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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Preface to Volume 1 of the Colonial Records of North Carolina
Saunders, William Laurence, 1835-1891
Volume 01

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The first permanent white settlement in North Carolina was made, it may be safely said, to the eastward of the Chowan River, extending in time down to and along Albemarle Sound. Neither its date nor its locality may now be fixed with absolute certainty, but it began, doubtless, before 1660, and probably as early as 1650.

The grant to Roger Green, “clarke,” in 1653, to be located on the Roanoke River and the south or west side of the Chowan River, as a reward for inducing settlements to be made there, and the absence of such grants on the north or east side, indicate that settlements had progressed on that side without the aid of such inducements.

The earliest grant made in North Carolina, of which we have a copy, is now of record in Perquimans county, and was made by the King of the Yeopim Indians on the 1st March, 1662, to George Durant, for a tract of land then called Wecocomicke, lying on the Perquimans River and “Roenoke Sound.” The place is now known as Durant's Neck. There was a purchase before that from the King of the Yeopims, for the grant to Durant recites that Wecocomicke adjoined to the eastward the land the King had formerly sold to Samuel Pricklove, but there is neither record nor copy of any grant to Pricklove. There were still other such purchases, for in 1662 purchases made directly from the Indians, it was said, had come to be such an evil in the sight of the government that it was resolved no longer to recognize them. There were purchasers, too, who held their lands under grants from the Governor of Virginia. Indeed, the Assembly, in an address in 1731, asserts that there were so many persons holding lands in Albemarle under Virginia grants prior to March, 1663, that a saving clause in their favor was put in the charter of that date by King Charles. There is certainly a saving clause in the fourth section of the first charter. The Lords Proprietors more than

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once recognized the fact that lands had been purchased from the Indians before the date of their charter, and they distinctly recognized also the fact, not only that a settlement had already been “begann,” but that it had progressed far enough to need a fully organized government of its own.

It is evident, therefore, that there was a considerable settlement in Albemarle prior to 1663, in which the lands were held, in some cases, by purchase from the Indians, and in others under grants from Virginia; but of the length of time it had been growing nothing definite is known. There is nothing to indicate, however, that it was of rapid growth.

There were, indeed, earlier settlements, or attempts at settlement, but they came to naught; Raleigh's Roanoke Island Colonies and the New England settlement on the Cape Fear, in 1660, being conspicuous instances of speedy failure, worthy of mention as bald historical facts, but without influence or effect upon the permanent settlement of the colony.

The Barbados settlements on the Cape Fear, for there were two of them—but adverse in interest and made under different auspices, one in the interests of the “several gentlemen and persons of good quality” who made the proposals contained in the letter 12th August, 1663, and the other under the auspices of Yeamans—broke up in the summer or early fall of 1667. The story put forth by Chalmers and repeated by subsequent historians, about the seven years' benign rule of Yeamans, seems to have been pure imagination, for instead of being at Cape Fear, Yeamans was in Barbados holding high official position there. The statement that the people at Cape Fear followed Yeamans to South Carolina is also without foundation. They went up to the Albemarle settlement and to Nansemond county in Virginia in part and in part to Boston. In this fact is to be found an easy explanation of the increase at this time of settlers in Albemarle both from New England and from Barbados.

The Albemarle settlement, therefore, is the parent settlement of North Carolina, emigration going from it to the southward, from the Chowan to the Roanoke, Maratock or Noratoke, as it is spelled on the old maps, thence to the Pamplico, where, in 1690, a colony of Frenchmen, an

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offshoot of the James River French settlement in Virginia, made a lodgment. Then the Neuse River was reached, and, on or before 1706, was passed. In 1707, there was another secession from the same James River settlement, and another lodgment of Frenchmen in North Carolina—this time between the Neuse and the Trent Rivers.

In January, 1710, DeGraffenried and Michel shipped a number of German Palatines to the Neuse. In June of the same year DeGraffenried followed them in person with his Switzers. Still creeping along southward, settlers began to find their way once more toward the Cape Fear country. In 1711 they had gone as far south as White Oak River, and in 1713, as far as New River, in the county of Onslow. In 1714, however, the Governor and Council forbade the survey and sale of lands within twenty miles of the Cape Fear, up to the waters of the Trent. This order cut off surveys below the line of the New River settlement. But even worse than this, because more general in their character, were the obstacles to settlement arising from the instructions of the Lords Proprietors in the matter of the entry and survey of lands outside of Albemarle county. For ten years the restrictions on the purchase of lands in the county of Bath, then extending from the Pamplico to the South Carolina line, were such as to amount to a practical prohibition. The consequence was that new settlers were prevented from coming in and old ones induced to go away for want of land, until the 17th of April, 1724, when the grievance being no longer bearable, the Assembly petitioned the Governor and Council to devise some way of opening up lands outside of Albemarle to survey and purchase until the will of the Lords Proprietors in the premises might be known, and declared it to be their purpose to address the Lords Proprietors on the subject.

In response to this petition, the Governor and Council, for the reasons set forth therein, and for the further reason that squatters were already going in and settling there without payment of rent or other consideration, ordered that lands in Bath county should be open to survey and sale on the same terms as lands in Albemarle until the will of the Lords Proprietors should be known. Accordingly the first grants for lands on the Cape Fear, after the year 1714, were issued in 1725, though, as we have

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seen, there were some squatters there early in 1724, if not prior thereto. After this date, emigration went westward, and even before that date had done so, until the territory east of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad was settled more or less.


