The fifth and sixth volumes cover the period from the death of Governor Johnston to the death of Governor Dobbs in March, 1765.
Upon the death of Governor Johnston, which, it will be remembered, took place on the 17th July, 1752, Nathaniel Rice, the President of the Council, became ex officio Commander-in-Chief of the Province, but his career as Chief Executive was both brief and uneventful, almost the only thing worthy of note during his administration being the visit of Bishop Spangenburg to the Province and the location by him of the lands bought from Earl Granville for the Moravian settlement.
President Rice, who was old and feeble, died on the 29th of January, 1753, and Matthew Rowan, as “next in Council,” took the oaths of office as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Province, and continued to exercise the duties of Chief Executive until the 31st October, 1754. The other members of the Council were James Murray, James Hasell, James Innes, John Rutherford, John Swann and Lewis DeRosset. James Murray was made Secretary of the Province.
President Rowan, though of Scotch descent, was doubtless of Irish birth. According to Burke's Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, the Rowan family was established in the parish of Govan, in the county of Lanark, in Scotland, as early as 1548. In 1661, however, the Rev. Andrew Rowan, eldest son of John Rowan, of Govan, was inducted into the rectory of Dunaghy, diocese of Connor, County Antrim, in Ireland, and died in 1717. His second son, Rev. John Rowan, married Margaret Stewart, of County Down, and had issue—1, John; 2, Andrew; 3, Alexander; 4, Stewart; 5, Matthew; 6, William; 7, Robert, a clergyman in Ireland; 8, Hugh; 9, Acheson. In his will, which was made on 18th April, 1760, just before his death, and which is now of record in the office of the Secretary of State, President Rowan, then of New Hanover county, made bequests to children of his brothers Andrew, Acheson and William, by name.
At what time President Rowan first came to North Carolina is not definitely known. He appears first on our records as one of the church wardens for the parish at Bath, in 1726, and next as a member of the Assembly in 1727. His name is also upon a list of persons recommended in London by Governor Burrington, on 6th August, 1730, to the Board of Trade for seats at the Council Board, and later in the year, in the formal instructions to Governor Burrington from the King, as one of the persons who were to constitute the Council of the Province. For some years he lived at the town of Bath as a merchant, and dealt in “Irish goods,” for which he made voyages to and from the old country. In November, 1733, Governor Burrington, as an evidence of the amount of coin in circulation in the Province, stated that Mr. Rowan had told him that he had “caryed to Ireland above one hundred pounds silver money in a voyage,” money that had been taken in at Bath.
On the 17th January, 1732, in the town of Edenton, he was duly sworn into office as a member of the Council, of which he continued a member until his death, and of which for seven years he was President. He was also the Surveyor-General of the Province, and, in 1735, was one of the Commissioners appointed to run the boundary between North and South Carolina. His last appearance in public affairs was, so far as our records show, in 1760, when, on the 9th January, he sat as President of the Council.
During President Rowan's administration there were two sessions of the Legislature, the first on 27th March, 1753, and continuing till the 12th April following; the second on 19th February, 1754, and continuing till 9th March following.
Called to the head of the government at a critical juncture in the affairs of the Province, President Rowan seems to have acted with vigor, directed by prudence and a wise discretion, so much so as to draw forth commendation from the authorities in England without alienating the affections of the people in the Province.
On the 31st October, 1754, Arthur Dobbs, who, on the 25th January, 1753, had been appointed Governor of the Province, arrived in New-Bern and took the oaths of office.
Governor Dobbs was an Irishman, born, according to the account that seems best corroborated, in 1684; according to another not until 2d April, 1689. In 1720 he was High Sheriff of the county of Antrim, the county in which it will be remembered the Rowans lived. He was also a member of Parliament for many years, for Carrickfergus, and Engineer and Surveyor-General of Ireland under Sir Robert Walpole. He was best known to the public, however, by his attempt to discover the Northwest Passage. Nor was he unknown to the literary world, having in 1729 published a work called “The Trade and Improvement of Ireland”; in 1744 another called “Captain Middleton's Defence,” and in 1745 still another called “An Account of the Countries Adjoining to the Hudson's Bay.”
He reached Hampton, Virginia, on the 6th October, 1754, on the ship-of-war Garland, after a passage of ten weeks, from Plymouth, in England, during which a violent storm was encountered, causing the main-mast to be lost and the fore-mast to be sprung. On the next day he set out for Williamsburg, where he remained until the 23d of that month. From there he made his way to New-Bern, where he arrived on the 31st, having lost one day at Edenton “by a contrary wind so fresh that the ferry-boat could not pass the ferry, which was above eight miles over.” President Rowan and Mr. Murray, of the Council, met him at Bath and returned with him to New-Bern, where he took the oaths of office in the presence of such members of the Council as could be assembled.
In some respects, the time of Governor Dobbs's arrival was an auspicious one, coming as he did when the Province, tired of strife, was anxious for harmony. A foreign war, too, then actually in progress, was as usual dwarfing all mere local issues, and accustoming the people to act together in a common cause. Besides, Dobbs having been one of the original complainants against Johnston, there was room to hope for better things, and so when he came he was received with open arms. It was the habit, too, of the people to welcome a new Governor with the greatest courtesy and hospitality, as if unwilling to pass judgment upon him before giving him an opportunity to develop his character and purposes. Governor Dobbs was especially fortunate, moreover, in bringing1 The Governor's speeches and messages were well received, and everything gave promise of the greatest harmony, and it really seemed that the troubles of the Johnston administration had been healed over, and that the Province, though at war abroad, at home was at peace.
But this happy condition of affairs did not last very long. Well advanced in years, being, according to the most favorable account, in his 66th year, and according to the other in his 71st, Governor Dobbs, soon after his arrival in the Colony, found himself confronted in difficult times with a people singularly impatient of control under the happiest circumstances; and for near ten years, year by year, the difficulties increased, as year by year his capacity to cope with them diminished. Patriotically
Tradition says he was inordinately fond of Irishmen in general, and of his kindred in particular; that he brought a swarm of these latter with him, and quartered them on the government. This statement, however, seems scarcely to be justified, as the only relatives, so far as the records show, provided for by him were his nephew, Richard Spaight,
His frequent short prorogations of the Legislature have often been brought against him as proof of ill temper and bad humor. Rightly understood, they are far from making such proof. In that day the old rule of parliamentary law, that no act could be amended at the session in which it was passed, was in full force, and hence, when a bill had passed that he could not or would not sign, and there was hope of a compromise of the question at issue, he would prorogue the Legislature for a night or for a day, or some other short time, in order that the old session being ended, and a new one begun, it might be possible to accommodate matters. Another reason at times for proroguing the Legislature was that a minority could do no business whatever, not even adjourn, and hence, when, as frequently happened at the beginning of a session, a quorum was not present, the Governor would formally prorogue the Legislature from day to day, in order to keep it alive, as it would die if the day for which it was called should expire without any further day for its meeting having been fixed. Our Constitution now provides that a minority may adjourn from day to day.
His policy towards the Indians has been commended. He thought they ought to be treated with fairness and justice, and believed they could be won over by kindness and square dealing, and when he first came over, at least, he had no race prejudice against them. Indeed, he went so far on the other side as to propose that the soldiers should take unto themselves Indian wives, a practice that he thought would do much toward the permanent establishment of Britain in America. At a later period, when his experience with “the noble red man” in and about the Province was greater, he said he thought the proper plan in war, at least, was to kill the warriors and enslave the women and children, a conclusion which, however harsh it may seem, it is believed most white men have come to after a like experience.
On the 17th July, 1752, Governor Johnston died and Nathaniel Rice, President of the Council, took the reins of government.
In August, 1752, Bishop Spangenburg and his party set out from Bethlehem in Pennsylvania for Edenton in this State to locate the lands bought the year before from the Earl of Granville for the Moravian settlement. Leaving Edenton about the middle of September, their route lay through Chowan, Bertie, Northampton, Edgecombe and Granville, to its western border near the Virginia line, and from thence along the Indian Trading Path, as near as can now be ascertained, to the Catawba River, thence up that river to its upper waters, thence by mistake over the divide to New River, thence back to the head-waters of the Yadkin and thence down the Yadkin to Muddy Creek, where, some ten miles from the river and on the “upper Pennsylvania road,” they found some 100,000 acres in a body unoccupied, which they proceeded at once to take up. In January, 1753, they returned home, having surveyed 73,037 acres of land, to which were added 25,948 acres surveyed by Mr. Churton in the same tract, making in all 98,985 acres. A general deed for the whole tract was made on 7th August, 1753.
At Wilmington, on the 29th January, 1753, President Rice died and Matthew Rowan, as “next in Council,” became President and Chief Executive of the Province.
Early in the year 1754 began one of the most eventful periods in the history of North Carolina, covering as it did the struggle between England and France, growing out of the attempt of the latter to connect her extensive dominions in America by uniting Canada with Louisiana. To accomplish their end the French took possession of territory claimed by England to be within the Province of Virginia, and commenced a line of military posts from the lakes to the Ohio. Acting under general instructions from the Crown given to the Governors in anticipation of such a seizure of territory, Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia straightway demanded in the name of Great Britain that the French should abandon designs which it was insisted violated the treaties between the two Crowns. The bearer of this demand was George Washington, then quite a young man. The answer of the Commandant of the French forces being an emphatic denial of the British claims to the territory in question,
These were the first troops raised by any British Colony in America to fight outside of its own borders in behalf of a common cause and in the general common defense, and their officers were James Innes, Colonel; Caleb Grainger, Lieut.-Colonel; Robert Rowan (a kinsman of the President), Major. The other officers were Thomas Arbuthnot, Edward Vail, Alexander Woodrow, Hugh Waddell, Thomas McManus and Moses John DeRosset. The number of these troops was fixed at 750 enlisted men at the outset, under the impression that North Carolina would not be required to maintain them after their arrival in Virginia. Finding out, however, that every Province would be required to maintain its own troops, the number was reduced to 450 enlisted men, just 150 more than Virginia had raised, and this, too, when it was Virginia soil that was invaded, and when Virginia had more than three times as many whites as North Carolina.
And just here began the greatest trouble North Carolina encountered during the war, that is to say, the provisioning and paying her troops. This trouble arose from the fact that there was little or no silver or gold or English money in the Province, and her own paper money was not current outside of the Province. The result was that beef cattle or hogs were driven with the troops or to them, and sold for local currency for their use. In some instances pork was bought at home and shipped to Virginia and sold for the same purpose. In other instances shipments were made to the West Indies and the cargoes sold for bills of exchange on New York to pay and feed our troops in service in that Province.
