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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Affidavit of Jonathan Pugh concerning his attempts to collect taxes in Washington County
Pugh, Jonathan
September 20, 1787
Volume 22, Pages 689-691


State of North Carolina—Washington County.

September 20th, 1787.

This day came Jonathan Pugh, Esq., High Sheriff of said county, before me, one of the Judges of the Peace for said county, and being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposeth, That on thirty-first day of July last he, the deponent, and one of his deputies, being appointed to warn in the inhabitants of one of the

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districts of said county, to give in their taxable property, and being informed that a number of the inhabitants were at the town of Jonesborough, to which place they proceeded in the execution of their office; and being there some time, a certain James Sevier came up to the deponent and shook hands with the deponent and asked the deponent how he was. Whereupon the deponent arrested the said James Sevier by virtue of the precept upon a bill of indictment against him found; upon which the deponent demanded security for his appearance at next court, which he refused to do, and said that he despised the deponent’s authority, and that he would not pay obedience to the laws of North Carolina.

The deponent further saith that immediately after he arrested said James Sevier, a certain Andrew Caldwell came to the deponent and asked him if he was the person that had been serving a writ. The deponent answered in the affirmative; upon which the said Caldwell violently struck and abused the deponent, and after having so done, he, the said Caldwell, under the character of Sheriff of the State of Franklin, threatened to put him, the deponent in the common jail; upon which the said Caldwell departed. And in a few minutes afterwards the said Caldwell returned to the deponent and affirmed that he would put the deponent in jail; upon which some of the bystanders said he had better not. To which the said Caldwell replied that he had his orders from a higher power than any of them, and immediately secured the deponent and put him in prison and shut the door and departed; and after the deponent had continued some time in prison, the said Caldwell came and opened the prison door, upon which the deponent came out of prison and met John Sevier, the pretended Governor of Franklin, who asked the deponent what business the deponent had there, serving a writ; to which the deponent replied that his particular business at that time was to notify the inhabitants to give in their taxable property, and that his son came in his way, and the precept being in his hand against him, the deponent could not get over serving it; to which the said John Sevier replied that they paid no obedience to the laws of North Carolina, and that they despised her authority.

The deponent further saith, the Saturday following he met the said John Sevier and the deponent asked the said Sevier if he was not the man that had ordered him to jail some days ago. The said

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Sevier answered in the affirmative, and further deponent saith not.

Sworn and subscribed before me, this 20th day of Sept., 1787.


Deposition, 1787.