The course of early events in Carolina seems to have been about as follows:

On the 24th of March, 1663, Charles II. granted Carolina to the Lords Proprietors. Very shortly thereafter, they received proposals purporting to come from certain New England adventures interested in the settlement at Cape Fear. In May, 1663, the Lords Proprietors, having organized under their charter, published a reply to these proposals, which fell into the hands of certain English adventures in the same cause, and they, after repudiating the proposals as not their own, proceeded to set forth at large their views in the premises, in a paper bearing date 6th August, 1663. On the 12th August, 1663, proposals were made to the Lords Proprietors from “several gentlemen and persons of good quality” in the Island of Barbados for a settlement in Carolina between Cape Fear and Florida. Pending these proposals, other proposals, by other parties in Barbados, and in different interests, notably by Major William Yeamans, in behalf of his father John Yeamans, were made. In reply to the representations of the English adventurers above mentioned, the Lords Proprietors, on the 25th August, 1663, published a paper entitled “A declaration and proposals to all who will plant in Carolina.” On the 8th September, 1663, the Lords Proprietors empowered Governor Berkeley, of Virginia, to inaugurate a government in Albemarle, in order that the King might see “they slept not with their grant.”

In 1664 the Proprietors commissioned William Drummond as Governor of Albemarle, but of the commission and the instructions accompanying it we have no copy. That he had a prior commission from Berkeley, as is commonly stated, is, to say the least, very doubtful. The only authority for this supposition seems to be the letter from the Lords Proprietors in September, 1663, to Berkeley, empowering him to appoint a Governor, there being no evidence of the exercise of such authority by

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him. Indeed, the letter of 7th January, 1665, from the Proprietors to Drummond suggests a contrary view, for they say they had sent him his commission and instructions. There is some uncertainty as to the date of his appointment, also. The probability seems to be that Berkeley, feeling the delicacy of his position, being a Lord Proprietor as well as the Governor of Virginia, refused to act under the authority given to him, or at least to do so openly, and that nothing was done towards inaugurating a government in Albemarle until the fall of 1664, the date of Drummond's commission from the Proprietors. There is no claim that any government was instituted prior to 1664. Chalmers says expressly that the authority conferred upon Berkeley by the Proprietors in 1663, was exercised by him “during the subsequent year,” and Williamson that it was “in the following summer.” In addition to this, Albemarle was not included in the tobacco-cessation negotiations of the early part of that year, and it doubtless would have been included had any government then existed there. According to Berkeley's instructions, too, the term of office of the Governor was to be three years, with the promise of reappointment if he conducted himself properly. Drummond's successor was appointed in October, 1667. From this it would seem that the Government in Albemarle began in October, 1664, and that Drummond got his commission, not from Berkeley, but directly from the Proprietors, and served his full term. Doubtless, however, he had Berkeley's private recommendation. The fate of this first Carolina Governor was a tragic one, for having returned to Virginia and taken part in Bacon's great Rebellion there in the years 1675 and 1676, he was captured and hung. Being carried before Governor Berkeley, the Governor made him a low bow and said, “Mr. Drummond, you are very welcome. I am more glad to see you than any man in Virginia. Mr. Drummond, you shall be hanged in half an hour.” And sure enough he was executed “as soon as a council of war could meet, his sentence be dispatcht and a gibbet erected.” But for all that he seems to have been a good man and a patriot more worthy of respect and remembrance, perhaps, than any Colonial Governor ever in Carolina.

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On the 1st November, 1664, Robert Samford [Sandford] was commissioned Secretary and Chief Register of the county of Clarendon, and on the 24th of same month John Vassall was commissioned its Surveyor-General.

On the 7th January, 1665, the negotiations with Major Yeamans resulted in an agreement between the Lords Proprietors on the one part and his father, John Yeamans, and his associates of the other part, based upon the provisions of a document entitled “The concessions and agreement of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of Carolina, to and with the adventurers of the Island of Barbados and their associates of England, New England, the Caribbia Islands and Barmotthos to the Province of Carolina, and all that shall plant there. In order to the settling and planting of the countye of Clarendine, the county of Albemarle and the county of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , which latter is to bee to the southward or westward of Cape Romania, all within the Province aforesaid.”

Up to 7th January, 1665, the Lords Proprietors seem to have had no fixed general plan for the settlement and government of their province, but considered each proposition made to them on its own merits solely. For instance, their proposals for May and August, 1663, were intended for settlers at Cape Fear. For Albemarle they had other views. There they left everything to the judgment of Berkeley, hoping, however, that as a considerable settlement was actually in progress there, and because of its proximity to Virginia, they would get more favorable terms. Now, however, this haphazard policy was changed and a general plan of operations was matured and took shape in the provisions of the document above referred to, called the Concessions of 7th January, 1665. This was in brief to give each colony or county its own government separate and “distinckt” from the others in authority, but identical in form and character, and this form of government, for anything that appears to the contrary, lasted until after the adoption of the Fundamental Constitutions in July, 1669. In fact, the Great Deed of Grant of 1st May, 1668, refers to the Concessions as then in force. The counties were to be eight in number, and each under the charge of one of the Proprietors or his deputy, Clarendon being the first settlement formally erected into

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a county and Albemarle the second. Each county was accordingly named after a Proprietor, viz.: Clarendon, Albemarle, Craven, Berkeley, Colleton, Bath, &c. These county governments were to be consolidated into an imperial government, and to this end instructions were issued to Governor Ludwell, in 1691, to summon a Parliament of “20 delegates for the free men of Carolina, viz.: 5 for Albemarle county, 5 for Colleton county, 5 for Berkeley county, and 5 for Craven county.” The slow growth of the settlements in the northern part of the province prevented the consummation of this plan of government and finally brought about the division of the province into the two governments of North and South Carolina. With the territory between the Neuse and the Santee Rivers, some 200 miles in width, so long uninhabited by white people, a division of the province was inevitable.

