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John H. (John Hill) Wheeler.

Historical sketches of North Carolina : from 1584 to 1851, compiled from original records, official documents and traditional statements ; with biographical sketches of her distinguished statemen, jurists, lawyers, soldiers, divines, etc., (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryJohn H. (John Hill) WheelerHistorical sketches of North Carolina : from 1584 to 1851, compiled from original records, official documents and traditional statements ; with biographical sketches of her distinguished statemen, jurists, lawyers, soldiers, divines, etc., (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 85)
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Vi*ii4»ti(4



HISTORICAL SKETC™ ,



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OF



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NORTH CAROLINA,

From 1584 to 1851.

COMPILED FROM ORIGINAL RECORDS, OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS,
AND TRADITIONAL STATEMENTS.

WITH

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF HER DISTINGUISHED
STATESMEN, JURISTS, LAWYERS, SOLDIERS,

DIVINES, ETC.

BY

JOHN 11. ■ WHEELER,

LATE TEEASUREE OF THE STATE.



''Truth is strancror than Fiction."



ILLUSTRATED V/ITH E NG-P. AVINGS.



VOL. L



PHILADELPHIA;
LIPPING OTT, GRAM BO AND CO;

SUCCESSORS TO QRIQG, ELLIOT AND CO.

1851.



>•



History maketh a young man to be old. without either wrinkjes or gray hairs ; privileging
him with the experience of age, without either the infirmities or inconvenience thereof.

Fuller's Holy War,

III fares it with a State, whose history is written by others than her own sons.

Prescott.

The archives of the State, and the desks of ancient families, now bury the story of the rise
and progress of the State of North Carolina : ignorance and wickedness may misrepresent the
character of her history, if efforts are not made to break away the darkness that surrounds it.
Such are the inducements of this publication.

JOKKS.

The world will not be able fully to understand North Carolina, until they have opened the
treasures of history, and become familiar with the doings of her sons previous to the Revolu-
tion, during that painful struggle, and the succeeding years of prosperity. Then will North
Carolina be respected as she is known.

FooTE.




Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the 3'ear 1851, by

JOHN H. WHEELER,

in the Office of the Clerk of the District Court in and for the Eastern District of

Pennsylvania.



PHILADELPHIA :
T. K. AND P. G. COLLINS, PBIA'TERS.




-^



NO



4 =i :§ -^
1 5 2 i

^ Pq ^ C^ kl



TO

GEORGE BANCROFT, LL.D.,

WHOSE WRITINGS HAVE MARKED THE AGE IN WHICH HE LIVES, AND THE ONLY HISTORIAN

WHO HAS DONE JUSTICE TO NORTH CAROLINA J

TO

PETER FORCE,

OF WASHINGTON CITY,

WHOSE PATIENT LABOR AND INDEFATIGABLE RESEARCH HAVE PROVED HER EARLY

PATRIOTISM ;

AND TO

DAVID L. SWAIN, LL.D.,

WHOSE NATIVE WORTH, WHOSE SERVICES AND WHOSE TALENTS, ARE ALIKE HER PRIDE AND

ORNAMENT ;

TO THESE,

BY WHOSE COUNSEL THESE SKETCHES HAVE BEEN UNDERTAKEN, WHOSE EXAMPLE HAS
ENCOURAGED, AND WHOSE LABORS HAVE AIDED ,"

AND TO

THE YOUNG MEN

OF THE



(.^



tatr nf Jinrtl; (CnrnriiiK,

THIS WORK

IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED.



THE FOLLOWING OPINIONS RELATIVE TO THE MERITS
OF THIS WORK HAVE BEEN EXPRESSED.



Extract from the Report of the Joint Select Committee of the Library
of the General Assembly of North Carolina, at the last session (1851), through
Hon. Wm. H. Washington (Chairman), Senator from Craven County.

" The Committee cannot but regard the work of Col. Wheeler as a patriotic
and praiseworthy effort to rescue from oblivion important facts of our early
history, and to elevate the character and standing of his native State; and,
as such, would cordially recommend it to the favorable consideration, not
only of the legislature, but of the people of the State at large."