The contributions on the part of North Carolina to the common defense, in view of her scant resources, were, perhaps, more generous than wise, as will be seen later on, and were certainly out of all proportion to the contributions of the other Colonies; but it has never been her habit to permit patriotic impulse to be dwarfed by scanty means. Governor Dobbs said North Carolina “could not be expected to defend its western frontier, assist the other Colonies and also maintain an independent force to defend the forts and protect the navigation of the Colony.” Yet that is precisely what she did, although it was admitted on all hands, the Board of Trade in England and Governor Dinwiddie included, that North Carolina was not able to do as much as the other Colonies, because of her narrower resources.
But the events of this protracted struggle belong to general American History, and will be treated of in these pages no further than may be necessary to explain the action of North Carolina in connection with them. It may not be amiss, however, to refer briefly to the career of a man whom this struggle brought prominently before the American public, one who, by his character and public services, deserves more than a passing notice in the annals of North Carolina.
Colonel James Innes was a native of Scotland, and was probably born not later than the year 1700, as in 1754 he suggested he was too old to take chief command in an active campaign. Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, who had tendered him the appointment, replied that his age was nothing when his regular method of living was considered. He told him, too, in answer to some suggestion as to the probable expectations of Virginians in regard to the chief in command of the forces, that he always had regard to merit and knew his, and that he need not have any fear of any reflections from them. Washington greeted his appointment with the declaration that he would be glad to serve under “an experienced officer and a man of sense.”
Between Colonel Innes and Governor Dinwiddie, who usually addressed him as “dear James,” and was constantly sending messages to him from his “wife and daughters,” there seems to have been a strong bond of attachment. At the time of his appointment to the command of the expedition against the French and Indians in 1754, Colonel Innes was a member of the Council in North Carolina, having been appointed thereto on 5th July, 1750, by Governor Johnston, on the death of Eleazer Allen—his first appearance in public life in the Colony, so far as the records show, though he had been recommended to the King for the place as early as 1734. That he was residing in the Province, and his appointment as assistant Baron of the Exchequer Court as early as 1735, also appear from the Council Journals of that date. Doubtless he was one of the Scotchmen who came over with the Governor of that nation. In 1740 he was one of the captains in the North Carolina troops on the expedition against Carthagena, in South America. He had also seen other service in the British army. Later on he was one of Granville's agents and Colonel of a militia regiment in New Hanover county.
In spite, however, of Governor Dinwiddie's favorable opinion of him, Colonel Innes was allowed to hold his commission as chief in command only about five months, from 4th June to 24th October, 1754, when he was succeeded by Governor Sharpe, of Maryland, by appointment from the Crown. His actual command in the field lasted less than four months. Colonel Innes naturally wished to resign under the circumstances, but so strong was Governor Dinwiddie in the belief that his services were necessary that he would not permit it, and appointed him Camp-Master-General, with his former rank. From this date he remained at Fort Cumberland, completing the Fort, making treaties with the Indians and organizing the forces. On 24th June, 1755, he was appointed “Governor of Fort Cumberland” by General Braddock, and left in command there when Braddock advanced on his hapless march, and there he received the broken fugitives from the fatal field, and there he was abandoned by Colonel Dunbar, who succeeded Braddock in the command, and who precipitately “went into winter quarters” (in August) in Philadelphia, leaving Innes with 400 sick and wounded, and a handful of Provincials to defend the frontier. And there he continued to do
That success did not crown the Colonial arms under his command is not to be wondered at. Judge Marshall, himself a Virginian, in his Life of Washington,2 says: “The [Virginia] regiment returned [in July, 1754] to Winchester to be recruited, and the companies expected from North Carolina and Maryland having arrived, Governor Dinwiddie, without attending to the condition or number of the forces, ordered them, on advice of Council, immediately to march over the Alleghany Mountains, either to dispossess the French of their Fort, or to build one in some proper place in the country. The little army in Virginia, which was placed under the command of Colonel Innes from North Carolina, did not, as now re-inforced, exceed half the number of the enemy, and was unprovided with the means of moving, or with those supplies for a winter campaign which are so particularly necessary in the severe climate where they were about to act. With as little consideration directions were given for the immediate completion of the regiment without furnishing a shilling with which to recruit a man. Although Virginia had long basked in the sunshine of peace, it seems difficult to account for such inconsiderate and ill-judged measures. Colonel Washington remonstrated strongly against these orders, but prepared, as far as possible, to execute them. The Assembly, however, having risen in a few days without making any provision whatever for the further prosecution of the war, this wild expedition was for the present relinquished.” Campbell, too, in his History of Virginia, says: “The force under Innes did not exceed half the number of the enemy and was unprovided for a winter campaign. The Assembly making no appropriation for the expedition it was fortunately abandoned.”3 The historian Chalmers also, who, from his ten years' residence in Maryland just prior to the Revolution, was familiar with all these matters, says:4 “in such a situation what could have been expected from Tilly or Turenne, from Marlborough or Saxe?”
Mr. Jared Sparks, however, attributes the failure to other causes, that is to say, to the disbanding of the North Carolina troops, who, he says, “went off without ceremony,” and to the incompetency of Colonel Innes, who had the further disqualification of being an inhabitant of North Carolina.5
What are the facts, and which is right, Campbell, Chalmers and Judge Marshall, or Mr. Sparks, who was born some forty years after the events of which he wrote, and in a distant State?
Colonel Fry, the first Commander-in-Chief, died on 31st May, 1754, leaving Washington next in command. On 3d June a commission was issued making Colonel Innes Commander-in-Chief. He was then in North Carolina superintending the departure of his regiment for Virginia. On 3d July the Great Meadows disaster occurred, Washington being in command. On 5th July, Colonel Innes was at Winchester en route from North Carolina for the front, and then or some few days later at Will's Creek, afterwards known as Fort Cumberland, took formal command. On 20th July, Governor Dinwiddie directed him to build a log fort and magazine, not thinking it prudent for him to march to the Ohio until he had sufficient force to attack the enemy. He suggested to him also to scatter his troops, sending some back to Winchester and others to Alexandria, etc., and to grant furloughs. Counting all his forces, Colonel Innes could muster only about 750 men, while the enemy numbered 1,500. On 1st August, Governor Dinwiddie ordered him to fill up the ranks of Washington's regiment and the independent companies and rendezvous with all his forces at Will's Creek, and “when in a body” to march over the mountains against the French. No money was provided for enlisting Virginia recruits and none to feed the North Carolina troops. By the 1st of September, the North Carolina troops having been disbanded and sent home, and the Virginia troops having been greatly reduced by desertion and other casualties, there were not more than 150 men for duty, just one-tenth of the strength of the enemy. By the same date Governor Dinwiddie had quarreled with the Virginia Legislature because of the “rider” the Assembly wished to put on the appropriation bill, in
There seem to have been at least four principal causes contributing to this state of affairs, to three of which Mr. Sparks did not advert:
1. The disbanding of the North Carolina troops and their going home.
2. The great reduction in numbers of the Virginia regiment by desertion and other casualties, and the failure to recruit its ranks.
3.The refusal of Governor Dinwiddie to accept the £20,000 offered him by the Virginia Legislature for the conduct of the war.
4. The quarrel between the regular and Provincial officers about rank.
But for none of these things was Colonel Innes responsible, not even for the disbanding of the North Carolina troops, though done by his order. What could he or any one else have done but disband and send them home? No provision had been made for their rations, and Governor Dinwiddie, upon application, said it was all he could do to pay and ration the Virginia troops, and, indeed, that was more than he did. With an ample military chest and with a well organized commissariat a commanding officer may feed his troops in a populous, civilized country, but with neither of these, and in a country inhabited only by hostile savages, it was simply impossible. What, then, could be done with the North Carolina troops but send them home? And certainly it was no fault of Colonel Innes that the Virginia troops were mutinous and disorderly and given to desertion with their arms in their hands, as it appears they were from the correspondence between Colonel Washington and Governor Dinwiddie. Nor was excuse wanting for this state of affairs; for, not having been paid, the men were naked, said Washington. Nor was Colonel Innes responsible for the quarrel about rank, though perhaps less affected by it than others, acting as he did “under two commissions, his old one from the King, received in the former war, and his new one from Governor Dinwiddie, to each of which he appealed as occasion required.” But even with this advantage he had only a “nominal command.” And most assuredly he was not responsible for the quarrel between Governor Dinwiddie and the Virginia Legislature.
The truth is, that although the seizure by the French of disputed territory, and a war in consequence too great to be conducted by any one Colony, or, indeed, by all of them put together, were events anticipated by the English Government, it did not until the fall of the year 1754 assume direct control of military operations in Virginia. Before that time Governor Dinwiddie and the Provincials had charge of affairs. Afterward it would have been idle for any Provincial officer to expect an important command. It is true that next year, after Braddock's defeat, Washington, a Provincial officer, was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia forces; but that amounted to nothing, for from that time operations in Virginia were conducted under direction of the British Commander-in-Chief, and Washington, so to speak, was merely in command of one of the outposts at a part of the line at which no serious attack was anticipated. Even in 1758, when the campaign was made against Fort Duquesne, General Forbes was commander of the expedition. The reason for all this was the prejudice against Provincial officers, whom the British Government thought incapable of conducting important military operations. It was not to his discredit, therefore, that under the circumstances Colonel Innes was superseded by Sharpe and Braddock, as Washington was substantially by Shirley, Loudoun, Abercrombie and others.
Colonel Innes was a plain, modest soldier of approved courage and experience in military affairs. In this last service, too, he was evidently a soldier from a patriotic sense of duty, and not from mere love of adventure or for pay, and so, even after his removal from the chief command, and in spite of his desire to withdraw from a service with which, like Washington, he was thoroughly disgusted, he remained in the field, because he was told that even in a subordinate position he could be of use to his country. Washington, it will be remembered, left the service. As a matter of fact, Innes accomplished quite as much as Washington did when on the same ground and under circumstances not more unfavorable.
It will be seen, therefore, that Colonel Innes was neither with Washington at the Great Meadows disaster in July, 1754, nor with Braddock at his defeat in July, 1755, that for a few weeks only after taking command did his forces reach one-half of the strength of the enemy, that for
It is stated generally in the publications concerning Colonel Innes that he died at Winchester, Virginia, soon after the campaign of 1754. But it appears from the Journals of the Council of North Carolina that at the meeting held at New-Bern, September 27th, 1755, he was again in his seat, and that he attended the meetings during the years following up to the 17th May, 1759. Other records show that he died on the 5th September, 1759, at Wilmington.
Colonel Innes in his will made 5th July, 1754, at Winchester, Virginia, now of record both in New Hanover county and in the office of the Secretary of State at Raleigh, described himself as “James Innes, of Cape Fear, in North Carolina, in America, Colonel of the Regiment of sd Province raised for His Majesty's immediate service and Commander-in-Chief of the Expedition to the Ohio against the French and their Indians who have most unjustly invaded and fortified on His Majesty's lands, being now ready for action,” &c. After directing “a remittance may be made to Edinburg sufficient to pay for a church bell for the parish church of Cannisbay in Caithness,” and a further remittance of one hundred pounds sterling to be put at interest for the poor of said parish, he gave his plantation “Point Pleasant,” a considerable personal estate, his library and one hundred pounds sterling “for the use of a free school for the benefit of the youth of North Carolina,” and appointed as trustees of the fund “the Colonel of the New Hanover Regiment, the Parson of Wilmington Church and the Vestry for the time being or the majority of them.” In the year 1783 the Legislature of North Carolina passed an act to establish the Innes Academy at Wilmington, in which there is a recital of the fact that the legacy had not been received and the house and buildings at Point Pleasant had been burned, and directing the trustees to sue for and receive the legacy, and to sell the real estate for the benefit of the academy. Colonel Innes's bequest was the first private bequest of the kind in the history of the State.
