to 
proceed with the docket, assuring him of his 
personal safety. But under pretense of ad- 
journment until 10 o'clock the following day, 
he dismissed the court for the day, and at night, 
under cover of darkness, he took his departure 
before dawn of the next day. (Col. Rec. of N. 
G, Vol. 8, p. 243. ) Before leaving the bench 

172 Some Neglected History 

he wrote on the docket that he adjourned court 
because he was convinced that he could not hold 
the court with "honor to himself and justice to 
the county." The reader must form his own 
opinion as to the "justice" meted out at this 
court from the proceedings given herewith. But 
that the people were driven to desperation by 
the oppression and extortion of county officers, 
and their inability to get justice at the sittings 
of the courts, together with insults from the 
Government's officials, for which they had no 
redress, is plain to the most casual observer. 

When they had finished chastising the law- 
yers, they proceeded to take summary justice 
upon those who had been most obnoxious to 
them and who had been running the courts to 
their own advantage, regardless of justice. Ed- 
mund Fanning was, of all, the most contempt- 
ible in their eye, because, in addition to his ex- 
tortions, by which he had become rich and was. 
living in splendor at their expense, "his general 
conduct was marked with the most disgusting 
hauteur, they laid hands upon him and proceed- 
ed to give him a flogging that he always re- 

The next morning they learned that Judge 
Richard Henderson had taken himself away 
during the night, instead of remaining and fin- 
ishing the "docket," as he had led them to be- 

Of North Carolina 173 

Heve he would do, after being assured by James 
Hunter and Harmon Husband that his per- 
sonal safety would not suffer any indignities. 
Certainly no insult was offered Judge Hender- 
son, which would seem clearly to prove that 
Hunter and Husband had the crowd well in 
hand. Judge Henderson leaving them with 
the "docket" unfinished, they went into the 
Court House and appointed Francis Yorke, a 
school teacher from Randolph County, to act 
as clerk of the court, and set up a "mock" judge, 
before whom they compelled Fanning to plead 
law in his official capacity, and thus dismissed 
the "docket" of a number of cases. (Lossing, 
Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. 2, p. 575.) 
Their decisions were ridiculous, as they in- 
tended them to be. They intended the whole 
proceeding to be a farce; as an expression of 
their contempt for the authorities who were 
pretending to administer the law of the land. 
The following, copied at random from the 
"docket," shows the proceedings of the Regula- 
tors' Court (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, pp. 
235 to 240) : 

Peter Noay vs. E. Fanning. 
Fanning must pay. 

John Quids vs. Richard Simpson. 
You keep that to yourselves to rogue everybody. 

Wm. Brown vs. John Brown. 
A shame. '" 

174 Some Neglected History 

Isaiah Hogan vs. Harmon Husband. 
Hogan pays and be damned. 

Eziekiel Brumfield vs. James Ferrell. 

Nonsense, let them agree, for Ferrell has gone hell- 

Michael Wilson vs. David Harris. 
All Harrises are rogues. 

John Edwards vs. Phillip Edwards. 
Damned shame. 

Thos. Frammel vs. Wm. Dummegan. 
Dummegan pays. 

Thos. Richards vs. Robinson York. 
Plaintiff pays all costs and gets his body scourged for 

Abner Nash vs. John Crooker. 
Nash gets nothing. 

Valentine Bruswell vs. Dunan McNeal, Administrator 

of Hector McNeal. 
File it and darned. 

Silas Brown vs. William Lewis. 
The man was sick and it is darned roguery. 

Solomon Pernil vs. James Ferril. 
Executed on two negroes. Negroes not worth a damn, 
cost exceeds the whole. 

The Regulators were so outraged at Fan- 
ning^ overbearing persecutions and his insult- 
ing demeanor toward them that they dragged 
him from the court-room by his heels and again 
severely whipped him, after which they demol- 
ished his home, broke up his costly furniture, 
and would have burned his house, but it being 

Of North Carolina 175 

a windy day they were afraid the fire would 
spread to adjoining property and cause a con- 
flagration. After having his fine house and 
costly furniture destroyed, total loss about 
£1,500, which they (the Regulators) proposed 
to make good to him, if he would repay the 
money he had unjustly taken from them, to 
which he answered that "he only wanted 
revenge and revenge he would have." (Col. 
Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 645.) He was feel- 
ing very sore, both in mind and body, the latter 
particularly. He was now beginning to realize 
that he would soon need the assistance of the 
Governor's strong arm to protect him from 
further attacks at the hands of the Regulators ; 
whereupon he at once dispatched messengers to 
the Governor at Newberne, petitioning his 
assistance, and advising him of the Regulators' 
recent actions and the disruption of Hills- 
borough Court, and their actions toward the 
Governor's appointed officers, their strength 
and influence in the county, etc. 

Edmund Fanning was a native of Long 
Island, New York, the son of Col. Phineas 
and Hannah (Smith) Fanning. He was edu- 
cated at Yale and graduated with honor in 1757, 
and in 1766 he received the degree of "Master 
of Arts" from that institution, and from Har- 
vard in 1772, and the same degree from Colum- 

176 Some Neglected History 

bia College in 1774. About 1760 he went to 
North Carolina and began the practice of law 
at Hillsborough. In 1803 his alma mater con- 
ferred the degree of LL. D. In 1763 he was 
appointed Register for Orange County, and in 
1766 a judge of the Superior Court, and at a 
later date he was appointed Colonel of Orange 
County (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 7, p. 199) and 
in 1765 he was appointed clerk of the County 
Court at Hillsborough. He was also a mem- 
ber of the Colonial Legislature from Orange 
County. After the Battle of Alamance he 
accompanied Tryon to New York as his secre- 
tary. At the assembling of the legislature in 
the fall of 1 77 1 Governor Martin asked that 
the legislature indemnify Colonel Fanning for 
the loss of his property. The representatives 
of the people severely rebuked the Governor for 
presenting such a petition. 

Fanning^ demeanor toward the colonists 
was spiteful, revengeful and haughty. He 
extorted from them the most exorbitant fees 
and persecuted them with most outrageous, 
unreasonable taxes. 

The King had entrusted the Royal Governors 
with extensive power, which was exercised to 
depress and crush the spirit of freedom and 
independence. The absolute veto which the 
Governor had over the acts of the General 

Edmund Panning. 

Of North Carolina 177 

Assembly, and the power to dissolve it at will, 
made him for the time being practically an 
absolute monarch of the Colony of North 
Carolina. In addition to this illegal "taxation 
without representation," always a fruitful 
source of war, Lord Granville's land agents — 
Childs and Champion — were perpetrating gross 
frauds upon the colonists, contriving by villain- 
ous means to extort money from those who 
had already bought and paid for their property 
(lands). One, being an attorney, pretended 
to find fault with their titles, urging them to 
take out new patents, for which they charged 
double fees, beside a charge of five pounds 
sterling for having the titles recorded. 

In addition to all this burdensome, unlawful 
extortion of money, a standing army had to 
be maintained. "For a country still in the 
swaddling bands of infancy, with limited 
resources and a constricted currency — to a 
people struggling for existence, these burden- 
some lawful (?) taxes were unbearable." 
Added to all this unlawful extortion, all public 
officers— county clerks, registers, sheriffs and 
others — exacted the most exorbitant fees. 
Fanning and Frohock were charging as high 
as from three to five pounds sterling for mar- 
riage licenses. When you compute the relative 
value of money at that time, as compared with 

178 Some Neglected History 

the value of money today, it was equal to forty- 
five or fifty dollars. Many inhabitants along 
the Yadkin River (Jersey Settlements) in 
Rowan County, who could not afford such 
luxuries as a fifty-dollar license as a prerequisite 
to having the nuptial knot tied, are said to have 
dispensed with a license altogether, and took 
each other for "better or worse," unofficially 
"just so," and were married in the sight of God 
just as much as if all the law had been complied 
with. (Lossing, Field Book of the Revolution, 
Vol. 2, p. 571.) 

The law prescribed the charges for all fees 
to be paid clerks of the court, recorders of 
deeds, entry takers, land surveyors and lawyers 
for certain specified services; yet Fanning at 
Hillsborough was charging many times the 
legal fees. For a minute's copying he was accus- 
tomed to charge as much as a farmer could 
earn all day long. For making entries for 
which the law allowed ten shillings, he would 
charge two, three, or five pounds sterling, as 
he saw fit. Taxes were also fixed by law, but 
these several officers were charging, demand- 
ing, and exacting two or three times as much 
as they were entitled to ; and the tax gatherers, 
whenever they thought they could get it, would 
demand double fees. All officers were ap- 
pointed by the Governor and were his personal 

Of North Carolina 179 

friends and allies. At this date the limited 
circulation of the public press made it impos- 
sible for the majority of the people to see and 
read the laws and familiarize themselves with 
such matters, so they were grievously op- 

The, plain middle class of people hated Fan- 
ning for his bigotry and pompous overbearing. 
Believing that "obedience to tyrants a sin 
against humanity," this sturdy class set them- 
selves together in an organization known as 
the "Regulators," to regulate the common- 
wealth into a healthier condition. The people 
said it was not the laws nor the form of gov- 
ernment to which they objected, but the mal- 
practice of the tax collectors and other County 
officers. (See account of a meeting at Mrs. 
Steele's at Salisbury on p. 63. ) 

It must be remembered that prior to 1749 
there was no printing press in the Province and 
that before 1 775 the only newspapers were the 
Gazette, begun in 1749, at Newberne, and con- 
tinued till the Revolution, with the exception of 
a suspension from 1755 to 1768, and the North 
Carolina Gazette, begun in 1763, at Wilming- 
ton, but changed to the Cape Fear Mercury in 
the same year, which continued to the Revolu- 
tion. With the poor mail facilities in those 
days, those little sheets ( for they were of very 


180 Some Neglected History 

small size) had but little circulation anywhere, 
and none at all in the interior. They contained 
the legislative enactments in numbers about 
sufficient to supply the members only. 

As before stated, the public press in those 
days had but a limited influence, but what 
power it did have was used for setting forth 
the grievances of the people; and here for a 
moment we will digress to speak of their liter- 
ary works, for they furnish strong and true 
touches in the panorama of those early days. 

The productions were sometimes in print 
and sometimes in manuscript. They betray no 
proof of classic scholarship, nor any of the 
elegance of polished writing, for they were 
literally what they intended them to be, the 
work of the people; and there is a truthful 
earnestness in some of them more effective than 
the skill of a rhetorician could portray. Some- 
times they were grave, sometimes satirical; 
sometimes ballad or song, again it was in 
narrative. The poet laureate in those days was 
Rednap Howell, a native of New Jersey, and 
a brother of Richard Howell, who was a patriot 
of the Revolution and Governor of New Jersey, 
and like his brother Rednap was a poet and 
wrote the ode "Welcome to Washington." 
(Lossing, Field Book of Revolution, Vol. 2, 
p. 245.) Rednap Howell taught the very chil- 

Of North Carolina 181 

dren to sing in doggerel the infamy of the 
proud officials, singling out Edmund Fanning, 
clerk of the court for Orange County, and John 
Frohock, clerk of the court for Rowan county : 

"Says Frohock to Fanning, 'To tell the plain truth, 
When I came to this country I was but a youth. 
My father sent me, I wa'n't worth a cross, 
And then my first duty was to steal a horse. 
I quickly got credit and then ran away, 
And haven't paid for him to this day.' 

"Says Fanning to Frohock, ' Tis folly to lie, 
I rode an old mare that was blind in one eye. 
Five shillings in money I had in my purse, 
My coat it was patched, but not much the worse. 
But now we've got rich, as 'tis very well known 
That we will do very well if they'll let us alone.' " 

Still other lines were in existence, even prior 
to this, no doubt from the same pen : 

"When Fanning first to Orange came 

He looked both pale and wan. 
An old patched coat upon his back, 

An old blind mare he rode on. 
Both man and mare wa'n't worth five pounds 

As I've been often told, 
But by his thieving robberies 

He's lined his coat with gold." 

(See Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. 7, p. 
507, for Farming's order "for some double gold lace for 
a hat and some narrow double gold lace for a jacket, 
plain, narrow and good.") 

182 Some Neglected History 

It was currently reported and believed, in 
spite of his impecunious condition when he 
came to the Province, Fanning in a very short 
time had accumulated a fortune of f 10,000 — 
$50,000— certainly a large sum to have been 
made honestly in his day and generation by a 
man occupying his office among a poor people. 

Tryon appointed Fanning adjutant-general 
with rank of colonel in the campaign to run 
the boundary line with the Cherokee Indians. 
For this service it was currently reported that 
he received £1,000. (Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 
7, Pref. Notes, p. 13.) 

Frohock too died a rich man. Under these 
circumstances it is not surprising that the 
Regulators dragged Fanning from Hillsbor- 
ough Court House by his heels and beat him 
with many stripes, and at another time fired 
bullets into his dwelling, and still later demol- 
ished it. 

Early in 1770, while Lord Chatham and 
Lord North were "thundering in Parliament," 
denouncing the attitude of the Mother Country 
toward the colonists, comparing England as 
an "unjust and cruel mother toward her help- 
less step-children," the letters of "Junius" were 
attracting general attention ; all sorts of politi- 
cal contentions were being hurled against King 
George's government. 

■u> ' 

Of North Carolina 183 

Toward the Province of North Carolina the 
course of the Mother Country was like that of 
the "Father of the faithful," driving her, 
Hagar-like, into the wilderness, there to pine 
and perish from neglect. It is nothing more 
than one would expect, then, that her sons, 
"like Ishmael of old," should be ready to raise 
their hands against every form of oppression. 
But the God of Abraham protected the exiles 
and blessed them with fair and fruitful lands, 
refreshing shades and gushing fountains. The 
promise was also unto them "to make a great 
nation," because they too "were of the promised 

At this time, far away across the Atlantic 
the farmers of Orange County, in the Province 
of North Carolina, were organizing prepara- 
tory to making resistance against the oppres- 
sion of the government of the Mother Country 
and her representatives in the Province, Gov- 
ernor Tryon and Col. Edmund Fanning. 

In those days a thousand or more men 
banded together for a noble purpose against a 
common wrong were not without influence. 
Be it said to their credit, the Regulators in 
their meetings were orderly, never allowing 
intoxicating beverages to be sold, for they 
realized the criticism that would follow such 
practices. In this they were far advanced as 

184 Some Neglected History 

well as far seeing, and a long way ahead of 
their time. It shows their soberness and care- 
ful deliberation. 

The Regulators were made up principally of 
farmers, of whom, as a class, none are more 
conservative, more independent — and less re- 
strained; under the tyrannical lash what they 
among themselves determine to vindicate is 
usually on the side of right and justice. When 
the law fell into the hands of a succession of 
outrageous judges, unscrupulous attorneys, 
dishonest sheriffs, and thieving, villainous 
county officers, — all confederates of the tyranni- 
cal Tryon, Governor of the Province of North 
Carolina, — then it became necessary for these 
bold, courageous, good, substantial, liberty- 
loving yeomen to lay their hands on the instru- 
ments of warfare and to stand ready to prick 
the old sore, and if need be to perform a sur- 
gical operation for the good of the body-politic. 



*f - 


Tryon's Preparations for War and Orders to General 
Waddell ; the Cabarrus "Black Boys" Capture a Con- 
voy ; General Waddell Receives This Information and 
Sends Dispatches to Tryon; Breaks Camp and 
Marches Eastward ; Met by a Company of Regulators 
and forced to Retreat ; Tryon Receives Waddell's Dis- 
patches; Marches Toward Haw River; Regulators 
Send Petition to Tryon, Praying for an Audience ; 
Transcript from Tryon's Journal ; Regulators' Needs ; 
Alamance Battle-ground; Seymour Whiting's Poem; 
Battle of Alamance; Tryon's Advance; Fought on 
Plantation of Capt. Michael Holt; Strength of Gov- 
ernor's Army ; Harmon Husband Flees ; Dr. Caldwell 
and Others Visit Tryon's Camp in Behalf of the 
Regulators; They Present Second Petition; Tryon's 
Proclamation; the Battle Begins; the Governor Kills 
Mr. Robt Thompson; Tryon's White Flag; Tryon's 
Army Retreats; Second White Flag; Tryon Rallies 
His Men and Leads a Charge ; His Army Victorious ; 
Prisoners Taken; Tryon Orders Battle-field Set on 
Fire; Losses and Captures; Execution of Few, Mes- 
ser, and Pugh, Other Prisoners in Chains. 

Governor Tryon, the "Great Wolf of North 
Carolina," had collected from the eastern coun- 
ties 1,100 men drilled in military tactics and 
ready for war(Col.Rec.of N.C.,Vol.9,p.6io), 
though not as yet having had an opportunity 

186 Some Neglected History 


to win their spurs or pluck military honors. 

Fanning^ frequent couriers from Hillsborough 
had kept the Governor well posted concerning 
the Regulators, their meetings, their growth, 
strength, and moral influence upon the com- 

On May i, 1771, the Governor left New- 
berne with his army, marching toward the 
westward, with all his detachments well officer- 
ed, including a detachment of artillery raised 
at Wilmington and composed of sailors, con- 
sisting of two field pieces, six swivel guns, 
mounted on carriages, and two six-pounders. 
(State Rec. of N. C, Vol. 19, pp. 837, 838, 


Governor Tryon, while marching through 
the country from Newberne toward the west, 
had new forces to join him daily, perhaps from 
diplomacy, or from the fascinations of military 
paraphernalia. He was familiar with the terri- 
tory through which he was traveling, having 
a short time before traversed the route with a 
surveying party to run the line with the Chero- 
kee Indians, on that occasion being attended 
with a company of militia in all the pomp of 
war. It is said that he took great pride in 
exhibiting his royal person to the Indians, 
whereupon they applied the cognomen, appro- 
priately so, "The Great Wolf of North Caro- 


Of North Carolina 187 

Una." This prophetic title and the line of 
marked trees cost the Province a greater sum 
than two-pence per head on all persons sub- 
jected to poll tax within the Province. 

On May 4 Tryon halted at Hunter's Lodge, 
in Wake County, the seat of Col. Theophilis 
Hunter, four miles from where the city of 
Raleigh now stands, and went into camp. 
Remaining there until May 8, he ordered a 
detachment to attend the sheriff in levying the 
fines due from men for attending a muster of 
militia the day before without arms, and in 
collecting taxes due in the neighborhood ex- 
cept from those who had joined the army as 

When Tryon left Newberne he was attended 
by Col. Joseph Leech, commanding the infan- 
try ; Colonel Moore, commanding the artillery, 
and Captain Neele, commanding a company of 
rangers. Marching from Hunter's Lodge on 
May 8, Tryon next went into camp on the 
banks of the Eno on the evening of May 9. 
During this march he was joined by a detach- 
ment from New Hanover under command of 
Col. John Ashe, another from Carteret under 
command of Colonel Craig, another from 
Johnston under command of Col. William 
Thompson, another from Beaufort under com- 
mand of Col. Needham Bryan, one from Wake 

188 Some Neglected History 

under Col. John Hinton, who had to forcibly 
draft the men in his command, as there was 
considerable difficulty in securing volunteer 
troops. (State Rec. of N. C, Vol. 19, pp. 
838, 839.) After breaking camp at Eno on 
May 13, during his march toward the Great 
Alamance, Governor Tryon was joined by a 
detachment from Onslow under command of 
Col. Richard Caswell and one from Orange 
made up of clerks, constables, coroners, broken 
down sheriffs and other material of a similar 
kind under the command of his friend, Col. 
Edmund Fanning. 

Before leaving Newberne he ordered General 
Waddell, the best fighter within the Province 
(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, pp. 540, 548), with 
a detachment of 250 men to cross Deep River at 
Buffalo Ford and thence to march toward the 
Yadkin, collect forces from the western coun- 
ties and rendezvous four miles west of Salis- 
bury, at Pott's Creek, after crossing the Yadkin 
river; there to await a convoy from Charles- 
ton, S. C, with a supply of powder for Tryon's 

Some time after the conference of the Regu- 
lators and county officers at Mrs. Steele's, near 
Salisbury, on March 7, 1771, there was a "sur- 
prise party" in Cabarrus County (at that date 
Mecklenburg County) on the night of May 9, 

Of North Carolina 189 

1 77 1, at which time the munitions of war for 
Tryon's army were captured and destroyed. 
This occurrence demonstrates that there were 
within the province of North Carolina many 
discreet persons, the advocates of law and 
order, who sympathized with the cause of the 
Regulators and the justness which actuated 
their stern opposition to official corruption and 

Governor Tryon, being well posted concern- 
ing the Regulators, lost no time in making 
preparations for warfare. He issued a circular 
to his colonels in the various counties ( Col. Rec. 
of N.C.,Vol.8,p.54o) ;( Appendix D) on March 
19, 1 77 1, ordering them to select fifty volunteers 
for their respective regiments, offering them 
liberal rations, bounty and pay of forty shillings 
of eight pence per day while serving, each man 
to be given a pair of leggins, a cockade and a 
haversack, and send them to Newberne. He 
also began to look out for munitions of war, 
and accordingly he procured from Charleston, 
S. C, three wagon loads of munitions of war, 
consisting of powder, flints, blankets and other 
materials for the quartermaster's department. 
These warlike materials were delivered in Char- 
lotte, but from some suspicions arising in the 
minds of the Whigs (Regulators) as to their 
true destination and use, wagons could not be 

190 Some Neglected History 

hired in the neighborhood for their transporta- 
tion. (For an account of this Gunpowder plot 
we quote from Hunter's Sketches of Western 
North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, pp. 
158 to 162.) At length, Col. Moses Alexander, 
a magistrate under the Colonial Government, 
succeeded in getting wagons, by impressment, 
to convey the munitions to Hillsborough, to 
obey the behests of a tyrannical Governor. The 
vigilance of the jealous Whigs was ever on the 
lookout for the suppression of all such infringe- 
ments upon the growing spirit of freedom, then 
quietly but surely planting itself in the hearts of 
the people. 