On the 11th January, 1665, the Lords Proprietors commissioned John Yeamans, lately made a Baronet at their instance, Governor during their pleasure of the county of Clarendon “neare Cape Faire and of all that tract of ground which lyeth southerly as far as the River St. Mathias.” The county also had a Legislature, as appears from a petition of the members thereof addressed to the Lords Proprietors, in the year 1666.

In October, 1667, the Lords Proprietors commissioned Samuel Stephens Governor of Albemarle, during their pleasure, and sent him certain instructions defining his powers, the form of government, &c.

This is the document referred to by Dr. Hawks as containing the first constitution given to Carolina. A comparison of this document, however, with the paper of the 7th January, 1665, shows that the so-called “first constitution” of 1667 was merely a transcript from that paper, to which, indeed, it refers by name, as the “Concessions,” the paper of January, 1665, being the only one of that name. It will be seen, too, that the form used for the commission of Stephens, in 1667, is identical with that used for Yeamans' commission, in 1665, and that the instructions given for the sale of land in Albemarle in 1667 are identical with those given in the Concessions of 1665 for the sale of land there.

It is evident that Chalmers had not seen the Concessions of January, 1665, and that he misquoted the instructions of October, 1667. For the

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former, there is probably a good excuse, as the only copy of it preserved seems to be that found in the Shaftesbury Papers which have only recently been placed in the Public Record Office in London.

The chief beauty and excellence of the constitution, so-called, of 1667, that according to Chalmers gave such great satisfaction to the people of Albemarle, had, unhappily, no existence save in Chalmers' own imagination. Under that constitution, according to Chalmers, the Governor was obliged to act altogether by the advice of a Council of twelve—one-half to be appointed by the Governor and the other by the Assembly, and this he boasted was a sufficient reply to what critics called a defect in Colonial Government, viz.: that the same men constituted the Senate, the Governor's Council and the Court of Appeals. Unhappily, the records show that the Assembly had no share whatever in the appointment of the Council, but that the Governor alone appointed each and every one of its members. The right of the Assembly to share in the appointment of Councillors did not accrue until after the adoption of the Fundamental Constitutions of 1669.

Had Chalmers known anything of the Concessions of January, 1665, and had he quoted accurately the instructions of October, 1667, his narrative of events, as well as that of Dr. Hawks, who followed him, would doubtless have been less confused and more consistent.

It is generally assumed that Stephens continued to be Governor from 1667 till his death in 1674, and yet it would seem from the “Instructions to the Governor and Council of Albemarle,” on page 181, that Peter Carteret was Governor in 1670, at least until after the 20th January. On the 20th January, 1670, Lord Berkeley, then just elected Palatine, “commissionated Samuel Stephens to be his Deputy and Governor of Albemarle,” as he had a right to do under the Fundamental Constitutions. It does not appear who was the appointee under the Duke of Albemarle, the first Palatine, who was elected on 21st October, 1669, if any there was. Probably Carteret was, but if so, there is no proof of the fact. Carteret was Governor after Stephens' death, and, becoming disgusted, returned to England, leaving the Government in Albemarle “in ill order and worse hands.” Jenkins succeeded him as President of

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the Council, and was turned out in 1675 by the Assembly. The widow of Governor Stephens seems to have been fond of official life. After his death she married Governor Berkeley of Virginia, and after his death she married Governor Ludwell of Carolina.

On the 1st May, 1668, the Lords Proprietors, in response to a petition of the General Assembly held in the latter part of the year, 1664, or the early part of 1665, issued a paper known to this day as The Great Deed of Grant. By this deed land in Albemarle was directed to be granted upon the same terms and conditions as in Virginia. The deed was duly recorded in Albemarle and the original preserved with the most scrupulous care. Sixty-three years after its date, the original was formally brought into the Assembly and ordered into the special custody of its Speaker, and its text spread upon its minutes.

The pains taken to secure the preservation of this important document in Albemarle seems to have been very necessary, for Governor Burrington declares in one of his letters that he could not, after diligent search, find any record of it in England. There was such a record, however, as may now be seen by reference to page 29 Colonial Entry Book, number 20, in the Public Record Office in London.

Various efforts were also made from time to time by the authorities both in England and in Albemarle, to break its force by declaring not only that it was a revocable deed, but that it had at various times actually been revoked and annulled. Governor Gabriel Johnston, a very arbitrary official in his dealings with the colony, was especially urgent in pressing this view of the case.

On the 21st July, 1669, the Lords Proprietors, not content with the simple form of government instituted by them in January, 1665, signed Locke's Fundamental Constitutions, but for want of Landgraves, Cassiques and a sufficient number of people, they were never put into practical operation in North Carolina. Their chief impress, it is believed, is to be found in the enacting clause in the acts of Assembly between 1669 and 1729. In their stead the Lords Proprietors, from time to time, sent out instructions to the Governor and Council of Albemarle, which they said were as “nigh” the Fundamental Constitutions as they could come

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under the circumstances. These constitutions, though purporting to be unalterable, went through no less than five editions, so to speak, before they were altogether abandoned as utterly impracticable and absurd. The first set or edition of these constitutions was signed on 21st July, 1669, the second on the 1st March, 1670, the third on 12th January, 1682, the fourth on the 17th August, 1682. The fifth and last edition bore date on the 11th April, 1698, and was duly assented to by the delegates in the General Assembly. The first set, that is to say, the constitutions of 21st July, 1669, was also, doubtless, formally assented to. When these constitutions were formally abandoned, if ever, does not appear. The year 1693 is the date usually assigned to that event. This cannot be true, however, because as we have seen, the last set of the constitutions was issued five years afterward, and again, in 1702, we find in the instructions and commission to Governor Johnson conclusive proof that the Lords Proprietors were still seeking to enforce the constitutions. See Appendix.


