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Louis D. Wilson, Mexican war martyr, also, Thos. H. Hall, Andrew Johnson as he really was, and, Our town common

Date: 1911 | Identifier: F259 .L52X
Louis D. Wilson, Mexican war martyr, also, Thos. H. Hall, Andrew Johnson as he really was, and, Our town common; four articles. Richmond, Va. : H. T. Ezekiel, printer, 1911. 20 p. 23 cm. more...
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LOUIS D. WILSON
Mexican War Martyr
ALSO
THOS. H. HALL
ANDREW JOHNSON
As He Really Was
AND
OUR TOWN COMMON
FOUR ARTICLES

BY
GASTON LICHTENSTEIN

RICHMOND, VA.
H. T. EZEKIEL, BOOK AND JOB PRINTER
1911









LOUIS D. WILSON
Mexican War Martyr
ALSO
THOS. H. HALL
ANDREW JOHNSON
As He Really Was
AND
OUR TOWN COMMON
FOUR ARTICLES



BY
GASTON LICHTENSTEIN



RICHMOND, VA.
H. T. EZEKIEL, BOOK AND JOB PRINTER
1911







AN EMINENT SON OF EDGECOMBE

State Senator and Volunteer Soldier—Legacy to County

How often does one hear, “I can't remember the dates!” In most cases, the person speaking has made little effort toward this end. It is true that memorizing hundreds of dates would be useless labor to those whose lives are devoted to commercial prosperity. Yet, these same business men would find their hours after work more enjoyable if they possessed a sufficient knowledge of the world's history to occupy themselves with a helpful diversion, instead of wasting their time in physical pleasures which are frequently forced.

Certain years mean more than others to individuals. So do they to nations. So, also, to the civilized world. Let us take the year 1789. In Europe, we can see the Bastille being demolished and its fragments being distributed far and wide as mementoes. One particular relic, saved by LaFayette from the destruction wrought in this opening act of the mighty French Revolution, finds its way to America.

Washington receives the key of the infamous prison and deposits it in his home at Mount Vernon. Only two months and a half before the fall of the Bastille, he has become the first President of a new nation. We now recall the inauguration scene, on April 30th, 1789. New York is filled with joyous patriots, who gaze with pride upon a chief magistrate of their own choice.

Down in North Carolina the news has hardly been disseminated when an event occurs that makes no impression, except in the immediate neighborhood. A child is born in Edgecombe—a son destined to serve as a shining example of self-sacrifice for his country's honor. Without ostentation of any kind, Louis D. Wilson quietly makes his entry into the world.





At this time Edgecombe County possessed a population that laid more stress upon acquiring wealth than upon obtaining an education. There were the cultured few, but the mass of the people apparently felt the need of money, so that both the causes of learning and religion suffered. However, the hearts and minds of the citizens were sound, and their neglect of spiritual and mental development may be attributed largely to indifference.

In 1787, the State Legislature had met in Tarboro, which circumstance speaks well for the town. Four years later, Washington spent the night there and specially mentioned in his diary Tarboro's reception of his party. He said that he was received by as good a salute as could be given by one piece of artillery; also, on the next day, that a number of most respectable inhabitants accompanied him part of the way to Greenville. The Father of his County noted that the town was more lively and thriving than Halifax. He noted, too, the exports: corn, pork, and tar. In 1803, Bishop Francis Asbury complains of the worldliness of its citizens, who had more wealth than religion. Thus we get an insight into the life of the community.

As the county seat reflected the doings of the people in general, we may assume Louis D. Wilson received only the rudiments of an education and then went to work. Wheeler's Reminiscences state he was rather a student of men than of books and add the fact of his success in business.

The date of Louis D. Wilson's entry into public life ought to be easily remembered. He first served in the lower branch of the General Assembly of North Carolina, during the year 1815. Students of history will at once think of Andrew Jackson's victory at New Orleans and Napoleon Bonaparte's defeat at Waterloo. Sufficiently interesting were these events to awaken in any ambitious breast an ardent desire to participate in larger affairs and help to shape the political future of one's own land, at least.