The following individuals (Col. Rec. of N. 
C, Vol. 9, pp. 57, 68, 89, 169, 172, 275), James, 
William and John White, brothers, and William 
White, a cousin — all born and raised on Rocky 
River and one mile from the Rocky River 
Church — Robert Caruthers, Robert Davis, Ben- 
jamin Cockrane, James A. and Joshua Hadley, 
bound themselves by a most solemn oath not to 
divulge the secret object of their contemplated 
mission, and in order more effectually to pre- 
vent detection, blackened their faces prepara- 
tory to their intended work of destruction. 
They were joined and led in this and other 
expeditions by William Alexander, of Sugar 
Creek congregation, a brave soldier, and after- 

Of North Carolina 191 

wards known and distinguished from others 
bearing the same name as "Captain Black Bill 
Alexander," and whose sword now hangs in 
the Library Hall of Davidson College, North 
Carolina, presented in behalf of his descendants 
by the late worthy, intelligent, and Christian 
citizen, W. Shakespeare Harris, Esq. 

These determined spirits set out in the 
evening, while the father of the Whites was 
absent from home with two horses, each carry- 
ing a bag of grain. The White boys were on 
foot, and wishing to move more rapidly with 
their comrades, who were all mounted, in pur- 
suit of the wagons loaded with the munitions 
of war, fortunately for their feet met their 
father returning home with his burdens, and 
immediately demanded the use of his horses. 
The old gentleman, not knowing who they 
were (as black as Satan himself), pleaded 
heartily for the horses until he could carry 
home his bags of meal ; but his petitions were 
in vain. The boys (his sons) ordered him to 
dismount, removed the bags from the horses, 
and placed them by the side of the road. They 
then immediately mounted the disburdened 
horses, joined their comrades, and in a short 
space of time came up with the wagons en- 
camped on Phifer's Hill, three miles west of 
the present town of Concord, on the road lead- 

192 Some Neglected History 

ing from Charlotte to Salisbury. They im- 
mediately unloaded the wagons, then stove in 
the heads of the kegs and threw the powder 
into a pile, tore the blankets into strips, made 
a train of powder a considerable distance from 
the pile, and then Major James White fired a 
pistol into the train, which produced a tre- 
mendous explosion. A stave from the pile 
struck White on the forehead and cut him 
severely. As soon as this bold exploit became 
known to Col. Moses Alexander, he put his 
whole ingenuity to work to find out the perpe- 
trators of so foul a deed against Hir Majesty. 
The transaction remained a mystery for some 
time. Great threats were made, and in order 
to induce some one to turn traitor a pardon 
was offered to any one who would turn King's 
evidence against the rest. Ashmore and Had- 
ley, being half-brothers, and composed of the 
same rotten materials, set out, unknown to 
each other, to avail themselves of the offered 
pardon, and accidentally met each other on the 
threshold of Moses Alexander's house. When 
they made known their business, Alexander 
remarked, "That, by virtue of the Governor's 
proclamation, they were pardoned, but they 
were the first that ought to be hanged." The 
rest of the "Black Boys" had to flee from their 

Of North Carolina 193 

country, and went to the State of Georgia, 
where they remained for some time. 

The Governor, finding he could not get them 
into his grasp, held out insinuations that if they 
would return and confess their fault, they 
should be pardoned. In a short time, the boys 
returned from Georgia to their homes. As soon 
as it became known to Moses Alexander, he 
raised a guard, consisting of himself, his two 
brothers, John and Jake, and a few others, and 
surrounded the house of the old man White, the 
father of the boys. Caruthers, the son-in-law 
of White, happened to be at his (White's) 
house at the time. To make the capture doubly 
sure, Alexander placed a guard at each door. 
One of the guard, wishing to favor the escape 
of Caruthers, struck up a quarrel with Moses 
Alexander at one door, while his brother, Dan- 
iel Alexander, whispered to Mrs. White that if 
there were any of them within they might pass 
out and he would not notice it ; in the meantime, 
out goes Caruthers, and in a few jumps was in 
the river, which opportunely flowed near the 
besieged mansion. The alarm was immediately 
given, but pursuit was fruitless. 

At another time the loyalists heard of some 
of the boys being in a harvest field and set out 
to take them; but always having some one in 

194 Some Neglected History 

their company to favor their escape, as they 
rode up in sight of the reapers one of them 
waved his hand, which the boys understood as 
a signal to make their departure. On that oc- 
casion they pursued Robert Davis so closely 
that it is said he jumped his horse thirty feet 
down a bank into the river, and dared them to 
follow him. 

And thus the "Black Boys" fled from covert 
to covert to save their necks from the blood- 
thirsty loyalists, who were constantly hunting 
them like wild beasts. They would lie conceal- 
ed for weeks at a time, and the neighbors would 
carry them food, until they fairly wearied out 
their pursuers. The oath by which they bound 
themselves was a declaration of the strongest 
kind, and the greater part of the curse was lit- 
erally fulfilled in the sad ends of Hadley and 
Ashmore. The latter fled from his country, 
and was known for many years to the people of 
Rocky River. He was very intemperate, and 
in his fits of intoxication was very harsh to his 
family, driving them from his house in the dead 
hours of the night. In order to chastise him 
for the abuse of his family, his neighbors 
(among whom were some of the "Black 
Boys") dressed themselves in female attire, 
went to his house by night, pulled him from his 
bed, drew his shirt over his head and gave him 

Of North Carolina 195 

a severe whipping. The castigation, it is said, 
greatly improved the future treatment of his 
family. However, he continued through life 
the same miserable wretch, and died without 
any friendly hand to sustain him or eye to pity 
his deplorable end. 

Frequently, when the loyalists ranged the 
country in pursuit of the "Black Boys," the 
Whigs would collect in bodies consisting of 
twenty-five or thirty men, ready to pounce upon 
the pursuers if they had captured any of the 
boys. From the allurements held out to the boys 
to give themselves up, they went at one time 
nearly to Hillsborough to beg the pardon of 
Governor Tryon ; but finding out it was his in- 
tention, if he could get them into his hands, to 
hang every one of them, they returned, and 
kept themselves concealed until patriotic senti- 
ment grew so rapidly from that time ( 1771 ) to 
the Mecklenburg Declaration ( 20th of May, 
1775) that concealment was no longer neces- 
sary. When the drama of the Revolution open- 
ed, these same "Black Boys" stood up manfully 
for the cause of American freedom, and nobly 
assisted in achieving, on many a hard-fought 
battle-field, the independence of our country. 

While Gen. Hugh Waddell was awaiting the 
convoy from Charleston, South Carolina, with 
the blankets, powder, and flints for Tryon's 

196 Some Neglected History 

army, he received intelligence from Col. Moses 
Alexander that the munitions of war had been 
destroyed by the Regulators. He then deter- 
mined to try to rejoin Tryon's army, and dis- 
patched couriers to Hillsborough advising 
Tryon of the capture of the wagon-train with 
his munitions of war by the Regulators. Gen- 
eral Waddell broke camp at Potts' Creek on the 
morning of May 10, and took up his line of 
march in the direction of Hillsborough, intend- 
ing to rejoin Tryon's army at Haw River. He 
had advanced but a short distance after cross- 
ing the Yadkin River when he received a mes- 
sage from the Regulators warning him to halt 
or retreat. Finding that many of his men were 
averse to fighting their own countrymen, and, 
many being favorable to the Regulators were 
thinning his ranks by desertion, he retreated 
toward Salisbury, hotly pursued by the Regu- 
lators, who opposed his progress by entangling 
him in a skirmish, and surrounding his small 
detachment, took most of his men prisoners. 
General Waddell and officers, with a few men, 
were allowed to escape. It may seem singular, 
in capturing General Waddell's brigade, taking 
most of his men prisoners, and disarming them, 
that no lives were lost. The reason is perhaps 
best explained by the fact that the Regulators 
did not wish to sacrifice the lives of their court- 

Of North Carolina 197 

trymen, nor did General Waddell's men wish to 
kill the Regulators, with whom they were at 
heart sympathizers. Capt. Benjamin Merrill, 
who was an officer of militia in Rowan County, 
had raised a company of oppressed neighbors 
to join the Regulators, and he was in com- 
mand of the forces opposing the advance of 
General Waddell. He was afterwards cap- 
tured by a force under Colonel Fanning (and 
later executed at Hillsborough, with the other 
prisoners) while Governor Tryon was march- 
ing with his army through the "J erse y Settle- 
ments," administering his new-coined oath and 
devastating property and crops. General Wad- 
dell, with the small number of his detachment 
which escaped capture, retreated to Salisbury 
and went into camp, where he held a consulta- 
tion with his officers. 

General Waddell's Camp, 

Potts' Creek, ioth May, 1771. 

By a Council of the Western Detachment. 

Considering the great superiority of the insurgents in 
numbers, and the resolution of a greater part of our own 
men not to fight, it was resolved that they should retreat 
across the Yadkin. 

William Lindsay, Griffith Rutherford, 

Ad. Alexander, Samuel Spencer, 

Thomas Neel, Robert Harris, 

Fr. Ross, Samuel Sneed, 

Robert Schaw, William Luckie. 

198 Some Neglected History 

May nth, 1771, Captain Alexander made oath before 
Griffith Rutherford, that he had passed along the lines of 
the Regulators in arms, drawn up on ground he was ac- 
quainted with. The foot appeared to him to extend a 
quarter of a mile seven or eight deep, and the horse to 
extend one hundred and twenty yards, twelve or fourteen 
deep. (Foote, Sketches of North Carolina, p. 59; Col. 
Rec of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 608.) 


General Waddell immediately dispatched an 
express to Governor Tryon at Hillsborough, 
warning him of the common danger, and 
advising him of the capture of the ammunition 
train by the Regulators the day before. Tryon, 
already alarmed at the reports coming in that 
the Regulators were concentrating their forces 
at Alamance, on the route to Salisbury im- 
mediately raised his camp and began marching 
toward Haw River. On Sunday, May 12, he 
crossed this stream just below the Falls at 
Wood's Ferry. Next day he marched four 
miles to O'Neal's, on the west side of the Little 
Alamance. A strong detachment was also sent 
to take possession of the west bank of the Great 
Alamance to prevent the Regulators occupying 
this strong post, and went into camp on the 
evening of May 13, 1771, just six miles from 
the Regulators' camp on the other side of the 
Great Alamance. On May 14 Tryon's whole 
army was encamped on the west bank of 
the Great Alamance (see frontispiece) there to 

Of North Carolina 199 

await the arrival of General Waddell's detach- 
ment. With the capture of General Waddell's 
forces and the destruction of his ammunition 
train by the Regulators, together with the daily 
desertion from his own ranks by men who did 
not wish to kill their countrymen in battle, the 
Governor found himself in a very serious and 
trying position. Before leaving Camp Eno he 
had dispatched an express to Colonels Fanning 
and Caswell at Hillsborough to join him in 
camp beyond Haw River on May 14. The 
militia in Duplin County, except perhaps a 
small troop of cavalry commanded by Captain 
Bullock,' refused to march against the Regula- 
tors at all, and refused the oath of allegiance 
offered them after the battle of Alamance. In 
Halifax there were many supporters of the 
principles of the Regulators; in Newberne 
itself many, in fact the majority of the militia, 
declared in their favor. Not a few men 
eminent in the colony favored them more 
or less openly. Of these were such men as 
Maurice Moore, Judge of the Superior Court; 
Thomas Person, of Granville County, founder 
of Person Hall at Chapel Hill, and Alexander 
Martin, afterwards Governor of the State 
(Foote, Sketches of North Carolina, p. 66), 
and many who came from other counties, were 
either so reluctant to shed the blood of their 

200 Some Neglected History 

fellow-citizens or so well affected to their cause 
that they deserted, while the Regulators were 
increasing every hour. In this situation noth- 
ing could save his Excellency but a bold and 
expeditious stroke ; for to hesitate longer wait- 
ing to be reinforced by General Waddell with 
the detachments from Bladen, Cumberland, 
and the western counties would mean certain 
defeat. While encamped at Alamance, one- 
third of his army were ordered to remain 
under arms the whole night and to be relieved 
every two hours ; and the same orders were is- 
sued the night of May 15, but with the addi- 
tional precaution that the cavalry were to keep 
their mounts saddled and a guard of ten men 
as videttes a half mile in front toward the 
enemy's camp, to be relieved every two hours. 
(Tryon's Order Book, Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 

8, p. 583.) 

The Regulators were concentrating their 

forces some six miles distant from Tryon's 
camp on the plantation of Captain Michael 
Holt, a wealthy land owner of that section, on 
whose plantation the Battle of Alamance was 
fought and whose residence after the battle 
was converted into a hospital for the wounded. 
They had sent petitions to Tryon two years 
previous, and to the General Assembly, im- 
ploring relief from oppression and extortions, 

Of North Carolina 201 

and again they were ready to petition, which 
they did through their diplomat, Rev. David 
Caldwell, M. D., a true patriot, who called on 
Tryon at Alamance Camp Tuesday morning 
and evening, May 15, 1771, and on the after- 
noon of the date last mentioned he carried a 
petition from the Regulators, again imploring 
and beseeching an audience with Tryon, signed 
by several of the Regulators. The following 
is a copy of the petition presented by the inhabi- 
tants of Orange County in North Carolina just 
before the battle began ; it appears to be written 
in good language and shows that the acme of 
their desires and their whole ambition was that 
the Governor would condescend to hear their 
former petitions and redress their grievances 
which you (reader) have already perused: 

Regulators' Headquarters, Alamance Camp, 

Wednesday, May 15th, 1771. 

To His Excellency William Tryon, Esq., 
His Majesty's Governor-in-Chief 

In and over the Province of North Carolina. 

Sir : The petition of us, the citizens of Orange County 
humbly showeth: — 

First, That we have been infomed of late that Your 
Excellency is determined not to lend a kind ear to the 
just complaints of the people in regard to having rogu- 
ish county officers discharged and others more honest 
propagated in their stead, and sheriffs and other officers 
in power who have abused the trust reposed in them, to 

202 Some Neglected History 

be brought to a clear, candid and impartial trial for their 
past conduct and other grievances of like manner which 
we have long labored under without any apparent hope of 

Secondly, That Your Excellency is determined on tak- 
ing the lives of many of the inhabitants of this county 
and others adjacent thereto, which persons being nom- 
inated in your advertisement, we know to be men of the 
most remarkable, honest, and upright character. These 
asperations, though daily to us, yet scarcely gain credit 
with the more polite among us, still, being so often con- 
firmed, we cannot help having some small jealousy 
abounding in us. In order therefore to remove them, 
we heartily implore Your Excellency, that, through your 
clemency, you would so far indulge us as to let us know 
by a kind answer to this petition whether Your Excel- 
lency will lend an impartial ear to our petition or no, 
which, if we can be assured of, we will with joy embrace 
so favorable an opportunity of laying before Your Ex- 
cellency a full detail of all our grievances, and remain in 
full hopes and confidence of being redressed by Your 
Excellency in each and every one of them, so far as lies 
in your power, which happy change would yield such 
alacrity and promulgate such harmony in poor pensive 
North Carolina that the presaged tragedy of the war- 
like troops, marching with such ardor to meet each 
other, may by the happy conduct of our leaders on each 
side be prevented. The interest of a whole Province and 
the lives of His Majesty's subjects are not toys or mat- 
ters to be trifled with. Many of the common people are 
mightily infatuated with the horrid alarms we have 
heard : but we still hope they have been wrongfully repre- 
sented to us. The chief support of this small petition, 
being to ascertain whether or no we may hope for a 
speedy and candid answer. In the meantime your hum- 
ble petitioners shall remain in full hopes and confidence 

Of North Carolina 203 

of having a kind and satisfactory answer, "and is our 
duty we shall ever pray." 

Signed in behalf of the county, 

John Williams, 
Samuel Low, 
Joseph Scott, 
Samuel Clark. 

Delivered to His Excellency at Alamance Camp, Wed- 
nesday, the 15th day of May, in the year of our Lord, 
1771, at six o'clock in the evening. (Col. Rec. of N. G, 
Vol. 8, p. 640.) 

The Governor's reply to this petition (see p. 
215) does not vouchsafe even at so critical a 
time, when the effusion of blood might have 
been prevented, and the honor of the govern- 
ment saved by it, to give them the least encour- 
agement that he would heed their petitions or 
redress their grievances ; but to the contrary, he 
fired upon them with his own hand, killing Mr. 
Robert Thompson, an unarmed gentleman, who 
was at his camp interceding for the Regulators. 

In order to show the reader how well pre- 
pared for war Governor Tryon was, we will 
quote a transcript from his journal for the 
campaign against the Regulators : 

204 Some Neglected History 

Tryon's Order Book for the Campaign Against the 


Alamance Camp, 
Wednesday, 15th day of May, 1771. 

Parole— New York. Countersign— Albany. 

Field Officer for the Day : 
CoL Joseph Leech. 
The pickets and grass guard to-night: the baggage 
and rear guard to-morrow to be furnished by a detach- 
ment from Col. Joseph Leech's command. 

Governor's Guard 
to be furnished from Col. Richard Caswell's command, 
as well as the Quartermaster's guard. Captain Malcolm 
appointed aid-de-camp to 

His Excellency, the 


with rank and pay of captain. 

His Excellency, the Governor, Commanding General. 

Agreeable to seniority of the counties sending men 

against the insurgents, are to march in the following 

order, to-morrow morning at daybreak without the beat 

of drums: 

Craven County Detachment under command of 
Col. Joseph Leech ; position, 

Left of first line. 
Carteret County Detachment under command of 

Col. William Thomson; position, 
Right of first line. 
Orange and Beaufort County Detachment under com- 
mand of 
Col. Craig, commanding artillery of four swivels and two 

six-pounders; position, 
In center of first line. 

•(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 559; State Records of N. C, Vol. 
XIX, pp. 840-354.) 

Of North Carolina 205 

New Hanover County Detachment under command of 

Col. John Ashe; position, 
Left of second line. 
Wake and Onslow County Detachments under com- 
mand of 
Col. John Hinton ; position, 
Left of second line. 
Dobbs and Johnson County Detachments under com- 
mand of 
Col. Richard Caswell ; position, 
Center of second line. 
The Company of Artillery under command of Captain 

The Company of Rangers under command of Captain 

The Cavalry Detachment under command of Captain 

Lieutenant Col. Richard Cogdell, 
Major Francis McKelwane 
To accompany the Commanding General. 

The Light Horse Brigade to keep their mounts bridled 
and saddled all night, ten of them to form a grand- 
guard about one-half mile towards the Regulators' camp 
on the Salisbury road, and a little off the main road, and 
to have their vidette out, one in the center and one on 
right and left flanks, the vidette to be visited and re- 
lieved every two hours all night. 

After Orders. 
The Army to march to-morrow morning at the break 
of day without the sound of drums. The tents to be left 
standing, and baggage and commissary wagons to re- 
main in Camp. One Company of the Johnson County 
detachment and all men from the several detachments 
unable to march briskly to remain as a camp guard under 

206 Some Neglected History 

command of Col. Needham Bryan. The wagon horses 
to remain in gear until the army returns to camp. 

Doctor Haslin has under his care and inspection the 
detachments from Craven, Carteret, Pitt, Dobbs, Beau- 
fort, and Orange Counties. Doctor Mathewson is ap- 
pointed assistant surgeon to Doctor Haslin. 

Doctor Cobham has under his care and inspection the 
detachments from New Hanover, Onslow, Johnson, 
Wake, and Orange Counties and the Artillery, Rangers, 
and Cavalry. Doctors Powers is appointed assistant 
surgeon to Doctor Cobham. 

The reader will observe that Governor Tryon 
had a well-officered army with which to attack 
the Regulators, who were not organized for 
warfare and had no military organization, no 
officers, cavalry, nor artillery. In fact, they 
met for the purpose of having a reconciliation 
with the Governor, and to that end they sent 
messengers with petitions, seeking redress from 
the burdensome oppression which was about to 
overwhelm them. 

By a few historians the War of the Regu- 
lators has been unjustly termed a resistance to 
law and order and not a fight against oppres- 
sion ; it has also been maliciously claimed that 
the Regulators were a .band of outlaws, illit- 
erate common people, and that the better class 
of the colonists had nothing to do with them 
and did not countenance their organization or 
the purpose for which they existed ; all of which 

Of North Carolina 207 

is utterly false and without the slightest foun- 
dation of truth. Realizing that the justness 
of the cause of the Regulators has been ma- 
ligned by Tryon and his coadjutors, to which 
very great publicity has been and continues to 
be given, we have endeavored to prove that the 
patriots who shed their blood in battle against 
British oppression were justified. We have also 
attempted to establish, by his own writings, the 
criminality of Tryon's assault upon the Regu- 

Thus far historians agree ; but the rest of the 
story is told differently by various writers, most 
of whom depend upon Governor Tryon's jour- 
nal and his adherents for their information. 
But from many whose lot it was to know and to 
talk with men of integrity who took part in this 
battle, and who could be relied upon to speak 
truthfully of matters concerning both sides, and 
from such authorities as Lossing, Hawkes, 
Foote, Caruthers and Bancroft, the writer will 
chronicle the story according to his belief of the 
truth deducted from historical facts and from 
reports handed down from father to son, much 
of the latter yet unpublished. Being familiar 
with the territory, having many times surveyed 
the ground made sacred by the blood of heroes, 
and having been born and reared in this county, 
my maternal great-great-grandfather, Gen. 


208 Some Neglected History 

Jacob Byrd, having participated in this engage- 
ment with the Americans (Regulators), and 
being familiar with the story and incidents lead- 
ing up to this battle and of exploits following 
it, I feel that I am in a position to write intelli- 
gently on this subject. 