Extract from a letter of Hon. David L. Swain, President of the University of
North Carolina, to Rev. Francis L. Hawks, D. D., LL.D., of New York.

"Chapel Hill, Fehruary 22, 1851.
" The Sketches of Col. Wheeler, in relation to this State, contain a great

amount of useful and minute information, chiefly statistical and biographical,

connected with every county in the State.''

Extract from a letter of Hon. R. M. Pearson, one of the Judges of the

Supreme Court of North Carolina,

" Raleigh, March 1, 1851.
"I have had a conversation with the other two Judges, upon the subject
of the Sketches of North Carolina, which you are about to publish.

" We concur in thinking that such a work will be highly interesting to
every citizen of the State ; useful as a book of reference ; and will rescue from
oblivion many facts that ought not to be forgotten."

Extract from a letter of Hon. George Bancroft, author of " History of the

United States."

" New York, March 15, 1851.
" I look forward to the publication of your work with great interest, in the
hope that you may fill the gap iu the history of your patriotic State."

*' This is a work of which every son of North Carolina ought to be proud."

Spirit of the Age,

Raleigh.



o



*' This work will be valuable, and ought to be in the hands of every North
Carolinian." Patriot,

Greensboro'.

'* Too little is known of our history. When the important information
that Col. Wheeler will impart, can be procured, every f^imily ought to owu
a copy of this work." Mountain Banner,

Rutherfordton.

" We hesitate not to say, that this work will turn out one of the most
valuable books to the citizens of the State ever 3'et publislied."

Watchman,

Salisbury.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



SEKIES I.

THE COLOXY OF NORTH CAROLINA.

CHAPTER I.

FROM 1584 TO 1585.

The discovery of America by Columbus in 1492, under the auspices of Fer-
dinand of Spain — John Cabot's expedition in 1496, under the auspices of
Henry YII. — The first expedition to the United States in 1584, under the
auspices of Sir Walter Raleigh, which landed on Roanoake Island, in
North Carolina.

CHAPTER II.

FROM 1585 TO 1589.

Second expedition under Sir Richard Greenville in 1585, and the third under
the same in 1586 — The fourth under Governor White, Governor of the City
of Raleigh.

CHAPTER III.

FROM 1589 TO 1653.

Other expeditions unsuccessful, and Sir Walter assigns his patent (1589) —
Sketch of the life, character, and death of Sir Walter Raleigh (1618) — Set-
tlement of the colony of Virginia under Captain John Smith — Sketch of
the life, character, and services of John Smith — His rescue by Pocahontas,
daughter of Powhatan — Her life, character, and services.

CHAPTER IV.

FROM 1653 TO 1712.

Permanent settlement of North Carolina — AVilliam Drummond, first governor,
in 1663, a Scotchman — Succeeded by Governor Stephens on his death,
1667 — Who was succeeded at his death (1674) by Governor Carteret, whoso
deputy, Miller, acts as governor during the absence of Carteret — Cul-
pepper's insurrection, and possession of the government by him in 1678 —
Governor Eastchurch arrives in North Carolina — Culpepper sent for trial
to England, tried and acquitted — John Harvey, on the death of Eastchurch,
governor in 1680 — Governor John Jenkins appointed, who, on his death,
is succeeded by Henry Wilkinson (Dec. 1681) — Seth Sothel appointed
governor in 1683 — His character and life; exiled by the people and death —
Succeeded by Governor Philip Ludwell (1689), who resided most of his
time in Virginia — Cunstitulion formed by Locke for North Carolina (1693)
— Carolina divided into North and South Carolina — Thomas Smith ap-



X CONTEXTS.

pointed gOTernor — On his advice, John Archdale, " the Quaker GoTernor,"
is appointed (1G94) ; his sagacious and prudent administration — On
his return to England (1699) Thomas Harvey governor — On his death
in 1699, Henderson Walker is governor — On his death (1704) Robert
Daniel succeeds as governor — Difficulties between the Church of England
and the Dissenters — Eir^t church in North Carolina (1705) — Eirst news-
paper in the United States (1705) — Contest between Gary and Glover for
the government — Gary prevails — Carj- sent to England for examination
(171 1) — Edward Hyde governor in 1712 — De Graaffenreidt's patent — Indian
murders — Lawson, first historian of Xorth Carolina, killed by the Indians
— Hyde dies with yellow fever (1712) and George Pollock succeeds him —
Eirst emission of paper money in Xorth Carolina.