Throughout almost an entire generation Edgecombe's son served the State in some capacity. He remained in the House





of Commons (as the lower branch was called) for five successive terms. Then he was elected to the Senate for a year. During the next three elections, he gave way to Hardy Flowers, but returned to the upper house, in 1824, for a period of nine years. When it is recalled that a term lasted for twelve months only, the popularity of Louis D. Wilson can be readily imagined.

Hardy Flowers succeeded him again in 1833. For five years the Legislature was deprived of his services, but not the State. He sat in the Constitutional Convention of 1835, before which many matters of importance were ably discussed. The most brilliant minds that could be gathered together within the confines of North Carolina, debated on measures of absorbing interest.

After the Convention of 1835, members were elected to the Legislature for a term of two years. Thomas H. Hall, who had represented his district in eight United States Congresses, received the honor of being Edgecombe's first Senator under the new law. How few men to-day would be willing to close their career, following sixteen years of service in national councils, as a State Senator! Thomas H. Hall, friend of John Randolph, of Roanoke, accepted the honor and voted against North Carolina's reception of any portion of the surplus revenue from the United States Treasury.

Louis D. Wilson succeeded Dr. Hall in 1838, and continued to hold office until he asked leave of absence to fight for his country. During this period of nine years in the Senate, he became a favorite and won the sobriquet of the Chesterfield of that body. In 1842, he was chosen Speaker. Before passing to the dramatic climax of his life, it is worth while to add that his name was on the electoral ticket of 1836 and, as an elector, he voted for Martin Van Buren.

Niles’ National Register, published at Baltimore (issue of September 4th, 1847), informs its readers under the caption “War With Mexico:”

“We are deeply pained to learn of the death of Colonel Wilson, of the 12th infantry. He was represented to us by





the last arrival as convalescent, but he died the evening of the 12th instant. He was to have commanded the train which left Vera Cruz on the 7th instant. He was buried on the 13th instant, the following orders having been issued for the occasion.

Order No. 34.

Headquarters, Vera Cruz, Aug. 12, 1847.

It is announced to this command the melancholy intelligence of the death of Col. Louis D. Wilson of the 12th Regiment U. S. Infantry, who died on this date.

The escort for his funeral will be commanded by the Lieutent Colonel commanding, and consist of the 1st U. S. infantry, stationed in the city. The funeral will take place at 5 o'clock p. m. to-morrow, to which all the U. S. navy, citizens and strangers are respectfully invited to attend.

By order of Lieut. Col. Miles.

W. L. Crittenden, Act. Adj.”

The publication, mentioned above (issue Oct. 2nd), quotes from the Washington Union:

“We learn, that by his will, the late Col. Louis D. Wilson, of the twentieth (sic) infantry, bequeathed to the chairman of the county court of Edgecombe in North Carolina, and to his successors in office, forty thousand dollars, to be applied to the support of the poor of said county. This act of charity is touchingly beautiful. Colonel Wilson had for years represented the county of Edgecombe in the Senate of his native State. When it appeared probable that the requisition for volunteers made by the President on the Governor of North Carolina would not be met, he resigned his seat in the Senate, volunteered, and was elected a captain, the highest post to which the voice of his men could elevate him and in that humble rank marched to Mexico. Before marching he made his will, and evinced his gratitude to the constituency which had so long honored him with their confidence, and his charitable regard for his poor neighbors, by this munificent bequest. There has not fallen in the service of his country a braver or a better man.”





North Carolinians have recognized the worth of Col. Wilson, but they probably have never read an appreciation of him by strangers. The two extracts, just noted, cannot fail to awaken a degree of pride in the breasts of all loyal citizens who recall how the white-haired patriot, of nearly sixty, left his seat of dignity to participate in the hardships of the army. Here was a man! The United States had been brought into war with Mexico but political parties were divided as to its necessity. North Carolina, among other States, hesitated about furnishing troops. Louis D. Wilson saw his duty and saved the State's honor. He aroused the men of Edgecombe and, having formed a company of volunteers, was the first to offer his services to the Governor. His patriotism awakened North Carolina.