This view is from the south side of the Salisbury 
Road, which is marked by the fence on the left. The 
belligerents confronted in the open field seen to the north 
of the road beyond the fence. Between the blasted pine 
tree, to which a muscadine is clinging, and the road, on 
the edge of a small morass, several of those who were 
slain in battle were buried. The mounds of the graves 
are by the fence near where the sheep are seen in the 
picture. The tree by the roadside is a venerable oak on 
which are many scars produced by stray bullets on the 
day of the battle. (Lossing, Field Book of the Revo- 

"No stately column marks the hallowed place 
Where in silence sleeps their sacred dust, 

The first free martyrs of a glorious race — 
Their fame a people's wealth, a nation's trust. 

"Above their tomb the golden harvest waves, 
The glorious stars stand sentinel on high, 

While in sad requiem near their turfless graves 
The great Alamance slowly moaning murmurs by. 

"But holier watchers here their vigil keep * 
Than storied urn or monumental stone ; 

For love and justice guard their dreamless sleep 
And plenty smiles above their bloody home. 

Regulator Battle-Ground. 

Of North Carolina 209 

"Immortal youth shall crown their deathless fame, 
And as their country's glories still advance, 

Shall brighter glow, o'er all the earth thy name, 
Our first-fought field for freedom — alamance." 

This poem was written by Seymour Whiting many 
years before the erection of the monument. 

The Regulators were men accustomed to the 
use of the rifle and were men of undaunted 
courage, having no such word as fear in their 
vocabulary — brave as lions. Other than these 
two qualifications, undaunted bravery and 
crack Sharpshooters, they had none of 
the qualifications of soldiers. They knew 
nothing of military tactics, had no commander- 
in-chief, were not officered in divisions for bat- 
tie. They had no artillery and many of them 
had never seen a cannon. Tryon realized his 
situation was critical. He was in the heart of 
the enemy's territory. Their forces were gath- 
ering like bees in the forest. Many friendly 
Tories in Orange and adjoining counties were 
refusing to fight the Regulators (Whigs) and 
many of his own troops were deserting camp. 

The Regulators numbered more than two 
thousand men and were encamped about six 
miles from Tryon's army, near the scene of the 

On Thursday morning, May 16, 1771, Try- 
on's army, as per orders issued the day before, 

210 Some Neglected History 

was marching at daybreak without the beat of 
drums, and left "Alamance Camp" just on the 
present site of the Belmont Cotton Mills, now 
owned by Mr. L. Banks Holt, of Graham, N. C. 
They marched in silence, hoping to creep up on 
the Regulators unawares; leaving their tents 
standing with all baggage and wagon-trains 
under guard. Tryon's army marched silently 
and undiscovered along the Salisbury Road to 
within one-half mile of the Regulators' camp, 
where he formed his line of battle, which was 
done by arranging them in two lines one hun- 
dred yards apart, with the artillery in the center 
of the front line. (Col. Rec of N. C, Vol. 8, 

p. 583; 584) 

According to the Governor's journal, "Cam- 
paign Against the Regulators," he commanded 
about twelve hundred (1200) trained soldiers, 
drilled in military tactics and ready for war; 
while the Regulators were about two thousand 
strong, with only one thousand ( 1000) of their 
number bearing arms. Many were present 
not expecting to need arms, others did not take 
their rifles for fear the Governor would not 
treat with them if they bore arms, while others 
went out to see what was going on. "The 
majority certainly did not expect that there 
would be any bloodshed; and therefore many 
who started from home with their guns left 

Of North Carolina 211 

them by the way, either hidden in hollow trees 
or deposited with their friends, until they 
returned, because some wiseacres had said, 'if 
you go armed the Governor will not treat with 
you.' It is doubtful whether even Harmon 
Husband really wished^©- fight ; in fact, I have 
been told by semelnen who knew him well in 
their youth, and who were at that time 18 or 
20 years of^age, that his Quaker principles 
would not let him fight, and that when he saw 
the 'tug of war' would come, or about the time 
the Governor began to fire on them, that he 
mounted his horse and rode away." (Caruthers's 
Life of Dr. Caldwell. ) "It is believed by many 
that 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 such num- 
bers, and in having them so well armed as to 
make the impression which he wished, he 
would have given this explanation of his own 
motives and conduct. However this may have 
been, it is certain he went to the place of meet- 
ing, not with any idle curiosity, nor with a 
blood-thirsty intent, but for a desire to see if a 
reconciliation with the Governor could be ef- 
fected. Others were actuated by these high 
motives and were using what influence they 

212 Some Neglected History 

could toward effecting a reconciliation ; and of 
this class Dr. David Caldwell and Alexander 
Martin, afterwards Governor of the State, 
accompanied by the sheriff, went down to 
Tryon's camp the day before the battle. It is 
said they had an interview with Tryon at his 
tent, but of what passed nothing is known. 
Next morning it is known that he passed back 
and forth several times from one camp to the 
other endeavoring to prevent a collision be- 
tween the two armies, and obtained from 
Tryon his promise that he would not proceed 
against the Regulators nor cause bloodshed 
until he had exhausted every means for a fair 
adjustment by negotiations. This is not a 
matter of record, but I have it from a source 
that cannot be doubted. ,, (Caruthers's Life of 
Dr. Caldwell, pp. 148, 149; Foote, Sketches of 
North Carolina, p. 60. ) 

Early in the evening before the battle, Lieut. 
Col. John Baptista Ashe and Capt. John Wal- 
ker, while out reconnoitering, were captured by 
the Regulators, tugged up to trees and severely 
whipped, then made prisoners. The whip- 
ping, it is said, was an old feud — the result of 
personal animosity on the part of a few per- 
sons, which was strongly censured by the body 
of Regulators, and some of them were so much 
disgusted that they threatened to give up the 

Of North Carolina 

cause entirely if such acts were r 
this act caused much alarm and a 
Governor's camp, and especially 
of Colonel Fanning, for "his sou 
still in remembrance, and therefc 
was overwhelmed within him." 
Life of Dr. Caldwell, p. 147.) 
Ashe is credited with saying " 
hated the Regulators very muct 
began to chastise him, but when 
that he was in their power and th 
doing a good job of it, he began to 
licr feeling for them, and at lcngt 
with them." (Stockard, Histo 
mance.) Tryon's army had taken 
ulators prisoners, who they tried 
for Ashe and Walker, but withou 
Governor Tryon, as command 
mounted on a handsome white cha 
army arranged in military style 
structions issued the day before, 
cellency and the artillery in the < 
front column, with Col. Richard 
Col. Edmund Fanning command] 
and left wings of the first column, 
Thompson and Colonel Leech com 
right and left wings of the second c 
detachment from Wake and a tr< 
horse from Duplin reenforced the 

214 Some Neglected History 

the rangers covered the flanks on both sides, 
facing the right ; the troop of light-horse from 
Orange escorted the Governor. The detach- 
ments from the counties of Carteret and Ons- 
low were directed, in case of attack on the left 
wing, to form an angle for their respective 
lines to cover the left flank. (Martini His- 
tory of North Carolina, Vol. 22, p. 179.) 

When the opposing forces began marching 
toward each other, the Regulators again pre- 
sented a petition, yet hoping for redress of 
grievances through arbitration. The Governor 
sent his aide-de-camp, Captain Donald Mal- 
colm, with the answer that both officially and 
personally the Governor had already used 
every possible means to quit the disturbances, 
and now had nothing further to offer ; that he 
demanded immediate submission, with prom- 
ises to pay their taxes, lay down their arms, 
and quietly disperse. He advised that an hour 
would be given in which to answer. The Gov- 
ernor's message came back with the dignified 
reply that the messenger might go back and 
tell "Billy Tryon" that they defied him and 
that they would fight him. (Caruthers's Life 
of Caldwell, p. 150.) 

It must have been humiliating to trained 
warriors to fight against men without disci- 
pline, or leaders, with no regularity of action. 


Of North Carolina 215 

One in a state of revenge, the other with a 
sense of injury and oppression, they met — the 
Regulators presenting petitions with demands 
for vindication and rights with redress for 
grievances; the Governor, on the other hand, 
demanding immediate submission with a 
promise to pay their taxes, a peaceful return to 
their homes, and a solemn assurance that they 
would no longer protect persons under indict- 
ment for trial by courts. 

Tryon issued the following Proclamation 
and sent it by his aide-de-camp, Capt. Philmore 
Hawkins, to the Regulators as a reply to their 
petition of the day before (Col. Rec. of N. C, 
Vol. 8, p. 642 ) : 

Alamance Camp, 

Thursday, May 16th, 1771. 

To Those Who Style Themselves "Regulators" : 

In reply to your petition of yesterday, I am to acquaint 

you that I have ever been attentive to the interests of 

your County and to every individual residing therein. I 

lament the fatal necessity to which you have now reduced 

me by withdrawing yourselves from the mercy of the 

crown and from the laws of your country. To require 

you who are now assembled as Regulators, to quietly 

lay down your arms, to surrender up your leaders, to the 

laws of your country and rest on the leniency of the 

Government. By accepting these terms within one hour 

from the delivery of this dispatch, you will prevent an 

effusion of blood, as you are at this time in a state of 

REBELLION against your King, your country, and your 


(Signed) William Tryon. 

[Seal in Coat of Arms.] 

216 Some Neglected History 

If Governor Tryon had been as fond of 
checking the officers of the government from 
their unreasonable oppressions and extortion to 
the poor, as he was of shooting these unhappy 
people, inhabitants of Granville, Orange, Anson, 
Rowan and other western counties of North 
Carolina would not have felt the horrors of her 
sons murdering each other in battle. He pre- 
tended in his proclamation just read to offer 
the Regulators one hour to consider whether 
they would fight or surrender, but as soon as 
their chief men got into consultation he himself 
fired the first shot 

The opposing forces had already begun 
marching toward each other, until they were 
within twenty five yards of being breast to 
breast. During the hour which Tryon gave 
the Regulators to determine whether they 
would accept the terms of his proclamation or 
not, a proposition was made for an exchange 
of prisoners, of whom he had seven, and the 
Regulators two, Lieut. Col. Ashe and Capt. 
John Walker. Jones says that "while the 
parley was going on for this purpose, the im- 
patience of the armies was so great that the 
leaders made a simultaneous movement and 
led on to battle/' but this is contradicted by Ca- 
ruthers, who bases his judgment on personal 
reminiscences of men who took part in the bat- 

Of North Carolina 217 

tie. (Caruthers's Life of Dr. Caldwell, p. 
150.) Foote, Caruthers, and Williamson say 
that even at this hour the Regulators were not 
expecting bloodshed, as many of the young 
men were wrestling and otherwise playing 
with each other. 

Alexander Martin, who was present, and 
who with Dr. Caldwell had visited Tryon's 
camp in behalf of peace and reconciliation on 
behalf of the Regulators, says (in his history, 
Vol. 2, p. 281) that the opposing forces ad- 
vanced in silence until they were almost breast 
to breast ; the first rank of the Governor's men 
were almost mixed with the Regulators who 
were stationed a little in front of the main 
body, and who now were beginning to retreat 
slowly to join the main body, "bellowing defi- 
ance and daring their opponents to advance" ; 
and that Tryon's army kept moving until it 
was within twenty-five yards of the Regu- 
lators' line, the Regulators still calling on the 
Governor to order his men to fire, several of 
them advancing toward the artillery with their 
breasts bared, and defying him to begin. He 
also represents the Governor as commencing 
the action before the hour had expired, because 
of the Regulators being tardy in making 
known their decision as to the exchange of 

218 Some Neglected History 


prisoners. Rev. Dr. Caldwell and Mr. Robert 
Thompson had just left Tryon, or at least Dr. 
Caldwell had, and Mr. Thompson was in the 
act of taking leave. Dr. Caldwell, being j 

mounted, galloped away, and in a moment 
drew rein in front of the Regulators. He had 
been to intercede again, hoping to prevent | 

bloodshed and trying to effect a reconciliation 
between the opposing forces; but finding ^ 

Tryon obstinate, as he would promise nothing 
unless the Regulators would lay down their 
arms and submit to his demand, addressed 
them as follows : 

Gentlemen and Regulators: 

Those of you who are not too far committed should 
desist and quietly return to your homes, those of you who 
have laid yourselves liable should submit without resist- 
ance. I and others promise to obtain for you the best 
possible terms. The Governor will grant you nothing. 
You are unprepared for war! You have no cannon! 
You have no military training ! You have no command- 
ing officers to lead you in battle. You have no ammu- 
nition. You will be defeated ! 

Just at this juncture, Patrick Muller, an old 
Scotch soldier, who had seen service in the 
King's army, called out to him, "Doctor Cald- 
well, get out of the way or Tryon's army will 
kill you in three minutes 1" 

Battle of Alamance. 

Of North Carolina 219 

This view is from the north side of the Salisbury 
Road, the river being to the north of the field. On the 
right are the cavalry, with General Tryon mounted on a 
white charger ; on the left are the trees, rocks, fences, and 
hedges from behind which the Regulators poured their 
deadly shower of bullets. In the center of the field are 
a few of the Regulators who had fallen in battle. 

It was now about midday. Mr. Robert 
Thompson, who was leaving to go back to the 
Regulators, for whom he had been interceding 
with Tryon for a reconciliation in their 
behalf, was detained by Tryon as a prisoner. 
Indignant at such perfidy, he thereupon told 
the Governor some very plain truths. He 
was an amiable, but bold, outspoken gentle- 
man, deservedly beloved and respected for his 
unimpeachable character. (Revolutionary 
History of North Carolina, p 33.) Being un- 
armed, therefore his leaving was not an escape, 
but simply retiring in the conscious dignity of 
a gentleman. At this moment the irritable 
Governor snatched a gun from a militiaman 
and with his own hand shot and killed Thomp- 
son. Tryon perceived his folly the next mo- 
ment, and sent a flag of truce toward the 
Regulators' side of the field. Donald Mal- 
colm, one of the overnor's aides, was the 
bearer of this flag. (He was afterwards a 
very obnoxious under-officer of the customs at 
Boston.) He had proceeded but a short dis- 

220 Some Neglected History 

tance when the Regulators, enraged at the re- 
vengeful act of the blood-thirsty Tryon, imme- 
diately began firing with deadly aim. When 
the firing commenced, the bearer of the flag 
retreated with safety to his person, but had the 
misfortune to have the buttons of his small 
clothes leave their fastenings. Trumbal, in 
his "M'Fingal," with rather more wit than 
modesty, refers to the circumstance in four 
lines. Tryon, now all the more enraged at the 
disrespect to his white flag, mounted on his 
white charger, handsome and commanding in 
his person, rising in his stirrups led his army 
to battle, crying, "Fire! fire!" Yet his men 
hesitated, when he again cried out "Fire on 
them!" or "Fire on me!" "Fire and be 
damned !" cried a Regulator, and instantly the 
din of battle began. 

The British subjects, in obedience to their 
commander, now began firing. The first vol- 
ley struck the ground in front of the Regu- 
lators. McPherson, one of the Regulators, 
says (Caruthers's Life of Dr. Caldwell) he 
overheard one of Tryon's colonels say to the 
artillery, "I told you you aimed too low." 
The next volley went over their heads. At 
the beginning the Regulators seemed to be get- 
ting the best of the situation. Keeping up a 
continuous fire, they betook themselves behind 

Of North Carolina 221 

trees after the first volley from the artillery, 
and adopted the Indian method of warfare by 
getting behind trees, rocks, fences, or anything 
that offered the slightest protection; while 
Tryon's men, in regular military order, were 
firing by platoons. Tryon's men in the open 
field and in plain view made splendid targets 
for the Regulator sharpshooters. So rapid 
were their discharges that Tryon's troops had 
all they could do to return the fire, without at- 
tempting to rout them from their positions. 
The Governor's army had greatly the advan- 
tage as to arms, ammunition, and military dis- 
cipline; J)ut the Regulators compelled them to 
remain in the road, just where they wished 
them to be, while they occupied a more advan- 
tageous position, and nearly every man was 
ensconced behind a tree. Alexander Martin, 
who was present, and who with Dr. Caldwell 
had visited Tryon's camp, says, "The Regu- 
lators, pursuing the Indian mode of fighting, 
did considerable injury to the King's troops; 
but owing to the artillery, and firmness of the 
latter, were, after a conflict of more than an 
hour, struck with a panic and fled." William- 
son, in his History of North Carolina, says, 
"The engagement commenced with the dis- 
charge of cannon. Colonel Fanning, who 
commanded the left wing, being unused to ac- 

222 Some Neglected History 

tion and deficient in courage, fell back with the 
whole of his regiment, except Captain Nash 
and his company" ; and that "in the meantime 
the cannon did great execution." 

Captain Montgomery, the officer of a com- 
pany of mountain boys, presumably from Surry 
County, was the principal commander of the 
Regulators, if any one should be known by that 
title. He led the charge and routed the British 
forces under Tryon, who retreated, leaving two 
cannon on the field. "Two brothers, McPher- 
son* by name, rushed up and captured the 
guns, but having no ammunition suitable were 
unable to use them." 

When the British artillery fired the next vol- 
ley, Captain Montgomery was killed by a shell. 
About this time a Regulator's bullet whizzed 
through Gov. Tryon's hat. With his artillery- 
men still falling from the well-aimed Regu- 

*"The elder McPherson, who gave me an account of 
the battle, last fall, after describing the retreat of Tryon's 
front columns and the capture of the artillery by the 
McPherson brothers, in which he agreed precisely with 
the statements above given, said with much animation, 
as a kind of sedative to his feelings, 'Oh, sir, if either 
John or Daniel Gillespie had only known as much about 
military discipline then as they knew a few years later, 
the bloody Tryon would have never slept again in his 
grand palace/ The statements of no one man, neither 
McPherson nor anybody else, are given in this work 
without some qualifying expression, unless they are sus- 
tained by the testimony of others." (Caruthers's Life of 
Dr. Caldwell.) 

Of North Carolina 223 

lators' bullets, the thought of another bullet 
passing so close to his royal personage perhaps 
caused myriads of visions to pass before him, 
for at this juncture he ordered the second white 
flag sent toward the Regulators' side of the 
field, presumably to stop the battle, as for what 
other purpose would a commanding general 
send out a white flag? The meaning of the 
flag no one knew so well as Patrick Muller, the 
old Scotchman, who called out, "It's a flag of 
truce; don't fire!" But they heeded him not, 
and the flag soon fell from the Governor's aide- 
de-camp, who was immediately shot dead. 
(Foote, Sketches of North Carolina, p. 61.) 
General Tryon, enraged at the disregard of his 
second white flag, now rallied his troops and 
led a charge that ended the battle. With re- 
doubled volleys they fired on the Regulators, 
whose ammunition was giving out, as they had 
"only as many balls in their pouches as they 
were accustomed to carry with them on a day's 
hunting." (Foote, Sketches of North Carolina, 
p. 61.) "It had been the uniform testimony of 
the Regulators in this section that they did not 
fly from Tryon's cannon until their ammuni- 
tion had failed ; and this was probably the fact, 
for the most of them did not expect they would 
need more powder and balls than they were ac- 
customed to take with them on a common hunt- 

224 Some Neglected History 

ing expedition. An old man, who was seven- 
teen years old at the time of the battle, told the 
writer a little more than a year ago that he as- 
sisted George Parsons in moulding his balls the 
night before the battle, and that when they had 
moulded twelve bullets they stopped. He then 
observed somewhat jocosely to Parsons that if 
he shot all those bullets, and did execution with 
them at each shot, he would do his share. Par- 
sons replied in the same spirit, that he would 
certainly use every one of them if there should 
be occasion for it. He afterwards told my in- 
formant that he had used every one of them, 
and he believed that he had done execution with 
every one, with one exception, when his gun 
choked in loading." ( Caruthers's Life of Dr. 
Caldwell, pp. 156, 157.) 

The Regulators, with their commander cold 
in death, and no officer to urge them anew to 
the fray, retreated to the woods. A small num- 
ber, about a dozen or more men, were sur- 
rounded and captured by Tryon's forces and 
made prisoners of war. Later they were tried 
as traitors, condemned, and six of the number 
executed at Hillsborough, on a charge of high 
treason. Gideon Wright (of the then new 
county of Surry), who fought under Tryon at 
Alamance, in his report of the battle, as pre- 
served in the Moravian Records, says, "Many 

Of North Carolina 225 

of the Regulators had taken refuge in the 
woods, whereupon the Governor ordered the 
woods set on fire, and in consequence some of 
the wounded, unable to get off the field, were 
roasted alive." Dr. Clewell, in his excellent 
work (Clewell's History of Wachovia, p. no), 
says that the killed and wounded were in the 
woods, and that the Governor's order to fire the 
woods was aimed at the wounded, who were 
"roasted alive." Tryon, in his report (Loss- 
ing, Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. 2, p. 
577), says, "The woods were swarming with 
riflemen who had taken to 'tree fighting' and 
were doing serious execution among the provin- 
cial (King's) militia, when it became necessary 
to drive out the Regulators so engaged." After 
the battle his coadjutors say he was at least hu- 
mane, in that he did not torture the wounded 
Regulators, as he showed them every consider- 
ation, and had their wounds dressed by his own 
surgeons. (Col. Rec, Vol. 10, p. 1023.) After 
"roasting them alive" we can imagine no fur- 
ther torture to which he could subject them. 