CHAPTER T.

FROM 1712 TO 1729.

Charles Eden governor (1713) — Tuscarora Indians humbled, and make a
treaty — Black Beard, the pirate; his life and death — Edenton established
— Eden's death (1722) — Copy of his tombstone — Thomas Pollock succeeds
as governor; and, in 1724, on his death, William Reed, as President of the
Council, is governor — In 1724 Governor Burrington arrives — His character
— His opinion of the people of North Carolina — Sir Richard Everhard
appointed governor, 1725 — Dividing line between Virginia and North
Carolina, 1727 — The lords proprietors surrender to the crown, July 1729,
except Lord Granville — Population and divisions of the colony at this time
— Portion of Lord Granville.

CHAPTER TI.

FROM 1729 TO 1754.

North Carolina under the Royal Governors — Governor Burrington, 1729 — His
character, conduct, life, and death in 1734 — Nathaniel Rice, the Secretary,
governor in 1734, who was succeeded by Gabriel Johnston, as governor —
Line between North and South Carolina — Computation of time altered
by act of Parliament — First printing press in North Carolina, 1749 —
Fort Johnston built — Moravians purchase land in North Carolina — First
revisal of the laws of North Carolina — Governor Johnston, after being
governor for twenty years, dies (1752) — His life, character, and services —
He is succeeded, fo^ a time, by Nathaniel Rice ; and, on his death, in Janu-
ary 1753, by Matthew Rowan — Population of North Carolina in 1754 —
Aid sent to Virginia against the French by North Carolina.

CHAPTER VII.

FROM 1754 TO 1765.

Arthur Dobbs, governor (1754) — His conduct — His officers — People seize
and imprison Lord Granville's agent — Courts of law held in each district,
1762 — On the death of Dobbs (1765) Tryon succeeds.



CHAPTER VIII.

FR03I 1765 TO 1771.

Tryon's administration from April 1765 to July 1771 — His character — Early
resistance of the Mecklenburg people — John Ashe and the Stamp Act,
1765 — Paper seized — Conduct of the people of New Hanover, 1766 — Duel
between Captain Simpson, of his majesty's sloop-of-war the Viper, and
Lieutenant Whitechurst, a relative of Mrs. Tryon, in which Whirechurst
is killed — Suicide of Chief Justice Berry — Repeal of the Stamp Act —
Palace for the governor — A description of its splendor — Regulation troubles:



CONTEXTS. XI

commence, 1766 — Herman Husbands; his character — Colonel Edmund
Fanning, of Orange ; his character — People of Anson County and Rowan
sympathize with the Regulators — Tryon's expedition to Mecklenburg and
Rowan — He raises a body of troops, and marches to Hillsboro' — Fanning
indicted and convicted — Husbands indicted and acquitted by the jur^^ —
Judge Moore, in Rowan, cannot hold court — Sheriff of Orange resisted by the
Regulators, and beaten — Sheriff of Dobbs resisted, and one of his deputies
killed — Court at Hilkboro' Ijroke up by the Pi-egulators — Judge Henderson
compelled to retreat — Fanning and John Williams beaten by the Regulators
— Governor marches against the Regulators in strong force — Battle of
Alamance, May 16, 1771 — Regulators defeated — First blood of the colonists
shed in these United States by royal troops — Tryon marches to join "Wad-
del, as far as Jersey settlement, in Davidson — Tryon returns to Hillsboro',
where court is held, and six of the Regulators are hanged — Tryon em-
barks, June 30, 1771, to New York, to which colony he had been appointed
governor.

CHAPTER IX.

FROM 1771 TO JULY 4, 1776.