In 1672, William Edmundson, the Quaker, visited Albemarle, finding there only one Quaker family, viz.: that of Henry Phillips, though there were Quakers in Virginia. Later in the same year George Fox also went over the same ground, making converts from other denominations. In 1676, Edmundson made a second visit to Carolina, and was made happy by seeing that the “Friends were finely settled there.” It would seem, therefore, that the Quakers formed only a very small part of the earliest inhabitants of Albemarle, and that even that small part became Quakers by conversion from other faiths after reaching Albemarle.

The belief therefore that they came as Quakers to Albemarle to escape persecution as such in Virginia or elsewhere is not well founded. The truth seems to be that the Quakers being the first and for a long time the only denomination that sought to arouse the people of Albemarle to a sense of their duty as Christians, easily gathered into their fold the bulk of the religious element of the country of all former faiths.

This view of the case is confirmed by the declaration of Governor Walker, who, under date of 21st October, 1703, wrote from Albemarle to

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the Bishop of London, saying, “We have been settled near this fifty years in this place, and I may justly say most part of twenty-one years, on my own knowledge, without priest or altar, and before that time, according to all that appears to me, much worse. George Fox some years ago came into these parts and by strange infatuations did infuse the Quakers' principles into some small number of the people; which did and hath continued to grow ever since very numerous by reason of their yearly sending in men to encourage and exhort them to these wicked principles; and here was none to dispute nor to oppose them in carrying on these pernicious principles for many years, &c.” But even though they continued to grow so “very numerous,” the Quakers as late as 1709 constituted about a tenth part only of the population.

The evidence of Mr. Gordon, one of the English Missionaries in Albemarle, is also quite explicit on this point. He says, in a letter to the secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, dated 13th May, 1709:

“There are few or no dissenters in this government, but Quakers, who have been always the greatest sticklers against, and constant opposers of, the church, and that with no small success; it will not, therefore, be improper to trace their rise, with the privileges and immunities they still plead and contend for at the present day, to the great disturbance of the peace of that province and the hindrance of good laws and other proper endeavours for its improval.

“From the first settlement I find for some years they were few in number and had little or no interest in the government until John Archdale, Proprietor and Quaker, went over, by whose means some were made Councillors: and there being then no ministers in the place, they began to increase and grow powerful; for the Council granting all commissions, in a short time they had Quaker members in most of their Courts; nay, in some the majority were such, who, still pushing at the government, were very diligent at the election of members of the Assembly, &c.”

The views expressed above are not in accord with those expressed by Dr. Hawks in his history of North Carolina, but for all that, it is submitted that they are essentially correct. There is no evidence that Dr.

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Hawks had seen the Journal of Edmundson, and he evidently misapprehended the journeyings of Fox, whose Journal he had seen. Dr. Hawks says Fox went upon the Roanoke river and its tributaries, and that it was to that section he referred when he said there were no Friends there. In this latter declaration he is clearly mistaken, for Fox was speaking of the Macocomocock river, and not the “Maratick,” when he said there were no Quakers inhabiting that part of the country. And what is quite as important, Dr. Hawks had forgotten that Albemarle Sound, or River, as it was called, was also called Roanoke Sound.

Fortunately, the hamlet of Somerton, one of the places visited by Fox and mentioned by him, bears to-day the same name it bore when Fox was there. It is situated in Virginia, very near the North Carolina line and very near the road leading from Suffolk, Virginia, to Gatesville, North Carolina, on Bennett's Creek, the two places being about twentyeight miles apart.

If Dr. Hawks had taken a map, and with Fox's Journal before him, had traced his route therein set forth, he would have seen that Fox went not upon the Roanoke and its tributaries, but from Somerton, to Bennett's Creek [not Bonner's Creek, as printed in the Journal]; from thence down the creek to Chowan River, thence down the sound, or, as Fox expressed it, “down the river Maratick,” to Edenton Bay; thence into Pasquotank and Perquimans counties, where, says Dr. Hawks, the great body of the Quakers were settled. But if an inspection of the map was not convincing, the statement of Fox himself that he went to Connie-oak Bay, where he met the Governor of the Colony, and to other points, where he met Representative Scott and the Secretary of the Colony, and his further declaration on his return, that he had spent his time in the “north of Carolina,” would be conclusive that he was not upon the Roanoke or any of its tributaries. There was then no county or precinct on the Roanoke or its tributaries, and not any for years afterward, nor was there any representative, secretary, Governor or other official living there. Nor could it be said that the Roanoke was in the north of Carolina.

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Indeed, considering the small number of Quakers in the world at the date of the first settlement of Albemarle, and the remoteness of their place of origin, it would be strange had they been the pioneers in Carolina.

It is perhaps a very flattering unction that we lay to our souls in supposing our State was settled by men seeking religious freedom, but unhappily there seems to be no solid foundation for the belief. So far as we can see, the moving causes of immigration to Albemarle were its delightful climate, magnificent bottom lands and bountiful products. Immigration, in early days, divested of its glamour and brought down to solid fact, is the history of a continuous search for “bottom land.” Up stream and up creek, across divides to other water courses, there was ever the same object in view, more bottom land and better bottom land. As has been said, the early settler did dearly love a wide stretch of bottom land. And in this connection it may be well enough to call attention to the fact that the designation of Roger Green as a “clarke,” that is to say, a “clerke” or clergyman, in the Virginia Statute, puts beyond dispute the fact that he was a clergyman of the Church of England, and entirely upsets the theory that in seeking to leave Virginia he desired to find a freer, if not a purer, religious atmosphere. In that day only the ministers of the Church of England were styled “clerkes” or clergymen in the Virginia Statutes. It matters not, however, what were Green's denominational preferences, for it is almost certain that he never made any settlement in Albemarle. Yardley did not find him there in 1654, nor does he seem ever to have been heard of after the date of his grant in 1653.