The accounts vary much as to the number 
killed and wounded. Williamson, in his his- 
tory, says that "seventy of the militia," mean- 
ing the Governor's men, "were killed or wound- 
ed." Martin says the Governor's loss was nine 
killed and sixty-one wounded. General Tryon, 

226 Some Neglected History 

in his report, says his "loss in killed, wounded, 
and missing was about sixty men and the en- 
emy two hundred." (Col. Rec., Vol. 8, pp. 
609, 616.) Dr. Caruthers, in his "Life of Dr. 
Caldwell," says McPherson, who was present 
and gave him the particulars, told him "nine 
Regulators were said to have been killed on the 
field, and a great number wounded." "The 
account I have always had from the Regulators 
and other old men in the region is that nine 
of the Regulators and twenty-seven of the Roy- 
alists were left dead on the field." This state- 
ment is concurred in by historians Williamson 
and Foote. Martin, in his History of North 
Carolina, Vol. 2, p. 276, says, "That out of a 
company from Beaufort County, fifteen were 
either killed or wounded by the Regulators." If 
the rest of Tryon's army suffered losses in the 
same proportion his loss would have been larger 
than is reported. According to a statement 
in Williamson (Williamson's History of North 
Carolina, Vol. 2, p. 150), which was probably 
from an official communication, Tryon lost 
more men than is reported. Martin, in his his- 
tory, says, "Captain Potter commanded a com- 
pany of thirty men from Beaufort. Fifteen of 
these were killed or wounded in action." If 
half of one small company was killed or wound- 
ed, it is natural to suppose that Tryon must 

Of North Carolina 227 

have had a more severe loss than is reported; 
but this is a matter which cannot be determined 
with accuracy, nor is it of great importance. 

During the battle, James Pugh, a gunsmith 
by trade, — who had repaired many of the Regu- 
lators' guns prior to the fight, — a sharpshooter 
and a brother-in-law of Harmon Husband, with 
three other men, securely protected by a ledge 
of rocks and a large tree on the edge of a ravine, 
did great execution with rifles. Pugh, being a 
crack sharpshooter, did the firing, while the 
other three men did the loading for him. He 
killed fifteen (15) of Tryon's artillerymen. 
(Lossing, Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. 
2, p. 576. ) Although the cannon were directed 
against Pugh and his assistants, they could not 
be driven from their position; but at length 
they were surrounded. Pugh was taken pris- 
oner. The others made their escape, and Pugh 
was tried for treason and executed a month 
later at Hillsborough. 

Amongst the Regulators, Rednap Howell 
was the master-spirit that controlled their 
movements. This staunch Regulator's plans 
were far-reaching, and his aims for redress of 
grievances were far advanced. He was one of 
the committee that presented the petition to the 
Governor and General Assembly in 1768, and 
again the day before the battle. Of the forty- 

228 Some Neglected History 

seven sections in the present Constitution of 
North Carolina adopted in 1776, thirteen of 
them, or one-fourth, are the embodiment of re- 
forms sought by the Regulators from Trypn 
and the General Assembly in 1768 and 1769. 

Governor Tryon, after the Battle of Ala- 
mance, ordered a court of oyer and terminer to 
meet at Hillsborough and adjourn from day to 
day until his arrival with the prisoners. His 
next order was that "the dead should be buried 
on May 17, at five o'clock in the evening, in 
front of the park of artillery," "funeral services 
to be performed with military honors to the 
deceased." "After the ceremony, prayers and 
thanksgiving for the signal victory it has 
pleased Divine Providence yesterday to grant 
to the King's army over the insurgents." (Col. 
Rec., Vol. 8, p. 584. ) For the accommodation 
of the wounded who were too badly injured to 
march with the army, Tryon appropriated the 
residence of Captain Michael Holt, on whose 
plantation the battle was fought, and fitted it 
up for a temporary hospital. A man from each 
detachment, with one sergeant, was ordered to 
report to the hospital for guard duty. John 
Walker was appointed hospital steward, report- 
ing to Dr. Richards, surgeon in charge. 

Among other prisoners taken immediately 
after the battle was one by the name of James 

Of North Carolina 229 

Few, who was immediately hanged on the spot, 
according to Martin's History, without a trial, 
or, according to Williamson, the historian, 
without the sentence of a court martial. This 
was an act of cold-blooded cruelty and almost 
fiendish malice which admitted of no apology, 
for the unfortunate Few was in a state of in- 
sanity, and was therefore not a fit subject for 
any manner of punishment. Wylie Jones, who 
was sent by Tryon, after the battle, to seize 
the papers of Harmon Husband, found among 
them a letter from Few, in which he alleged 
that he was sent by heaven to relieve the world 
from oppression; and that he was to begin in 
North Carolina. McPherson says he was "a 
young man, a carpenter by trade, and owned 
the small spot of ground just outside of Hills- 
borough. He was engaged to be married to a 
young lady whom Fanning seduced. He was 
a member of the Regulators ; was taken on the 
field of battle; and, at the instigation of Fan- 
ning, was executed on the spot." (Foote, 
Swain, and Caruthers. ) "The effect upon the 
susceptible and perhaps somewhat visionary 
mind of a young man, in such circumstance, of 
having his prospects of domestic happiness 
blighted by such a base villain as Fanning, who 
was trampling upon and running over every 
one, and especially the poor around him, be- 

230 Some Neglected History 

cause he was protected by the Governor and by 
the Superior Court, and was above the reach of 
the law, probably produced in Few a degree of 
monomania, and he began to think that he was 
commissioned from heaven to rid the world of 
such heartless oppressors; and as the Regu- 
lators were engaged in a conflict against op-, 
pression and extortion, in which Fanning and 
his class were so much interested, it afforded 
him a good opportunity to begin his work. The 
sacrifice of Few, however, uncalled for as it 
was, could not abate the rage of Tryon or quiet 
the guilty mind of Fanning, under whose influ- 
ence he apears to have acted in this matter. The 
people of Hillsborough petitioned Tryon to 
spare Few's family, but of late he had been 
turning a deaf ear to petitions, and he extended 
his vengeance to the unoffending parents, 
brothers and sisters, by the destruction of thfeir 
property ; and thus showed that he was as desti- 
tute of humanity as he was regardless of jus- 
tice." (Caruthers's Life of Dr. Caldwell, pp. 
159, 159; Lossing, Field Book of the Revolu- 
tion, Vol. 2, p. 578; Hawks, Graham, and 
Swain.) According to the author of a com- 
munication in the Weekly Times, — accepted by 
Caruthers, Foote, Graham, Hawks, Swain, 
Lossing, and others, — Captain Messer, an in- 
fluential man in his neighborhood, having taken 

Of North Carolina 231 

an active part in the cause of the Regulators, 
was captured along with Few, Pugh, and others, 
was to have been hung the day after the battle ; 
but owing to a very affecting incident which oc- 
curred, he was reserved for the fiendish execu- 
tion at Hillsborough. His wife, having heard 
during the night of what was to take place next 
morning, went to the battle-field to see the last 
of her husband, taking along with her their eld- 
est son, a lad of ten years, an uncommonly 
smart and pretty child for his age. The wife 
was prostrated on the ground, her face covered 
with her hands, while her heart was breaking, 
and the boy weeping over his mother, and in his 
childish way trying to comfort her in their dire 
distress while the preparation was going on 
preparatory to the execution; the wife crying 
and begging the Governor to spare the life of 
her husband. Suddenly the child sprang from 
the ground, and walking up to the Governor, 
said, "Governor Tryon, sir, hang me and let my 
father live!" Tryon, in angry astonishment, 
demanded of him, "Who told you to say that ?" 
"Nobody, sir," bravely replied the boy. "Why 
do you make such a request?" the Governor 
next interrogated. "Because, sir," bravely re- 
plied the boy, "if you hang my father my 
mother will die and the children will perish!" 
This request was made with such simplicity and 

232 Some Neglected History 

earnestness that it touched even the stony heart 
of the "Great Wolf of North Carolina," and he 
promised the boy that his father should not die 
that day. At Fanning^ suggestion a pardon 
was offered him on condition that he would 
bring into camp Harmon Husband ; and he was 
permitted to go in pursuit of the fleeing Quaker, 
while his wife and son were retained as host- 
ages. On his return to Tryon's camp he re- 
ported that he was unable to bring Husband 
for want of more force, although he had over- 
taken him in Virginia. While his wife was 
sent home, Captain Messer was put in chains 
and dragged around the country through the 
Jersey and Moravian settlements while await- 
ing his execution. 


After the Battle Tryon Begins His March of Devasta- 
tion; Husband's Estates His First Stop; Burns and 
Lays Waste His Property and Crops ; Personal Men- 
tion of Husband and Family; His Implication in the 
Whiskey Riot in Pennsylvania; Tryon Marches 
Through the Jersey Settlements, Pillaging with Fire 
and Sword; in Camp at Reedy Creek; Joined by 
Waddell June 4; Combined Army Marches to the 
Moravian Settlements; Celebration of King's Birth- 
day; General Waddell Ordered to March Westward 
and Subdue and Enforce Submission of Regulators in 
Rowan and Adjoining Counties; Governor Begins 
His March Toward Hillsborough; in Camp at Guil- 
ford Court House ; His Proclamation Outlawing Cer- 
tain Regulators ; Breaks Camp and Marches to Hills- 
borough ; Prisoners Tried and Condemned ; His Per- 
sonal Supervision of the Gallows and Details of Exe- 
cution; Dr. Caldwell Comforts Condemned Men; 
Place of Execution; Pugh as a Man and Patriot; 
Robert Matear and Governor's Enmity for Him ; Cap- 
tain Messer; Captain Merrill and His Talk While on 
the Scaffold. 

About the 19th of May, Tryon with his army 
took up a line of march, advancing into the 
plantations of the principal Regulators, burn- 
ing their buildings and laying waste to all 

234 Some Neglected History 

property. (Col. Rec., Vol. 8, pp. 615, 651; 
State Records of North Carolina, Vol. 19, p. 
846. ) Among 1 the farms thus devastated was 
the seat of Mr. Harmon Husband on Deep 
River, whose farm, containing 600 acres of 
excellent land, was in a high state of cultivation. 
Upon his immense wheat fields of more than 
fifty ( 50) acres, with the golden grain just ready 
for the reapers, his corn fields just tasseled out, 
and upon his clover meadows covering broad 
acres awaiting the scythe, Tryon's soldiers 
turned their horses, numbering several hun- 
dreds, to graze, and a cotemporaneous account 
says "the army left the place without a spear of 
grass, stalk of corn or herbage growing, and 
without a fence standing, Tryon having burned 
all the houses and improvements of the place." 
(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, p. 615, and State 
Records of N. C, p. 846.) Tryon was in 
camp at Sandy Creek, on Deep River, the 
home of Harmon Husband, for a week, levy- 
ing taxes. Detachments were sent out to assist 
in collecting taxes and dispersing the Regula- 
tors, who were still lurking around in small 
parties, probably from mutual sympathy and 
not with any purpose of making any further 
resistance. While we are in the neighborhood 
of Harmon Husband, who had left for Penn- 
sylvania just as the battle began, we will make 

Of North Carolina 235 

some mention of his family. As soon as Hus- 
band realized that blood would be shed, being 
a Quaker, and having religious scruples against 
warfare, declaring that his principles would not 
allow him to fight, he rode off the battle- 
ground just as Dr. Caldwell galloped up and 
began to address the Regulators. He was not 
seen in North Carolina again until after the 
Revolution. Charity must stretch her mantle 
to cover this delinquency of the leader of the 
Regulators ; for why should he have urged the 
people to assemble for resistance to oppression 
unless to have fought? Unless, as already 
stated, he perhaps thought that by large num- 
bers the Governor would be induced to comply 
with the requests for reconciliation. But after 
seeing the Governor's well-officered army and 
realizing that the outcome of a military conflict 
could result only in disaster for the Regulators, 
and knowing the disposition of Tryon, and that 
he would be captured and executed without 
mercy, being one of the leaders, he decided that 
it would be best for his personal safety to flee 
to Pennsylvania, his old home, which he did as 
fast as his horse could carry him. Husband, 
as a citizen, was not an objectionable character. 
He was sober, intelligent, industrious and pros- 

236 Some Neglected History 

by Tryon's army, a good farmer. Husband 
came back to his old home after the Revolution, 
on business, but did not remain very long*. 
Two of his sons settled on Deep River, near 
the Buffalo Ford, on their father's plantation, 
which was devastated by Tryon's army, and 
lived there for many years. A daughter of 
Husband married a man by the name of 
Wright, and lived in the community for fifteen 
or twenty years. The family of Rev. Dr. 
Caldwell speak of her in very high terms, not 
only as a woman of superior mind and agree- 
able manners, but as uncommonly interesting 
and intelligent for the age and country in 
which she lived. Her mother was a sister of 
James Pugh, who was captured at the Battle 
of Alamance and afterwards executed at Hills- 
borough. (Caruthers's Life of Dr. Caldwell.) 
Husband soon became prominent in Pennsyl- 
vania, being repeatedly elected to membership 
in the Pennsylvania Legislature. He was 
appointed a member of the Committee of 
Safety, along with Breckinridge, Bradford 
and Gallatin. He was implicated in a whiskey 
insurrection in Western Pennsylvania, and was 
arrested and taken to Philadelphia, where he 
was pardoned through the intercession of Dr. 
David Caldwell and Dr. Benjamin Rush and 
the North Carolina Senators. He met his wife 

Of North Carolina 237 

at an Inn on his return home, and died before 
reaching his old neighborhood. 

After breaking camp at Sandy Creek on 
May 28, 1 77 1, Tryon' s army crossed Deep 
River at Buffalo Ford, and took possession of 
the Heights on the west bank of the # Huwara 
River, a very favorable post by reason of the 
craggy cliffs, arid made famous by the signal 
defeat the Northern Indians gave the Catawbas. 
The former having taken possession of the 
above Heights, attacked and surprised the latter 
as they were crossing the ford, returning home 
from an expedition against the Northern In- 
dians. Tryon then marched through the Jersey 
settlements, pillaging with fire and sword, and 
camping at Reedy Creek on June 3, there to 
await the arrival of Gen. Hugh Waddell's 
forces, which joined him on June 4, 1771. Gen- 
eral Tryon, after being joined by General Wad- 
dell, took up a line of march toward the Mora- 
vian settlements, which they reached two days 
later, and there celebrated King George's birth- 
day. The King's birthday was on June 4, but the 
celebration was postponed in order to reach the 
Moravian settlements. (Col. Rec. of N. G, 
Vol. 8, pp. 592, 593 ; State Records of North 
Carolina, Vol. 19, p. 851.) The celebration 
of the King's birthday was carried out with 
great military pomp. At 12 o'clock a royal 


238 Some Neglected History 

salute of twenty-one (21) guns was fired. 
General Waddell, at the head of the column, 
immediately after this salute, loudly proclaimed 
"God bless the King !" which was instantly fol- 
lowed by three general cheers. The Moravian 
band furnished the music, playing several mar- 
tial airs. (State Rec. of N. C., Vol. 19, p. 851.) 
The army was drilled for several hours, and 
the maneuvers of the Battle of Alamance were 
repeated, and volley after volley were fired from 
the muskets and artillery. "These rejoicings 
were three times repeated, and at the last cheer 
it seemed a general emulation, whether the hats 
or the shouts should ascend farther into the air, 
so great and general was the joy and gratitude." 
(State Rec. of N. C, Vol. 19, p. 851.) The 
united forces of Governor Tryon and General 
Waddell numbered about three thousand men, 
including officers. With such a military dis- 
play the vain Governor was in all his glory. At 
2 o'clock the maneuvers ended and the army 
marched back to its quarters. (CleweU's His- 
tory of Wachovia, pp. 114, 115.) 

On June 8, General Waddell was detached, 
with a few companies of infantry, of more than 
600 men, and some seven pieces of artillery, to 
enforce the submission of such suspects and 
Regulators as had not surrendered. (Col. Rec. 
of N. C, Vol. 8, pp. 649, 674.) General Tryon 

Of North Carolina 239 

was induced to take this step on information by 
messenger from Colonel Moses Alexander of 

After leaving camp at the Moravian settle- 
ment on June 7, 1771, Governor Tryon's forces 
started on their return trip toward Hillsbor- 
ough. After a circuitous route through the 
Moravian settlements in Stokes County, by 
way of Big Troublesome in Rockingham 
County, he came to Guilford Court House on 
the High Rock Road, some eight or ten miles 
northwest of the present city of Greensbor- 
ough, where he went into camp for a day or 
two. During all his marches after leaving the 
battle-field at Alamance he passed through the 
country dragging his prisoners (30) in chains 
as "scare crows" to others; administering his 
new-coined oath of allegiance; disarming the 
inhabitants; burning houses; destroying all 
growing crops; levying contributions of beef 
and flour for his army ; insulting the suspected ; 
holding courts martial, which took cognizance 
of civil as well as military offenses, extending 
their jurisdiction even to ill-breeding and want 
of good manners. 

"After his return from the western tour, 
sixty head of cattle, as I have been informed, 
were collected from the plantations around his 
camp in Guilford County, and were driven 

240 Some Neglected History 

from that place, under charge of John Gilbert, 
to Tryon's camp on the Eno at Hillsborough. 
These cattle were collected around Greensbor- 
ough, and it is probable that similar contribu- 
tions were demanded through the whole west- 
ern tour for the support of his army, while his 
Excellency was engaged in burning the homes 
of the Regulators, destroying their crops, and 
hanging traitors." (Caruthers's Life of Dr. 
Caldwell, p. 160.) 

One of the most amusing incidents of Tryon's 
campaign occurred on June i, just after the 
army crossed Abbot's Creek and went into camp 
on Benjamin Merrill's plantation, a valuable 
tract of well-cultivated land in the Jersey settle- 
ments, near the Yadkin River. The horses 
belonging to the army had been turned loose at 
night to graze, each animal having a bell tied 
to its neck to aid in finding any which might 
stray. In the immediate neighborhood was the 
residence, gardens and grounds of Benjamin 
Merrill, a planter, who owned and took great 
pride in an extensive apiary which was located 
in the gardens. A foraging party from Tryon's 
army were attempting to steal honey from this 
place, and in the darkness several beehives were 
overturned and the bees began stinging both 
men and horses. The horses thereupon began 
to run pell-mell at a full gallop around and 

Of North Carolina 241 

through the camp, ringing several hundred 
discordant bells, the sound of which made the 
night hideous. The sentinels, guards and 
pickets fired off their pieces, and the cry "stand 
to your arms!" rung throughout the camp. 
Tryon no doubt thought all the Regulators in 
the world had suddenly swooped down upon 
him. However, the cause of the tumult was 
soon ascertained and quiet was restored. ( State 
Rec. of N. C, Vol. 19, p. 849.) 

Before breaking camp at Guilford Court- 
House Tryon issued his proclamation outlaw- 
ing certain Regulators. (Tryon's Order Book, 
Campaign Against Regulators; Col. Rec. of 
N. G, Vol. 8, p. 617; Wheeler's History of 
North Carolina.) 

Guilford Court-House Camp, 

9th day of June, 1771. 

Whereas, Harmon Husband, James Butler, Rednap 
Howell, and William Butler are outlawed and liable to 
be shot by any person whatever, I do therefore, proclaim 
that they are to be punished for the Traitorous and Re- 
bellious crimes they have committed, issue this my proc- 
lamation hereby offering a reward of 100 pounds sterling, 
and 1000 acres of land to any person or persons who will 
take dead or alive and bring into mine or General Wad- 
dell's camp either or each of the above-named outlaws. 
Given under my hand and seal in the said province of 
Bathabara — this ninth day of June in the year of our 
Lord, 1771. 

William (Seal) Tryon. 
By His Excellency's command, 
John Hawke, P. S. 

242 Some Neglected History 

After issuing his "outlawing" proclamation, 
he rested a few days before resuming his march 
toward Hillsborough, where he ended his 
tyrannical campaign of burning houses and 
destroying crops, arriving there on the 19th of 
June, 1 77 1. A special term of court of oyer 
and terminer was at once held, presided over 
by Chief Justice Howard, with Associate 
Justices Maurice Moore and Richard Hender- 
son. (CoL Rec of N. C, VoL 8, p. 650.) 
Lossing, in his Field Book of the Revolution 
(Vol. 2, p. 578), says: "At Hillsborough he 
held a court martial for the trial of the prison- 
ers, twelve of whom were condemned to death. 
Six were reprieved and the other six hung, 
among whom was Captain Messer." The pris- 
oners were all indicted for high treason, found 
guilty and condemned to death. On six of 
them — James Pugh, Benjamin Merrill, Robert 
Matear, Captain Messer, and two others — the 
sentence was executed on the 19th of June, 
1 77 1 ; the other six — Forrester Mercer, James 
Stewart, James Emmerson, Herman Cox, Wil- 
liam Brown, and James Copeland — were re- 
spited until the King's pleasure could be known. 
(Col. Rec., Vol. 8, p. 635; Vol. 9, pp. 36, 37, 

274, 3"-) 

"The unfortunate prisoners captured by 
Tryon were tried for a crime made capital by 

Of North Carolina 243 

a temporary act of the General Assembly, 
of less than twelve months' duration. This 
act ["Riot Act," see Appendix C] had, in 
great tenderness to His Majesty's subjects, 
converted riot into treason. The terror of the 
examples now proposed to be made under 
it was to expire in less than nine months there- 
after. The offenses of the prisoners were de- 
rived from public and private impositions ; and 
they were the followers and not the leaders in 
the crimes they had committed. Never were 
prisoners more entitled to the leniency of the 
law. The Governor shamefully exerted every 
influence of his nature against the lives of these 
wretched prisoners. As soon as he was in- 
formed that one day had been granted to two of 
the prisoners, by the court, to send for wit- 
nesses, who actually established their innocence 
and saved their lives, Tryon sent an aide-de- 
camp to the judges and Attorney-General, ad- 
vising them that he was dissatisfied with the in- 
activity of their conduct, and threatened to rep- 
resent them unfavorably in England if they did 
not proceed with more spirit and dispatch. Had 
the court submitted to Tryon's influence, all 
testimony on the part of the prisoners would 
have been excluded, and the poor wretches to a 
man would have been executed." (Judge 
Maurice Moore in the "Atticus" letter, pub- 

244 Some Neglected History 

lished in Virginia Gazette, November 7, 1771.) 
The Chief Justice in pronouncing sentence 
upon each of the condemned Regulators used 
the form prescribed by the laws of England in 
cases of treason. He concluded as follows: 
"That the prisoner 4 should be carried to the 
place from whence he came ; that he should be 
drawn from thence to the place of execution 
and hanged by the neck; that he should be cut 
down while yet alive ; that his bowels should be 
taken out and burned before his face ; that his 
head should be cut off, and that his body should 
be divided into four quarters, which were to be 
placed at the King's disposal, and may the Lord 
have mercy on your soul." (Col. Rec. of N. C, 
Vol. 8, p. 643. ) 

We are not told whether the execution was 
carried out in all of its details according to the 
English form or not, but does the reader for 
one instant doubt that one of Tryon's blood- 
thirsty nature would let an opportunity pass to 
make the execution as horrifying as he possibly 
could to the miserable wretches; and thereby 
lose his first opportunity to carry into effect his 
newly created act, wherein riot was made trea- 
son. A general who would order fire set to 
the woods on a battle-field covered with dead 
and wounded soldiers, as Tryon did at Ala- 
mance, would not hesitate very long about 

Of North Carolina 245 

carrying out the letter of the law governing the 
trial and execution of prisoners indicted for 
high treason. 