Colonel Innes's widow, whose name, Jean, would indicate that she also was Scotch, married, in 1761, Francis Corbin, Lord Granville's Agent, and a member of the Council of the Province. Cannisbay, which was doubtless Colonel Innes's native place, is a town on the extremest northern point of the coast of Scotland, near John O'Groat's house.6
Early in 1754, if not sooner, as has been seen, quarrels about rank and precedence existed between officers holding military commissions from a Colonial government and officers holding them directly from the Crown when serving together. The first phase of the dispute was between Colonial officers and the officers of independent companies raised in the Provinces but who were in the immediate pay of the Crown, and were officers by royal commissions. The question in all its phases was settled squarely in favor of the Crown officers by an order from the King, issued in November, 1754, in which it was declared that all troops serving by commissions from the King, or by those from the General Commanding-in-Chief in North America, should take rank before any troops serving by commissions from a Colonial government; that the General and Field officers of Provincial troops should have no rank with General and Field officers serving under commissions from the Crown, and that captains and other inferior officers with commissions from the Crown serving with Provincial officers of like grade should take rank of them even though the commission of the Provincial officer should be of older date. But though this ought to have satisfied any reasonable man, a still further claim was made at Fort Cumberland next year by one Captain Dagworthy, the commander of a small company from Maryland, who claimed to outrank Colonel Washington. Washington refused to serve under Dagworthy, and was sent by Governor Dinwiddie to the Commanding General to have the matter disposed of. It turned out that the commission Dagworthy claimed to act under had been “cancelled by his taking a sum of money in lieu of half pay,” so that he was no longer in service under it. But, unjust as the whole affair was, it lasted until 1756, when, after creating much confusion, the order was changed so that captains
On the 19th June, 1754, in pursuance of a royal requisition of the preceding year that a plan of general union between the Colonies be perfected for their common defense, Commissioners from the Northern Provinces met at Albany, New York, and agreed upon a draft of Union between all the Colonies. New Jersey, Virginia and the Carolinas, says Chalmers, with their accustomed spirit, either neglected or refused to send their delegates.7 This draft was in the shape of an application for an act of Parliament of Great Britain by virtue of which one general government might be formed in America, including all of the said Colonies, within and under which government each Colony might retain its existing Constitution, except in the particulars in which a change might be directed by the said act of Parliament. The General Colonial Government was to be administered by a President-General and a Grand Council, to be chosen by the Assemblies in the respective Colonies, as follows: Massachusetts and Virginia, seven delegates each; Pennsylvania, six; Connecticut, five; New York, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina, four each; New Jersey three, and New Hampshire and Rhode Island two each, to be elected every three years. No Province was to have more than seven nor less than two members. The assent of the President-General was necessary to all acts of the Council, and he and the Council were to have power to make Indian treaties, regulate Indian trade, raise troops, levy taxes, issue money, grant commissions, &c., &c. All laws, however, were to be sent to England for the approbation of the King and Council.
The draft was by order of the Congress sent to each Legislature for approbation or amendment. Upon being laid before the Legislature of North Carolina, in December, its consideration was postponed until the next session, and the Printer directed in the meantime to print and
But the project for a general union, though it came to naught, is worthy of special notice, inasmuch as it was the first definite proposal formally submitted to the Colonies for such a union. It is worthy of remark, too, that the proposition came not from the Colonies themselves, but from the Government authorities in England. Had it been made during or at the end of the war, rather than at its beginning, and in anticipation of it, the confederation of the Colonies of America might have been entered into twenty years sooner than it was, as at the end of the war the Colonists were better able to appreciate the benefits of co-operation and confederation for common defense than before it.
The original germs of the confederation of the British Colonies of North America were, however, doubtless contained in the project for a Colonial union presented by William Penn in 1697. His plan was for a Congress, to consist of two delegates from each Colony, to meet once a year in time of war, and once in two years in time of peace, the President to be appointed by the Crown, with power to legislate: first, in cases of absconding debtors; second, criminals from justice; third, to regulate commercial intercourse; fourth, to raise troops for protection against the public enemies, &c.
As early as 1754 vacant public lands, as we would now call them, could be found in large bodies only in the back settlements near the mountains, and settlers were coming in there “in hundreds of wagons from the northwards.” The habit, it seems, was either to send an agent in advance to select lands or to employ some friend already located to do so. The immigrants were said to be very industrious people, who went at once into the cultivation of hemp, flax, corn and the breeding of horses and other stock.
In October, 1754, at Williamsburg, in a conference between Governor Dobbs, Governor Sharpe, of Maryland, and Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, a plan of operations was formed for the coming campaign, in which it was agreed to assemble 1,000 men if possible, the independent companies included, and to carry the French fort on the Monongahela before it could be re-inforced from Canada in the spring, and to build a fort on an Island in the Ohio River opposite the French fort. Fort Cumberland, at Will's Creek, on the Potomac, was to be used as a magazine for the troops employed in the expedition, of which Governor Sharpe was to be Commander-in-Chief.
In 1754 appears for the first time on our records a name that soon became as familiar as a household word in the Province—the name of Hugh Waddell. In that year he was sent as a Lieutenant in Colonel Innes's Regiment to Virginia, and there made a Captain. In 1755 he was sent with a company to the North Carolina frontiers and built Fort Dobbs, of which he retained the command for several years. In 1756, as Commissioner from North Carolina in conjunction with Peyton Randolph and William Byrd, Commissioners from Virginia, he negotiated treaties with the Cherokees and Catawbas. He was then barely twenty-one years old. In 1758, having been promoted to be Major, he went to Virginia with three companies and took part in the expedition against Fort Duquesne under General Forbes. In this expedition, as will be seen, he distinguished himself very much, not merely for great personal courage, but for great skill as an Indian fighter as well. In the spring of 1759 he was promoted to be a Colonel and again given charge of the frontiers, with power to call out the militia of Orange, Rowan and Anson whenever occasion might require. Later in the same year he commanded the North Carolina contingent of troops in the expedition against the Cherokees under Governor Lyttelton, of South Carolina. In February, 1760, he was again at Fort Dobbs and present at the Indian attack on that place. That he took no part in the expedition under Colonel Montgomery against the Cherokees in June of that year was doubtless due to the fact that Governor Dobbs having refused to accept the appropriation offered him by the Assembly no provision was made for raising troops in time for it. Before the summer passed, however, the emergency became so great as to
General Waddell was born in Lisburn, County Down, Ireland. His parents were Hugh Waddell and Isabella Brown. His father, like Dobbs and like Rowan, was a member of a well established family in the north of Ireland, but on account of the fatal result of a duel in which he was engaged he spent several years in Boston, Massachusetts, with his young son. He then returned to Ireland and not long afterward died. He was a friend, according to tradition, both of President Rowan and Governor Dobbs. The attraction for young Waddell in North Carolina was doubtless the opening for military service the Province presented at the time of his coming over, which seems to have been in the early part of the year 1754, an attraction that was heightened by family interest with both the acting Governor Rowan and the expected Governor Dobbs. He was then not twenty years old. In this connection it must be remembered that for some time North Carolina was the only Province that went to the help of Virginia against the French and Indians.
General Waddell was evidently a born soldier and, though so young, doubtless trained and disciplined, though there is nothing to show where he got his training, if any he had, before serving under Colonel Innes. But whether trained or not, wherever firing was to be heard there young Waddell was sure to be, and certainly as an Indian fighter he was without an equal in the Province. Physically he was a powerful man, of large stature, having not only unusual length of limb but great breadth of chest, and possessed activity, strength and endurance in a rare degree.
For seven years, covering all the Indian troubles, he lived and fought on the frontiers and was the leader and commander, facile princeps, in meeting all their dangers, so that the country and the people were alike familiar to him. And that the people were accustomed so long to fight under him, that they loved him and had confidence in him, explains why it was that ten years nearly after he ceased to live among them he was able to raise troops there so easily when sent by Tryon to rouse the country for the campaign against the Regulators. He had been “through the war” with the frontiersmen, as we would say in this day, a seven years war, it must be remembered, sharing all their dangers and all their hardships, and his hold upon their affections and upon their confidence could not be broken. But civil affairs received his attention as well as military. In 1757 he took his seat as a member of the Assembly for the county of Rowan, the county in which Fort Dobbs was situated and in which he lived. In 1762, after peace was made with the Indians, having married that year and removed to the low country, he represented the county of Bladen. He married Mary Haynes, daughter of Captain Roger Haynes, of the well-known “Castle Haynes,” near Rocky Point, on Cape Fear River, and granddaughter of Rev. Richard Marsden, first Rector of St. James's Parish in the county of New Hanover. A striking instance of heredity is to be seen in the very marked unmistakable similarity between the autograph of General Waddell one hundred and thirty years ago and that of his great-grandson to-day.
An earnest patriot, with war the passion of his life, and possessing reputation, experience and capacity, General Waddell's career in the Revolution, had he lived and retained his health, would doubtless have been a great one. But he was cut off in the prime of life and just when his country most needed his services. But how well North Carolina must have been grounded in the faith to have shown no check in her course when Hugh Waddell and James Moore, two of her very best soldiers, and John Harvey, her acknowledged civil leader, went to the grave at the very outset of the great struggle, just at the time when they were so much needed.
On the 14th January, 1755, the Governor gave his assent to an act passed earlier in the session appropriating £6,000 for the endowment of a public school for the Province, under such regulations as the Governor and Legislature might make. The appropriation, however, was made subject to the approval of the King. After the passage of the bill the Committee of Propositions and Grievances of the Assembly formally resolved, “that under a sense of the many advantages that will arise to the Province from giving our youth a liberal education (whether considered in a moral, religious or political light), a publick school or seminary of learning be erected and properly endowed. And that for effecting the same the sum of £6,000 already appropriated for that purpose be properly applied.” On the 11th October of the same year the same Committee urged that the advantages arising from the proper education of youth as hitherto proposed by the committee should be secured.