In 1677 began the Culpeper Rebellion, so-called. According to the written statement of the Lords Proprietors themselves, Thomas Miller, the man against whom Culpeper “rebelled,” was not a Governor, but a usurper, who “without any legal authority gott possession of the government of Albemarle, in Carolina, in the year 1677 and was for a tyme quyetly obeyed but doeing many illegall and arbitrary things and drinking often to excess and putting the people in generall by his threats and actions in great dread of their lives and estates and they as we suppose

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getting some knowledge that he had no legall authority tumultuously and disorderly imprison him,” &c. Culpeper, however, was tried for treason in England and acquitted, Shaftesbury being a witness in his behalf. In view of the facts as now presented, the blood-thirsty talk of Chalmers and of Dr. Hawks, who adopts not only the sentiments but the language of Chalmers, seems, to say the least of it, rather out of place. How it happened that Chalmers failed to see the statement of the Lords Proprietors above mentioned may now never be known.


In 1679, Virginia having failed in the efforts she had been making since 1664 to reduce the production of tobacco by joint legislative action, first with Maryland and then with Albemarle and Maryland, resorted to another legislative experiment to accomplish the purpose, and passed the first of a series of acts extending through the entire Proprietary period, prohibiting Carolina tobacco from being carried into Virginia. As Albemarle had no sea-ports worthy the name, the effect will at once be seen, for tobacco was her money crop. It was a cruel blow; there were then no railroads to give one colony free access to the ports of another, and there was then no Federal Constitution to prevent embargoes and other unneighborly acts.


In July, 1680, Governor Culpeper, of Virginia, issued an order for the collection of rents and taxes from the inhabitants of Currituck and Blackwater, claiming them to be Virginians, and thus put into active operation a dispute with Carolina about the boundary line that did not end until 1728, when the restoration of the province to the Crown was an assured fact.

This dispute had its origin, it may be said, in the grant of the second charter. It will be remembered that the first charter fixed the 36th parallel of north latitude as the boundary between Carolina and Virginia, and that it was only by the second charter in 1665 that the boundary was advanced northward to a line running from “the North End of Currituck River or Inlet upon a strait westerly line to Wyanoak Creek which lies within or about the degrees of thirty six and thirty

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minutes northern latitude and so west in a due line, &c.” The line of 36° runs just south of Edenton, Hillsboro, Greensboro, and so on, west. So that the effect of the second charter was to add the settlement on the Chowan to the territory of Carolina. That this addition was not sooner made was doubtless due to a misapprehension on the part of the Lords Proprietors as to the exact location of their settlement on the Chowan, for we find them in a letter of 9th September, 1663, saying the settlement is “in the latitude of 35 or thereabouts, to which place we have ordered a Governor to be sent from Virginia.” It would seem from this, and, indeed, from all their actions, that the Lords Proprietors thought the Chowan settlement had been given to them by the first charter. But however this may have been, Virginia regarded the second charter as an encroachment upon her rights, and Berkeley, the Governor, who was a grantee under it, was charged with treachery in permitting it. It was soon noised about, too, in Albemarle that “North Carolina,” as the territory covered by the second charter was now called, was to be given to Berkeley for his share of Carolina, and the rumor created so much dissatisfaction that the Lords Proprietors felt obliged to write out there to the Assembly in 1676, declaring it to be false. In a few years, Berkeley being dead and a new Governor in his place in Virginia, as we have seen, the territory was boldly claimed as the rightful property of Virginia and as stoutly held by the Lords Proprietors. At first Virginia denied the existence of the second charter and any new line. Easily beaten in this by inspection of the record, she continued the fight on the location of the natural objects called for along the line and controlling it, and thus the matter stood for nearly fifty years. The record as now presented is one that North Carolina does not need to be ashamed of in spite of the constant vituperation of her authorities by the Virginia authorities.

Mr. W. C. Kerr, late Geologist of this State, in the introduction to his volume on the Geology of North Carolina, says:

1. The first and only serious attempt to ascertain the northern boundary was made in 1728, by Col. Wm. Byrd and others, commissioners on the part of the two colonies acting under Royal authority.

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2. That in all the numerous attempts to establish the line of division between the two colonies and States, the intention and the specific instructions have been to ascertain and mark as the boundary of the two States the parallel of 36° 30′.

Both of these statements are erroneous.

In the first place, the survey of 1728 was by no means the first or the only serious attempt to ascertain the northern boundary, as the records show. 2d, the line as run in 1728 was not an attempt to ascertain and mark the parallel of 36° 30′, but an attempt to run a line between certain natural objects regardless of their coincidence or want of coincidence with the parallel of 36° 30′, and agreed upon as a compromise by Governors Eden and Spotswood. 3d, it was at no time, from the grant of the charter to the running of the line, the purpose to make the parallel of 36° 30′ the boundary.

And just here it may be remarked we have the origin of another dispute of long standing—that about the use of the terms North Carolina and Carolina rather than North Carolina and South Carolina. For a number of years when “North Carolina” was spoken of, only the additional territory covered by the second charter was referred to, that conveyed by the first charter being called “Carolina.” In the course of time North Carolina came to embrace all the territory of the province, north and east of Cape Fear, and the distinction between North Carolina and Carolina, was no longer appropriate, though surviving in common speech.

In 1689 the Governor ceased to be called Governor of Albemarle, and was called Governor or Deputy Governor of North Carolina. In this same year Governor Sothel, himself one of the Lords Proprietors, was tried by the Legislature, or rather by the popular branch of it, convicted and sentenced to banishment for one year and to perpetual disfranchisement.


The remarkable pronunciamento of Capt. Gibbs of the 2d June, 1690, develops a claimant for gubernatorial honors in Carolina hitherto unknown to fame. By what authority he claimed to be Governor does

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not appear. A possible solution of the matter is, that when Sothel was banished he appointed Gibbs to succeed him. Gibbs was as violent in acts as he was boastful in words, as may be seen from the letter of Governor Ludwell of 19th July, 1690. The good people of Albemarle were, however, as quick to resort to arms for resistance, as Gibbs was for outrage and oppression.