His career in the United States Army was short, but he made his mark. On the 5th of January, 1847, he became a captain of volunteers; on March 3rd, he was given the rank of Colonel, and on April 9th, the Twelfth Infantry was placed under his command. A man of his age, unaccustomed to the Mexican climate, would be expected to feel the change from the delightful temperature of Edgecombe to the unhealthy lowlands of the Torrid Zone. He practically sacrificed himself for his country.

A monument on the Town Common, at Tarboro, stands as a constant reminder to all passers-by that Edgecombe had a son who “led all the rest” in his day. The State, to its glory be it said, erected the County of Wilson, part of which was carved from old mother Edgecombe. When the Senate bade him farewell, Louis D. Wilson departed with the possession of their deep regard. How they felt is expressed in the following resolution, passed without dissent:

“Whereas, the Senate has been informed that one of its members is about to leave the halls of legislation, in North Carolina, to assume the more arduous and perilous duties of the camp and the battle-field, as commander of the volunteer companies from Edgecombe; and, whereas, no difference of opinion as to the commencement of the existing war between





the United States and the Republic of Mexico should induce members of this body to withhold an expression of the opinion they entertain as to the self-sacrificing and patriotic conduct of the Senator referred to.

“Be it therefore unanimously resolved by the Senate of North Carolina now in session, that, in separating from their fellow-member, the Honorable Louis D. Wilson, Senator from Edgecombe, with whom many members of this body have been associated for years in the Senate chamber, they cannot withhold the expression of their high sense of his able, dignified, and patriotic services as a member of the Senate, and further, to express the conviction that in the more arduous and hazardous duties of the battlefield he will be no less distinguished for patriotism, courage, and never-failing devotion to the cause of his country.”—From the North Carolina Review.

THOMAS H. HALL

While in Tarboro for a brief visit, during the first week in January (1910), I was approached by an estimable lady of the town, a Daughter of the Revolution, for information concerning Thomas H. Hall.

I had read Dr. Battle's sketch of the lawyer-poet, which appears in his interesting article on Edgecombe in 1810, (Our Living and Our Dead, Vol. 1); and the life of the physician of the same name, given in Wheeler's history of North Carolina, but these two sources were unsatisfactory except for the purpose of stimulating a desire for further research.

Thomas Harminson Hall, the poet, must not be confounded with Thomas H. Hall, the physician. Jeremiah Battle tells us that the first named gentleman possessed considerable natural talents with the advantages of a grammatical education.





He represented Edgecombe in the State Convention but never afterwards attempted to hold office. He was a lawyer of some eminence and would have been a shining character if a strong poetical genius had not almost led him away from his professional studies. His poems are now probably lost, but they were sufficient to form a handsome volume.

Before leaving the lawyer-poet, I wish to emphasize the fact that he was quite conversant with the Latin classics. He especially enjoyed writing satires and, often while his opponent was speaking in a case, he would occupy his time in evolving satirical verses.

Wheeler states that Thomas H. Hall was a friend of John Randolph, of Roanoke. I searched several biographies of the famous Virginian for a verification of this bare statement, and, when about to give up the self-imposed task, my more or less patient labor was rewarded with success.

It may be well, however, to mention that John Randolph's best friend from the Old North States was Nathaniel Macon, whose name occurs frequently in the writings of the most prominent descendant of Pocahontas. Randolph was proud of his Indian blood and displayed (so we read) certain characteristics which pointed to his aboriginal American ancestry.

Nathaniel Macon enjoys the distinction of having his name hyphenated with that of the eloquent Virginian and there is hardly a person in this section of the State, who is not familiar with Randolph-Macon. The combination at once suggests the Methodist College at Ashland, whose football team is Richmond College's bitterest rival.

Returning directly to our subject, I desire to say that I hunted for additional biographical data, and, knowing that Thomas H. Hall had served several terms in the national House of Representatives, I employed both the Biographical Congressional Dictionary (in connection with a dictionary of national biography) and an Abstract from the Congressional Record. My collection of sources has yielded sufficient material for my present purpose, which is to present a figure seldom heard of nowadays but one deserving a lasting place in the history of North Carolina.