Administration of Josiah Martin, November 1771 to 1775 — Last of the royal
governors in North Carolina — His life and character — Parliamentary usages
of " the olden times" — The powers of the governor — " A king, aye every inch
a king" — Difficulties arise between the governor and the Assembly, as to the
attachment laws and appointment of judges — Courts of law closed — First
popular Assembly meets at Newbern, on the 25th of August, 1774 — John
Ilarvey, Moderator — Names of the members — Its resolves — It adjourns and
another is called in April, 1775 — Governor Martin fulminates a proclama-
tion against " such disorder and anarchy," March 1, 1775 — The Colonial
and the Popular Assemblies meet at the pame time and place — " Passage of
arms" between the governor and the Assembly — The governor, in his
speech to the Colonial Assembly, denounces these meetings of the people,
and particularly the unwarrantable appointment of delegates to attend a
Continental Congress, at Philadelphia, then in agitation, as highly inju-
rious and " particularly offensive to the king" — The Assembly reply that
" the right of the people to assemble and remonstrate is not to be doubted,"
and pass resolutions "approving of the General Congress at Philadelphia,
to assemble September 4, 1774" — Whereupon, Governor Martin dissolves
the Assembly — The last which ever sat under the Royal Government in
North Carolina — Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, May 1775 —
Governor 3Iartin retreats on board of his majesty's ship-of-war Cruiser, in
the Cape Fear River; and the royal government terminates forever in
North Carolina — Provincial Congress meets at Hillsboro', August 1775 —
Troops raised for military operations — Civil government exercised by a
Provincial Council — District Committees of Safety ; and County Cum-
mittees — Names of the committee-men in each district — Battle of Moore's
Creek, in New Hanover County, February 27, 1776 — Tories defeated
under General McDonald — Provincial Congress meets at Halifax, April
4th, 1776 — Names of members — Names of general, field, battalion, and
county officers — This body instruct their delegates in the Continental
Congress, in April 1776, to vote for independence — Committees of safety
appointed — Adjourned on the 14th of May, 1776 — Provincial Council of
Safety meets at AVilmington, on the 6th of June, 1776 — General Ruther-
ford, of Rowan, marches with one thousand nine liundrod men, against the
Overhill Cherokees (now Tennessee), reduces them, burns their towns,
and destroys their crops — Provincial Council of Safety meets in July, at
Halifax — The national Declaration of Independence reaches them while
in session — Their proceedings, and some account of the first celebration,
in North Carolina, of the Declaration of Independence.



XU CONTENTS.



SERIES II.

THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA.

CHAPTER I.

The Constitution, by whom, when, and where formed — Congress of the State
meets at Halifax, on the 12th of November, 17TG — names of the members
— llichard Caswell, President — Committee appointed to form a Constitu-
tion — Names of committee — Richard Caswell elected governor, and the
names of the Council of State.

CHAPTER II.

Life, character, services, and death of Richard Caswell, first Governor of

North Carolina, under the Constitution.

CHAPTER III.

State of Frankland, its rise, progress, and fall.

CHAPTER lY.

Governors of North Carolina, from Richard Caswell, 1776,

to David S. Reid, 1851.

CHAPTER V.

Judiciary of North Carolina — Its history — Lives and characters of Martin
Howard, Chief Justice ; Maurice Moore ; and Richard Henderson ; Associate
Judges, under the royal government — The Judges of North Carolina, from
1776 to 1851 — The Attorney-Generals, the Secretaries of State, the Trea-
surers of State, and the Comptrollers, from 1776 to 1851 — These statistics
are relieved by a specimen of legal wit worthy of preservation.

CHAPTER YI.

A list of the members of the Continental Congress from North Carolina,
before the adoption of the Constitution (formed at Philadelphia, in May
1787) ; and a list of the Senators and Representatives in Congress, from
this State, from 1789 to 1851 : with the ratio of representation for each
decade, and the number of members in the House — Present Congressional
districts by act of 1846, and the members of each.

CHAPTER YII.

Press of North Carolina, from 1749 to 1851 — Account of some of the editors,
and list of the papers now published in North Carolina (1851).

