North Carolina history stories


Publisher cipher

B. F. Johnson Publishing Co Richmond VA

NORTH CAROLINAHISTORY STORIESBYW. C. ALLEN,Superintendent Waynesville, N. C., City Schools
Publisher cipherRICHMONDB. F. Johnson Publishing Company1901

Copyright, 1901, by W. C. Allen.

All rights reserved.


In presenting this little volume to the children of North Carolina there are two objects in view:

1. To stimulate study in North Carolina history.

2. To give supplementary reading matter, containing interesting facts.

For the promotion of these objects the author has selected events and incidents that have interest in themselves, and has told them in words simple enough for a child to understand.

The stories close with the eighteenth century, and embrace a portion of the two preceding centuries. If a desire to know more of the history of North Carolina be aroused, the chief object of the writer will have been attained.

Thanks are due Dr. Richard Dillard, of Edenton, for facts relative to the Edenton Tea Party, and to Major Graham Daves for valuable aid.

Suggestions to Teachers

To get the best results from the use of this book, the following suggestions may be helpful:

1. Let pupils study each story until it is thoroughly learned. To accomplish this, have them write a topical outline. Pupils will readily do this if they are assisted a few times by the teacher.

2. Let pupils read the story aloud in class by paragraphs. Do not stop them for mispronunciations until the paragraph is finished.

3. Let a number of pupils write their topical outlines at the board. Then let all read them and offer corrections and criticisms.

4. Call upon pupils to tell the story in their own words.

5. Let pupils write the story in their own words in a composition book for that purpose.

If this method, or one similar to it, be followed, much benefit will be derived.

The Author.


Two Indian Boys9
Visit to a Strange Land13
The Loss of a Silver Cup17
Lane's Search for Gold20
The Lord of Roanoke25
Story of Virginia Dare29
A Sad Grandfather34
The First Settlement38
A Cattle Ranch on the Cape Fear42
The First Governor7
The Tardy Governor11
John Lawson and the Alligators15
The Albemarle Boss19
An Adventure on the Neuse24
An Indian Massacre32
Capture of Fort Barnwell36
Capture of Fort Nahucke40
King Blunt44
The Carolina Pirate7
Daniel Boone15
Tryon and the Regulators23
British Stamps at Wilmington26
The Edenton Tea Party31
First Sound of Liberty's Bell35
Second Sound of Liberty's Bell39
The Fair Tory41
Defeat of the Tories45
The Noble Four Hundred9
Cornwallis in a Hornets’ Nest13
The Heroes of McIntyre's17
Rough Riders of the Smokies22
General Greene Without a Penny26
The Fall of a Patriot31
Adventures of An American Spy35
Death of the Bugler Boy39
How Colonel Pyle Saved Tarleton44
Minute Men of the Hills9
Cornwallis on the Run13
A Strange Night Attack17
A Brave Woman's Wit21
The Tory Bandit25
Hunter's Stone Steps29
The State of Franklin33
Story of Bath37
An Old-Time School41

“He said good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Dare, took little Virginia up in his arms and kissed her several times. Page 30, Book 1.

North Carolina History Stories


Three hundred years ago there were no white people in North Carolina. Only Indians lived here. They owned all the land, and lived in their wigwams near their hunting grounds. They were very happy in their homes in the forest. They knew nothing of the great cities and fine people on the other side of the big ocean.

Little Indian boys and girls played games in the fields and woods, and plucked the wild flowers with joy and gladness, just as boys and girls do now. They heard the birds sing and saw the squirrels and the deer How happy they were as they chased the butterflies or watched the birds build their nests in the trees!

The names of two of these Indian boys, who lived on an island called Croatan, are well known. They were Manteo and Manchese. They were about the same age, and were brighter and more active than the other boys

cro tan’ man'te o man che'ze

of the island. But they were as different from each other as possible. Manteo was kind and obedient; but Manchese was cruel and stubborn.

This difference, however, did not keep them from being great friends. They were often together, and fished and hunted side by side. They knew nothing of other lands, but sometimes wondered where the big sea ended and what was on the other side of it. So these boys grew up to be men in this wild country, often wishing that they could see beyond the great sea. They did not know how soon or in what way they would get their wish.