According to Caruthers (Life of Dr. Cald- 
well, pp. 1 60, 161), "on the day of the execu- 
tion Tryon had the whole army drawn out 
under arms, except the quarter-guard and senti- 
nels. They formed and marched in a hollow, 
oblong square — the first line the right, and the 
second line the left face ; the main guard march- 
ing in the center, with the sheriff and prisoners, 
and the light-horse covering the outside to keep 
off the crowd. This order of march had been 
sketched out and given in general orders by the 
Governor himself, who stopped in this manner 
to point out the spot for the gallows, and gave 
orders for the clearing of the field around to 
make room for the army." As Maurice Moore 
in his "Atticus" letter observes, "the Govern- 
or's minute and personal attention to these par- 
ticulars left a ridiculous idea of his character 
behind him, bearing a strong resemblance to 
that of the undertaker at a funeral. These 
brave men, whose only sin was having warred 
against corruption and oppression, deserved a 
different fate; but Tryon was not like Fingal, 
who never injured the brave, though his arm 
was strong." Others of them had not warred 
in any way, — Robert Thompson, for instance; 

246 Some Neglected History 

nor had they done anything "worthy of death" 
or even "stripes," and none of them deserved 
the ignominy which they received. But they 
had fallen into the hands of one who neither 
acknowledged the claims of justice nor was 
capable of appreciating merit, especially in 
those who, like Husband, Hunter, and their 
followers, could not and would not bow to his 
haughty mandates. 

Rev. Dr. Caldwell traveled a distance of 
forty-six miles to attend the trial of the prison- 
ers, — though it is said none of them belonged 
to his churches, — for the purpose of testifying 
to the character of such of them as he person- 
ally knew, and to be present, as a minister, to 
intercede on their behalf ; and should he fail in 
that, to comfort them by his councils and his 
prayers in preparing them for the solemn 
change which awaited them. As to the former, 
his efforts were unavailing ; but as to the latter, 
his labors, it is hoped, were not in vain in the 
Lord, and he probably felt rewarded for his 
journey and his trouble. 

The place of execution where the six Regu- 
lators suffered such an ignominious death is 
just outside the town limits of Hillsborough, a 
few hundred yards in front of the residence of 
the late Paul C. Cameron, and only a short dis- 
tance from the historic Eno River, where Gov- 

Of North Carolina 247 

ernor Tryon encamped in his march against the 
Regulators. In a grove of natural growth cov- 
ering many broad acres rests a large marble 
slab which was placed there by Mr. Cameron's 
orders to mark the spot where the brave patriots 
suffered death. Surrounding this spot is a 
large, well-kept lawn, crossed by a small brook. 
"It is a traditionary legend that along this 
brook in the olden times was an 'Indian trading- 
path/ now overgrown with grass." Everything 
is beautiful, serene, and peaceful, with nothing 
but the musical notes of the indigenous song- 
birds and the murmur of the waters of the old 
Eno which roll hard by. One finds difficulty in 
realizing that this spot, in all its natural 
grandeur, was in the long ago the scene of such 
horrifying details as the one Tryon personally 
supervised in the old "Colonial days." (Hay- 
wood's Life of Tryon.) 

"If those noble oaks and the historic Eno 
hard by possessed the power of speech, how 
strange a legend they would tell us." 

"Old trees at night are like men in thought, 
By poetry to silence wrought ; 
They stand so still and look so wise 
With folded arms and half-shut eyes, 
More shadowy than the shade they cast 
When the wan moonlight, on the river past ; 
The river is green and runneth slow — 

We cannot tell what it saith; 
It keepeth its secrets down below, 

And so doth death." 

248 Some Neglected History 

One among the staunchest Regulators was 
James Pugh, a brother-in-law of Harmon Hus- 
band. He was a gunsmith by trade, and re- 
paired many a weapon for the Regulators prior 
to the Battle of Alamance. During the battle 
he lay behind a ledge of rocks and killed fifteen 
of Tryon's artillerymen, and was still shooting 
when surrounded and captured. After his cap- 
ture he was dragged around the country in 
chains through the western settlements, and as 
we have just read, tried and condemned for 
treason. According to Caruthers (Life of 
Caldwell, p. 165) and Foote (Sketches of 
North Carolina, p. 64), when placed on the gal- 
lows for the execution, he appeared perfectly 
calm and composed ; said that he had long been 
prepared to meet his God in another world ; re- 
fused to make any acknowledgments for what 
he had done; and requested of the Governor, 
who was present, permission to speak to the 
people in his own defense for one-half hour. 
Having obtained this permission, he then told 
them that his blood would be as good seed 
sown on good ground, which would produce an 
hundredfold. He recapitulated the causes of 
the late conflict; asserted that the Regulators 
had taken the life of no man previous to the bat- 
tle, nor had they aimed at anything more than 
a redress of grievances ; charged the Governor 

Execution of James Pugh. 


Of North Carolina 249 

(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. 8, Pref. Notes, p. 31) 
with having brought an army among them to 
murder the people instead of taking sides with 
them against a set of dishonest sheriffs, clerks, 
and other country officers ; advised him to put 
away his corrupt -clerks and roguish sheriffs and 
be a friend to the people whom he was appointed 
to govern. But when he said that Colonel Fan- 
ning was unfit to hold any office, he was sud- 
denly interrupted, and the barrel on which he 
was standing was turned over at the instigation 
of Fanning, before Pugh was through speaking, 
and a patriot and seer swung out between the 
heavens and the earth a lifeless corpse. 

Here is an instance of bravery and defiance 
on the part of the patriot James Pugh in rebuk- 
ing Governor Tryon for his tyranny and unjust 
dealings with the people. His saying that his 
life and that of others whose blood was shed 
for American independence would be "as good 
seed sown on good ground, which would pro- 
duce an hundredfold," was voiced five years 
four months and five days later by Nathan Hale, 
of Connecticut, who was captured by the Brit- 
ish on Long Island and hanged as a spy. At 
his execution he was refused a Bible or the com- 
fort of a minister, and his letter to his mother 
was torn up before his eyes. His last words 
were, "I only regret that I have but one life to 

250 Some Neglected History 

lose for my country." The State of Connec- 
ticut has honored Hale by having his statue 
erected in Hartford, and another in City Hall 
Park, New York City, while James Pugh's 
memory, unhonored until a few years ago when, 
through Col. Joseph M. Morehead's patriotic 
influence, a modest monument was erected to 
his memory. Shame on North Carolina for 
want of more patriotism! For bravery and 
defiance, the execution of Pugh for high treason 
and his rebuking words to the Governor on 
the one hand, and the execution of Hale as a 
spy and his regrets that he had only one life to 
lose for his country, on the other, are scarcely 
comparable ; yet the latter is honored by monu- 
ments erected at Hartford, Conn., and New 
York City to his memory, while the former lies 
in an unmarked grave on the green sward by 
the old Eno, near Hillsborough. 

Robert Matear, one of the unfortunate vic- 
tims, was a quiet, inoffensive, upright man, 
who had never joined the Regulators. On the 
morning of the battle, May 16, 1 771, he visited 
Tryon's camp with Mr. Robert Thompson and 
Dr. David Caldwell, and he and Thompson 
were detained as prisoners. No man in the 
community was more esteemed while living or 
more lamented when dead ; and he had from the 
first to the last taken no part in the riots or in 

Of North Carolina 251 

the resistance which was made to the govern- 
ment. There seemed to be a peculiar hardship 
in this case, for Matear had never openly joined 
the Regulators or committed any overt act 
which would have made him liable for the pun- 
ishment which he received. According to Ca- 
ruthers in his Life of Caldwell, a few years be- 
fore the battle he went to Newberne to sell a 
load of produce, and Tryon, having learned 
where he was from, as there were no mail lines 
in those days, made him the bearer of a letter to 
Alexander Martin at Salisbury. Matear had 
for a long time been uncertain as to what his 
actions should be with reference to joining the 
Regulators, or what his duty was in the matter. 
To get rid of this suspense and if possible be 
enlightened, it may have occurred to him to 
read the letter which he was carrying to Martin, 
and not knowing or thinking of the conse- 
quence, he opened the letter on the road as he 
was returning home and read it. He was so 
disgusted with the haughtiness and tyranny 
which it manifested, that he handed it over to 
one of his neighbors who was friendly to the 
Regulators. Through their carelessness or in- 
temperate zeal, it became known, and was the 
sole cause of his death. 

Captain Messer, who, as you remember, was 
captured just after the battle, along with the 

252 Some Neglected History 

poor unfortunate Few, who was hanged on the 
battle-field without trial by jury or by court 
martial, was to have been hanged the following 
day, but owing to a very affecting incident al- 
ready noted, he was reserved for the Hillsbor- 
ough fete, June 19, 1771. 

Capt. Benjamin Merrill, of the Jersey settle- 
ments near Salisbury, was another of the un- 
fortunate victims of Tryon's brutal tyranny. 
He was on his way to join the Regulators at 
Alamance, with a company of more than three 
hundred men (see Waddell's resolutions passed, 
at Potts Creek, Salisbury, and Capt. Alexan- 
der's oath, p. 198), when he intercepted Gen. 
Hugh Waddell and forced him to flee to Salis- 
bury, after taking most of his command prison- 
ers. Captain Merrill was within one day's 
march of the Alamance when he heard the can- 
nonading, and soon afterwards heard of the 
victory of the Governor's army. He is said to 
have regretted that he was not present with his 
men to have bled with those who fought for 
liberty. After hearing of the defeat of his 
comrades he disbanded his men and returned 
home. He was taken prisoner (State Rec. of 
N. C, Vol. 19, p. 849) by a detachment under 
Colonel Fanning, and brought to Tryon's army, 
encamped at "J erse y Settlement Camp," on Sat- 
urday, June 1, 1 77 1 ; to the west of the Jersey 

Of North Carolina 253 

settlement near the Yadkin River, and put in 
chains with the other prisoners and dragged 
through the country to Hillsborough, where 
with his life he paid the forfeit. In this trying 
situation he gave his friends satisfactory evi- 
dence that he was prepared to die, for he not 
only professed faith in Christ, his hope of 
heaven, and his willingness to go, but sang a 
psalm very devoutly, like the Covenanters in 
the grass market in Edinburgh, and died like a 
Christian and soldier. On being permitted to 
speak just before the execution, he said that 
fifteen years previously he had been converted, 
but had back-slidden, yet now felt that he was 
freely forgiven and that he would not change 
places with any one on the grounds. In con- 
clusion he referred feelingly to his wife and 
eight children, saying, "I entreat that no reflec- 
tion be cast upon them on my account"; and 
requested that some part of his estate be spared 
for the widow and fatherless. It is said that 
one of Tryon's soldiers was heard to declare 
that if all men went to the gallows with a 
character such as Captain Merrill's, "hanging 
would be an honorable death." 

If Captain Merrill with his three hundred 
men had reached the Alamance the day before 
the battle, the Regulators would have had a 

254 Some Neglected History 

commanding officer, and the result might have 
been quite different from what it was. 

These men may have been rash, but they 
were not cowards ; they may have been impru- 
dent, but they were suffering under wrong and 
outrage, and the withholding of justice and the 
proper exercise of the law. "And if oppression 
and extortion will make a wise man mad," then 
ten years of oppression and extortion which 
these men suffered would have proved them fit 
for subjection had they been submissive. 

Capt. Benjamin Merrill's friend, Capt. Ral- 
eigh Southerland, coming with the force of 
Surry County to help the Regulators, when 
hearing from a distance the guns at the Battle 
of Alamance, wept because he was not there 
with his countrymen "who were shedding their 
blood in defense of their rights." He was ani- 
mated by the same patriotic spirit which led 
Gen. Francis Nash to say with his dying breath, 
on the field of Germantown, "From the first 
dawn of the Revolution I have been on the side 
of liberty and my country." The difference 
was in Southerland's favor, that he was the first 
to recognize the dawn of liberty's morning. 
(McCorkle in North Carolina Booklet.) 

The apologists of Tryon and Fanning stig- 
matize the Regulators as "outlaws and rebels," 

Of North Carolina 255 

"marauding, lawless, irresponsible mob," made 
up of ignorant men of the lower classes. 

The petitions of the Regulators were couched 
in their own language. In one addressed to 
Tryon they said : "We tell you in the anguish of 
our souls, we cannot go to law with our power- 
ful antagonists. Such a step, whenever taken, 
will terminate in the ruin of ourselves and fam- 
ilies." Their experience with the courts at 
Hillsborough had been that they could not get 
justice. "All we want," said they to the Gov- 
ernor's secretary, "is liberty to make our griev- 
ances known," so confident were they of the 
justness and righteousness of their cause. Such 
petitions do not speak of the unreasonableness 
of a "mob." 

They were men of lawful and law-abiding 
spirits, men of strong convictions, with man- 
hood to back them up, for they stood up against 
Tryon at the Battle of Alamance without a 
commanding officer, without cannon or proper 
military equipment, unprepared for battle. Did 
they lack patriotism ? Did they lack courage ? 
Were they ignorant, unprincipled men? Did 
they hate law and order? Some of Tryon' s 
apologists would have you believe that the an- 
swers should be in the affirmative. 

To have submitted to the peremptory, insult- 
ing demands of Tryon's proclamation just 


Some Neglected History 

before the battle would have been to exhibit the 
cringing spirit of slaves, so, with the courage 
of true martyrs and heroes, they stood their 
ground when Tryon precipitately began the 
battle. "Thus," as says Caruthers, "was shown 
the first expression of the principle and spirit 
which covered the men of 1776 with immortal 


Tryon Receives Commission as Governor of the Prov- 
ince of New York; During Trial of Prisoners He 
Leaves Hillsborough; Goes in Camp at Stony Creek; 
Next Morning His Farewell to His Officers and 
Army; Returns to His Palace at Newberne and Em- 
barks for New York; Josiah Martin, the New Gov- 
ernor; Blood Shed at Alamance Battle-ground; the 
Graves of Patriots; the "Flower of Freedom" Which 
Sprang Therefrom; Monument oi the Regulators 
that Fell at Alamance; the Monument Association; 
Rev. Daniel Albright Long; Distinguished Guests in 
Attendance; the First Liberty Bell in America; the 
First Battle of the American Revolution; the First 
Declaration of Independence at Charlotte ; the Meck- 
lenburg Declaration, May 20, 1775. 

It is said that while the trial of the prisoners 
was in progress that Tryon received his com- 
mission as Governor of the Province of New 
York. As soon as the bloody tragedy was 
over, the army left Hillsborough on the follow- 
ing day, June 20, 1771, and encamped at Stony 
Creek, and next morning the Governor took 
leave of his officers and the army and returned 
to his costly palace at Newberne, only to bid it 

258 Some Neglected History 

a long farewell, and make room for Josiah 
Martin, who knew better how to appreciate the 
colonists and their complaints. The troops, 
after Tryon's departure, were conducted by 
slow marches to Col. Needham Bryan's, in 
Johnson County, near where the present town 
of Smithfield now stands, where the different 
detachments separated, and returned each one 
by the nearest route to their respective counties. 
It will be remembered that the inhabitants of 
Duplin County refused to accompany Tryon's 
army in their march against the Regulators, 
and Colonel Ashe was directed to stop there and 
get them to take the oath of allegiance. But 
they were as obstinate about taking the oath of 
allegiance as they were about marching against 
the Regulators, and after waiting two or three 
days in vain, Colonel Ashe left them to enjoy 
their independence and returned home. Thus 
ended an expedition which was little more than 
a crusade against justice, freedom, and human- 
ity, in which Governor Tryon effected nothing 
for the permanent tranquillity and peace of the 
country, but saddled the Province with a war 
debt of about sixty thousand pounds sterling — 
three hundred thousand dollars. And while he 
subjected himself to the keenest shafts of ridi- 
cule, he gathered no laurels but such as were 
stained with the blood of his much-wronged and 

Of North Carolina 259 

greatly-injured subjects, or blighted by the tears 
of the widow and orphan. 

The Battle of Alamance was the incipiency of 
that "Whig" and "Tory" venom, which the 
"Revolution of the Regulators" aroused, that 
spread like wild-fire amongst the colonists of 
the thirteen provinces; which took years of 
bloody warfare and cost the country thousands 
of lives to smoulder it away. And yet this was 
a great object-lesson to -the Americans. They 
saw the necessity for, and realized the need of, 
military discipline and equipment — a good les- 
son for a new nation, that of the United States 
of America. From the Hillsborough execu- 
tion, which was the closing scene of a tyrannical 
Governor's campaign against His Majesty's op- 
pressed subjects, was learned a lesson. The 
Regulators saw and realized what might have 
been accomplished by union, organization, and 
proper discipline. Notwithstanding the artil- 
lery, Tryon with the same troops could not have 
defeated the Regulators the second time on the 
same ground. The Americans had learned a 
valuable lesson in warfare and would have put 
Tryon's troops to flight. 

I have pondered on the sad fate of the pa- 
triots who shed their blood on the Alamance 
battle-ground. "Theirs was indeed a sad fate ; 
but God in His wisdom, overruling all men's 

260 Some Neglected History 

wickedness, even to His own high purposes, has 
brought good out of this great wrong. It is 
said that in the olden days, from every hillock 
surrounding this historic spot, consecrated by 
the blood of martyrs, there came a voice to their 
countrymen, which for years afterwards they 
remembered, "Ye see here the tender mercies 
of an oppressive Government to your country- 
men" ; and the people answered, "It were better 
for men to die like patriot soldiers, trying to 
overthrow such a government, than to be 
hanged like dogs for complaining of it." And 
they swore, God being their helper, they would 
be free, and they are free! "From the blood 
shed on the Battle-field of Alamance, from the 
very grass which covers the graves of the he- 
roic dead, sprung the glorious flower of free- 
dom which now blossoms in all its fragrant 
splendor throughout this great Republic" — the 
United States of America : the grandest, great- 
est, and most glorious republic on earth today. 
I once lived and practiced my profession in 
the county of Alamance, in the neighborhood 
where these patriots lived, suffered, and died ; 
I have made many a pilgrimage to the historic 
spot; I have talked with the descendants of 
those who were in this battle, and of the oppres- 
sion they endured, and of the incidents before 
and after the battle. The spot is now marked 

The First Liberty Bell 

Of North Carolina 261 

by a monument reared by the citizens of Ala- 
mance County in memory of the brave heroes 
who fell fighting for American freedom and in- 

Rev. Daniel Albright Long, D. D., a citizen 
of Alamance County, on July 4, 1879, * n a 
speech at the Regulator Battle-ground, which is 
about six and a half miles southwest of the 
present town of Graham, the county seat of 
Alamance County, called upon the citizens of 
the county to organize a "Monument Associa- 
tion" for the purpose of erecting a monument 
to the patriots of May 16, 1771. The organi- 
zation was perfected, and in the course of time 
the monument was erected, and it was unveiled 
on May 29, 1880, in the presence of several 
thousand patriotic citizens, the Governor of the 
State and military staff being present. 

The music for this patriotic occasion was fur- 
nished by the Durham Military Band from 
Durham, North Carolina, through the gener- 
osity of Gen. Julian S. Carr, who fought under 
Lee during the late unpleasantness between the 
North and the South, and one of North Caro- 
lina's most princely and patriotic philan- 

Col. Thomas M. Holt and Judge Daniel G. 
Fowle, both of whom were afterwards Gov- 
ernor of the State, made appropriate speeches. 

262 Some Neglected History 

Many interesting relics were exhibited, among 
others a very large hand-bell, said to have been 
used by the Regulators to call their forces to- 
gether, as well as to warn them of the approach 
of the British. This first Liberty Bell in Amer- 
ica was presented to Dr. Long for his interest 
in the movement, and final erection, of the 

Governor Tryon with his own hands fired the 
first shot at the Battle of Alamance, which 
killed Robert Thompson, the first man killed 
at Alamance, Thursday, May 16, 1771. It was 
here that the first blood was shed for American 
freedom and independence ; it was here that the 
British first met the Americans — Regulators — 
on the battle-field ; here was the spot where the 
first armed resistance to British authority was 
enacted. The Battle of Alamance, and not the 
Battle of Lexington, as is usually taught, was 
the first battle of the American Revolution. 

The burning desire for freedom and inde- 
pendence, held in check by an oppressive gov- 
ernment, at last — volcano-like — burst through 
the powers of suppression ; and its eruption, like 
wild contagion, spread with the rapidity of a 
wild prairie fire, consuming the mind and intel- 
lect of all with whom it came in contact with a 
desire for and a determination to be free and 
independent, until Massachusetts and the other 

) the Battle of Alamni 

Of North Carolina 263 

eleven colonies joined the Regulators of the 
Province of North Carolina for the coming stu- 
pendous struggle for independence. 