In 1701 the Legislature having passed an act for the election of vestries and for the maintenance of clergymen, efforts were first made to secure regular religious services according to the requirements of the Church of England. The Quakers also began to hold regular monthly meetings in the same year; at least we have no records of such meetings at an earlier date. About this time, also, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts began its work of sending clergymen of the Church of England as missionaries to North Carolina, a work that was continued until the beginning of the Revolution.

The subserviency of the Legislature to the dictation of the Government in the matter of religion seems not to have gone as far in North Carolina as it went in her sister colony of South Carolina, for the two church acts, requiring conformity to the Church of England, that raised such a commotion in South Carolina in 1704-'5 that upon a representation from the House of Lords the Queen not only repealed them but ordered proceedings in quo warranto to be instituted against the Lords Proprietors for a forfeiture of their charter, seem never to have been passed in North Carolina.

It is true, as said above, that a vestry act was passed in 1701, but while this was doubtless an act for the establishment of the Church of England in the colony, it by no means required conformity thereto. We have no copy of the first vestry act, but its provisions, as may easily be gathered from the letters of the missionaries and others to the Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, were substantially the same as those of the vestry act of 1715, of which we have a complete copy.

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Neither Chalmers, nor Williamson, nor Martin refer to any such acts as those passed in South Carolina. Martin indeed says that Governor Daniel procured the passage of a bill for the establishment of the Church of England by legal authority, but the provisions of that act, as set forth by him, are the well-known provisions of the vestry acts of North Carolina, not the provisions of the South Carolina acts. More important testimony still is the silence of the missionaries in their correspondence. Not a word in all that correspondence gives the slightest ground for crediting the existence of any such acts, and it is well-nigh impossible to suppose that had any such acts been passed no reference would have been made to them.

Nor do the proceedings in England resulting in the repeal of the South Carolina acts make any reference to North Carolina. If North Carolina had any concern in those proceedings the record utterly fails to show it.

No doubt Governor Daniel would have done in North Carolina all that his friend and patron Governor Johnson did in South Carolina, had he been able to do it. All he could accomplish, however, was to secure the reënactment of the vestry act of 1701. Between this act and the South Carolina acts there was, as we have said, a wide difference. In North Carolina a church was indeed established by law, but the people needed not to conform to its faith or its services unless they chose to do so. Here the oppression went so far as to require men to pay taxes for the support of a church whose services they did not desire to attend. In South Carolina it required unwilling men to conform to its services, as well as to pay for them, upon pain of disfranchisement.

The confusion upon this point arises in part at least, doubtless, from the trouble with the Quakers about this time. But this trouble arose not from any acts passed for the establishment of the Church of England or requiring conformity thereto, but from the refusal of the Quakers to take oaths, even the oath of allegiance. It happened just about this time that the new oaths of allegiance made necessary by the recent accession of Queen Anne to the throne, reached Albemarle. As a matter of course the Quakers refused to take them, their faith prohibiting anything stronger than an affirmation, and hence the trouble. This view of the case seems

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to be very strongly confirmed by the intelligent statement of events in Mr. Gordon's letter of the 13th May, 1709, to which attention is especially directed.

For the benefit of those who may desire to examine the question for themselves, the South Carolina Acts and Queen Anne's Act have been printed in the Appendix.


The next event of public interest was the so-called Cary Rebellion, which was finally put an end to by the armed intervention of Governor Spotswood of Virginia. It is generally stated to have lasted from 1708 to 1711, but the statement is scarcely accurate. The history of this “rebellion” is, in brief, as follows: In 1704 the new oaths of allegiance made necessary in consequence of the recent accession of Queen Anne to the British throne, reached Albemarle, and Governor Daniel required all officials to take them. The Quakers not only refused to take them, but had influence enough with the Lords Proprietors to induce them to turn out Daniel and put Colonel Thomas Cary in his place. Cary also required the oaths to be taken by all officials, and he, too, was deposed. The Proprietors then authorized the Council to elect a President, in whom executive authority was to be vested, the right of the South Carolina Governor to appoint a Deputy Governor being suspended in the meanwhile. The Council met and elected William Glover as its President. He, too, required the oaths to be taken by all officials, and thereupon the Council met again and elected Cary to be President in the place of Glover. In 1708, in order to put an end to the strife, it was agreed to refer the matter to the Assembly for decision, and to this end a new Assembly was called, both Cary and Glover issuing writs for the election. The Assembly met in October, and after seating Cary delegates from Chowan whose election was contested, proceeded to elect Edward Moseley Speaker and to recognize Cary as the lawful Executive. At this date the Colony consisted of two counties, Albemarle and Bath. Albemarle had four precincts, Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank and Perquimans, each of which sent five delegates to the Assembly. Bath had three precincts, Pamptecough, Wickham and Archdale, each of which sent two delegates. The Assembly, therefore,

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consisted of twenty-six members, and as Pasquotank, Perquimans and the three Bath precincts sent Cary delegates to the Assembly, he had a clear majority without the Chowan members. The fact that the Quakers had the balance of power, if not the majority, in Pasquotank and Perquimans, two of the four large precincts, explains why it was that they could exercise a commanding influence in the Assembly whenever they desired to do so.

Glover, however, refused to abide by the decision of the Assembly, protesting that its members had not qualified according to law and that in consequence thereof he was not bound by anything it did.