One day, when Manteo and Manchese were about eighteen years old, a wonderful thing happened. They were going in a canoe to one of their fishing places to see if their fish-traps had caught anything. Just as they turned a bend in the shore line they came in full view of a large ship anchored and standing perfectly still in the smooth water. At first they were puzzled and could not tell what the strange thing was. Manchese and another boy who was with them proposed to turn back; but Manteo insisted upon going nearer.

“How can we miss this chance,” said he, “which the Great Spirit has given us to find out what this strange thing is?”

When they came nearer, men were seen moving about on the great boat. They saw another boat just beyond the first one. Then the boys guided the canoe towards the land and Manteo jumped ashore, saying that he was going nearer. He was a brave boy and wished to see what the strange sight meant. So he walked along the beach to a place nearest the ships, and beckoned to those on board.

These ships were from England, a great country across the sea. They had been sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh, a rich nobleman who lived in London, to see what kind of a country this new world was that Columbus and Cabot had found, and what kind of people lived here. The captains of the ships were Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlowe.

Seeing some one on the shore beckoning, Captain Amidas and three other men let down one of the small boats into the water and went over to where the Indian was. Manteo made a long speech of welcome to them in his own language, but the white men did not understand him. He stepped into their boat and pointed to the big ships, thus showing that he wanted to go to them. The white men carried him to the ships and took him on board.

raw'li äm'i das

He was much astonished at everything, and walked about on deck, looking at the curious things with the eagerness of a child. Every piece of dress that the sailors wore was new to him. He walked up to a sailor, took his hat and put it on his own head. After wearing it for a few moments, he returned the hat to the owner, but showed by signs that he wanted one.

Captain Amidas presented him with a hat, which he was overjoyed to receive, and gave him several pieces of jewelry that pleased him very much. When he had thanked Captain Amidas for what had been given him he went back to his own boat and companions.

Soon he and the other two boys rowed out into the sound and commenced fishing. In a little while they had caught as many fish as their boat could hold. Coming back to the shore, Manteo divided the fish into two piles, and made signs to show that one pile was for one ship and the other for the other ship. Having thus expressed his thanks in a practical manner, he and his companions went home.

Thus it was that these Indian boys began to get a glimpse of the world as it was across the big sea.


As Manteo and Manchese went home that day they had many things about which to talk. They had seen strange things and had heard strange sounds. They talked about the large ships of the white men, their guns and their swords. Nothing had ever stirred them like the events of that day.

After talking of all the things that they had seen and heard, they became silent as if some deeper thought had entered their minds.

“I wonder where they came from and for what,” said Manteo.

“From over the sea toward the rising sun,” replied Manchese. “The Great Spirit has sent them to tell us about the world across the big water.”

“The world must be a fine place if it has such people as those in it. I should like to see their wigwams,” said Manteo.

“So should I,” answered Manchese. “They must be fine ones.”

Thus these Indian boys talked in their own language until they reached home. They told their home folks what wonderful things they had seen. All the

old men and young men and women listened eagerly. Some of the braves were uneasy when they had heard the boys’ story. They said that the palefaces had come for no good. By far the larger number, however, were glad that the strangers had come, and were willing to give them a cordial welcome.

Next day a large number of the Indians went to see the ships and to give a welcome to the Englishmen. Manteo and Manchese went aboard the ships and were greeted kindly by the sailors. For several days thereafter they went regularly and became intimate with the white men. Frequently they went with exploring parties that were sent out, and were very useful in showing the way to certain places and in keeping the other Indians friendly.

One day Manteo asked Manchese if he did not wish to go across the big sea with the white men.

“These men are our friends,” said Manteo, “and will show us the wonderful things they have at home.”

“There is danger in it,” answered Manchese; “for they may never come back here, and we could never find our way across the great sea in our canoe.”

“The Great Spirit will take care of us,” said Manteo “He will never allow any harm to come to us if we trust

him. Let us go and see what great things these strangers can show us.”

Manchese consented. They agreed to ask the white men next day to let them go back with them across the sea. Captain Amidas and the others were glad for them to go. So they got ready, and when the ships were about to sail Manteo and Manchese were there. They bade farewell to father and mother, sisters and brothers, relatives and friends, and went on board.