From that time forward the attention, both of the Governor and of the Crown, was called to the fact that the Province was so impoverished in its circumstances through granting repeated aids to the King for making it defensible, and for carrying on expeditions in conjunction with the other Colonies against the French and their Indian allies, that they could not erect proper schools for the education of the youth. In passing, it may be proper to say that the Governor thought that “one public provincial school for the languages, &c., would be enough to be endowed, and the county schools be only for English scholars to learn to read, write and account, with some other branches of the mathematicks.” In 1764 the parish vestries were given authority to lay a parish tax of ten shillings per taxable to maintain a parson, school-master, &c. The mixing up the schools with the church, however, did no good to the schools. From all of which it will be seen that the evil effects of the lavish appropriations to the war were very far-reaching—much more so than could have been anticipated at the time they were made.
On the 14th April, 1755, a convention of Colonial Governors met in Alexandria, Virginia, at the invitation of General Braddock, to settle with him or rather, doubtless, to receive from him the plan of the coming campaign. The statement made by Martin, however, that Governor Dobbs, having left the Province early in the year for the purpose, was8
Early in 1755, Edward Brice Dobbs, a son of the Governor and an officer in the regular British army, then on leave of absence, was sent with a company to Virginia to take part in the Braddock campaign.
On the 14th October, 1755, an act was passed establishing a postal service in North Carolina for the first time. It was done on the recommendation of the Governor in a message to the Legislature, in which he called attention to the fact that there was no established post through the Province, and the great necessity there was for some regular means of correspondence with other Colonies, by which all public letters might be carried without any other pay therefor than a salary to him who undertook the service. On the day after the message was sent to the Legislature an agreement was come to with James Davis, the Public Printer to the Province, and the necessary appropriation made therefor, by which he undertook to convey all public letters, expresses and dispatches, relating to the Province, to any part thereof, and every fifteen days to send a messenger to Suffolk, in Virginia, and to Wilmington, on the Cape Fear, for the term of one year, in consideration of the sum of £100 6s. 8d. proclamation money.
In February, 1756, Messrs. Peyton Randolph and William Byrd on the part of Virginia, and Hugh Waddell on the part of North Carolina, were sent as Commissioners to negotiate treaties of alliance, offensive and defensive, with the Cherokee and Catawba Indians. The Commissioners concluded treaties in due form with both tribes, the outcome of which was that Virginia built and garrisoned a fort (Fort Loudoun) at the junction of the Tellico and Tennessee Rivers, for the defense of the Cherokees, and North Carolina built one for the Catawbas near the
In May, 1756, Mr. Chief-Justice Henley held a conference in Salisbury, at the house of Mr. Peter Arran, with King Hagler of the Catawba Nation, fifteen of his principal warriors and some thirty of his young men, painted and armed after their fashion in time of war. The conference was occasioned by the seizure by the Cherokees of certain horses in Virginia on their return from the Shawnee campaign. It seems the Cherokees were instigated to take the horses by a white woman whom they had carried off, and that the Catawbas had taken the woman from the Cherokees, and wanted to know what disposition to make of her. King Hagler begged that she might not be put to death, as he was “always sorry to lose a woman; that the loss of one woman might be the loss of many lives, because one woman might be the mother of many children.” Observing that the audience smiled, he added, “I believe I have spoken nothing but the truth.” He begged also that a stop might be put to the sale of strong liquors to the Catawbas by the white people, saying that if the white people would make strong drink they ought to sell it to one another, or drink it in their own families, and thus prevent the Indians from getting drunk and quarreling with the white people.
Later in the year four companies of North Carolina troops, including Captain Dobbs's company, then in Virginia, were sent to New York to assist in the operations to the northward. The reason assigned by Governor Dobbs for the transfer of his son's company was that if it remained in Virginia it would be used on the local defense of that Colony, without making any effort in behalf of the common cause, as they had neither officers nor artillery there fit for any general plan of operations. He feared also that neither Maryland nor Pennsylvania would do more than defend their own frontiers, not seeming very zealous for the common cause of the Colonies. The four companies were under the command of Captains Edward Brice Dobbs, Caleb Grainger, Thomas Arbuthnot and Thomas McManus, Dr. Wm. Furguson, Surgeon. In Arbuthnot's company Wm. Furguson and Henry Johnson were Lieutenants, David Rogers Ensign, and Joshua Johnson Sergeant. John Paine was Lieutenant
There was no lack of commanders of high degree to give direction to the campaign, especially to the northward, that year. Troops, too, it would seem, there were in abundance, but for all that there were no victories. Johnston and Shirley and Abercrombie and Loudoun were all there with more than 10,000 troops, including 3,000 British regulars, besides the garrison at Oswego. Yet Montcalm was allowed to capture Oswego for want of re-inforcements and to construct a fort at Ticonderoga in the front of “forces that could have penetrated to the heart of Canada.”
On the 15th March, 1757, the Governors of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, met in Philadelphia, at the invitation of Earl Loudoun, Commander-in-Chief of the King's Forces in North America, to concert, in conjunction with him, a plan for the defense of the Southern Provinces. This was done in view of the fact that in the coming campaign it was intended to employ the greatest part of the regular troops to the northward, though his Lordship was willing to leave for the defense of the Southern Provinces one battalion, to be completed to 1,000 men, and the three independent companies in South Carolina, of 100 men each. After consultation it was agreed, in view of the danger of an attack on South Carolina by sea from St. Domingo, or from the Alabama Fort, in the Creek Nation of Indians, that 2,000 men were needed for its defense and that of Georgia, and that they should be raised as follows:
Five companies of regular troops
Three independent companies
Provincial troops from South Carolina
Provincial troops from North Carolina
Provincial troops from Virginia
Provincial troops from Pennsylvania
The troops were to be under the command of Colonel Bouquet, and to be transported to Charleston as soon as possible, the regulars and those
On his return home Governor Dobbs issued a call for a special session of the Legislature, to enable him to carry out his part of the agreement entered into at Philadelphia. He also at the same time issued a proclamation for a day of Solemn Fasting and Humiliation, with which he was so much pleased that he sent a copy of it to Mr. Secretary Pitt, as he did afterwards (1759) a copy of a hymn of twelve stanzas, of “his composure,” to be sung on the day of Thanksgiving in that year, to the 100th Psalm tune. The old gentleman evidently thought well of his powers of composition in proclamation literature. The hymn was very patriotic and very protestant, and made the British Lion roar very loudly, while the poor “Papal Beast” hid away in great terror, and was in a bad way generally. The hymn, according to the Governor, had the further merit of being “in the line of the prophecies up to date.”
The Legislature met on the 16th May following and congratulated the Governor on his safe return from Philadelphia, but failed to reimburse him for the expenses of his trip, an omission that he seems never to have forgotten or forgiven. The Legislature did not fail, however, to make the necessary provision for raising troops to send to South Carolina, voting for that purpose £5,300 to raise two companies of 100 men each, and allowing each enlisted man £5 advanced payment. As usual, there was difficulty about arranging for the payment of the troops when outside of the Province. In this instance the Governor gave orders for the purchase of stores to send to Charleston to sell for that purpose, a hard necessity, as there was a duty on naval stores sent from North Carolina to Charleston. Public advertisement was also ordered to be made for any person willing to contract for remitting £500 sterling to South Carolina for the use of the troops. The officers of these companies were: Captains Caleb Grainger and John Paine, Dr. Hardy, Surgeon, and subalterns Brown, Dixon and Williams.
Orders were also given to send two-thirds of the militia of the four southern counties to South Carolina upon the first notice from Governor Lyttelton or Colonel Bouquet. In July, however, Governor Lyttelton
In the spring of 1758 it was determined to undertake the reduction of Fort Duquesne in the next campaign, and the forces relied upon for the purpose consisted mainly of the troops from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. Three companies of North Carolina troops, under command of Major Hugh Waddell, were accordingly sent to General Forbes for operations on the Ohio. The companies were to consist of one hundred men each, and to encourage and hasten enlistment the Legislature gave £10 bounty to every able-bodied recruit. Two companies were sent by sea to the Potomac River, and the third marched by land from our western frontier to Winchester, Virginia. As the Province had no cash, and the currency was at a great discount, the men could not be paid after they left home, even at 50 per cent. discount, so that Governor Dobbs wrote to General Forbes to pay them and reimburse himself from the North Carolina dividend from the £50,000 granted by Parliament to the Southern Provinces. Captains Paine and Bailey were with Major Waddell. The result of the campaign, causing the French to abandon Fort Duquesne and retreat to the Mississippi, is a matter of general history.
Governor Dobbs reported that Major Waddell “had great honor done him, being employed in all reconnoitering parties, and dressed and acted as an Indian; and his sergeant, Rogers, took the only Indian prisoner, who gave Mr. Forbes certain intelligence of the forces in Fort Duquesne, upon which they resolved to proceed.” A fuller statement is that the army had forty miles to march through a perfect wilderness when the winter set in. A regular siege could not be attempted, and the possibility of taking the fort by storm was not ascertained. In that desperate state of his affairs General Forbes offered a reward of five hundred pounds to any person who would take a hostile Indian prisoner. John Rogers, a sergeant in Major Waddell's company, brought in the prisoner, from whom the necessary information was obtained. The light troops made a forced march and the enemy abandoned the fort.9
Rogers's own statement, as set forth in his petition laid before the Assembly on the 7th May, 1760, was that he was sergeant in the company commanded by Major Hugh Waddell in the expedition against Fort Duquesne; that the commanding officer at Loyal Hanning promised a reward of fifty guineas and another officer one of four hundred guineas for taking of an Indian prisoner; that in consequence thereof and to distinguish his zeal for the public service, at the hazard of his life he did take an Indian prisoner in November, 1758, who gave satisfactory intelligence, &c.; that General Forbes being since dead he conceived he could not get the reward, and therefore prayed the Assembly would consider the said service and make him some allowance therefor. The Assembly allowed him twenty pounds, Major Waddell, who was one of the members, being present.
It is a little singular, to say no more, that the above is the only reference made by Williamson in his History of North Carolina to service of North Carolina troops beyond the borders of the Province during this long war, and that Martin in his History makes no mention whatever of such service, save a single reference to Colonel Innes and his regiment, in which, curiously enough, in view of the facts, he says that having marched at the head of his men to Virginia only to find the expedition countermanded for want of provision for its prosecution, “Colonel Innes marched back his men to North Carolina.”
On Friday, the 6th February, 1761, intelligence having been received the day before of the death of King George the Second, George the Third was duly proclaimed King at Brunswick “by all the gentlemen near the place, the militia drawn out, and a triple discharge from Fort Johnston of twenty-one guns and from all the ships in the river.” On the next day, Saturday the 7th, at Wilmington, His Majesty was again proclaimed by the corporation and gentlemen of the neighborhood under a triple salute of twenty-one guns, an entertainment being given and the militia drawn out. The day wound up with bonfires, illuminations, a ball and supper, amid universal demonstrations of joy.
On the 10th February, 1763, peace was made between Great Britain and France.
On the 10th October, 1764, Lieutenant-Governor Tryon arrived at Cape Fear, in North Carolina.
On 28th March, 1765, Governor Dobbs died at his place in Brunswick on the Cape Fear.