The Revolution of the Regulators at the Bat- 
tle of Alamance sharpened the sensibilities and 
instilled into the intellect of the Mecklenburgers 
the determination to be free and independent, 
which led to the Mecklenburg Declaration of 
Independence, the first Declaration of Ameri- 
can Liberty and Independence. With the facts 
before us it is an indisputable historic fact that 
the Province of North Carolina was the first of 
the thirteen colonies to openly resist and later 
cast off the British yoke, and relying on the 
truth and justice of her cause and with the help 
of the God of David, she threw the gauntlet — 
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence — of 
defiance in the teeth of the Goliath power of 

Possibly no two facts in American history 
have been more doubted and discussed, and as a 
consequence more clearly and indisputably pro- 

•Mrs. L. A. McCorklc, writing in the North Carolina 
Booklet, "Was Alamance the First Battle of the Ameri- 
can Revolution," defends the cause of the Regulators in 
a masterly style. Her conclusions evince a research sur- 
passing that of any recent writer, and so just to the 
cause at the Regulators and the principles for which 
they fought and died that I hope to be pardoned for 
drawing largely upon it, realizing that she has exhausted 

264 Some Neglected History 

yen, than that the Battle of Alamance was the 
first battle, and here the first blood was shed; 
and that the Mecklenburg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence was the forerunner of the American 
Revolution. The blood shed at Alamance 
made possible the Declaration of the Mecklen- 
burgers. However, just as there were during 
the war of the roses patriotic Englishmen who 
sided with the House of York, while others 
were allied with the House of Lancaster; as 
during the Protectorate there were patriots 
among the Roundheads as well as among the 
Cavaliers ; as during the Revolution there were 
some good men who believed in Toryism and 
sided with England, while other good men, be- 
lievers in Whig principles, opposed England; 
as during the war between the States there were 
conscientious believers on the Union side who 
fought against their neighbors and kindred in 
the Federal army — so for more than a hundred 
years there have been among us those believing 
in, and those refusing to believe in, the patriot- 
ism of the heroes of the Battle of Alamance and 
in the authenticity of the Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion of Independence. 

"The statements of Bancroft, in his 'History 
of the United States,' edition of 1854, are for 
the most part quotations from the letters of 
Governors Tryon and Martin to Lord Hillsbor- 

Of North Carolina 265 

ough, Secretary of State for the Colonies, and 
from contemporary publications in Philadel- 
phia, New York, and Boston. This great his- 
torian tells us that he had a very full collection 
of papers bearing on the Regulators, and he de- 
clares that 'the blood of rebels against oppres- 
sion was first shed on the branches of the Cape 
Fear River.' Nor is the opinion of Dr. Ca- 
ruthers to be despised. He lived for forty years 
in the section which had been the storm-center 
of the Regulation movement, being the imme- 
diate successor of Dr. David Caldwell as pastor 
of the historic churches of Alamance and Buf- 
falo. He gathered many of his facts from 'old 
men of great respectability, who were then liv- 
ing and remembered the former times.' When 
he used verbal testimony he 'took pains to get 
an account of the same thing from different 
persons or from the same person at different 
times, for the purpose of comparing them to- 
gether and ascertaining the truth.' And he 
tells us that 'the Regulation is now regarded by 
our greatest men as the very germ of the Rev- 
olution in this State.' Dr. Hawks tells us he 
lived 'where the spot on which the Regulators 
were hanged met his eye every day,' and de- 
clares that 'God made the flower of freedom 
grow out of the turf that covered these men's 
graves.' He also had a personal acquaintance 

266 Some Neglected History 

with contemporaries of those who laid down 
their lives at Alamance. 

"It is urged that the Regulators were not 
fighting British troops and that they were not 
fighting for independence. As to the first quib- 
ble, it is sufficient to state that they were fight- 
ing the same sort of a force that suffered defeat 

at the hands of Shelby and Cleveland at King's 
Mountain — colonial militia, flying the British 
flag, and led by officers who represented the 
British Crown. As to the second, the same ar- 
gument would prove that Lexington was not a 
battle of the Revolution at all, and that in fact 
the Revolution did not commence until July, 
1776. The truth is, none of the colonists at 
first desired independence. The common de- 
mand of all was redress of grievances. Only 
thirty-seven days before the Battle of Lexing- 
ton, John Adams declared 'that there are any 
who pant after independence is the greatest 
slander on the Province/ 

"Once more, it is said that the Regulators 
did not come thither expecting to fight. Neither 
did the men of Lexington! We are told that 
'the night preceding the outrage at Lexington 
there were not fifty people in the colony that 
ever expected any blood would be shed in the 
contest/ The patriots of Alamance were stig- 
matized as rebels, and suffered the spoiling of 


Of North Carolina 267 

their plantations and the burning of their 
homes, and some of them were executed as 
traitors and rebels. According to the British 
view the men of Lexington were nothing more 
nor less. 

"Compare the utterances and the deeds of the 
men of Alamance with those of the men of Lex- 
ington. They at Lexington instruct their rep- 
resentatives to demand 'radical and lasting re- 
dress of their grievances/ On the village green 
of Lexington free-born Americans swore 'to 
combat manfully for their birthright inherit- 
ance of liberty.' On the green sward of Ala- 
mance the Regulators, counting themselves 
free-born, gave full proof of their resolve 'to 
know and enjoy the liberty which they had in- 

"Word chimes with word. Deed harmon- 
izes with deed. The same spirit of freedom, 
ready to die for liberty, breathes in both. At 
Alamance there burst forth in a battle for right 
and justice the same undaunted spirit of love 
for freedom that afterwards flashed in the 
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, and 
later flamed at King's Mountains, at Cowpens, 
and at Guilford Court House." 

In view of all the facts, attested by contem- 
porary witnesses and admitted by royal Gov- 
ernors, we feel constrained to believe that what 

268 Some Neglected History 

Bancroft says of the men of Lexington should 
be, in all its particulars, held applicable to the 
heroes of Alamance, and to them only. 

"There they now stood, with arms in their 
hands, silent, fearless, willing to fight for their 
privileges, scrupulous not to begin civil war, as 
yet unsuspicious of danger. The ground on 
which they trod was the altar of freedom, and 
they were to furnish the victims. If any fact 
in the history of the United States is well at- 
tested, it is that the fire which flashed forth at 
Alamance was not quenched in the ashes of de- 
feat. It left embers burning from which, as 
the years went by, there was kindled through- 
out Surry, Anson, Rowan, and Mecklenburg, 
and across the Alleghanies in the independent 
'State of Franklin/ founded by refugees from 
the country of the Regulators, a flame of pa- 
triotic fever which, uniting at last with the fires 
of Lexington and Bunker Hill, swept away the 
entire remnant of British power in the colonies. 
In the State of Franklin, the immediate off- 
spring of the Regulation movement, independ- 
ence was a fact before it was dreamed of else- 
where. In that little Commonwealth in the 
mountains no British flag ever waved and no 
officer of the British Crown ever came, and 
there the people, outraged and outlawed by 
British oppression, 'set to the people of America 

Of North Carolina 269 

the dangerous example of erecting themselves 
into a State separate and distinct from and in- 
dependent of the authority' of the English 

If this resistance of the Regulators to Try- 
on's tyranny is not entitled to be designated a 
"Revolution" because the original purpose of 
the Regulators was not to "change their form 
of government," neither was the continuous 
and falsely so-called "Revolutionary War" en- 
titled to be termed a revolution for the same 
reason; for to a certainty the Revolutionary 
patriots had no idea of changing their form of 
government till 1776 — five years after the war 
had begun. We have proven that the War of 
the Regulators was a revolution and the begin- 
ning of, and the Revolutionary War the ending 
of, one and the same war against oppression by 
the British Government; and that for the es- 
tablishment of our free and glorious Republic 
Washington and his coadjutors must share the 
honor with the Regulators. We feel in duty 
bound, as a true North Carolinian, to do the 
Regulators and their cause justice, and the Col- 
ony of Massachusetts, with the glories of her 
Lexington, must yield precedence to the Old 
North State and her "Alamance," where the 
first patriots defied an army flying the British 
flag, and gave up their life-blood for American 
liberty and independence. 



Governor William Tryon's Character and Personal 


(iovernor Tryon was an Englishman by birth and a 
soldier by profession. He received a commission as 
Lieutenant and Captain of the First Regiment of Foot 
Guards, 12th October, 1751 ; in 1757 he married Miss 
Wake, of Hanover St., London, with whom he received 
a large fortune of £20,000 pounds sterling, and on 30th 
September, 1758, became Captain and Lieutenant-Colonel 
in the Guards. Through some Court influence, probably 
as Miss Tryon, his sister, was maid of honor to the 
QUEEN, and as he claimed relationship with the Raw- 
don or Moira family, he was appointed Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor of North Carolina, where he arrived 27th of Octo- 
ber, 1764, and was Gazetted Governor, of the Province 
20th July, 1765. He administered the Government of 
North Carolina until July, 1771, when he was advanced 
to that of New York. He was promoted to a Colonelcy 
in the Army 25th May, 1772; became third Major of the 
Guards, 8th June, 1775; Major-General, 29th August, 
1777, and Colonel of the 70th regiment, 14th May, 1778. 
In 1779 his name was inserted in the New York Act of 
Confiscation. On 21st March, 1780, he resigned the Gov- 
ernorship of New York, which for many years had been 
only nominal, and returned to England, where he was 
appointed Lieutenant-General, 20th November, 1782, and 
Colonel of the 29th Foot, 16th August, 1783. Governor 
Tryon died at his home, upper Grosvenor Street, Lon- 

274 Some Neglected History 

don, 27th January, 1788, and his remains were deposited 
in the family vault at Twickenham. A highly eulogistic 
obituary notice of him, doubtless from the pen of Ed- 
mund Fanning, who accompanied him from North Caro- 
lina in July, 1771, appeared shortly after In the Gentle- 
man's Gazette, LVTIL, 179. "The name of Tryon," it 
asserts, "will be revered across the Atlantic while virtue 
and sensibility remain." The State of New York mani- 
fested its "reverence" soon after by erasing the name 
Tryon from the only county that bore it in the State. 
North Carolina also obliterated the name Tryon, which 
stigmatized one of her counties, by dividing the territory 
in 1779 into two new counties — Lincoln and Rutherford. 
What was Tryon's real character it is difficult to say 
even at this day. That he was a soldier, diplomat and 
statesman is beyond dispute. That he possessed per- 
sonal courage is doubtless true ; that he was well versed 
in the learning of his profession and possessed of a prac- 
tical knowledge of its details, no one can deny who has 
studied his record. Undoubtedly, he was fond of the 
pomp and vanities of life generally ; but, possibly, he was 
never quite so happy as when riding at the head of a col- 
umn of gallant men, and doubtless the feather in his hat 
was just a trifle, at least, more showy than the plumes 
worn by men of equal rank, though, perhaps, not of equal 
military ability. But Tryon, when in North Carolina, 
at least, is considered to have been something more than 
a mere soldier seeking a bubble reputation at the can- 
non's mouth ; but, for all that, he was always a soldier, 
and, while an adept in the arts of diplomacy whenever 
it pleased him to employ them, he always had in view the 
use of armed troops as a last resort. Diplomacy, too, 
perhaps, he kept for the legislature and force for the 
people. After the matter of the Stamp Act, he used all 
the force at his command, the armed vessels in the river, 
and proceeded to advise the home government as to the 
best time to send troops to the Province. In the matter 

Of North Carolina 275 

of the Cherokee Boundary Line, of which there was no 
necessity, with an army consisting of one hundred men 
and servants, marching in all the vanity and pomp of a 
general going to war, he marched for the westward on 
May 20th, 1767, and returned again on June 13th of the 
same year, being out seventeen days, for which the tax- 
ables of the Province were assessed more than two pence 
per head, aggregating the sum of £15,000 sterling. In the 
matter of the Regulators, which, though perhaps the 
most important event of his administration, the advan- 
tages likely to accrue to himself personally from a suc- 
cessful armed conflict with so-called rebels, seemed to 
have possessed him at an early date, and to have blinded 
him entirely as to his duties to the people over whom he 
ruled. His desire to live in luxury and be surrounded 
by the pomp and vanity of royalty, had its culmination in 
his influencing the Assembly to build a palace which cost 
the Province Twenty Thousand Pounds. The truth 
seems to be that he could have settled the Regulation 
troubles without force had he desired to do so. This he 
did not desire to do, but, on the contrary, desired the 
Regulators should proceed to violence, which would give 
him a pretext to bring an army into the fields. His first 
army for this purpose was officered in September, 1768, 
when he undertook the Hillsborough Expedition against 
the Regulators ; but his promises to their requests for an 
amicable adjustment of their grievances satisfied them, 
and they left him "to fight the air ;" he was disappointed 
of the desired conflict. The cost of this Hillsborough ex- 
pedition was something more than £20,000 sterling. His 
next army was not put in the field until April, 1771, but 
he began preparing for it more than twelve months be- 
fore by having the Johnson Act passed, which was only 
to be in force for one year, and no longer, during which 
time he realized that the Regulators would take up arms 
against the Government, knowing that they would no 
longer submit to the extortion and oppression practiced 

276 Some Neglected History 

by all the officers of the Government, from himself down. 
After having the necessary laws passed for this cam- 
paign and the troops drilled and in readiness, he by no 
means proposed "to fight the air" (again) this time, so 
he held his troops back until it was certain there would 
be substantial men in his front, and not merely "the air." 
The expense of this expedition cost the taxpayers of the 
Province more than £40,000 sterling. From the tenor of 
his correspondence generally, it would seem he was 
steadily looking forward to his marching against the 
Regulators, and, from his correspondence just before the 
Legislature met in 1770, it would seem he was eagerly on 
the hunt for matter with which to aggravate that body 
into passing a Johnson Act of some sort. Certainly, too, 
when in March, 1771, he ordered the judges to attend 
the approaching term of Hillsborough court, it would 
seem he desired to make sure of further violence, and to 
use the words of one of the judges, "was not unwilling 
to sacrifice his judges to increase the guilt of his ene- 
mies." Either that, or he utterly discredited the reputed 
violence of the Regulators. 

He was a fine writer, too, and a fearless one, and wrote 
with much force and elegance, indulging at times in 
smoothly polished impertinence, very thinly veiled, in his 
correspondence with the home Government. But, to do 
Tryon full justice, we must bear in mind that modern 
ideas of the just relations between the People and their 
Governors today are very different from the ideas of one 
hundred and fifty years ago. Fanning, too, at an early day 
seems to have gotten an influence over him ; so baneful, 
indeed, was it, that from the day it was acquired it was 
full of evil, and evil only, to the Province. 

As we have just stated, heavy appropriations had great 
attractions for him, for he was reckless and extravagant 
in the expenditure of public money. The four appro- 
priations above mentioned cost the taxpayers of the 

Of North Carolina 277 

Province of North Carolina $500,000 during the period of 
six years of his incumbency as Governor. 

He was evidently a man of complex nature, in which 
force and diplomacy and mere foppery, perhaps, con- 
tended for the mastery; and, too, while ordinarily an 
amiable man, when his blood was up he was as merciless 
as a wild beast The wanton hanging of the lunatic 
Few, in cold blood, and without any form of trial, the 
morning after the battle of Alamance, when all pretense 
of resistance was at an end, showed both the cruelty of 
the man and the domination Fanning had over him, and 
the manner in which he ravaged the country of the Regu- 
lators after they were vanquished was worthy of a Cum- 
berland in olden times or a Sherman in modern. Equally 
cruel was the infliction of two hundred and forty lashes 
upon a man whose greatest crime was writing an "impu- 
dent letter" to "Lady" Tryon. 

Nor, in this regard, was his course in New York any 
better. Sabine, in his "Sketches of the American Loyal- 
ists," paints him in very black colors. He says that in 
1777, when Governor of New York, Tryon declared that 
if he had more authority, he would "burn every commit- 
teeman's house within his reach," and that he would 
"give twenty-five silver dollars for every acting commit- 
teeman delivered up to the King's troops;" that when 
Fairfield was burned, Mrs. Burr, a lady of great dignity 
of character, and possessed of most of the qualities which 
give distinction to her sex, resolved to remain in her 
dwelling, and, if possible, to save it from the flames. She 
made personal application to Tryon to spare it, but he an- 
swered her not only incourteously, but rudely, brutally, 
and with vulgarity, and when a soldier attempted to rob 
her of her watch, he refused to protect her, and that at 
the burning of Norwalk he seated himself in a chair on 
Grammond Hill and calmly enjoyed the scene. 

278 Some Neglected History 

Among the valuable p ioper ly destroyed in the Nor- 
walk fire was a valuable library of one thousand volumes 
and the household p ioperly of Haynes Fitch, grand- 
uncle, prefixed by several greats, of the author of this 
volume. This house and the library was converted into 
ashes, as well as his grain, which was being harvested ; 
that which had been cut, but not bound in the bundles, 
was spared; as Haynes Fitch said, the day before, ex 
pecting the British to burn it : "If they wanted to burn it 
they would have to gather it up and stack it" Conse- 
quently his was the only crop of wheat not entirely de- 
stroyed during the Norwalk fire on July n, 1779. 

The Hon. William L. Saunders, editor of the Colon- 
ial Records of the State of North Carolina, in speaking 
of Tryon, says that he, like Fanning, was immensely 
wealthy when he left the Province of North Carolina. 
This is easy to understand, if he, like Fanning, extorted 
and oppressed on every opportunity. 

(See Vol. VIII. Colonial Records, Piefatory Notes.) 

In substantiating the fact of Tryon's ambitions in a 
military line and his desire for the pomp and aggrandize- 
ment of military honors, we will quote from a letter of 
his to the Earl of Hillsborough, Williamsburg, 8th July, 



One grand principle of my offering my services in 
America flowed from a wish to be placed in a situation 
in which I might render my services more beneficially to 
my Royal master than my station in the Guards would 
probably allow me to do in time of peace. Another mo- 
tive was that if happily I could, by a diligent discharge 
of my office answer the purpose of it. I flattered myself 
it would recommend me to the King's indulgent consid- 
eration in my Military line. The first of these objects I 
have amply obtained by His Majesty's most gracious ap- 
probation of my public conduct, signified to me both by 

Of North Carolina 279 

your Lordship and the Earl of Shelburn. The fruits of 
the latter I can only hope from his Majesty's most gra- 
cious favor ; but upon that I entirely depend, as the Earl 
of Halifax told me (while Secretary of State) on my 
departure from England that he had it from the King to 
assure me I should receive no prejudice in my Military 
rank while employed in America. If, therefore, in His 
Majesty's goodness I might be appointed one of his Aide- 
de-Camps or receive a Regiment through his Royal 
bounty, in either case I should be gratefully happy. But 
if a regiment should be my fortune, my unwearied duty 
would be exerted to keep it as well disciplined and ap- 
pointed as the company of Grenadiers I reluctantly re- 
signed to Colonel West. 

Permit me, my Lord, to request the favor of you to lay 
this letter at his Majesty's feet, and to support it with 
your Lordship's good offices, which will infinitely oblige, 

My Lordship, Etc., 

Wm. Tryon. 
(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. VIII, p. 54.) 

Herein we learn unmistakably that promotion in a mil- 
itary line, Tryon being a soldier by profession, was the 
ultimate end and aim of his earthly aspirations and the 
goal toward which all his aims and efforts tended. 


Letter from John Frohock and Alexander Martin to 

Governor Tryon. 

Salisbury, 18th March, 1771. 
May it Please Your Excellency : 

As you have been ever attentive to the true Interest of 
the Province during your Administration, and have ex- 
erted every prudent method to maintain its Public Peace 
by endeavoring to quell a most dangerous and lawless In- 
surrection that has of late disturbed this part of your 
Government, permit us, Sir, to discharge our Duty on 
this Occasion by informing you to what issue Regulation 
(as it is called) is brought, and upon what Footing it 
stands at present in the district of Salisbury. 

The Regulators, upon their return from their Expedi- 
tion to rescue Herman Husbands, formed a design to 
visit Salisbury Superior Court, which hearing, one of us 
went down into their Settlements to know the reality of 
their Intentions, and found them assembled for that pur- 
pose, though peacefully disposed beyond expectation. 
On the sixth of this Instant they accordingly appeared 
to the amount of four or five hundred, encamped in the 
Woods on this side of the Adkin River. We went to 
them; found some of them armed and others unarmed; 
desired to know their designs and what they wanted. 
They answered, they came with no intention to disturb 
the Court or to injure the Person or property of any one, 
only to petition the Court for a redress of Grievances 

Of North Carolina 281 

against Officers taking exorbitant Fees, and that their 
arms were not for offense, but to defend themselves if 
assaulted. These were the general Answers of their 
Chiefs, though there were several threats and Menaces 
of whipping flung out by the lower Characters among 
them against some particular persons, but not by the 
general voice. We told them there was not any Court; 
that from this late Behavior the judges did not think it 
prudent to hold one at Salisbury under the direction of„ 
Whips and Clubs. They seemed somewhat concerned, 
and said there would have been no danger fqrthfl-CKief 
Justice to have held a Court, but as to the AssBtriatcr 
they were silent. We further told them if any of us 
were the persons against whom they had complaints, 
justly founded, we were always ready and willing to give 
them satisfaction without their disturbing the Public 
Peace. They intimated we were some of the persons 
against whom they were to complain, and to show their 
disposition for peace and that all disputes between them 
and us should subside hereafter they formed a Commit- 
tee to wait on us, and to propose a plan of accommodat- 
ing matters, who were Jeremiah Fields, Joshua Teague, 
Samuel Jones, John Vickery, Samuel Waggoner, James 
Graham, John Enyart, James Hunter, Peter Julian, John 
Corry, Henry Wade, William Wilborn, Jr., Samuel Law, 
Thomas Flack, Daniel Galaspie and James Wilson, who 
proposed, in behalf of the people (as they said), to leave 
every complaint and dispute subsisting between us to 
men by each of us to be indifferently chosen, to which we 
readily agreed as equitable. 