Thomas H. Hall, scion of a good stock, was born in Edgecombe County just early enough to be a British subject because he first saw the light of day in 1773. He received a classical education; then studied medicine and practiced at Tarboro.

In 1817 he went to the national capital as the Representative from his District and served in Congress uinterruptedly until 1825. He was defeated for the Nineteenth Congress, but at the next election triumphed, beginning a new series of successes in 1827, for he continued to hold office until 1835.

Dr. Hall's public career was truly marked, as Wheeler tells us “with a devotion to popular interests, a rigid adherence to the Constitution, and a stringent economy.”

On December 16th, 1828, he arose in the House and said that the resolutions he was about to present had been suggested by a bill, the provisions of which he believed to be unconstitutional. The resolutions, which cannot be reproduced here on account of the lack of space, show his devotion to the cause of the people, for he says therein, that the people of the United States, in the formation of their Governments (note the plural, G. L.) did not alienate their sovereignty.

Exactly one year later, on December 16, 1829, Thomas H. Hall said (in opposition to a resolution which provided for a Standing Committee on Education) that in due deference to the gentleman who presented this resolution the subject was one which he conceived did not properly come within the control of Congress.

“I shall,” he continued, “therefore, feel myself bound to object to the resolution. The subject of education, evidently, so far as legislation can be carried to it, properly belongs to the State authorities. If we go on assuming authority over subjects entirely foreign to our sphere of authority, where are we to end? We already have much extrinsic matter. As an instance. I will mention the subject of agriculture; over which we have, I believe, a Standing Committee. This, I have always been at a loss to reconcile to my idea of the just power of Congress. If we go on engulfing every subject to which





legislation can be carried, to what result must we come? Shall we not effectually assume all the power of the State authorities? This must necessarily be the result. Sir, there is a doctrine advanced, and properly advanced, and sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States, a doctrine properly deduced from one of the plainest provisions of the Constitution—it is, that all the powers of the Government, though limited, are plenary, within their proper sphere. I admit the soundness of this doctrine; but if so, it at once puts this subject to rest. I presume neither the gentleman himself, nor any other, will pretend that the States have not the right to legislate on this subject. If this be so, it is decisive that this Government cannot, because its power over the subject, being plenary, is necessarily exclusive, and therefore not to be participated.”

Were it not for fear of extending this article to too great length I would gladly quote other utterances of the gentleman from North Carolina. But before turning away from the debates in Congress, I shall direct attention to the remarks of Dr. Hall on the general appropriation bill.

On April 8th, 1834, an attempt to increase the appropriation, in order to secure an additional clerk for the State Department, brought forth from Dr. Hall an opinion that appropriation bills were subsidiary in their character, and the practices of extending them ought to be restrained. If the service needed was merely a contingent duty, why not pay for it out of the contingent fund.

John Randolph, of Roanoke, was one of the most conspicuous figures in Congress during the early part of the nineteenth century and valiantly defended the doctrine of State rights. He was a great orator and his speeches to-day make interesting reading.

The latter part of his life he complained much and must have suffered considerably. To his friend, Dr. Brockenbrough, he wrote a letter from Washington, November 29th, 1828, as follows:





“My Good Friend—Your kind letter reached me yesterday, but too Iate to thank you for it by return mail. At Fredericksburg, I received such representations of the Dumfries road, as to induce me to take the steamboat. As there was only one other passenger, the cabin was quite comfortable. The boat is a new one, and a very fine one, and always gets up to the wharf. Her deck is roofed. We got here at two o'clock but I lay until eight. Found Dr. Hall (N. C.) here (at Dawson's), and this morning Colonel Benton and Mr. Gilmer have arrived.

My cough is very much worse, and the pain in my breast and sides increased a great deal. God bless you both. Pray write as often as you conveniently can. Yours ever, J. R., of R.”