Had McCulloh never obtained such enormous grants for land in North Carolina Arthur Dobbs, doubtless, would never have been its Governor. Dobbs, however, was one of the “associates” or partners of McCulloh in the venture, and when the spoils were divided out more than two hundred thousand acres of land, some in Duplin, but the greater part in the south-western part of the Province, fell to the share of the future Governor. In view of the interest these “McCulloh lands,” on many accounts, have for the student of North Carolina history, a brief account of them, as shown by the records, will not be inappropriate.
On 19th May, 1737, the Crown granted to Murray Crymble and James Huey, two merchants of London, warrants for 1,200,000 acres of land in North Carolina upon condition that they settled thereon 6,000 Protestants, and paid as Quit Rents four shillings per 100 acres. These parties, however, as they subsequently formally declared, were mere trustees for one Henry McCulloh, another London merchant, and his associates. The Surveyor-General of North Carolina, in 1744, in pursuance of an order in Council, surveyed and located the warrants on the heads of the Pee Dee, Cape Fear and Neuse Rivers, the associates being allowed to take out separate grants, provided no grant should contain less than 12,000 acres. These lands, it seems, were laid out into tracts of 100,000 acres each, as follows:
Tracts numbered 1, 2, 3 and 5, on the waters of the Yadkin and the Catawba.
These tracts were subdivided into smaller parcels containing 12,500 acres each. Tracts Nos. 1 and 3 were assigned to “associate” John Selwyn, and Nos. 2 and 5 were assigned to “associate” Arthur Dobbs, of Castle Dobbs in Ireland, and in 1745 the grants therefor were issued.i. e., 200 acres for each settler. Accordingly Colonel Nathaniel Alexander, of Mecklenburg county, and John Frohock, Esq., of Rowan county, were appointed Commissioners to ascertain the number of white persons, male and female, young and old, who were, without fraud, resident upon each of the grants on 25th March, 1760, and make due return of the same under oath to the Governor and Council. It was further agreed that upon such return being made McCulloh and his associates should formally surrender the unsettled lands to the Crown and be released from the payment of the back rents due thereon. After the arrangement was consummated Henry Eustace McCulloh sought to have the lines of his grants ascertained and the lands subdivided into smaller parcels to suit the wants of new settlers, but he found it almost impossible to do so. South Carolina surveyors were in the territory locating grants issued by that Province, North Carolina surveyors were there locating lands under her grants, and McCulloh's surveyors were also there in his interest. Disorders were frequent and violent collisions, in some of which lives were lost. Many settlers had entered upon the McCulloh lands and were determined to hold them by force, and so at first when the McCulloh surveyors took the field they were met by an
In 1762 the Sheriff of Anson county, having complained that he had been abused and insulted by the settlers on Sugar and Reedy Creeks in the execution of the duties of his office, was ordered to raise the posse commitatus and apprehend the guilty parties; but they having notice thereof collected themselves together, and when he attempted to arrest them began to behave in a riotous manner. The Sheriff thereupon, in the King's name, commanded the peace, but not a whit intimidated, “they damned the King and his peace and beat and wounded several of those whom the Sheriff had called to his assistance; return of which having been made to said Court, the persons so beat and abused were summoned on his Majesty's behalf to the Superior Court of that district and indictments found against several of the rioters and proper precepts issued for apprehending them, all of which were returned ‘not executed,’ by reason of the threats and frequent abuse committed upon the officers of justice and the protection they mett with from the South Carolina government.”
The troubles in this section began as far back as the year 1755. In that year Governor Dobbs visited his lands and was applied to by several parties for the same piece of land. The unsuccessful parties then applied to Governor Glenn, of South Carolina, for a grant, alleging that the lands were in that Province, and the South Carolina Governor, it seems, was not loth to extend or confirm his jurisdiction, as the case might be.
The lands thus retained remained in the possession of McCulloh and his son, Henry Eustace McCulloh, and their associates until the Revolution, when they were confiscated, their owners having adhered to and
Among the persons brought over by McCulloh were some of the first settlers of Duplin county.
As has been before stated, the dispute between the two Carolinas about their boundary line had its origin about 1720, when the purpose to erect a third Province in Carolina, with the Savannah River for its northern boundary, began to assume definite shape. But the matter not being of any pressing practical importance the Lords Proprietors sold their rights to the Crown without having fixed the limits of either Colony. After the surrender of the charter, however, it was thought best to put an end to the uncertainty in the premises, and on Thursday, the 8th of January, 1729-'30, the newly-appointed Governors, Colonel Johnson, of South Carolina, and Captain Burrington, of North Carolina, together with other gentlemen belonging to those Provinces, then in London, appeared before the Lords of the Board of Trade and Plantations at Whitehall and made known to the Board that they had agreed upon a division line between the Provinces which they promised to mark upon a map for the information of the Board. Two weeks later the two Governors being again “present as they had been desired in relation to the Boundaries between those Provinces mentioned in the minutes of the 8th inst., their Lordships after some discussion thereupon agreed upon the following divisional line, vizt.: the line to begin at 30 miles southwestward of Cape Fear, and to be run at that parallel distance the whole course of said river,” and directed the respective Governors to be instructed accordingly. In June following Governor Johnson informed the Board that he did “apprehend the running the boundary line between North and South Carolina would admit of the following way of expresing to answer the same intent, viz.: That a line should be run (by Commissioners appointed by each Province), beginning at the Sea 30 miles distant from the mouth
This suggestion having been adopted, was made by the Board in December, 1730, a part of the instructions to the two Governors. It was charged, however, in North Carolina that, in making it the South Carolina Governor took advantage of the ignorance of the Board of Trade in the matter of Carolina geography. Whether ignorantly or knowingly given, the instruction was a hard one for North Carolina, and the Governor and Council protested against the injustice of a line which, as the Cape Fear River rose very close to the Virginia border, would have prevented any extension on the part of North Carolina to the westward. Meanwhile both Provinces claimed land on the north side of Waccamaw River.
In 1732, Governor Burrington published a Proclamation in Timothy's Southern Gazette, declaring the lands lying on the north side of Waccamaw River to be within the Province of North Carolina. Governor Johnson, of South Carolina, replied in the same paper by proclamation also, that they belonged to South Carolina, and stated that when he and Governor Burrington appeared before the Board of Trade in London to settle the boundary between the two Provinces Governor Burrington laid before their Lordships Colonel Moseley's map describing the Cape Fear and Waccamaw Rivers, and insisted that the Waccamaw should be the boundary from its mouth to its head; that on the part of South Carolina it was insisted that the line should run thirty miles distant from the mouth of Cape Fear River on the south-west side thereof, &c., as set forth in the instructions, and that the Board agreed thereto, unless the mouth of Waccamaw River was within thirty miles of Cape Fear River, in which case both Governor Burrington and himself agreed that Waccamaw River should be the boundary. The omission of the word mouth, in the last part of the instructions, Governor Johnson thought was only a mistake in the wording of it.
In consequence of the disputes and of the representations made to them the Lords of Trade withdrew their instruction and ordered that each Province should appoint Commissioners to agree upon a proper line, subject to the King's approval. Accordingly on the 23d April, 1735, the Commissioners appointed by the respective Colonies met at the house of Eleazer Allen, Esq., in New Hanover precinct, and on the next day agreed “that a due west line should be run from Cape Fear along the sea coast for thirty miles, and from thence proceed northwest to the 35th degree of north latitude, and if the line touched Pee Dee River before reaching the 35th degree, then they were to make an offset at five miles distant from Pee Dee and proceed up the river till they reached that latitude, and from thence they were to proceed due west until they came to Catawba town, but if the town should be to the northward of the line, they were to make an offset around the town so as to leave it in the south government.”
A copy of this agreement, duly signed and sealed, was deposited in the Secretary's office in each Province. The Commissioners began to run the line on the 1st May, 1735, and proceeded 30 miles west from Cape Fear, which fell 10 poles of the mouth of Little River, and then went north-west to the country road and set up stakes there for the mearing or boundary of the two Provinces and then separated, agreeing under hand and seal to meet again on the 18th September, and if either party failed in coming the other was to continue the line and it was to be binding upon both. In September the North Carolina Commissioners attended and ran the line north-west about 70 miles. The South Carolina Commissioners arrived in October and followed the line about 40 miles, and finding the work right so far sent a draught of what they had done to the Lords of Trade, and as they had been paid nothing for their trouble or expense, would proceed no further. A deputy surveyor, however, took the latitude of Pee Dee at the 35th parallel and set up a mark which was from that date deemed to be the mearing or boundary at that place.
In 1737 the line was extended in the same direction twenty-two miles to a stake in a meadow supposed to be at the point of intersection with the 35th parallel of north latitude. In 1764 the line was extended
The zigzag shape of the line as it runs from the south-west corner of Union county to the Catawba River is due to the offsets already referred to and which were necessary to throw the reservation of the Catawba Indians, which had been set off to them by metes and bounds, into the Province of South Carolina. There is usually a substantial, sensible, sober reason for any marked variation from the general direction of an important boundary line, plain enough when the facts are known; but
Space will not conveniently permit a detailed statement of the condition of affairs in the disputed territory. It is sufficient to say that grants were issued by the South Carolina Governor for lands to the north of the 35th parallel, and by the North Carolina Governor for lands south of it, and that the result from all causes, according to the statement of Governor Dobbs, was the creation of a “kind of sanctuary allowed to criminals and vagabonds by their pretending, as it served their purpose, that they belonged to either Province.” But who can help a feeling of sympathy for those reckless free lances to whom constraint from either Province was irksome? After men breathe North Carolina air for a time a very little government will go a long way with them. Certainly the men who publicly “damned the King and his peace” in 1762 were fast ripening for the 20th May, 1775.
Meanwhile the Colony was steadily growing in wealth, productions and population. The population numbered, it may be safely said, near 100,000 at the beginning and near 125,000 at the end of Dobbs's administration, three-fourths, if not four-fifths, of whom were white. To meet the wants of white new-comers, four new counties had been recently created, to-wit: Orange and Cumberland in the centre and Anson and Rowan in the west. So fast had the population in Orange and the western counties grown, that whereas in 1746 scarce 100 fighting men were therein to be found, there were in 1753 full 3,000, in addition to some 1,000 or more Scotch, in Cumberland, equivalent to 20,000 or more people, covering the Province more or less thickly from Hillsboro and Fayetteville westwardly to the mountains. How many of these new-comers were Irish and how many were German may not now be
And just here it may be pertinent to remark that when it is remembered that Governor Johnston came from the south-west part of Scotland, and that President Rowan and Governor Dobbs came from the north-east of Ireland, and when the intimate connection between these localities is considered, it is easy to understand how that wonderful migration of Scotch-Irish, that did so much for the settlement of North Carolina, had its origin. Through these three men, Johnston from Dumfriesshire, and Rowan and Dobbs from Antrim, these three successive Governors of the Province, their relatives, friends, connections and acquaintances in the north of Ireland and the south of Scotland, North Carolina was, perhaps, better known there than in any other part of the old world.10 It could not well have been otherwise, seeing that for thirty years the Chief Executives of the Province were native there and in many ways well known. Doubtless, as Governor Dobbs insisted, but for the restrictions put upon the Southern Provinces by the Navigation Acts of Great Britain, by which direct trade was rendered practically impossible, that migration would have come by shipping from Ireland directly to our own shores rather than to those of Pennsylvania and from thence to find its way hither in wagons overland.