Both sides, it is said, resorted to arms, but the evidence of any actual armed conflict is very slight. The truth seems to be that from 1708 till 1711 there was not really any rebellion or insurrection, but an utter absence of all government, there being for “two years and upwards no law, no justice, Assembly or courts of judicature, so that people did and said what they list.” In the summer of 1710 Edward Hyde came upon the scene, asserting that he had been sent there to be Deputy Governor, but that owing to the death of Col. Tynte, Governor of Carolina, he had no commission and could get none. The only proof he could make of his statement was some private letters in his possession. In spite of this, however, his story was believed, and the Council, tired of the conflict doubtless, in deference somewhat, possibly, to the supposed wishes of the Lords Proprietors and because of the “awful respect” inspired by Mr. Hyde's relationship to the Queen, proceeded to elect him its President, though by what authority a person not a member of the Council was thus chosen, does not appear. Hyde went on duty as President, ordered an election for a new Assembly, and everything seemed to promise a complete restoration to peace and good order.

The Assembly met in March, 1711, and the adherents of Hyde being largely in the majority, the temptation to wreak vengeance on their old enemies was greater than they could resist. Violent legislation, disapproved of both by Governor Spotswood and the Lords Proprietors, followed. [See page 784, et seq.] To prevent this legislation from going into effect, a fresh resort was had to arms, constituting the rebellion that

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Governor Spotswood of Virginia put down by an armed force. During all this time the Lords Proprietors seemed to have been indifferent if not disinterested spectators of events in Albemarle, and it may well be doubted whether the legal authority of the government against which Cary rebelled was any greater than that of the government against which Culpeper rebelled thirty years before. In fact, Hyde was not commissioned until 24th January, 1711-12, and did not take the oaths of office until the 9th of May following, nearly a year after Spotswood's armed intervention in his behalf. The records relating to this “rebellion” come to us from Pollock and Spotswood with all the bias and coloring that the bitterest partisanship could give. No crime was too gross or too unnatural to impute to Cary and his followers. Against Cary it was alleged that he threatened to repeat in Albemarle the tragic occurrences in Antigua, where, in 1709, the people having been “cursed by the Government of a ferocious and unprincipled tyrant” for three years, “rose in a body, overpowered the regular troops, tore the living body of the oppressor limb from limb, and gave the fragments to beasts of prey. So well was this punishment thought to be deserved,” continues the historian, “that the British Government ratified the act by granting a general pardon to all concerned in it, and shortly afterwards promoted two of the principal actors to public offices.” The fate of Governor Parke, of Antigua, was not, it seems, a pleasing subject for contemplation in gubernatorial circles, either in Albemarle or in Virginia. Against Cary's adherents, if not against himself, was alleged the instigation and solicitation of the horrible Indian massacre of September, 1711, and to this last charge Dr. Hawks seems seriously to give credence; but the good Doctor was a devoted follower of Pollock and a firm believer in the doctrine of “obedience to the powers that be.”

There seems to be but little doubt that Quakers, how many it is now impossible to say, bore arms during the Cary Rebellion. This violation of the principles of their faith was doubtless due to the fact that they were not born Quakers, and were still under the dominion of the natural habit of belligerency.

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In September, 1711, occurred a terrible massacre of the colonists on the Neuse and Pamplico by the Indians, the Tuscaroras being the chief instigators thereof, that, with the Indian war that followed, blighted the colony for years, and would have destroyed it entirely but for the prompt and generous action of South Carolina in coming to its assistance. Governor Spotswood of Virginia made a very eloquent speech to his Legislature, appealing to its members by all the considerations of humanity, kinship, neighborhood and self-interest for help for their brethren in Albemarle, and succeeded in getting an appropriation of £1,000 in their behalf; but the appropriation was not expended, the security required by Governor Spotswood for repayment being such as the North Carolina authorities said they could not give. The security required by Governor Spotswood was a mortgage upon the territory north of the Roanoke, that is to say, the inhabited part of the territory, then in dispute between the two colonies. South Carolina voted £4,000 and sent troops at once, without asking for a mortgage, or other security for repayment.

What was the character of the previous intercourse between the colonists and the Indians does not fully appear, though it was doubtless much like that between other colonists and Indians. We know that there was an Indian invasion in Albemarle in the early fall of 1666 of sufficient magnitude to prevent the transmission of the act of Assembly of that year for the cessation of tobacco-planting to Maryland by the last of September, the time agreed upon for it to be there, and from the common use of the term “enemy Indians,” it would seem that hostilities with the Indians were not infrequent.

But even if there had been an unbroken peace hitherto, the massacre of 1711 was horrible enough to make the Indian annals of Albemarle of the bloodiest and cruelest kind. One hundred and thirty people were massacred in the space of two hours. Women were laid upon the house floors and great stakes driven through their bodies; from others, big with child, the infants were ripped out and hung upon trees; and so hotly did the Indians pursue the survivors that the dead were left unburied, a prey to dogs and wolves and vultures. Then, and during the

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war that followed, it is said that more than eighty unbaptized infants were slaughtered.

On the 24th of January, 1712, was commissioned the first Governor of North Carolina separate and distinct from South Carolina.

The volume concludes with the Manuscript of Baron DeGraffenried, covering his stay in America, his contract for the Palatines and an extract of his letter to Governor Hyde. In his MSS. will be found a plain and satisfactory explanation of Colonel Barnwell's motives for not assaulting the Indian fort when its capture was no longer a matter of doubt. The reason was, that the fort was full of white captives, who cried out that they would be slaughtered if the assault was made. Surely a sufficient reason for “clapping up a peace,” as Governors Pollock and Spotswood termed it. That this simple explanation of a transaction for which Colonel Barnwell was very much blamed by the Pollock faction, comes to us from Switzerland, more than a century and a half after its occurrence, and not from the Pollock faction, shows with how much caution the statements of that faction must be received. Unfortunately, all the records of that day that have come to us were made by the Pollock faction, and none by their rivals of the Moseley faction. It seems incredible that Pollock did not know why Barnwell preferred to “clap up a peace” rather than carry the fort by assault; yet he makes no mention of it. Barnwell was on too good terms with Moseley for him to find favor in Pollock's sight. Tradition in and about the locality, it is said, corroborates DeGraffenried's statement as to the presence of white captives in the fort.