The ships sailed away and were soon out of sight of land. It was a pleasant voyage, and in a few weeks land was sighted. They anchored on the west coast of England. The Indian boys had enjoyed the trip across the ocean very much; and now, as the ship approached land, they were astonished at the beautiful sight that greeted them.

There before them was a great city. They had expected to see wigwams like their own, except larger; but instead there were great stone castles reaching up into the clouds. They had never imagined anything like it. Their eyes were dazzled. Indeed, they were really alarmed at the greatness of everything.

They went ashore and their wonder increased. They stared at the many strange things on every street. This was indeed a strange land to them. They could not conceal their wonder.

Soon they were taken to London, and still their wonder grew. They went to the palace of Queen Elizabeth and into the presence of the queen herself. She received them kindly and spoke some words to them, but they could not understand her. They saw the splendors of the palace, the fine gentlemen, and the beautiful ladies with their gay dresses. It was another great day in the lives of these boys.

Manteo was delighted, but Manchese was quiet. Manteo was full of joy, but Manchese appeared to be very much displeased.

Sir Walter Raleigh, who owned the ships that brought them over, soon began to make ready to send some people over to the new world to settle. While this was being done, the two Indian boys lived in London. They saw many things that caused them always to remember their stay in that city.

At last everything was ready for the ships to return to North Carolina. Manteo and Manchese came on board with the others who were going to settle in the new country. They were glad that they were on their way back home.

In a few weeks they came in sight of the shores of their native land. The visit of these boys to a strange land was over.


It was with pleasure that Manteo and Manchese once more saw the land of their birth. They had been absent about eight months, and had seen much of the world. They were overjoyed to see the smooth waters of the sound and, in the distance, the forests where they had so often roamed.

As soon as the ships reached Wocoken they cast anchor. There were more than a hundred men on board. Ralph Lane was governor of the new colony and Sir Richard Grenville was commander of the ships. Manteo was sent to Roanoke Island to inform the king of their arrival. While waiting for him to return, Grenville and Lane, with about a dozen others, crossed over the sound and explored a large part of the neighboring country. They were received in a kindly manner by the Indians. Several villages were visited. Everywhere the best of feeling existed between the Indians and the English.

One night they stopped at Aquascogoc, a small village with about twenty wigwams. The Indians were glad to see the strangers, and welcomed them to their homes. The night passed very pleasantly.

wo ko′ken a kwas′ko goc

Next morning Grenville and his party left to go to another place. They bade farewell to the savages, who crowded around to see them off. The white men thanked the Indians by signs for what they had done, and gave them presents.

On the next day, after having traveled a long distance from the village, one of the men found that a silver cup had been stolen from him. He told Sir Richard Grenville, and said that it had been stolen by an Indian in the village where they had spent the night. At once they returned to the village. Grenville sent word to the chief that the cup had been stolen and the thief must be caught. The chief sent word back that he would try to find the thief and the cup. Soon he came out to the white men with an Indian boy, who confessed that he had taken the cup, and promised to go back to the village and bring it.

The white men waited for some time, but the boy did not return. Nobody knows why he did not. Some one may have stolen the cup from him, or he may not have wanted to give up what pleased him so much. The white men became restless. Soon they lost their tempers and began to shout and curse. The Indians became frightened and began to run. Grenville and his men fired their guns at the fleeing savages. Then they

charged into the village and began to destroy everything they could find. As they went through the village they searched for the cup, but could not find it, and this made them still more angry.

They set fire to the village and burned every wigwam to the ground. They searched the country around to find the boy who had stolen the cup, but he was nowhere to be seen. They then set fire to the fields of grain and destroyed everything in sight.

This was the beginning of bad feeling between the Indians and the white men. It was wrong for the Indian to steal the cup, but there was no reason for the white men to act as they did. The Indians never forgave them for it. Manchese, who had never had any fondness for the English, left them and began to plot their destruction.

After having destroyed the Indian village and the fields of grain, Grenville and his party returned to their ships.