Another letter dated Washington, December 11, 1828:

“Your letter shows on the face of it how much you are straitened for time. I wish I could spare you some of mine, that hangs heavy on my hands. In addition to my other annoyances, I am laboring under a severe influenza, and might sit for the picture of a weeping philosopher, although I have as few claims to philosophy as Mr. John Quincy Adams himself. He rides or walks around in front of the Capitol every day. I have not seen him, but Hall tells me that he does very often, and that the sight makes him feel very queerly. “HE looks,” says Hall, “as if he did not know me, and I look as if I did not know him.” His appearance is wretched. An acquaintance of mine called on him a few days ago; he was much dejected, until some one made an illusion to Giles, when, in great wrath, he pronounced G's statements respecting him to be utterly false; said G's memory was inventive, &c., and, on the whole, conducted himself very undignifiedly.”

After serving eight terms in Congress, Thomas H. Hall returned to North Carolina and represented Edgecombe in the General Assembly in 1836. He voted against the reception by the State, of any portion of the surplus revenue of the United States Treasury.





He lived to the “green old age” of eighty years, dying at Tarboro, June 30th, 1853. Dr. Hall spent his latter years in retirement, having earned both the regard of his fellow citizens and the right to undisturbed peace.—From the Tarborough Southerner.

ANDREW JOHNSON, AS HE REALLY WAS

Raleigh Has Cause to Be Proud of Her Native Son

To the Editor (of the News and Observer):

I read with pleasure your suggestion that the North Carolina delegation ought to urge the next Congress to make an appropriation to build a monument in Raleigh to Andrew Johnson. The people of the United States, generally, and I am impelled to add, the people of North Carolina, particularly, know little of Abraham Lincoln's successor as Chief Executive of a troubled nation. Your long editorial article was entertaining, but more than this, it was instructive. North Carolinians should know the true Andrew Johnson.

Two years ago it was my good fortune to visit Greeneville, Tenn. The mere fact of a former President of the United States having once lived in this town would have excited my curiosity to see whatever memorials remained and to learn from the inhabitants any facts of his life, gathered, either through personal experience with him, or from tradition. However, I must confess that Andrew Johnson had interested me little up to this time. His service to the South, in standing against the horrors of Reconstruction had not been impressed upon my mind. But, I did remember that he had fallen into disfavor and had narrowly missed disgrace.





A different point of view is sufficient to cause intelligent men to hold widely divergent opinions. It is not surprising to listen to a variation of details, when two persons describe an occurrence they have witnessed from different angles. Yet human beings are so constituted that they differ to a surprising degree even in essential matters. Stonewall Jackson's Valley campaign was an extraordinary event in military history, but I doubt seriously whether the Northern teacher thinks it worth while to lay stress upon the Southerner's movements. Although the great Confederate general advanced against four Federal Armies in turn, I dare write that the average Northerner possesses little knowledge thereof and would attempt to minimize Jackson's movements, if a Southern man endeavored to enlighten him.

My reason for introducing the preceding paragraph is to show how a child may receive erroneous impressions which will cling to him during his entire life. School histories, for many years following the War between the States, were written by those who were more or less prejudiced against the South. Therefore, wrong ideas have been implanted. Both sides are revising their opinions. The descendants of Confederates and Federals need to revise their opinions of the official acts of Andrew Johnson. He was opposed to Secession, but he was also opposed to the fanatical policy of unreasoning Northerners. His power of speech won many men over to the Union side, but his sense of right did not desert him. He knew that the advocates of States’ rights had hearts and intellects. He intended to act honorably. We, of to-day, can review his act impassionately.

I talked to a number of East Tennesseans who knew Andrew Johnson personally. They were poor men and uneducated. I wanted to know how he had impressed his humble neighbors. Without exception, the replies indicated respect. One old man told me that Johnson was always the same to everybody, that he was free from ostentation and that honors heaped upon him did not make him forget to be kind to the





humblest citizen. Another said he had heard Greeneville's most distinguished citizen make a speech, at the outbreak of hostilities, which caused him to take the Union side.