Accordingly on their part they nominated Herman 
Husbands, James Graham, James Hunter and Thomas 

Person, we in turn chose Matthew Locke, John , 

Samuel Young and James Smith, that they, or a major- 
ity of them, should arbitrate and finally settle every dif- 
ference between us whatsoever. And also fixed the time 

282 Some Neglected History 

for the meeting of the Arbitrators and every person con- 
cerned, on the third Tuesday in May next, at John Kim- 
brough's, on Huwaree. By this Agreement no Officer is 
included but those of this County and those who volun- 
tarily join the same. Upon which the main body, after 
being informed what had been done, went through the 
Town, gave Three Cheers, and returned to their homes 
without using violence to any Person whatsoever to our 

This, may it please your Excellency, is a short detail 
of what passed between the Regulators and us the sixth 
and seventh of this Instant, and had they been insolent 
or daring enough to have committed any outrages, there 
were, in consequences of Orders given previous to their 
coming, three Companies of the Militia armed, headed 
by their respective Officers, Major Dobbins, Captain 
Rutherford and Captain Berger, ready in town to oppose 
them and to protect the Court, if there had been any. 
And on the seventh Day, Col. Alexander and Captain 
Polk appeared from Mecklenburg with Seventy or Eighty 
men for the same purpose, to whom the Thanks of This 
County are justly due. From such appearances of Oppo- 
sition this deluded people begin to grow sick of Regula- 
tion, and want peace upon any tolerable Terms. As the 
spirit of sedition has been propagated with much indus- 
try among the lower class of Inhabitants here, who are 
loud in their clamors against the officers, We flatter our- 
selves the Measures we have taken will be approved of 
and acceptable to your Excellency, having a tendency to 
still the minds of many misinformed, misguided, though 
well meaning, persons, who have been inadvertently 
drawn into joining the Faction. For we are conscious of 
our Innocence, and that their complaints are chiefly 
groundless, and are willing and desirous that any set of 
reasonable men may inspect and judge our conduct. This, 
when the populace is once satisfied of, they will drop their 


Of North Carolina 283 

prejudices and their haughty Leaders, will become Ob- 
jects of their, as well as the Government Resentment 
This procedure we expect will have more effect on their 
minds than all the Formalities of Law whatsoever, as 
they would still suggest they had injustice done them. 
They want, they say, to converse with the Officers who 
have taken Their Money, to satisfy them for what (this 
is surely reasonable), and they will all be quiet again. 
This we have undertaken to do, and Time must produce 
the effect. If our hopes and wishes be not too sanguine, 
perhaps this may be the foundation of putting an end to 
all future Tumult and disorder, and would hope that our 
conduct by no means reflects any dishonor on the Gov- 
ernment or lessen the dignity of the Administration to 
punish those Offenders heretofore guilty of outrages, 
adequate to their Crimes, but shows the desire and readi- 
ness of us to remove every complaint they have against 
us, without involving the Government in a considerable 
and unnecessary expense. But should these terms not 
have the desired effect, the aggravation of their guilt 
will surely be much the greater. Upon the whole, we 
submit these proceedings to Your Excellency's wiser 
Judgment, and flatter ourselves with the Approbation. 
We assure you, Sir, we shall always be fond of whatever 
Instructions you shall please to honor us with relative to 
our future conduct, in which the peace and welfare of the 
Government is so much concerned. We are, with out 
utmost Respect, Etc., 

John Frohock. 

Alex. Martin. 

(See Colonial Records, Vol. VIII, pp. 533-34*35-36.) 


An Act for Preventing Tumultuous and Riotous Assem- 
blies, and for the More Speedy and Effectually Pun- 
ishing the Rioters, and for Restoring and Preserving 
the Public Peace of This Province. 

Whereas of late many seditious riots and tumults have 
been in divers parts of this Province to the Disturbance 
of the Public Peace, the Obstruction of the Courts of 
Justice, and tending to subvert the Constitution, and the 
same yet continued and fomented by persons dissatisfied 
with his Majesty's Government. And whereas it hath 
been doubted by some how far the Laws now in Force are 
sufficient to inflict Punishment adequate to such heinous 

Be it therefore enacted by the Governor, Council and 
Assembly, and by the Authority of the same, That if any 
persons, to the number of ten or more, be unlawfully, 
tumultously and riotously assembled together, to the 
disturbance of the public peace, at any time after the 
first Day of February next, and being openly required or 
commanded by any one or more justices of the Peace or 
Sheriff to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart 
themselves to their Habitations, shall, to the number of 
ten or more, notwithstanding such command or request 
made, remain or continue together by the space of one 
Hour after such Command or Request, that then contin- 
uing together to the number of ten or more, shall be ad- 
judged Felons and shall suffer Death as in Case of Fel- 

Of North Carolina 285 

ony, and shall be utterly excluded from his or her clergy, 
if found guilty by verdict of a jury or shall confess the 
same, upon his or their arraignment, or will not answer 
directly to same, according to the Laws of this Province, 
or shall be mute or shall be outlawed, and in every such 
justice of the Peace and Sheriff within the limits of their 
respective jurisdiction, as hereby authorised and em- 
powered, and required on Notice or knowledge of any 
such unlawful, riotous assembly to resort to the place 
where such unlawful riots and tumultuous assembly shall 
be, of Persons to the number of ten or more, and there 
to make, or cause to be made, such Request or Command. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that if such persons so unlawfully, riotously and tumult- 
uously assembled, or ten or more of them, after such re- 
quest or command made in manner aforesaid, shall con- 
tinue together and not disperse themselves in one hour, 
then it shall be lawful to and for every Justice of the 
Peace or Sheriff of the County where such Assembly 
shall be, and also to and for such Person or Persons as 
shall be commanded to be aiding and assisting to any 
such justice of the Peace or Sheriff, who are hereby au- 
thorized and empowered and required to command all 
His Majesty's subjects of this Province of Age and Abil- 
ity to be assisting to them therein to seize and apprehend 
such persons so unlawfully, and riotously and tumult- 
uously continuing together after such Request or Com- 
mand made aforesaid, and forthwith to carry the Persons 
so apprehended before one or more of His Majesty's 
Justices of the peace of the County where such persons 
shall be apprehended in Order to their being proceeded 
against for such Offenses according to Law. And that 
if such persons so unlawfully and riotously and tumult- 
uously assembled together, shall happen to be killed, 
maimed, wounded or hurt in the dispersing, seizing, or 
apprehending, or endeavoring to disperse, seize or appre- 

286 Some Neglected History 

hend them, by reason of their resistance, that in every 
such case, the Justice of the Peace, Sheriff, or under 
sheriff, and all other persons being aiding or assisting to 
them, or any of them, shall be free, discharged and in- 
demnified, as well as the King, his Heirs and Successors, 
as against all and every other person and persons of, for 
and concerning the killing, maiming or hurting any of 
such person or persons so unlawfully* riotously and tu- 
multuously assembled. 

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, 
that if any Persons to the Number of Ten or more, un- 
lawfully, riotously and tumultuously assembled together 
to the disturbance of the Public Peace, shall unlawfully 
and with force at any time after the first Day of March 
next, during the sitting of any of the Courts of Judica- 
ture within the Province, and with the intention to ob- 
struct or disturb the Proceedings of such Court, assault, 
beat or wound or openly threaten to assault, beat or 
wound any of the Judges, Justices or other officers of 
such Court, during the continuance of the term, or shall 
assault, beat or wound or openly threaten to assault, 
beat or wound, shall unlawfully and with Force hinder 
or obstruct any Sheriff, Coroner, or Collector of the Pub- 
lic Taxes in the discharge or execution of his or their 
Offices, or shall unlawfully and with force demolish, pull 
down or destroy any church or Chapel or any building 
for religious worship or any Court House or Prison, or 
any Dwelling House, Barn, Stable or other House, that 
then every such offense shall be adjudged a Felony. And 
the Offenders therein, their Leaders, Abettors and Ad- 
visers, shall be Adjudged felons, and shall suffer death 
as in due case of Felony, and shall be utterly excluded 
from his or their clergy ; and if found guilty by verdict 
of a jury, or shall confess the same upon his or their 
arraignment, or will not answer directly to the same, ac- 
cording to the laws of this Province, or shall stand mute 
or be outlawed. 

Of North Carolina 287 

And whereas it hath been found by experience that 
there is great difficulty in bringing to Justice those who 
have been or may be guilty of any of the offenses before 
mentioned : for remedy thereof, Be it enacted by the au- 
thority aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawful to and 
for the Attorney-General of this Province for the time 
being, or his deputies, to commence prosecutions against 
any person or perepjis~w4io~may have at any time since the 
first Day of March last, or shall at any time hereafter 
commit or perpetrate any of the crimes hereinbefore 
mentioned, in any superior Court within this Province, or 
in any Court of Oyer and Terminer, by the Governor or 
Commander-in-Chief for the time being, specially insti- 
tuted and appointed, and the Judges or Justices of such 
Court, are hereby empowered and required to take cogni- 
zance of all such crimes and offenses, and proceed to 
give judgment and award execution thereon, although 
in a different County or District from that wherein the 
crime was committed, and that all proceedings thereupon 
shall be deemed equally valid and sufficient in law as if 
the same had been prosecuted in the County or District 
wherein the Offense was committed, any, Law, Usage or 
Custom to the Contrary notwithstanding. 

And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, 
that the Judges or Justices of such Court of Oyer and 
Terminer so commissioned shall direct the clerk of the 
District where such Court of Oyer and Terminer is to be 
held to issue Writs Venire Facias, and the proceedings 
thereon to be in all respects the same as directed by an 
act of the Assembly passed at New Bern in January of 
the year of our Lord, One Thousand seven hundred and 
sixty-eight, entitled An Act for dividing this Province 
into six several districts and for establishing a superior 
Court of Justice in each of the said districts and regu- 
lating the proceedings therein, and for providing ade- 
quate salaries for the Chief Justices and the associate 
Justices of the said superior Courts. 

288 Some Neglected History 

Provided, nevertheless, that no Person or Persons 
heretofore guilty of any of the crimes or offenses in this 
Act before mentioned, altho' convicted thereof in a dif- 
ferent County or District from that wherein such Of- 
fense was committed, shall be subject to any or other or 
greater punishment than he or they would or might have 
been had this Act never been made. 

And to the end that the justice of the Province be not 
eluded by the resistance or escape of such enormous Of- 
fenders, Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that from and after the passing of this act, if any Bill or 
Bills of indictment be found or presented or present- 
ments made against any Person or Persons for any of 
the crimes or offenses hereinbefore mentioned, it shall 
and may be lawful for the Judges or Justices of the su- 
perior Court or Court of Oyer and Terminer, wherein 
such indictment shall be found or presentment made, and 
they are hereby empowered and required to issue their 
proclamation to be affixed or put up at the Court House 
and each Church or Chapel in the County where the 
crime was committed, commanding the Person or Per- 
sons against whom such bill of indictment is found or 
presentment made to surrender himself or themselves to 
the Sheriff of the County wherein such Court is to be 
held within sixty days. And in case such Person or Per- 
sons do not surrender himself or themselves accord- 
ingly, he or they shall be deemed guilty of the offense 
charged in the indictment found or presentment made in 
manner like as if he or they had been arraigned and con- 
victed thereof by due course of Law ; and it shall be law- 
ful to or for any Person or Persons to kill or destroy 
such Offender or Offenders, and such Person or Persons 
killing such Offender or Offenders shall be free, dis- 
charged and indemnified, as well as against the KING, 
his heirs and Successors, as against all and every Person 
or Persons for and concerning the killing and destroying 
such Offender or Offenders, and the lands and Chattels 

Of North Carolina 289 

of such Offender or Offenders shall be forfeited to His 
Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, to be sold by the 
Sheriff, for the best price that may be had, at Public 
vendue, after notice by advertisement for ten days, and 
the Monies arising from such sale to be paid to the Treas- 
urer of the District wherein the same shall be sold, and 
applied afterwards for defraying the contingent charges 
of the Government. 

And whereas by the great Riots and insurrections at 
the last superior Court held for the district of Hillsbor- 
ough it may be justly apprehended that some endeavors 
will be made to punish those who have been guilty of 
such Riots and Insurrections, as well as those who may 
hereafter be guilty of the crimes and Offenses hereinbe- 
fore mentioned: For prevention thereof and restoring 
Peace and Stability to the Regular Government of this 
Province, Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that 
the Governor or Commander-in-Chief for the time being 
is hereby fully authorized and empowered to order to at- 
tend Regiments of Militia in this Province, to be under 
the command of such Officer or Officers as he may think 
proper to appoint for that purpose, at the Public Ex- 
pense, to be by him employed in Aid and Assistance of 
the execution of this Law, as well as to protect the Sher- 
iffs and Collectors of the Public Revenue in Discharge 
of their several duties, which draught or Detachments of 
Officers and Soldiers when made shall be found, pro- 
vided for, and paid, in the same manner and at the same 
rates, and subject to the same rules and Discipline as di- 
rected in case of insurrection in and by Act of the As- 
sembly made in the year One Thousand seven hundred 
and sixty-eight, entitled An Act for establishing a Militia 
in this Province. 

And for effectually carrying into execution the pur- 
poses aforesaid, Be it further enacted by the authority 
aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawful for the Gov- 
ernor and Commander-in-Chief for the time being to 

290 Some Neglected History 

draw upon either or both of the Public Treasurers of 
this Province, by warrant from under his hand and seal, 
for the payment of any such sums of Money as shall or 
may be immediately necessary for the carrying on and 
performing of such service, and the said Treasurers, or 
either of them, are hereby directed and required to an- 
swer and pay such warrants as aforesaid out of the con- 
tingent fund which shall be allowed in their settlement 
of the public Accounts. 

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, 
that if any number of men shall be found embodied and 
in an armed and hostile manner, to withstand or oppose 
any Military Forces, raised in Virtue of this Act, and 
shall, when openly and publicly required, commanded by 


any Justice of the peace or Sheriff of the County where 
the same shall happen, to lay down their arms and sur- 
render themselves, that then and in such case the said 
Persons so unlawfully assembled and withstanding, op- 
posing and resisting, shall be considered as traitors, and 
may be treated accordingly. 

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, 
that the Justices of every Inferior Court shall cause this 
Act to be read at the Court House Door, the second Day 
of each Court for their Counties, and that the Minister, 
Clerk or Reader of every Parish in this Province shall 
read or cause to be read at every Church, Chapel or other 
-place of public Worship within their respective parishes, 
once in every three months at least, immediately after 
^divine service, During the continuance of this Act. 

And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that this 
Act shall continue and be in force for one year, and no 

Of North Carolina 291 

Read three times in Open Assembly and Ratified the 
15th Day of January, 1771. 

William Tryon, Governor. 
James Hassell, President. 
Richard Caswell, Speaker. 

A true Copy of an Act passed last session of the As- 

Robert Palmer, Secretary. 

(Col. Rec. of N. C, Vol. VIII, pp. 481 to 486.) 


Copy of His Excellency Governor Tryon's Letter to 
the Commanding Officers of Several Reg- 
iments of Militia. 

Newbern, 19th March, 1771. 

I yesterday determined by consent of His Majesty's 
Council to march with a body of Forces taken from sev- 
eral Militia Regiments, into the settlements of the Insur- 
gents to reduce them to Obedience, who by their rebel- 
lious acts and declarations have set the Government at 
Defiance and interrupted the course of justice by ob- 
structing, overturning and shutting up the courts of 
Law. That some of your Regiment, therefore, may have 
a share in the Honor of serving their Country in this im- 
portant Service, I am to require you to make choice of 
men out of the Volunteers of the Regi- 
ment, with Officers and non-commissioned Officers in 
proportion to the following Regulations, to which you 
will pay the strictest Regard: 

Each company to consist of one captain, one Lieuten- 
ant, one Ensign, two sergeants, two corporals, one drum- 
mer, a clerk and fifty private Men, with a Field Officer 
and an Adjutant to the Detachment; the supernumerary 
Officers that are willing to march will be entitled only to 
provisions, and the pay of private men, if they choose to 
accept of that pay. 

Every man to be allowed forty shillings for an encour- 
agement to serve in this expedition, and to be entitled to 

Of North Carolina 293 

receive two shillings a day while in Service, the eight 
pence per day for provisions being stopped for the com- 
missaries who have contracted to serve the troops with 
provisions; each Man will also have a pair of leggings, 
a cockade and a Haversack given him, which you are to 
furnish, and when delivered and a certificate thereof pro- 
duced, signed by the commanding officer of the Regi- 
ment, I will give you a Warrant on the Treasury for the 
amount, as well as for the forty shillings per man you 
shall advance as Bounty Money. 

The Ration of provisions to each man per day is one 
pound of pickled pork and one pound of wheat flour, or 
one pound and a half of fresh Beef instead of pork and 
one pound and a half of Corn meal instead of flour, when 
ordered. Each company to be allowed a strong, com- 
modious cart, with two able horses to carry the Baggage 
of the men, to be provided by the Colonel of the Regi- 
ment or Captain- of the Company, and the owner to be 
allowed seven shillings and six pence per day while em- 
ployed in the service, he finding his own Horse with corn. 
If a wagon is hired it must carry the Baggage of two 
companies, to be provided as above, and fifteen shillings 
per day to be allowed for it, on the same conditions as for 
the Carts. The Wagoners will be allowed to draw their 
Rations of provisions as soldiers, but to have no pay. 

The men must be made sensible the better they are 
provided with Arms and necessaries the better condition 
they will be in to serve their King and Country. No 
Volunteer to be accepted but those who are hearty, spir- 
ited, and can submit to a ready obedience to orders, nor 
will any soldier be allowed to take his horse, as the whole 
will march on foot, the officers to take as few horses as 

It is not intended to move the troops before the twen- 
tieth of next month, before which time you shall be in- 

294 Some Neglected History 

formed of the day you are to assemble your men, the 
time of march and the Road you are to take. 

It is recommended as a Christian Duty incumbent on 
every planter that remains at home, to take care of and 
assist to the utmost of his abilities the Families of those 
men who go on this service, that neither their Families 
nor plantations may suffer while they are employed on a 
service where the interests of the whole is concerned. 

For the Expenditures ordered on this Expedition I 
shall give printed Warrants payable to Bearers; these 
Warrants will become negotiable until the Treasury can 
pay them out of the contingent Fund, in case there is not 
a sufficiency of money in the Treasury to answer the nec- 
essary Services of this Expedition. 

Wm. Tryon, 
Gov. Gen. Commanding. 

(Col. Rec. of N. C.) 


Council Journals. *"" 

At a Council Held at the Council Chamber at the Palace 
in New Berne, iSth March, 1771. 

Present : 

His Excellency the Governor. 

James Hassell. Martin Howard & 

The Honorable Esquires 

Robert Palmer. Samuel Cornell. 

The Governor laid before the board a letter he had in- 
tercepted of Rednap Howell's to James Hunter, dated 
Halifax, 16th February, 1771, last, and ordered the same 
be read and inserted in the Journals. Read the said let- 
ter, which reads as follows : 

Halifax, 16th Feb., 1771. 
James Hunter : 

Respected Friend — 
On my setting out for Halifax my horse fell sick, which 
detained me some time, so that on my arrival here I had 
certain information that Harmon was at liberty, so that 
I found it needless to raise the country, but I am satisfied 
it would be easily done if occasion required ; however I 
have animated the people here to join the Regulators. On 
Saturday next come two weeks they are to have a meet- 
ing for that purpose. If it once takes a start here it will 
rapidly run into the neighboring counties of Edgecomb, 
Bute and Northampton, and thus undoubtedly facilitate 

296 Some Neglected History 

Justice to poor Carolina. I will now inform you of such 
things as I have learned since I left home. At New 
Bern the Governor called a general muster of a thousand 
and one hundred (1,100) men; after treating them at 
yours and my expense, he tried to prevail on them to 
march against the rebels (Regulators), but at one man's 
absolute refusal, he ordered him to be turned out of the 
ranks as a Traitor, which he very readily did, and all the 
regiment followed, or were following him; the Governor, 
perceiving his mistake, says, "Gentlemen, you mistook 
me : I only meant, should they come down and destroy 
all your livings, would you not fight them?" They an- 
swered yes, on which he dismissed them. They then 
gathered in Companys of 6, 8, io, and 12, growling, and 
swearing would the mob come down they would join 
them. In Dobbs a general muster was called for the 
same purpose, but only seven men attended. I am in- 
formed the Clerk's places in the New Counties are par- 
celled out among the Quality; one Cooper is designed 
for your country, but if you suffer any rascal to come 
there may eternal oppressions be your lot: as I cannot 
solely depend on the Irish ahead, pray you will reserve 
that morsel for yours to serve ; for as the whole province 
is in your favor, you may do as you list in that respect. 
I understand Butler and you are to be outlawed ; despise 
it, laugh at it. We hear that the Governor has sent a 
proclamation to you importing as the French and Span- 
iards are now at War with us, it's a pity to breed a civil 
War among ourselves ; that the Chief cause of the trou- 
ble was the counterfeit money, for which the great men 
were to blame ; artful villain ) if he could have raised the 
Province on us before, he would have told another tale. 
However, if this be true, the day is ours in spite of Luci- 
fer. I give out here that the Regulators are determined 
to whip every one who goes to law, or will not pay his 
just debts, or will not agree to leave his cause to men 

Of North Carolina 297 

where disputes; that they will choose representatives, 
but not send them to be put in Jail ; in short, to stand in 
defiance, and as to thieves, to send them out of the coun- 
try. I leave the plan to your consideration. From 

Your sincere friend, 

Rednap Howell.. 
(Col. Rec, Vol. VIII, p. 536.) 