Soon Manteo came back bringing an invitation from Wirgina, the king of Roanoke Island, to the white men, bidding them come there to make their settlement. This invitation was accepted, and the whole company set sail for that place.


Governor Lane and the colonists received a cordial welcome when they reached Roanoke Island. King Wirgina sent kindly messages and gave them lands upon which to build their homes. Other Indians helped them unload the ships and erect their houses.

Soon they had a nice little village of huts. Then they took from the ships all the household furniture they had brought over. Lane and his men worked hard, and soon had comfortable homes. Sir Richard Grenville then sailed away to England, leaving the colony to live or die in a strange land.

At first the Indians came to see them every day, and were very friendly. Later they did not come so often. They began to show some unfriendliness. They had heard how Governor Lane and some of his men had burned the Indian town because they could not find the silver cup. But Manteo was a strong friend, and remained so.

Governor Lane spent much time in hunting for gold. He was not satisfied with planting seeds and building houses. He thought there must be gold mines in this wonderful land. So he traveled all over the island,

went to the mainland, and searched the country for miles inland. Then he sailed up some of the rivers, but nowhere could he find gold.

While Governor Lane was doing this, the Indians were becoming more and more unfriendly. Manchese was busy sowing among them the seeds of hatred and jealousy. He got the ear of the king and began to plot the destruction of the white men.

“Just see what the palefaces are doing,” said he. “They are taking our lands from us and we will have to go elsewhere for our hunting grounds. Others will come from across the big water and drive us away. There are thousands in their big wigwams toward the rising sun, ready to come and destroy us.”

“That is true,” replied the king, “for they destroyed the homes and crops of our neighbors at Aquascogoc. As for me I am ready to slay them now. It is time for us to strike before other palefaces come.”

They began to lay plans for the destruction of the colony. They knew that Governor Lane was searching for gold; so they thought that the white men could be destroyed while hunting for the precious metal. Along the banks of the Roanoke river, which the Indians called Morotoc, lived a very fierce tribe of savages.

mō′rō t[UNK]c

The plan of Wirgina and Manchese was to tell Lane that there were gold mines up that river, and then send word to these savages that the white men were coming to make war on them. Thus they were sure that Lane and his followers would perish.

One Indian, according to their plan, went to the governor and offered to tell him where he could find a gold mine. Lane was caught with the first bait, and eagerly asked where it was.

“Far up the great river Morotoc,” said the Indian, “is a land rich in gold and precious stones. The great river rises in a lake which is so near the ocean that the waves sometimes beat over into it. The people of that land are rich and have gold chains and bracelets.”

Governor Lane was eager to find out the way and the distance. The Indian answered his questions, and went back to Wirgina, who sent him to do the other part of his work, which was to tell the Indians on the river that Lane was coming.

Soon the governor and his men set out in search of this gold mine on the Roanoke river. They carried provisions to last them a long time. Manteo was in the company. For some days they went up the river. They looked all along the banks to see if they could find any signs of gold, or see any Indians wearing gold ornaments;

Balsam Gap, through which the Rough Riders hurried to intercept Ferguson. Page 23, Book IV

but they saw none, and continued their journey. When they had gone nearly a hundred miles they saw some Indians. One evening, just before sunset, they heard a peculiar whistling on the bank of the river. Manteo said that it was the signal of Indians preparing to make an attack. Soon the whistling ceased and the Indians began to sing a song.

Manteo said that was a signal of attack, and in a few minutes a shower of arrows fell upon the boat. No one was hurt. Lane and his men went ashore as soon as possible. They charged up the hill and put the Indians to flight. Then they encamped for the night, thinking that they would follow the Indians next day.

The next morning Lane decided to go back to the colony. Provisions had given out and there was no chance to get any in that hostile country. So they turned their boats down the river and traveled as fast as they could. They became very hungry on the way, as they had not a morsel of food. One day they ate a boiled dog and sassafras leaves. After much suffering they reached Roanoke Island. Wirgina and Manchese were greatly disappointed by their return. This was Lane's last search for gold. Soon afterward, in a fight with the Indians, four of his men were killed. Virgina

and many of his men were slain also. It is not known whether Manchese was killed or not.