In all of this territory the black population, young and old, male and female, did not reach five hundred. In the other or older settled parts
The returns also showed that there were in North Carolina, which then extended to the Mississippi, the following named Indian tribes:
In Anson county, which embraced all the western part of the Province to the Mississippi River, 240 Catawba and 2,390 Cherokee warriors; in Bertie county, 100 Tuskerora warriors and 201 women and children; in Granville county, 7 or 8 Meherrin warriors, and on the Islands or “the Banks,” some 15 or 20 Mattamuskeet and other Indians.
The military strength of the Province in 1754 was about 15,000 infantry, 400 mounted men, 1,000 exempt from muster, as Justices, Lawyers, Millers, Ferrymen, &c., and about 1,500 on the frontiers not enrolled. There were 22 counties, in each of which President Rowan had formed a regiment of infantry, the militia having fallen much to decay during the administration of Governor Johnston.
The chief productions of the Province during Dobbs's administration were naval stores of all kinds, lumber of all kinds, pork, beef, hides, deerskins and furs, bees and myrtle wax, rice, Indian corn, cotton and indigo. The cultivation of the last named article was gone into with great spirit at first, it being believed that “it could be grown here equal to any in America,” in fact that it thrived here “to admiration.” Later on, however, it was found that indigo did not answer so well for a money crop, as it suffered so much from drought and other accidents that no dependence could be put upon any but the first cutting. The exportation of beef, too, from the Province was very much lessened by the great loss of cattle occasioned by a distemper brought from South Carolina, by which near seven-eighths of the cattle were destroyed, so that as late as 1764 the Province was only just beginning to recover from the loss thereby inflicted. The price of beef was raised to 4d. per pound, and the price of salt butter from 12d. to near two shillings per pound. Mulberry trees, it was said, became full grown in three or four years from the seed, and the climate being regarded as “extremely proper for silk,” the future of the silk business was looked forward to, as usual, with extravagant hopefulness. The native grapes of the upper country were said to yield richvia Pennsylvania, that exceeded in quality the best Pennsylvania and New York seed. Tobacco, too, and of a better kind, grew more abundantly than in Virginia, but as the market was already overstocked, and its production here would prejudice the trade of Virginia, the government did not encourage it, so that only some two thousand hogsheads were grown by “planters on the Virginia Line and Roannock and Chowan.” But in spite of the lack of encouragement from the government the cultivation of tobacco increased so much that in 1756 warehouses were established for its inspection before being exported from the Province by sea at Relfs in Pasquotank, the Court House in Perquimans, at Edenton and Bennet's Creek in Chowan, Jackson's Ferry on the Chowan and Whitmell's on the Cashie in Bertie, Pitch Landing in Northampton, at Elbeck's Landing on Roanoke, William Williams's, Kehukee and Howell's Ferry on Tar River in Edgecombe, at Red Banks in Beaufort county and at Bath Town. Others were established later, as follows: in 1758, one on the lands of Thomas Barnes on Roanoke River in Halifax; in 1759, three in the county of Dobbs, and in 1760, two in Cumberland. The cultivation of wheat, too, increased so that in 1764, bolting mills having been erected on the Cape Fear, several hundred barrels of flour were exported to the East Indies, a great change, remembering that hitherto all the flour had been brought from New England. A premium upon the exportation of hemp and flax having been given by the Legislature, these articles were no longer carried to South Carolina for exportation, but sent out directly from the Cape Fear.
The only articles manufactured in the Province were “a few ill-made coarse hats,” linen that Irish back settlers were beginning to make, and the common “homespun” cloth that formed the ordinary wear of the country. The exports of naval stores had also increased in 1764 to 36,647 barrels per annum, and above forty saw-mills having been put upon the Cape Fear and its branches, more than 30,000,000 feet of scantling and lumber were exported.
The Province had no trade with any foreign plantation except Eustatia and St. Croix, and with no foreign countries in Europe except with
The tonnage as above estimated was supposed to be about one-third short of the real burden of the vessels, being taken from the registers wherein it was usual not to insert above two-thirds of the true tonnage. Not above 50 of these vessels were owned in the Province, nor had there been any increase or diminution in the shipping for some time, though there would have been an increase to supply the new inhabitants had it not been for the war and the increased inland traffic with Virginia.
The British manufactures imported into the Province amounted to some £28,500 per annum, about one-half coming directly from Great Britain, the rest coastways from Boston, New York, Philadelphia, &c. These manufactures consisted of linens and woolens and all kinds of clothing, hardware, nails, earthenware, pewter and tin manufactures, powder and lead, stationery and haberdashery wares. From the number of factors from Virginia scattered through the Province it was estimated that the British manufactures brought inland from that Colony greatly exceeded the import into any of our sea-ports. The quantity from South Carolina was much smaller. These manufactures were of the same kind as those directly imported from Great Britain, but often such as had become unsaleable at the place of their import.
Illicit trade directly with foreigners was but little known in the Province during Governor Dobbs's administration, though foreign commodities were doubtless brought here by small sloops and schooners from the Northern Colonies with regular clearances from the Collectors there, by which the cargoes appeared to be British commodities legally imported there. The chief part of the illicit trade in South Carolina was carried on with St. Augustine and Havana. During the administration of Governor Dobbs, indeed, there were but three seizures, although during a great part of the time there were two sloops of war, the Hornet and the Viper, cruising off the coast in the revenue service, and in the case of one of these seizures there was manifestly no purpose to violate the law. In the importation of wine and spirits, however, upon which the Province laid an import duty, the Governor thought there was fraud, by “running and short entries,” which, under the circumstances, it seemed impossible to prevent.
From a statement submitted to the Assembly on the 24th November, 1764, by Mr. Treasurer Starkey, setting forth in detail the amount, kind and value of the paper money of the Province then current, it appears:
That in April, 1748, the sum of £21,350 and in March, 1754, the sum of £40,000 were issued to be current and lawful tender in all payments at the rate of proclamation standard, that is, every 4s. proclamation bills to be of the value of 3s. sterling, for redeeming and sinking which an annual poll tax of 1s. per poll was laid on each taxable and a duty of 4d. per gallon on all spirituous liquors imported into the Province, to continue until the said bills should be paid in and burnt; that in the year 1760 were issued £12,000 at same rate, to be redeemed by a poll tax of 1s. per poll, to begin in the year 1763 and continue until the said sum should be paid; that in 1761 were issued £20,000 in legal tender bills, at the rate above mentioned, to be redeemed by an additional poll tax of 2s. per poll, to begin in 1764 and to continue till the said £20,000 be paid in and burnt; and that there had been paid in and burnt of the above £25,286 12s., leaving then in circulation of the above issues £68,063 8s.
That in the year 1756, for the encouragement of the late war, there were issued treasury notes bearing interest at 6 per cent. from their respective dates to 10th November, 1757, at the abovementioned rate, to the amount of £3,600 principal money, for redemption whereof a poll tax of 2s. was laid for the year 1756, and an additional duty of 2d. per gallon on all spirits imported for one year; that in 1757 a further sum of these notes, amounting to £5,306 principal money, on same terms as above, to bear interest till 29th September, 1758, for redemption of which a poll tax of 4s. 6d. was laid for 1757, and a tax on lawsuits for two years; that in the same year was issued a further sum of £9,500 in interest notes, redeemable 10th December, 1758, by a poll tax of 6s. 6d. levied for the year 1758; that in the year 1758 a further sum of £7,000 was issued in interest notes, redeemable 12th December, 1759, by a poll tax of 4s. 6d. laid for the year 1759, and a duty of 2d. per gallon on all spirits imported for the term of four years; that in the same year a further sum of £4,000 was issued in interest notes, redeemable on the 10th June, 1761, by a poll tax of 3s. 1d. levied for 1760, amounting in all to £30,776, including interest; that on the above there had been paid in and burnt £23,807 3s. 10d., leaving a balance, including interest thereon, of £6,968 16s. 2d. in interest notes still in circulation. From all of which it appears that since April, 1748, to 24th November, 1764, there had been issued:
Bills of credit at proclamation standard
Amount of the above paid in and burnt
Leaving still in circulation
For the sinking of the above a poll tax of 4s. and a duty of 4d. per gallon on spirits were laid to continue until the whole should be paid in and burnt. As there were about 35,000 taxables in the Province the annual revenue from this source would have been about £7,000, had collections been closely made, and according to the estimate of Governor Dobbs a 4d. duty on spirits ought to have been worth over £1,000 a year. As a matter of fact, however, tax collections were negligently made by the
And thus another embarrassing legacy was left for succeeding administrations to dispose of. What was the outcome of it all remains to be seen. For the present it is sufficient to say that in view of the important part the public debt played in the politics of the Province the above official statement, showing its amount and the history of its creation in detail, is as opportune as it is interesting.
It must not be supposed, however, there were no hindrances to the growth of the Province save internal strife and disordered finances. Other obstacles quite as serious grew out of the restrictions upon the trade of the Colonies imposed by the “Navigation Acts” of Great Britain, as they were called. For example, the prohibition upon the importation of salt from all parts of Europe, except Britain, to North Carolina and the other Southern Provinces was a serious drawback upon our trade. It mattered not, then, that the salt brought from Great Britain was not adapted to the curing of pork and beef in our climate, and that “Portugal salt” was found by the producer to be “the only proper salt” for the purpose, it could not be imported directly into the Province, but had to be brought “at great disadvantage from New York and Pennsylvania at double freight and a further advanced price to the Northern importers.” Had there been no such iniquitous restriction upon our importations trade would have opened up directly to Portugal and Spain for salt and wine, in return for our lumber, naval stores, corn and other products, that those countries were obliged to buy somewhere. Like restrictions prevented what otherwise would have been profitable trade with other countries. A special grievance growing out of the restrictions upon the trade with Ireland was that immigrants seeking this Province were obliged to go first to Pennsylvania and from thence to Carolina by land, in wagons, at such great expense that when they reached here they were for some time incapable of improving the lands they took up. So, too, as a result, in part, of a want of proper salt to cure meat, the chief part of the live stock in the northern and western part of the Province was driven by land to Philadelphia, and the hogs to Virginia.
Other impediments to the growth of the Province during Governor Dobbs's administration came from the Indian wars of that period, to understand which readily it will be well to keep in mind:
1st. That the Shawnee Indians lived on the waters of the Upper Ohio, abreast of the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia.