The people seem to have had a different opinion of Barnwell from that entertained by Pollock, for Pollock in his letter of 20th February, 1713, speaks of an address procured by Moseley from the Assembly to send to the Lords Proprietors in favor of Barnwell, in the hope that it might be an inducement to them to give him the government, “and, then,” continues Pollock, “they two (Barnwell and Moseley) with the interest of the Quakers who are the chief moulders of the assemblies here would have carried matters on here at their pleasure”—a consummation

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that, in the opinion of Pollock, doubtless, would have been the sum of all iniquities.

The declarations of Pollock, inconsistent as they are with the opinions of the Legislature, show the existence of a conflict in the premises between the government and the people, for the people spoke through their delegates in the Assembly, and the government spoke through Pollock, but, unfortunately, the records of the Assemblies have not come down to us.


The date of the session of the first General Assembly is no longer involved in much doubt, as it was certainly held either in the latter part of 1664 or the early part of 1665. The letter of Surveyor General Woodward, of 2d June, 1665, shows indisputably that it was held before that date. It is certain, too, that it was held after the commission and instructions were sent out for the government of the colony, as it petitioned the Lords Proprietors against a portion of those instructions—that portion relating to the grant of lands. The petition referred to is the one to which the Lords Proprietors made reply in the Great Deed of Grant of 1st May, 1668. Chalmers therefore, misled doubtless by the length of time taken to reply to it, is mistaken in saying the petition was instigated by the near approach of rent day. So far from this being true, it was about the first official action of the settlers as Carolinians. Hitherto they had been Virginians, and Berkeley, as Governor of Virginia, granted land in Albemarle until 25th September, 1663. The point at issue, then, was not merely as to the rate of rent per acre, but as to the quantity and location of land in a grant as well. The letter of Surveyor-General Woodward shows this to be true. The minutes of the Council of Maryland and the tobacco-cessation documents generally, show the existence of a Legislature in 1666, George Catchmeyd being Speaker of the Assembly in that year. At first the precincts of Chowan, Currituck, Perquimans and Pasquotank, each sent five delegates to the Legislature. In 1696, Bath was made into a county, with the privilege of sending two delegates, and from that time as new precincts or counties were created, they were given similar privileges. Bath had sent delegates before this date under the name of the precinct of Pampticoe.

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The first statute of which we have any knowledge was “an act prohibiting the sowing, setting, planting or in way tending any tobacco,” from the first of February, 1667, to the first of February, 1668, which was passed in the early fall of 1666—probably in September. Of this act we have no copy, though we know its purport.

The next acts of which we have any knowledge, were passed in the fall of 1669, and are nine in number, and of them we have perfect copies, The Legislature that passed them was acting under the Fundamental Constitutions, and not under the so-called Constitution of 1667, as Chalmers asserts, a fact that will be patent to any one who will take the trouble to read the enacting clause set forth in full in each of said acts. Until the receipt of the transcripts from the British Record Office in London, we had no copy of any law of an earlier date than 1715.

And, in this connection, it may be remarked that, though the Legislature was called both by the Lords Proprietors and the Legislatures themselves, “The Grand Assembly,” its real legal name was “The General Assembly.” The first use of the term “Grand Assembly,” so far as we know, occurs in the Great Deed of Grant of 1st May, 1668. It also occurs in the acts of 1669, and again in some of the acts of 1715. and afterwards, and not merely in the “earliest legislation,” as Dr. Hawks asserts.

One of the acts passed in 1669 protected new-comers from their foreign creditors for five years, and from this, Albemarle came to be denounced as the resort of thieves, rogues, vagabonds, &c. It happens, however, that North Carolina was neither the pioneer nor alone in this kind of legislation. In 1642, Virginia passed a law forbidding suits to be brought on foreign debts, and gave as a reason therefor, that many people had, “through their engagements in England, forsaken their native country and repaired hither, with resolution to abide here, hoping in time to gain some competency of subsistence by their labors, yet, nevertheless, their creditors, hearing of their abode in the colony, have prosecuted them with their actions to the ruin of said debtors,” &c., &c., &c., &c. In 1663 the law was formally re-affirmed, because, having been accidentally omitted from the printed volume of the statutes, it was feared damage

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would ensue by reason of its supposed repeal. In 1686, North Carolina and Maryland were exempted from the operation of the act. In 1683 and 1696, South Carolina also passed acts suspending foreign debts. How circumstances do alter cases. When a man in England got in debt, ran away between two suns, and settled in Virginia or South Carolina, he was graciously and fraternally welcomed and thoroughly protected from his “engagements,” as his debts were mildly termed. If, however, a debtor, flying his engagements, should find welcome and protection in North Carolina, he straightway became a rogue and a vagabond. Verily, it would seem that Virginia and South Carolina sought a monopoly of absconding debtors.

The marriage law, passed in 1669, was also a subject of bitter reproach, although it simply authorized civil officers to celebrate the rites of matrimony. The law, it was said, tended directly to gross immorality and vice. Experience has proved otherwise; it made marriage easy, but not divorce. The Virginia law required the rites to be solemnized by a clergyman of the Church of England, but as there were no clergymen in Albemarle of any sort, the statute there would seem to have been a necessity, bearing in mind, at least, St. Paul's wise suggestion, that “it is better to marry than to burn.” It is divorce, not matrimony, that tends to licentiousness, and it was matrimony and not divorce that was made easy in Albemarle. For these Virginia and South Carolina statutes, see Appendix, which will be found at the end of the second volume.