In a short while Lane went back to England with all his men. Thus the first settlement was a failure.


Manteo went with Governor Lane to England. This was his second trip across the ocean. He was as much delighted this time as on his first trip. He had become a strong friend of the white men. He had learned to talk English a little, and could make himself understood. The white men were kind to him, and he loved them very much.

While in England this time Manteo became quite well known to Sir Walter Raleigh. He talked to that great man with the simplicity of a child, and told him about his people and about the wild animals and the flowers in his far-off home. In this way Sir Walter became more and more interested in Manteo. A great friendship was formed between the two, and they were often together.

Manteo became very much interested in the titles of honor in England. He asked many questions about them. One day he asked Sir Walter Raleigh how one might become a lord. Sir Walter looked at the Indian for a moment with much concern, and said:

“My boy, do you wish to become great like these great men whom you see here?”

“Yes,” said Manteo, “for I want to tell my people toward the setting sun how to be great, and how to build fine wigwams like yours. The Great Spirit has sent me over here to learn from you how to be great and good.”

Sir Walter was much pleased with the earnestness of the young Indian, and promised to show him how to be great and good.

“You must be obedient and watchful,” said he, “and then perhaps you will learn enough to become a lord.”

From that time Manteo was more diligent than before. He was bright, and learned very rapidly. He talked much with learned men, and soon became known all over London for his brightness and his eagerness to learn.

When the time came for the newly-appointed governor, John White, to set out from England with his colony, Manteo had gained a great deal of English learning and culture. He was able to talk intelligently about many things that he had never heard of before coming to England.

A few days before the ships were to sail for America, Sir Walter called Manteo to him and asked if he wanted to return to his own country.

“Yes,” said the Indian, “for my people will be expecting me when they see the big ships.”

Raleigh then told him that he should be called the Lord of Roanoke. Manteo was very glad of this, and thanked Sir Walter many times. He was delighted at his title, and called himself Lord Manteo to hear how it sounded.

After a while the ships sailed for America, and the young Lord of Roanoke bade a last farewell to England. He never went back to the beautiful country where he had seen and learned so much. But he always remembered the many things that had interested him there.

Soon the ships landed at Roanoke Island and the settlement began. The houses already there were repaired and new ones built. All worked faithfully, and soon had comfortable homes.

Governor White had been told by Sir Walter Raleigh to appoint Manteo Lord of Roanoke as soon as the settlement was made. Manteo first joined the church and was baptized. Then Governor White struck him on the shoulder with the flat of his sword and told him that he was now a knight of the queen and Lord of Roanoke. The Lord of Roanoke wore his honors well. He was very proud of his rank, and became a really fine gentleman. He was very useful to the settlers in keeping the Indians friendly and acting as interpreter.

When the colonists moved from Roanoke to Croatan, Manteo went with them. He was also there when the Indians from Virginia made an attack upon the colony. He fought bravely in defense of the settlers, and when all seemed to be lost, he escaped with a few of them to Hatteras, where his people lived.

This is all that is known of the Lord of Roanoke. No one knows what he did after this, or how long he lived after reaching Hatteras. He fades from history at this point. We can believe, however, that he was always true to the English settlers that escaped the slaughter.

hăt′te ras

On the eighteenth of August, soon after all the houses were repaired and the people began to feel at home, a little baby girl was born at the house of Ananias Dare. Her mother, Mrs. Eleanor Dare, was the daughter of Governor White.

Governor White was very proud of his little grand-daughter. He named her Virginia, as all the new country was then called Virginia after the Virgin Queen Elizabeth. He did not know that Virginia Dare, the first white child born in this new country, would become one of the most famous names in North Carolina history.

When Virginia was nine days old, Governor White had to go back to England to get provisions for the colony. He did not wish to go, and tried to get somebody to go in his place. He wished to stay at Roanoke Island with his little granddaughter. But as no one else was willing, Governor White felt that it was his duty to go.

He said good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Dare, took little Virginia up in his arms, and kissed her several times. Then he went down to the ship that was waiting for him, and was soon out of sight.

That was the last time Governor White ever saw his granddaughter or any of the colonists. He went to

England and found his people at war with Spain. On account of the war, he could not get supplies. He had to wait three years. When the war closed, he got the supplies and came back to the settlement; but he could not find the colony, nor any member of it.