2d. That the Cherokees lived over the Blue Ridge, extending from the Keowee Valley in South Carolina across North Carolina toward the Virginia line; that the “lower towns,” as they were called, were in the Keowee Valley, the “middle towns” on the upper waters of the Little Tennessee River, and the “upper towns” still further to the north, and that being thus situated the Cherokee country was more accessible from South Carolina than from any other Province.
3d. That the Catawbas lived in both of the Carolinas, extending from Catawba River to the Blue Ridge; that owing to frightful ravages of the small-pox in 1760 the tribe, at no recent date very large, was so greatly reduced in numbers as to be insignificant either as friends or as enemies.
The following recapitulation will give some idea of the Indian troubles:
In June, 1753, three French and five Northward Indians met and fought thirteen Catawba Indians within less than two miles of Salisbury and during the session of the Court. Two of the French and three of the Northern Indians were killed.
In June, 1754, Colonel Clark informed President Rowan that on the morning of the 16th of that month the Indians killed sixteen persons on Buffalo Creek, on the north side of Broad River, and that ten others were missing, supposed to be killed or carried away as captives, and that he thought it was their purpose to cut off the back settlements, and said that unless help was given all the people would be obliged to move away, as some had already done. As their weapons had no cross upon them they were not believed to be French Indians.
In 1755, early in the year, a company was stationed on the frontier, and later in the year a fort called Fort Dobbs was built on Fourth Creek, between Salisbury and Statesville, and not very far from the point where the Western North Carolina Railroad crosses it. This place was fixed upon as the most central for a retreat for the back settlers, being beyond
In February, 1756, an expedition under Major Andrew Lewis, consisting of some one hundred or more Cherokee Indians and some two hundred or more Virginia Rangers, was sent against the Shawnee Indians because, as Governor Dinwiddie said in his instructions to Major Lewis, the Shawnees had, contrary to their faith, in a most violent and barbarous manner, robbed and murdered many persons in the frontier settlements, for which reason he had determined to attack them in their towns and punish them.
The expedition, however, proved unsuccessful, after a six weeks' campaign in the woods. The streams they had to cross were so much swollen from the rains and the snows that they lost their provisions and ammunition in crossing them, and the expedition was obliged to return in a starving condition, being compelled to kill their horses for food. On the return of the Cherokees through Virginia from the Shawnee campaign certain horses running at large in the range were taken by them to speed them on their journey homeward. For this the Virginia owners of the horses rose in arms, attacked the Indians and killed some sixteen of their number.
In 1756 Commissioners were appointed to visit the frontiers and recommend to the Governor a place for the location of the new fort, and report upon the condition of Fort Dobbs, Richard Caswell being one of the Commissioners. On the 21st December, 1756, they reported that they had viewed the western settlements and found them in a defenseless condition, except near Fort Dobbs, which was a good and substantial building of oak logs 53 × 40, and 24½ feet high, containing three floors, from which 100 muskets might be discharged at one time. They also found, under command of Captain Waddell, 46 effective men, officers and soldiers appearing well and in good spirits. The new fort, which they recommended to be located near the Catawba River, was to be a stockaded fort and not put up at any great expense, as it was expected the settlements would continue reaching out to the westward. The site of the fort is now known as “Old Fort,” being the station of that name on the Western North Carolina Railroad, at the foot and to the eastward
In July, 1756, petitions were sent to the Governor from the settlers on Broad and South Catawba Rivers, setting forth that several robberies and other abuses had been committed by parties of strolling Indians who would not discover to what nation they belonged, but were believed to be Cherokees, headed by some French Indians and perhaps two or three Northern Indians that the French brought with them. These gained some of the strolling Cherokees to commit robberies, hoping thereby to provoke the settlers to some action that would serve as a pretext to fall upon and murder them, and so bring on a general war.
At the October session in 1756 an address was sent by the Legislature to the King, representing the defenseless condition of the Province and the danger to which the frontier inhabitants were exposed from both the French and their Indian allies; that the latter had already committed several acts of hostility, and from their threats were expected to commit others; that the Cherokees, a numerous and warlike nation, that had formerly given the strongest assurances of good-will, were now, since the fall of Oswego, committing such outrages on our frontiers as to leave no doubt of their alliance with the French, and that in case of war with them Fort Dobbs and the company stationed in its garrison, even though assisted by the militia in the neighborhood, would be able to make but little defense. They declared also that as all the back settlers were preparing to retire from the frontier into the inner settlements they were unwilling to part with any more men out of the Province.
In the same year, and in the year following, a great number of people, on account of the war with the Shawnee and Delaware Indians, sought and found refuge with the Moravians, who enclosed their town, Bethabara, and the adjacent mill, near which some of the fugitives had built houses, with palisades.
In 1757, Governor Dobbs reported that the Catawba insulted our planters and had the impudence, during a sitting of the Supreme Court in Salisbury, in Rowan county, to insult the Chief-Justice. This was upon their return home, after doing little or nothing in Virginia in one of the campaigns there. Having robbed a wagon and tied up a wagoner with his own chain, they were followed and the goods retaken, whereupon they returned, loaded their guns and insulted the Court.
In May, 1758, a petition was presented to the Legislature from the inhabitants of Rowan county, setting forth that the murders lately committed on the Dan River had occasioned the inhabitants of the forks of the Yadkin to leave their settlements, and praying the continuance of Captain Bayley (who was the successor of Captain Waddell) and his company, or some others in their room.
On the 10th May, 1759, Governor Dobbs informed the Assembly that he had received an express from the western frontiers stating that several murders had been committed by Indians supposed to be Cherokees, and desired the advice of the Assembly as to the best and quickest way to protect the inhabitants; he also asked that provision be made for paying workmen for putting in order such arms as could be gotten. The Assembly being of opinion that the militia law fully authorized the Governor to march the militia against the enemy in case they invaded or distressed the inhabitants of the Province, with proper pay for both officers and men when so employed, advised him first to order out the militia of the country where the murders were committed, and the parts adjacent thereto, and made provision for the payment of workmen to put the arms in proper condition for service. Shortly after this Major Waddell was given two companies of provincials to protect the frontier inhabitants and a commission as Colonel, with authority to order out and command the militia regiments of Anson, Rowan and Orange, if the Indian incursions should continue.
In the fall of 1759, Governor Lyttelton, hurried on, it is said, “by zeal to display authority, and eager to gain the glory of conducting an unusual expedition against the Cherokees,” determined to conduct in person an expedition against them, and appealed to Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia for help. By the consent of the Council Governor Dobbs
Meanwhile, on the 17th of October, a deputation of Chiefs from the Cherokee Indians had appeared in Charleston and pleaded for peace. Governor Lyttelton, however, intent upon his expedition, told them to return with him and that “not a hair of their heads should be hurt.” Taking up the march, Governor Lyttelton and his forces reached Fort Prince George in December, where the Indian Chiefs who, in violation of all laws, had been arrested on the way were imprisoned in a small hut. On the 26th of the month a treaty was made, one of the provisions of which was that the Chiefs were to be confined in the forts as hostages as a guarantee for its execution. Governor Lyttelton and his forces then returned home. The result was what might have been expected.
In January, 1760, the Captain and two other officers of Fort Prince George, where the hostages were held in custody, were beguiled from the fort by the Indians and assassinated, and thereupon, the hostages having been put to death, a general massacre of the whites outside of the fort began. In April, General Amherst sent six hundred Highlanders and six hundred royal Americans, under Colonel Montgomery and Major Grant from the Army at the Northward, to strike a sudden blow at the Cherokees and return. With these forces, two hundred and ninety-five South Carolina Rangers, forty picked men of the new “levies” and “a good number of guides,” amounting in all to about 1,650 men, Colonel Montgomery moved from Ninety Six, in South Carolina, on the 28th of May. That there were no troops from North Carolina in the expedition
Meanwhile, in June, 1760, and pending the campaign against the Cherokees, Governor Bull having reported to Governor Dobbs that the Creek Indians, at the instigation of the French, had murdered many of the South Carolina traders, and that a general Indian outbreak was immediately expected, he hastily called the Legislature together and asked for an appropriation in order that, by following up the blow given by Colonel Montgomery to the Cherokees, a general Indian war might be prevented. The exigency of the case seemed so great that the Assembly, though a full quorum was not present, after a resolve that it should not be there-after drawn into precedent, passed an act making the desired appropriation. In his letter asking for help Governor Bull expressed the fear that it would be too late to save Fort Loudoun, and so it proved. The retreat of Colonel Montgomery sealed the fate of the garrison of that unhappy place, which, after being reduced to the most desperate straits, found itself obliged to starve or surrender to the Cherokees. By the terms of the surrender the troops were permitted to return to Virginia or Fort Prince George. But at the break of day the first morning after beginning their march homeward the Indians surrounded their camp and poured in a deadly fire upon them, killing Captain Demere, three of his officers and twenty-six men. The rest fled to the woods, but were soon overtaken and carried captives to the various Indian towns.
The fall of Fort Loudoun and the withdrawal of Colonel Montgomery and his regulars left the frontiers at the mercy of the Cherokees, who then had near 3,000 warriors, so that the appropriation, just above mentioned, came none too soon. With it four additional companies, 300 men in all, were raised to serve for six months on the frontiers, and authority given to the Governor to send them beyond the limits of the Province. It was not thought, however, that this authority would be exercised, the expectation being that the frontier troops would have their hands full looking after matters within our own borders.
To accommodate a number of fugitives who had asked permission to stay with the Moravians and settle on their lands another town, called Bethany, three miles from Bethabara, was laid out into 30 lots, 15 of which were assigned to the fugitives. By the next year, 1760, the incursions of the Cherokees and their devastations and cruelties had progressed so far as to put the Moravian settlement under the necessity of being day and night continually upon its guard. Hostile Indians came often very near their towns with intent to destroy them and to kill the inhabitants or make them prisoners, but never ventured to make an attack; sometimes they were frightened by the ringing of the bell for the meeting at the church, which meetings, both in Bethany and Bethabara, were held on Sundays and every evening in the week. Many soldiers marching against the Indians attended divine services in both places. In Bethany about 400 were present at the services on Easter Sunday.
On the evening of the 27th February, 1760, Colonel Waddell and his command in Fort Dobbs, on Fourth Creek, were attacked by a body of Indians, who assaulted in two parties. The Indians, however, were repulsed with a loss of some ten or twelve killed and wounded. The garrison lost two men wounded, one of whom was scalped, and one boy killed. Another attack was expected the next night, as night was the favorite time with Indians for attacking fortified places, but, as Colonel Waddell said, they did not like their reception.