CHAPTER YIII.

Literary institutions of North Carolina — Their history, progress, and pre-
sent condition — Queen's Museum, at Charlotte, 1770 — University, incor-
porated in 1789, and located at Chapel Hill, 1792 — Corner-stone laid in



CONTENTS. Xlll

October 1793 — Commenced tuition, 1795 — Life and character of Dr. Joseph
Caldwell; and a list of its graduates from 1798 to 1851 — Davidson College,
in Mecklenburg County, commenced in 1838; its present faculty and
alumni, from 1840 — Wake Forest College, in Wake County — Its trustees
and faculty — Female institutions, common schools, and Literary Fund of
the State.

CHAPTER IX.

Banks of North Carolina — Railroads — Canals — Turnpike and plank roads-
Institutions for Deaf and Dumb — State hospital for Insane.

CHAPTER X.

Resources of the State, her liabilities, and her expenses.



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE.



Date. English Sovereigns.

1499 )

oct:i2. 1 "^^^y ^'"^•

1584.
Ji



. , ' 1 y Elizabeth.
1663. Charles II.



1678.
1693.
1705.

1710.
1729.
1765.
1771,
1774,
1775,



AVm. and Mary
Anne.



George I.
Georfje III.



May 16.
August 25.
May 20.

June.

June 17.

August.

December 9.

1776, February 27.

August 27.

December 12.

December 26.

August.

1777, January 3.

September 11.

October 4.

October 7.

1778, June 28.

1779, March 3.



1780,



1781,



1783,

1787,
1788,
1789,



June 20.
May 12.
June 22.
August 16.
October 7.
•January 17.
March 15.
September 8.
October 19.
January 20.
September 3.
May.

July.

November.



Events.

Columbus discovers America.

Armidas and Barlow approach the coast of N. C.

f Charter of Charles II. William Drummond, Go-
I vernor of Ccrolina.

John Culpepper's rebellion.
. Carolina divided into North and South.
First church in North Carolina.
First newspaper in the United States.
Carey's rebellion.

Charter of Charles II. surrendered.
Stamp Act passed.
Battle of Alamance.
Popular Assembly at Newbern, N. C.
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.
General Washington, Commander-in-chief.
Battle of Bunker's Hill.
Iloyal governor retreats. Martin.
Battle of Great Bridge, near Norfolk, Ya.

" Moore's Creek.

" Long Island.
Constitution of North Carolina formed at Halifax.
Battle of Trenton.

Gen. Rutherford subdues the Cherokees.
Battle of Princeton.

'* Brandywine.

" Germantown.

'* Saratoga.

" Monmouth,
f " Brier Creek, on Savannah River. Ashe
( defeated.

'* Stono.
Surrender of Charleston.
Battle of Ramsour's Mill, in North Carolina.
Gates defeated at Camden.
Battle of King's Mountain.

*' Cowpens.

" Guildford Court House.

" Eutaw.

** Yorktown.
Treaty of peace at Versailles.
England recognizes the ind(>pendeneo of America.
Constitution of the United States formed.
f North Carolina, by a convention at llillsboro', rc-
I jects tlie Con^^titutiun.
Convention at Fayottcvillc adopt it.



PREFACE.



I HAVE for many years, in hours of leisure, been engaged in
collecting and condensing documents and facts relative to the early
history of my native State.

As the material increased on my hands, and the time has come
when the results of my labors are to be presented to the intelligence
and favor of my countrymen, I feel, unaffectedly, how inadequate
I am for such a task. My labors, however, may have one effect:
they may assist and inspire some abler hand to undertake and com-
plete this work, now so hesitatingly commenced.

There is no State in our Union whose early history is marked
by purer patriotism, more unsullied devotion to liberty, or more
indomitable opposition to every form of tyranny than North Caro-
lina.

Yet how little of that early history has been given to the world !