Alamance, Battle of 219 

Battle-ground, description of 208 

Monument to 261 

Camp, Gov. Tryon's headquarters 199 

Albemarle Settlement 24 

Alexander, Capt. Adam, oath of 197, 198 

Alexander, Capt. "Black" Bill 190 

Alexander, Col. Moses, acts against Regulators 190, 196 

Allegiance, Tryon's oath of 239 

Anson County, petitioners from 133-136 

Army of Gov. Tryon destroys Harmon Husband's property. . . 234 

Artillery of Tryon kills Capt. Montgomery 222 

Ashe, Col. John, acts against Regulators 31, 34, 70, 187 

Ashe, Lieut.-Col. John Baptista, captured and beaten by Reg- 
ulators 212, 216 

Army of Gov. Tryon arrives at Hillsborough 242 

Association Alamance Battle-ground organization of, to erect 

monument 295 

"Atticus" letter written by Judge Maurice Moore 81 

Bancroft's opinion of Gov. Tryon and Edmund Fanning. ... 165 

Baptist emigrants to North Carolina 103 

Barbecue given by Tryon 41 

Battle-ground of Regulators, description of 208 

Battle of Alamance, Americans learn lesson at 257 

In heat of action 219, 220 

Regulators captured at 224 

Report of, by Gideon Wright 224 

Bees at Merrill's plantation scare Tryon's army 240 

Berkeley, Gov. William, of Virginia, visits "Land of Eden". 18 
"Black Boys" of Cabarrus blow up Waddell's ammunition- 
train 190, 196 

Names of 190 

"Boston Tea Party" 42 

British tyranny first resisted at Alamance 105 

Brown, William, condemned at Hillsborough court martial 

and respited 242 

Buffalo Ford on Deep River, Tryon's army crosses 237 

Burrington, George, appointed Governor ^ 

Burston, John, signs Regulator petitions 125 

Butler, John, signs Regulator petitions 125 

Butler William, prominent as a Regulator 124 

Byrd, Gen. Jacob, acts with Regulators 167, 206, 207 

Locates in North Carolina 28 

300 Index 


Caldwell, Dr. David, a minister and physician 236 

Addresses Regulators just as battle begins 218 

As a Regulator 201 

Intercedes for Regulators just before the battle 217 

Cameron, Paul C, now owns place where Regulators were 

executed 246 

Cape Fear Mercury, one of the first newspapers 179 

Carr, Gen. Julian S., at unveiling of Monument at "Ala- 
mance Battle-ground" 261 

Caruthers vindicates Ashe, Caswell, Harvey, and Harnett. 96, 97 

Caswell, Col. Richard, acts against Regulators 70 

Joins Tryon's array 188 

Cavalier's early settlers in North Carolina 17 

Cherokee Indian boundary line run by Tryon, and cost of . . . 275 

Give Tryon cognomen "Great Wolf of North Carolina" . . 30 

Charles I. and Charles II. Land Grants to North Carolina. 22, 23 

Chatham, Lord, pleads in Parliament for Colonists 182 

Chowan settlers seek freedom in Carolina 22 

Christian, Thomas, a Regulator 125 

Cobham, Dr. Thomas, Surgeon to Tryon's army 204 

Convention of Regulators 125 

Copeland, James, condemned at Hillsborough court martial 

and respited 242 

Corruption, stench of, reaches England 97 

Cox, Herman, condemned at court martial and respited. . 242, 155 

Cox, William, as a Regulator 125, 155 

Dare, Virginia, first white child born in North Carolina 20 

Declaration or oath of the Regulators 126 

De Graffenreidt, Baron, leads Swiss colony to North Carolina. 26 

De Marianda, Don, visits Tryon's Palace 46 

De Rossett, Moser John, stamp officers take oath from 37 

Diligence, the British Man of War, brings over stamped 

paper for North Carolina 36 

Disruption of Hillsborough Court by the Regulators.... 171, 172 

Diviny, Samuel, a leader among the Regulators 171 

Dixon, Simon, a Regulator 125 

Dobbs, Arthur, appointed Governor of North Carolina 29 

Dies at Brunswick 30 

Dockett of Regulator's "mock" court at Hillsborough... 173, 174 
Draper, Sir William, visits Tryon at his Palace and writes 

Latin quatrain 45, 46 

Dress of a poor woman sold off her back by Sheriff for taxes. 102 

Drummond, William 23 

Dry, Col. William, acts against Regulators 105 

Duel between Thomas Whitehurst and officer of Viper at 

Tryon's barbecue 42 

Eden, the Land of, visited by Governor of Virginia 18 

Emigrants, Baptist 103 

French Hugenots 26 

From Pennsylvania 29 

From the South 29 

Lutheran 103 

Presbyterian 103 

Scotch-Irish 103 

Swiss 26 

Quakers 103 

Emmerson, James, condemned at Hillsborough Court and 

respited ' 242 

Index 301 


Execution of Capt. Benjamin Merrill 252 

Of Capt. Messer 250 

Of Tames Few 229 

Of James Pugh 248 

Of prisoners at Hillsborough 245 

Of Robt. Matear 250 

Exhorbitant marriage license fees charged by county clerks. .177 

Expedition against the Regulators, cost of 276 

Extortion of county officers 177, 178 

Extortion, Tryon's recommendation to General Assembly to 

prevent 98-100 

Fanning, Edmundj accumulates fortune 182 

Appointed adjutant-general 182 

Clerk of Orange County Court 55 

Commissioned judge 76 

Compelled to plead law before "mock" court by Regu- 
lators 173 

Convicted of extortion 163 

Demeanor of, toward Colonists 176 

Education and nativity. 175, 176 

House demolished by Regulators 175 

Indicted by Regulators 168, 173 

Lampooned by Rednap Howell 180, 181 

On Cherokee boundary line expedition 182 

Receives whipping at Hillsborough Court at hands of 

Regulators 172 

Sends couriers to Governor Tryon 175 

Few, James, captured and made prisoner, and later hanged 

at Battle of Alamance 229 

Fitch, Haynes, of Norwalk, Conn., property burned by 

Tryon 279 

Flower of freedom blooms at Alamance Battle-ground. . . .260, 265 

Fort Dobbs built west of Salesburg 30 

Fort Raleigh built on Roanoke Island 20 

Fowle, Judge Daniel G., present at unveiling of monument, 

Battle of Alamance 261 

Franklin, Benjamin, friend of Harmon Husband 107 

Frohock, John, clerk of Rowan County Court 64 

Lampooned by Rednap Howell 180, 181 

Receives letter from. Gov. Tryon 66 

Writes letter to Gov. Tryon 200 

Fudge, Jacob, receives letter from Edmund Fanning 155 

Fundamental Constitution for North Carolina 25 

Funeral of deceased soldier after Battle of Alamance. .. 260, 265 

Gillespie, Daniel, a Regulator 167, 171 

Granville County, "Nut Bush" papers read in 118 

Regulator meetings in 119 

Thomas Person, assemblyman from 106 

Granville's land agents and their thievery 28, 29, 177 

"Great Wolf of North Carolina," Gov. Tryon's cognomen 

given by Cherokee Indians 30 

Hale, Nathan, monuments erected to memory of 250 

Revolutionary patriot captured by British and executed. 249 

Hamilton, Ninian, a Regulator 124 

Harnet, Cornelius, member General Assembly 73 

Harris, Robert, fights Regulators 197 

Harvey, John, a Regulator 70, 102 

Hearne, Nehemiah, emigrates from Maryland to North Caro- 
lina 28 

302 Index 


Henderson, Judge Richard, adjourns Hillsborough Court 63 

Hillsborough council of war 69 

Court, disruption of, by the Regulators 63 

Execution and Tryon's officiousness at 242, 244 

Expedition against Regulators in which Tryon "fights in 

the air," cost of 275 

Tryon's army reaches, for court martial 241 

Hinton, CoL John, acts against Regulators 188 

Holt, Capt. Michael, Battle of Alamance fought on his planta- 
tion 200 

His home converted into hospital for Tryon's wounded. . 207 
Holt, Hon. Thomas M., address, unveiling monument, Ala- 
mance Battle-ground 261 

Holt, Mr. L. Banks 210 

Houston, Dr. William, appointed "stamp agent" 37 

Oath resigning stamp office 38 

Howell, Rednap, as a Regulator, poet and school teacher. .167, 171 

As a statesman 227 t 228 

Lampoons Fanning and Frohock 180, 181 

The moving spirit of the Regulation 125 

Writes letter to James Hunter 295 

Hunter, Col. Theophilis, of Wake County 187 

Hunter, James, appointed settler 125 

Prominent Regulator 32 

Receives letter from Rednap Howell 295 

Signs Regulator petitions 167, 171, 173 

Hunters Lodge, Tryon's army goes into camp at 187 

Husband, Harmon, a friend of Benjamin Franklin 107 

A Quaker 108 

Acts as sheriff, throws taxes on table before the Governor 52 

And the Whiskey Insurrection of Pennsylvania 236 

Arrested by Tryon's orders 52 

Captain Messer goes to overtake him 232 

Flees from Battle of Alamance 218 

His family, and as a citizen 211, 235 

Landed estates at Buffalo Ford on Deep River 117 

Member of the General Assembly 47, 73, 32, zoi 

"Nut Bush" papers from book about the Regulation.... 118 

Prominent in Pennsylvania 236 

Receives letter from Ralph McNair 156 

"Sermon on Assea," by 108 

Signs Regulator petitions 171, 173, 167 

Tryon devastates farm of 234 

Indians, Cherokee, boundary line 275 

Indian cognomen for Tryon 30 

Fashion of fighting adopted by Regulators 221 

Tuscarora massacre 26 

Indictments at Hillsborough Court, Regulators and others... 171 

Jackson, Isaac, as a Regulator 124 

Jamestown settlers move to North Carolina 20 

Jersey Settlements, inhabitants of, refuse to pay exorbitant 

fee for marriage license 178 

Tohnston Act called "Riot Act" 284 

Tohnston, Gabriel, appointed Governor 28 

Tohnston, Gov. Gabriel, administration of 35 

Tones, Wylie, sent by Tryon to capture Harmon Husband's 

papers 229 

Justice, miscarriage of, leads to disruption of Hillsborough 

Court 172 

Index 303 


King's birthday celebrated by Tryon's army at the Moravian 

settlements 237 

Lawyers chastised at Hillsborough Court 172 

Leaders of the Regulators, names of 167 

Leech, Col. Joseph, acts against Regulators 187 

Legislature refuses to reimburse Fanning for loss of property 

destroyed by Regulators 162, 176 

Legislation to weaken organization of Regulators 53 

Letter from Alexander Martin to Governor Tryon 280 

From Fanning to Jacob Fudge 155 

From John Frohock to Governor Tryon 280 

From Ralph McNair to Harmon Husband 156 

From Rednap Howell to James Hunter 295 

"Liberty Bell," the first, rang in North Carolina 262 

Liberty and independence, spirit of, breathed first by Regu- 
lators 166 

Lindsay, William, fights against Regulators 197 

Literary productions of the early settlers in North Carolina. . 180 
Long, Rev. Daniel Albright, organizes Alamance Battle- 
ground Association 261 

Lord Chatham pleads in Parliament for Colonists 182 

Lord North pleads in Parliament for Colonists 182 

Lowe, John, an organizer of the Regulators 124 

Luckie, William, acts against Regulators 197 

Lutheran emigrants to North Carolina 53 

Malcolm, Capt. Donald, drops white flag and flees 2x4 

Marshall, Tonn, a Regulator 125 

Martin, Alexander, at Battle of Alamance 217 

As Governor 106 

Receives letter from Gov. Tryon 65, 66 

Writes letter to Gov. Tryon 280 

Martin, Francis Xavier, visits Palace 46 

Matear, Robert, executed at Hillsborough 250, 251 

McPherson brothers capture Tryon's cannon 222 

Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence 263 

Mercer, Forrester, condemned at Hillsborough court martial 

and respited 242 

Merrill, Capt. Benjamin, captured by Fanning * . . 252 

Executed at Hillsborough 252 

Forces Waddell's retreat 197 

Speaks on the scaffold 253 

Messer, Capt. executed at Hillsborough 251 

Taken prisoner at Battle of Alamance 230 

Wife and son of, plead for his life 231, 232 

Moffett, William, Regulator leader 125, 155 

Montgomery, Capt., killed by Tryon's artillery 222 

As leader of the Regulators 220 

Moore, Judge Maurice, appointed Colonel by Tryon 78 

Feels 'Iron fists" of Tryon 79 

Suspended from bench 75, 76 

Writes "Atticus" letter 8x 

Writes to Gov. Josiah Martin 94 

Moravian settlements 28, 232 

Tryon celebrates King's birthday at 237 

Moravian Records of the Battle of Alamance 224 

Morehead, Major M., writes of Regulators 95, 250 

Names of petitioners from Anson County 133-136 

From Orange and Rowan Counties 137-143 

Neel, Thomas, acts against Regulators 197 

304 Index 


New Berne, palace built at 26 

North Carolina Gazette 38 

North, Lord, pleads in Parliament for Colonists 162 

"Nut Bush" papers by Harmon Husband 1 18 

Oath of allegiance administered by Tryon 230 

Of the Regulators 166 

Orange County, Fanning, clerk of the Court of 55 

Farmers prepare for resistance to British oppression 183 

Revolution of Regulators started in 51 

Outlawing Proclamation of Gov. William Tryon 241 

Palace of Gov. Tryon, cost of 44» 275 

Description of • 44 

Material for, imported from England 43 

Parsons, George, moulded bullets for battle of Alamance.... 224 
Person, Hon. Thomas, assemblyman and leader in Granville 

County 106, 167, 171, 191 

Founder of Person Hall at Chapel Hill 199 

Prominent as a Regulator 32, 74 

Petitions from Regulators of Anson County 128 

From Regulators of Orange and Rowan Counties 126 

From Regulators to Gov. William Tryon 201 

Potatoes, Irish, carried to Queen Elizabeth by Sir Walter 

Raleigh 20 

Discovery of, on Roanoke Island by Sir Walter Raleigh . . 19 

Shipment of, to Ireland 20 

Potter, Capt., loss to his company at Battle of Alamance. . . . 226 

Presbyterian emigrants in North Carolina 103 

Printing-press, the first one in North Carolina 179 

Prisoners captured at Battle of Alamance 229, 230 

Condemned at Hillsborough court martial 242 

Condemned at Hillsborough court martial and later re- 
spited 242 

Pryor, Jonn, a Regulator 125 

Pugh, James, a patriot and crack sharp-shooter 167, 227 

Capture of, by Tryon's Army 229, 230 

Execution of. 248 

Kills fifteen of Tryon's artillerymen 228 

Monument to memory of 250 

While on scaffold lectures Tryon and Fanning 248 

Trial of ' 242 

Quaker emigrants in North Carolina 103 

Quaker, Harmon Husband a prominent 108 

Raleigh, Fort, built in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh 20 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, landing of on North Carolina soil 19 

Records from the docket at Hillsborough Court : 16& 

Regulator advertisement No. 1 48 

Advertisement No. 2 49 

Advertisement No. 3 . . . , 49 

Advertisement No. 4 50 

Advertisement No. 5 122 

Advertisement No. 6 123 

Advertisement No. 7 124 

Advertisement No. 8 124 

Advertisement No. 9 136 

Advertisement No. 10 144 

Advertisement No. 11 145 

Meeting and causes leading to organization of . . . 54, 118, 121 

Regulators and Rowan County officers hold joint meeting 63 

As good citizens upheld just laws 162-164 

Index 305 


Regulators, as prudent, far-seeing men 183, 184 

As soldiers were crack sharp-shooters 209 

Battle-ground, description of 208 

Seymour Whiting's poem on 208 

Camp at Alamance Battle-ground 200 

Capture Gen. Waddell's ammunition-train 190, 196 

Captured by Tryon's army at the Battle of Alamance... 224 

Convention held at Adam Sally's 125 

Court at Hillsborough, Francis Yorke, clerk 173 

Gov. Tryon's repeated broken promises to 165 

Laws passed to weaken their organization S3 

Led by Capt. Benj. Merrill capture Gen. Waddell's 

forces 196, 197 

Loss, killed and wounded, at the Battle of Alamance. . . 224 

Not an impediment to legislation 74 

Petition to Gov. Tryon just before the Battle of Alamance 201 

Suffer extortion from county officials 177, 178 

The first blood of, shed at Alamance Battle-ground 266 

The first meetings and organizations of 51 

Unequal representation or, in General Assembly tz 

Whip lawyers at Hillsborough Court 172 

Revolution, the first battle of, at Alamance and not Lexington 266 

Richards, Doctor, surgeon to Tryon's Army 228 

"Riot Act" (Johnson Act) 52, 284 

Romily, Samuel, Esq 70 

Ross, Frank, acts against the Regulators 197 

Rowan County officers meet Regulators in convention at Mrs. 

Steele's 64, 65 

Waddell's camp at Pott's Creek in 196 

Writes letter to Gov. Tryon 66 

Rush, Dr. Benjamin, friend of Harmon Husband 236 

Rutherford, Griffith, fights against the Regulators 197 

Sailings, George Adam, Regulators hold convention at house 

of 36, 125 

Schaw, Robert, acts against the Regulators 197 

Scotch-Irish immigrants to North Carolina 103 

Scuppernong grape, discovery of, by Sir Walter Raleigh in 

North Carolina 19 

"Sermon on Asses" by Harmon Husband 118 

Settlements on the Catawba River 29 

On the Yadkin River 29 

The Jersey 237, 238 

The Moravian 237 

Settlers, the early, in North Carolina 33 

Sneed, Samuel, an enemy to the Regulators 197 

Southerland, Capt. Raleigh, weeps at not reaching Alamance 

in time to assist Regulators in battle 254 

Soldiers, the wounded, roasted alive on battle-field by Tryon's 

orders 225 

Spencer, Samuel, of Anson County, acts against the Regula- 
tors 197 

"Stamp Act" Riot at New Berne, North Carolina 36, 37 

Passed in Parliament 30 

State of Franklin settled by defeated Regulators 268 

Steele, Mrs. Elizabeth, entertains Regulators, and Gen. Na- 
thaniel Green 65 

A very patriotic woman 66 

Stephen, Samuel, a Regulator 155 

306 Index 


Stewart, James, condemned at Hillsborough court martial and 

respited 242 

Stony Creek, Tryon's army goes into camp at 259 

Surry County, Capt Raleigh Southerland, a Regulator leader 

from 254 

Thompson, Col. William, acts against the Regulators 187 

Snot in cold blood by Gov. Gen. Tryon 219 

Visits Gen. Tryon's Camp to intercede for the Regulators 

just before the battle 218 

Tryon, William, appointed Lieut-Governor of North Carolina. 30 
Tryon, Gov. William, administers "oath of allegiance".. 239, 240 

Addresses the General Assembly 74 

And the combined army celebrate the King's birthday. . . 238 
Appointed Governor-General of the Province of North 

Carolina 36 

Appoints Edmund Fanning clerk of Orange County Court 55 

Appoints Edmund Fanning judge 76 

Army of, crosses Deep River and goes into camp at Reedy 

Creek 237 

Arrives at Hillsborough with the prisoners in chains.... 242 

As a writer and diplomat 276, ZT7 

Begins march to Hillsborough with his prisoners 239 

Bids farewell to the palace 259 

Burns Norwalk, Conn 278 

Character and military attainments of 273 

Devastates Regulators property 230 

Farewell to his officers and army 258 

Gives barbecue for the common people 41 

Hangs without trial a poor lunatic, James Few 229 

Hat pierced with Regulator's bullet 222. 

In camp at Guilford Court House 241 

Issues outlawing proclamation" 241 

Joined by Gen. Hugh Waddell's detachment 237 

Leads a charge and routs Regulators from their position. 223; 

Letters to his colonels, preparing for war 189, 292 

Makes report of his losses, killed and wounded 226 

Officiates at the execution 81. 244 

Orders battle-field set on fire and burns alive wounded 

Regulators 225 

Orders Gen. HughWaddell to Salisbury to meet wagon- 
train of munitions of war 188 

Orders Gen. Hugh Waddell with a brigade back to Salis- 
bury ' 239 

Pillages with fire and sword as he marches through Reg- 
ulators' country 232, 233. 

Receives commission as Governor of New York 257 

Receives petition from Regulators' camp 201 

Receives Rev. Dr. David Caldwell at camp 217 

Replies to Frohock and Martin 66 

Replies to the Regulators' petition 215 

Secures legislation to oppress Regulators 53 

Secures passage of the 'Johnson Act" (Riot Act) 284 

Sends out white flag 219 

Sends out second white flag 222 

Shoots Mr. Robert Thompson in cold blood 218 

Takes Regulators prisoners 223 

Taxes the people to build palace at New Berne 44, 275 

Transcript from order book, "campaign against Regula- 
tors* 204 

Index 307 


Tryon, Gov. William, visited by Robert Thompson, Dr. Cald- 
well, and Alexander Martin 218 

With army crosses Haw River at Wood's Ferry 188 

With army equipped, marches to the westward 198 

With army goes into camp on the banks of the Alamance. 201 

With army goes into camp on the Eno 187 

With army, halts at Hunter's Lodge 187 

With his colonels marching in line of battle 213 

Viper, the British sloop, brings stamped paper for the Colony 

of North Carolina 31, 36 

Waddell, Gen. Hugh, detached from Tryon's army with brig- 
ade and artillery 238 

Joins Tryon's army 237 

Ordered to meet convoy of powder from Charleston at 

Salisbury 188 

Regulators capture his wagon-train of munitions of 

war 190, 196 

Regulators force him to retreat and cross the Yadkin. ... 196 

Resists "Stamp Act" 41 

Wake County division commanded by Col. Theophilis Hunter. 187 
Walker, Capt. John Baptista, taken prisoner by Regulators and 

whipped 212, 217 

War, Gov. Tryon's preparations for 185 

White, John, Governor of the first settlement 20 

Whitehurst, Thomas, falls in duel with an officer of the Dili- 
gence 42 

Wright, Gideon, reports the Battle of Alamance and acts 

against Regulators 238 

Whiting Seymour, writes poem on Regulators' Battle-ground. 208 
Yorke, Francis, appointed clerk of the Regulators "mock" 

court at Hillsborough 173 


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