With the year 1761 came the determination to strike the Cherokees a blow that should make them forever powerless to hurt the English, and a campaign was planned that required in its execution regulars as well as provincial troops from Virginia and both the Carolinas. The North
The effect of all these troubles was so serious that in 1761 Governor Dobbs wrote that for seven years prior thereto there was a total stop put to immigration to the Province, first by the Indian war to the northward, and later by the Cherokee war at home. Before that time great numbers came in from the Jerseys and Pennsylvania. Not only did the war stop new settlers from coming here; old settlers were driven away as well, and some of them, indeed, killed. In 1762 he wrote that the planters, all of them having been forced off their lands by the Indians in the Cherokee war, were just returning to them, so that McCulloh and his associates had not received one farthing from the settlers who upon account of the confusion of the times, could not improve or till their lands, being always under arms to prevent being scalped and keep their horses and cattle from being driven off or destroyed. He submitted, therefore, to the Board of Trade whether it would not be better to give McCulloh and his associates further indulgence, until the planters were again settled on their farms, for if they should be pushed all the lands except the choice parts would be abandoned.
And in this connection it must be remembered that these lands lay in great part between the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers.
Another hindrance to the prosperity of the Province was the existence of “Granville's District,” as it was called.
It will be remembered that the Earl Granville, while uniting with the other Lords Proprietors in surrendering to the Crown the sovereignty of the Province of Carolina, reserved to himself all rights, as owner of the soil, in his share of the grant. This share, one-eighth of Carolina, was by deed set off to him by metes and bounds, in 1744, wholly in that part of the Province known as North Carolina, and stretched from the Virginia line on the north to the parallel of 35o 34' north latitude on the south, a line running near or through the old town of Bath, the present towns of Snow Hill and Princeton, along the southern borders of the counties of Chatham, Randolph, Davidson and Rowan, a little below the southern border of Catawba county, but not so low down as Lincolnton, and so on west to the Mississippi. It was scant justice to North Carolina to set off the whole of Granville's share to him in her territory. Common fairness, it would seem, would have dictated that a part of his share ought to have been set off to him in South Carolina, that the two Provinces, the outcome of old Carolina, might share alike in the benefits or burdens of such an immense private proprietorship.
It was not long before it was determined whether that great proprietary was to be a blessing or a burden. The district contained above 26,000 of the 52,000 square miles in the State as it now stands. The result was that the quit rents from one-half of the Province, instead of going into the public, that is to say, the King's treasury, to make up a fund for the payment of the current expenses of the Province, went into the private pocket of Earl Granville, and as Granville's district embraced the older and more thickly settled parts of the Province, this was a serious loss, as it forced the rapacity of the government officials to satisfy itself by bleeding the people instead of the King. In South Carolina all the quit rents belonged to the King. The importance of this difference will be appreciated when it is remembered that the people held their lands, not in fee-simple as now, but as tenants, at an annual rent. In time, too, jealousies grew up between Granville's district and the King's domain, though it may be doubted whether these did not have their origin in the conflict seemingly inevitable between newer and older settlements on the Atlantic slope under the same government. But a greater trouble still, perhaps, was Earl Granville's persistent neglect of
So far as appears, however, this report was never acted upon; indeed, as Earl Granville was entirely beyond the jurisdiction of the Legislature, it is difficult to see what redress that body could have afforded, no matter how great might have been its anxiety to give relief in the premises.
Matters continued to go from bad to worse and in 1758 became so intolerable that application was made by the people to the Attorney-General to know how to be relieved. He advised them to petition either the Earl of Granville or the Legislature to take their grievances into consideration. On 25th November, 1758, as the Journals show, certain “inhabitants and freeholders” of Granville's district, through Mr. William Williams, Representative from the county of Edgecombe, presented their petition to the Assembly, and a special committee was appointed to inquire into the matter of the “misconduct of Francis Corbin and Joshua Bodley, agents of Earl Granville,” with power to send for persons and papers. After examining the witnesses produced, both by the people and the agents aforesaid, due notice of the time and place having been given, and
On 24th January, 1759, after the Legislature had adjourned, and no redress having been had either for the past or the future, either from Corbin or his subordinates, a number of people, variously estimated, went from Edgecombe to Corbin's house, near Edenton, seized Corbin, and took him in the night to Enfield, where he had an office, and there obliged him to give security, or “an unusual bond,” as it was termed, to return at the following Spring Court and disgorge all the fees unjustly taken from the people; whereupon, they allowed him to return home with the other agent, Mr. Bodley, whom they also had in custody.
On 14th May, 1759, Robert Jones, the Attorney-General, who in the meanwhile had lost favor with the rioters and was no longer either in their councils or in sympathy with them, made oath before the Governor and Council and in addition to the facts above stated deposed that he had “heard it was intended by a great number of rioters to petition the court at Granville to silence him, the deponent, and that if no such order was made, to pull the deponent by the nose and also to abuse the court,” and said, unless a proclamation was issued, and a reward given to discover the rioters, there would be no safety in the counties in which they lived. The Assembly went so far as to represent to the Governor in a formal address on the 15th May, 1759:
“That sundry persons inhabiting in that part of the government within Lord Granville's Proprietary have combined together in traitorous conspiracies and committed several riots and routs, and particularly that a number of the said inhabitants about the 24th January last did enter the house of the Honorable Francis Corbin, Esq., one of the members of his Majesty's Honorable Council, in the night season, and with force carried him about 70 or 80 miles from his home and held him in duress until he, by giving them a bond of a most unusual nature, procured his releasement.
“That no measures have hitherto been taken or used to suppress the said disorders or apprehend or punish the authors thereof, and as this Assembly are truly sensible that suffering such outrages and violations of the laws to pass with impunity must tend to subvert all rule, order and government, they request your Excellency would be pleased immediately to issue a proclamation, thereby requiring the Chief-Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Courts, Justices of the County Courts and others entrusted with the executive power of the law, as also all the Sheriffs, Constables and Ministers of Justice, to exert themselves in their respective stations in apprehending and bringing to justice the said offenders agreeable to law and their demerit. And that all and every one of the said offenders who enjoy any commission under His Majesty, either civil or military, may be displaced and declared incapable thereof.
“And that the said offenders may not escape being discovered and punished, we beg leave to recommend it to your Excellency to offer a free and gracious pardon to any two of the said offenders who shall first make a full discovery on oath to the Chief-Justice or any other Justice or the Attorney-General, of the principal persons who have been concerned in perpetrating, advising or committing the said crimes; and also a reward of twenty-five pounds to each person making such discovery, to be paid out of the public Treasury upon conviction of the offenders or any of them.
“And that the endeavors to apprehend and bring the authors of the said crimes to condign punishment may be rendered effectual, this Assembly would further humbly request, that in case it shall be anyways needful the officers of the respective regiments of militia within this Province,
A proclamation was accordingly issued, and certain persons having been arrested were committed to jail, but the jail was straightway broken open and the prisoners set at liberty. Corbin began to take steps to prosecute the rioters, but being advised that if the matter came to a trial he would be the sufferer, as he had done things he could not justify, and that the fault would be laid to the charge of his office, he let the matter drop. The counties in which the rioters lived covered the territory constituting the present counties of Granville, Vance, Warren, Halifax, Edgecombe, Wilson, Nash and Franklin.
A curious circumstance connected with these riots was that the Governor was said to be the friend of the rioters while the Assembly was their avowed enemy. The Assembly was continually flinging into the teeth of the Governor his failure to put down the “mobs, riots and insurrections that prevailed,” and he as persistently claimed, first, that they sought to make mountains out of mole-hills; and second, that it was as much the duty of other officials, including the Attorney-General, as his own, to take action in the premises, and that they had done nothing, though nearer the scene of action.
It will be remembered that for several years the conduct of Corbin and Granville's other agents had been formally denounced by the Assembly as a great grievance and hindrance to the settlement of the Province; that in pursuance of the advice of the Attorney-General “the rioters” again carried their grievances against Corbin and his associates to the Assembly in November, 1758; that on the 22d of December following a special committee, appointed for the purpose, reported that after due examination they had found the material facts to be as alleged by the “rioters,” and that this report was formally agreed to by the Assembly; that a month having elapsed after the adjournment of the Assembly without relief the “rioters” forcibly arrested Corbin, carried him to Enfield, and made him give bond to disgorge; that in May following the Assembly met again, severely virtuous and greatly shocked in every fibre of their law-abiding sensibilities at the traitorous conspiracies of the rioters,
In view of the facts, then, and in view of the past habit of the Assembly in such matters, it seems strange, indeed, to find the Governor the champion, and the Assembly the opposer, of the people in their efforts to obtain redress for admitted grievances. It may be that there was truth in the statement of Governor Dobbs that his opponents in the Assembly “found it for their interest to make up matters with Corbin, against whom the greatest charge was laid, and change sides,” so that by the report of the committee the rioters “had no redress.” Whether the suggestion be true or false, certain it is, as the Journals show, the committee contented themselves in their report with simply finding the facts without expressing any opinion in regard thereto; whereas, in 1755, for instance, the Committee on Propositions and Grievances found the same facts “to constitute a great grievance.” It may be, however, that this anomalous state of things was only the outcome of the irrepressible conflict between the Governor and the Assembly, which made each party ready, perhaps without due reflection, to oppose any cause the other had espoused.
But to whatever cause due, the effect of this paradoxical state of affairs was long felt, for the Regulators being but a succeeding generation of Enfield rioters, inherited, as it were, the denunciations of the Assembly, though not the favor of the Governor, and were considered to be what their forerunners were so long described to be by the popular assembly, that is, lawless rioters. Indeed, to this day they are so regarded by many people, a belief that, without a knowledge of this chapter of our history,
In the appendix to this volume will be found some very interesting matter in regard to several early church settlements in the Province. In an appendix to a subsequent volume the history of other early church settlements will be given, together with the oldest obtainable records of the “mother counties” of the middle and western portions of the State. It has been found impossible, the Editor regrets to say, to collect and prepare this matter in time for proper chronological arrangement in The Records.
1 Williamson's History of North Carolina, Vol. 2, p. 96.
2 Marshall's Life of Washington, p. 12, v. 2.
3 Campbell's History of Virginia, p. 469.
4 Chalmer's History of the Revolt of the American Colonies, V. 2, p. 268.
5 Washington's Writings, Vol. 2, pp. 63 and 262, notes.
6 For the facts relating to the later years of Colonel Innes, see the interesting Sketch of the Life and Times of General Hugh Waddell, by his great-grandson, Colonel Alfred M. Waddell.
7 Chalmers's History of the Revolt of the American Colonies, Vol. 2, p. 271.
8 Dinwiddie Papers, Vol. 2, p. 15.
9 Williamson's History of North Carolina, Vol. 2, p. 91.
10 Colonel Innes, too, must be taken into this count. According to Burke, the family of Innes is of great antiquity in Scotland and derives its surname from the lands of Innes, a word supposed to be derived from Gaelic Inch, part of that barony being an island formed by the two branches of a stream running through the estate. It is notable, too, for its rank, Barons, Earls and even Dukes being among its members. Of this family it was said that “in all the long course of their succession their inheritance never went to a woman ; that none of them ever married an ill wife, and that no friends ever suffered for their debts.”