While Virginia, on one side, has had the labors of her Jefferson,
whose intellect shed a lustre on every subject it touched ; and a Mar-
shall, who was as illustrious as Chief Justice of the highest judicial
tribunal of our land, as his character was pure in all the relations of
life ; and the classic genius of her Wirt, Stith, Campbell, Howe, and
many others devoted to her history, and to the biography of her
distinguished sons ; while South Carolina on the other, has employed
the "philosophic pen" of her Ramsay, Drayton, Simms, and others;
North Carolina, earlier colonized in point of history, full of glorious
examples of patriotism and chivalric daring, has been neglected
by her own sons and others.

The fair records of her early fame are buried amid the mass of
official documents in the offices of the Board of Trade and Planta-
tions in London; and her history only shadowed forth in ''the
heavy pages" of Martin, who was a foreigner by birth, and the citi-
zen of another State by adoption ; and by Williamson, whose labors
terminated by an elaborated dissertation on fevers, and ends in
1771. To these we should add "the fancy sketches" of Joseph
Seawcll Jones, of Shocco, whose book, when referring to docu-
ments in our State Department, and official records, is worthy of
study, but whose pages only embrace a limited time, and are marked
with misplaced temper.

Such have been the historians by whom the history of North
2



XVUl PREFACE,

Carolina has been attempted. The historian of the age (George
Bancroft), of whom it may be said, in the words of the immortal
epitaph of Goldsmith, by Dr. Johnson,* and inscribed on his monu-
ment in Westminster Abbey —

" Qui nullum fere scribendi genus
non tetigit,
Nullum quod tetigit non ornavit,"

has been compelled to say, from examining such efforts, that " so>
carelessly has the history of North Carolina been written, that the
name, merits and end of the first governor are not known."

One of these (Jones), however, makes this just remark : " The
archives of the State, and the desks of ancient families, now bury
the story of the rise and progress of the State of North Carolina.
Ignorance and wickedness may misrepresent the character of her
history, if efforts are not made to break away the darkness that sur-
rounds it. Such are the inducements for this publication."

The Legislature of North Carolina, in common with every citizen of
the country, has felt the opprobrium of this neglect. At its session
of 1827, a resolution was passed directing the Governor to make a
respectful application to the British Government to procure (from
the offices of Board of Trade and Plantations in London), for the use
of the State, copies of such papers and documents as relate to the
colonial history of North Carolina.

The Governor (H. G. Burton), in February, 1827, addressed
Albert Gallatin, then our minister at that court, on this subject;
and the British authorities promptly afforded all the aid in their
power. Such a mass of documents was discovered, that Lord
Dudley, then at the head of the Foreign Office, could only present
indexes ; but, at the same time, most kindly offering to an author-
ized agent of our Government access to, and copies of, these papers.

These indexes, by a resolution of 26th January, 1843, were or-
dered, by the General Assembly of our State, to be published,
under my authority and direction — at that time associated in the
administration of the State, as Public Treasurer. This brought me,
by law, directly to the examination of these papers, as far as these
indexes would allow.

This important matter rested here for six years. The Legisla-
ture, by resolution, January, 1849, empowered the Governor to
procure, from the public offices in London, these documents.

In the interim, conscious of the importance of these papers, and
their vital connection with the State, I sent to a distinguished friend,
then in London, a list of such as seemed to me of the most import-
ance, and they have been procured. Aided by these, and by printed
works of rare merit, procured from abroad at much labor and ex-
pense, as well as by the records of the State Department, to which,
by a resolution of the last General Assembly (1850), and the cour-

* Who touched upon every subject, and touched no subject that he did not
adorn.



PREFACE. XlX

tesy of the present venerable Secretary of State (Wm. Hill), free
access was obtained ; aided, also, by gentlemen not only of our own
State, but of other States, with copies of official documents, and
faithful traditional statements, important and interesting, this work,
*'with all its imperfections on its head," is committed to the press.

I here repeat the assertion made in the prospectus, that I do not



Online LibraryJohn H. (John Hill) WheelerHistorical sketches of North Carolina : from 1584 to 1851, compiled from original records, official documents and traditional statements ; with biographical sketches of her distinguished statemen, jurists, lawyers, soldiers, divines, etc., (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 85)