No one knows exactly what became of little Virginia and her mother and father, or of any of the colonists that Governor White left. Many years after that time the Indians said that Virginia grew up and became a queen among the Indians. According to this Indian story, a year or more passed by and, as the colonists heard nothing from Governor White, they began to feel uneasy. Provisions were scarce, and they were in danger of starving. They did not know what to do. They waited another year, living on crabs and fish, but the governor did not return.

“What can be the matter?” asked Mrs. Dare; but no one could answer. Every one thought that the governor had been lost at sea. Still they hoped on, but despair began to settle upon all.

At last they decided to cross over to the mainland, which was called Croatan, and build other homes. The Indians there were friendly, and had invited them to come. So they cut the word Croatan on a tree and left.

There they lived for several years with the friendly Indians. Little Virginia grew up to be a very beautiful girl. The Indians loved her, and called her the daughter of the Great Spirit. Thus it was that several years passed. But one day a terrible thing happened. The powerful Powhatan, an Indian king, who lived on the Powhatan river, now called James river, in Virginia, made war upon the Croatan Indians, captured their town, and put all the people to death except a few who escaped. All the white people were murdered except four men, two boys, and a little girl. That little girl was Virginia Dare.

Manteo, who was there, escaped, and with these seven white persons went to Hatteras, where his kindred dwelt. There Virginia grew to womanhood. She was so beautiful and wise that the Indians regarded her as some being that the Great Spirit had sent to them to guide and teach them.

So they made her the queen of the tribe, and for many years the “Fair Goddess,” as they called her, ruled wisely and well. The white men, who had escaped with her, married Indian girls. Thus the two races became united.

p[UNK]w ha tan′

No one knows whether the story of Virginia Dare is true or not. It is a pretty one, and all of us would be glad to know that she really lived among the Indians and became their “Fair Goddess.”


Governor White was very sad the day he left Roanoke Island to go to England. He was still sadder when he reached England and found that he could not return to Roanoke Island in a long time. He grieved much during the three years that he had to wait.

He thought of his daughter and little granddaughter far over the sea, waiting for him to come back. How his heart ached when he thought of them in danger in a strange land! Gladly he would have risked his life in their behalf. He would have started back immediately if he could have gotten away.

As it was, no ship could leave England; for a great Spanish fleet, called the Invincible Armada, was coming to conquer the country. All the ships in the kingdom were pressed into service, and none was allowed to go away. Governor White had to join in the defense of his country. Still he was thinking all the time of little Virginia Dare and her mother in far-off North Carolina.

At last the Spaniards came with their great army and fleet to attack England. They struck hard, but

ar mä′da

the English struck harder. They were beaten and nearly all of their ships were destroyed. The English rejoiced over the great victory.

Then Governor White was relieved from service. He set out at once for North Carolina. He was glad that he was at last on his way back to see the little girl and her mother. His heart rejoiced, and yet he was afraid that something had happened to them in his absence. How glad he would be to see them all alive and well!

Soon they came in sight of the shores of Roanoke Island. Governor White was looking to see if he could get a glimpse of some one on the shore. He saw a smoke rising in the direction of the settlement. He felt sure that it was coming from some of the houses of the settlers. Soon he would come to the shore and find them all there to receive him; and how happy they would all be in the reunion!

Presently the ship came to the shore, but there was nobody in sight. They landed, but not a human being appeared. Governor White's heart began to fail him. He walked up the shore and called, but only the echo of his own voice replied. Then he went up the hill to the houses. The buildings looked deserted. As he came nearer, two deer came out from the bushes near the houses and ran away.

Then he went up to the first house. Nobody was there. Weeds had grown up around it. The footpath was hidden by grass. He went on to another, and then another, and found them all deserted. There was no sign of any human being. Nobody had been there for a long time. Everything was bare and gloomy. His heart sank within him. Tears came to his eyes, and he groaned aloud.

What had become of them? He tried to answer the question. He looked around to see if there was anything that would help him to find out their where-abouts. There was no sign of any struggle. There had been no battle with the Indians. There was no evidence of hasty leaving except a box of old books and pamphlets that he found broken open. The books were scattered about, but that indicated no conflict.