I saw the old house where he worked at the tailor's trade. The sign, made by himself, was still above the door. It was crude and bore the simple inscription, A. Johnson. Mr. Patterson, his grandson, received me at the much more pretentious home where Andrew Johnson lived after he had achieved fame. The table, on which he worked as a tailor, was pointed out; also, several other relics of interest came to my notice, but mention of them would be out of place in this communication.

Raleigh can be proud of her native son. Although he adopted Tennessee, he belongs to North Carolina. There is such a thing as maternal love and the love of a wife. Tennessee has a right to claim him but his fiilial love was due North Carolina. The Bible tells us to forsake one's parents and cling to one's life partner, but it tells us, also, to honor parents. Tennessee has honored Andrew Johnson, who proved worthy of his second love. Will North Carolina show her appreciation of a man whose name will become brighter on the pages of history because he had the courage of his convictions, in spite of overwhelming hostility? Will she erect a statue to Andrew Johnson?

OUR TOWN COMMON

A Rare Possession for Any Town, of Inestimable Value and Beauty

Few towns of the size of Tarboro, either in North Carolina or adjacent States as well, can boast of a public park comparable to the Common. Its present extent is only a fraction of what was originally set apart for municipal uses, and,





if the future City Fathers are wise, they will refuse to part with another foot of the ground now devoted exclusively to all outdoor activities of the citizenry.

A public park is intended to be a breathing space, or place of recreation, and in some cities of the United States the subject of playgrounds is a vital question, so much so that the municipal authorities are forced to pay big prices for private property which could have been purchased for a reasonable sum in early days if various village governments had possessed the foresight to provide for the welfare of the coming generations.

When Tarboro was “laid off,” in 1760, it contained only one hundred and fifty acres, but about fifty of these, bounding the incorporation on three sides, were designated for the use of the town. To-day Greater Tarboro covers many times the original area, yet that portion, distinctively known as the Common, in all its spacious splendor appears small in comparison with the former acreage. True it is that the town owns a great deal of the land along the river bank; however, unless the unsightliness of much of the surrounding property is eliminated, the incongruity of a park, located here, would be glaringly apparent. Nature has favored the banks of the Tar, and anyone who stands on the county bridge during the summer when the growth of foliage has attained its maximum can verify this assertion, and what is more, discriminating eyes force the onlooker to the conclusion that Nature is more beautiful than Art.

In studying the development of public squares, or commons, I desire to call attention to the MARK of mediaeval times, defined by the Century Dictionary, as a tract of land, during the middle ages in England, and Germany, belonging in common to a community of freemen, who divided the cultivated portion or ARABLE MARK among their individual members; used the COMMON or ORDINARY MARK together for pasturage or other general purposes; and dwelt in the VILLAGE MARK or central portion, or apart on their holdings.





J. Fiske, in his American Political Ideas, page 40, says: “The pleasant green COMMONS (notice that the letter ‘s’ is added to denote the plural) on squares which occur in the midst of towns and cities in England and the United States most probably originated from the coalescence of adjacent mark-communities, where by the border-land used in common by all was brought into the centre of the aggregate.”

Referring again to the Century Dictionary, I find that the word COMMON is first set down as an adjective, and means, of or pertaining to all—that it, to all the human race, or to all in a given country, region or locality; and, secondly, as a noun, (note the singular form) meaning a tract of ground, the use of which is not appropriated to an individual, but belongs to the public or to a number.

It is my opinion that the tendency of local urban residents persistently to pluralize COMMON in speaking or writing of Tarboro's public park comes from the influence of uneducated negro servants whose species of pidgin English has made a more or less permanent imprint upon the white population.

A little thought along this line will probably bring forth the following facts: first, the general conclusion that impressions received during childhood will influence later life to a certain degree. A priest of one of our great religious organizations is reported to have said in substance that if he were given the care of a child for the first nine years of his life, anybody could take him after that time.

Secondly, the particular observation that the adult mind contains a certain amount of superstition, implanted by the nurse, which education may for the most part dispel, but does not eradicate completely.

On a number of occasions I have noticed the uneducated negro's habit, without any apparent reason, of adding the letter ‘s’ to words used neither in a plural nor possessive sense. Whatever the cause, it is a patent peculiarity.

There is in Barton Heights, a suburb of Richmond, Virginia, a thoroughfare by the name of Luck Avenue. One day I was astounded by a negro who asked me to direct him to





Luck's Avenue. Also, in Richmond, a man, called Dugan or Duggan, has received from the colored people the appellation of Dugans.

Even as I write, I can hear the Edgecombe name Sugg lengthened to Suggs. It was pronounced in this manner by a young man, a former pupil of the Tarboro High School.

Here in Tarboro one hears Zanders so often that, if my maternal grandfather, Gaston Zander, or George as he was familiarly known, (whose pracnomen I received one week after birth), was alive to-day and could mingle with the citizens of town and county as was his wont thirty odd years ago, at times he would be tempted to follow the prevailing fashion.

Through the kindness of that genial gentleman and efficient official, Clerk John A. Weddell, there lies before me a typewritten copy of the Acts of the General Assembly in relation to the Town of Larboro.

In order to support my contention that the correct usage of COMMONS applies only to the plural, when one refers to land devoted to public purposes, section one, of the Act passed November 30th, 1760, for establishing a town on the land of Joseph Howell on Tar River, herewith follows:

“1. WHEREAS it hath been represented to this Assembly, that the land of Joseph Howell, lying on the South side of Tar River, in Edgecombe County, is a healthy, pleasant sitution, well watered, and commodious for trade and commerce: and James Moir, Lawrence Tool, Aquilla Sugg, Elisha Battle and Benjamin Hart, have contracted with the said Joseph Howell for the purchase of one hundred and fifty acres of the said land, and have accepted and taken a deed of feoffment for the aforesaid one hundred and fifty acres from the said Joseph Howell, and caused the same to be laid off in lots and streets, and also a part thereof for a COMMON (note the singular form), for the use of the said town, and have sold a great number of the said lots of half an acre each to sundry persons, who are desirous that a town shall be established thereon, for promoting the trade and navigation of the said river.”





On the 18th of November, 1786, in support of my claim I find evidence in the Act that passed the General Assembly entitled, “An act to establish the late survey and plan of the town of Tarboro, as made and laid down by the direction of the Commissioners composing the body politic and corporate of the said town, and to amend an act entitled, ‘An Act for The Better Regulation of The Town of Tarboro.’

WHEREAS it is represented to this General Assembly, that from the irregular manner in which most of the buildings first erected in the town of Tarboro have been placed, as well as to prevent in future the erecting of others in like manner, it hath been judged advisable by the inhabitants of the said town generally, that the width of the streets thereof, should be curtailed and their limits fixed with, precision, and it being further represented that pursuant thereto the Commissioners have caused an accurate survey of the said town and TOWN COMMON,” etc.

Sufficient data have been produced to prove conclusively that Tarboro's public park should be called the TOWN COMMON and, not the COMMONS.

Let us return to the COMMON itself and ask ourselves whether the citizens, as a whole, appreciate its possession? Will they organize into a Civic Improvement League and beautify the park? Will they make an effort to find out what other communities have done along similar lines?

By removing the Louis D. Wilson monument from the Court House yard to its present position and in the erection of the Contederate memorial through the untiring efforts of the patriotic daughters of Edgecombe, steps have been taken in the right direction.

The writer hopes that at no distant day the present wooden school structures, unsymmetrical and ill to look upon, will be supplanted by one modern building, durable, fireproof and sanitary. If he is allowed to hope farther, the new schools will not be built on the Common, but from Lloydfield to Hilma will be an unobstructed stretch of landscape, save where the stately oaks tower above the surrounding view.





Adorn it with flowers and rare shrubs in order to develop a sense of the beautiful. George Henry Lewes, in his Problems of Life and Mind, says, “Beauty, if it does not take precedence of utility, is certainly coeval with it.”

A love of the beautiful also awakens a higher moral feeling, as Lowell tells us: “Comparative criticism teaches us that moral and esthetic defects are more nearly related than is commonly supposed.”—From The Southerner.









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