Presently he found something that gave him joy in those moments of sadness. On a tree was the word Croatan cut in large letters. That, then, was the place to which they had gone. His heart leaped for joy, for he felt sure he would find the lost colonists.

Quickly he ran back to the ship and told the captain what he had found. He urged an immediate departure for the island of Croatan. But the captain was a man who cared nothing for Governor White or his people.

He refused to go to Croatan. He said that the ship was without provisions, and that he had to go to the West Indies to get a supply. Governor White begged and threatened, but the man was deaf to all the feelings of a father and grandfather.

In the midst of the dispute a violent storm came up. The ship was blown out to sea, and for three days was driven before the hurricane. When the storm was over, it was found that the ship was damaged. They set out for England at once to repair the damage. After a few weeks they reached England in safety.

Governor White tried to get another ship to come over in search of the lost ones. He tried in vain. He had no money himself, and Sir Walter Raleigh, who had been furnishing the money, was now bankrupt. Eloquently he pleaded for help. With an aching heart he told of the hundred settlers at Croatan waiting for help from England. But he found no one to aid him. Heartbroken he gave up the struggle. He went to his home and lived in sadness until death relieved him of his misery.

This is one of the saddest stories connected with the settlement of this country—a story that appeals to all hearts. The settlers were living in distress among the Indians, waiting for relief that never came.


After Governor White returned to England, it was more than sixty years before any more white people came to North Carolina to live. During that time several attempts were made to find Virginia Dare and the other colonists, but no one ever found them.

Virginia and several other colonies had been settled during these sixty years. But North Carolina was a wilderness. No white people were known to be living there. Indians held possession of the land. They hunted and fished without knowing that the Englishmen were making settlements elsewhere.

Soon daring men from Virginia came over into North Carolina to see what the country was like. They went down the Chowan river to Albemarle Sound and examined the country as they went. They found it to be rich and well watered. They then went back to Virginia and told the people there what they had seen. Many of the Virginia settlers wished to move at once over into North Carolina. They wished to get away from the tyranny of Governor Berkeley and to seek richer lands.

chō wän′

Roger Green, a clergyman in Nansemond county, applied to the king for permission to move south with his flock to the Chowan river. He secured a grant of ten thousand acres of land on the Roanoke and Chowan rivers, and resolved to move there. For several weeks preparations were made to start south. Wagons and horses were needed. Provisions had to be collected. Clothing had to be made up to last until they became settled in their new home. A great many other things had to be looked after. After a while they were ready to start. Neighbors who were not going came to say good-bye. The wagons were loaded and the caravan started on its journey. Many miles through the forests lay before them.

The company traveled very slowly, for there was no road and one had to be made as they proceeded. After weeks of hardships and hard work they came into the neighborhood of the Chowan. They halted and looked about for a suitable place to begin the settlement. After some delay, they selected a spot, and began the erection of houses to shelter them from the weather.

Soon after the settlers began to build their houses, several Indians came and looked on. They did not seem at all displeased, and said nothing to alarm the

settlers. They watched the men use the saw and the axe and the hammer.

These Indians belonged to the Yeopin tribe that lived higher up the Chowan. They went home and told what they had seen. Several days after; a considerable band of these Indians came. The settlers were somewhat alarmed when they saw the Indians coming, but the redskins soon showed that they were not after blood or scalps. They halted some distance off and motioned for the white men to come nearer. Then by signs it was told the white men that they had no right to settle on the land, unless they bought it from the Indians. Soon a bargain was made. The Indians received in payment some cheap jewelry, hats, red handkerchiefs and similar articles that pleased them very much.

By hard work the settlers soon had houses for themselves. Then they began to clear the land. They cleared large tracts, and year after year raised large crops of corn and tobacco.

This settlement was made on the Chowan river, some miles north of Edenton, in 1653. It opened the way for other settlers, and in ten years there was quite a large number of people living in North Carolina.

In 1663 Charles II., King of England, gave to eight of his lords all the country between Florida and the

southern limit of Virginia and running westward to the “South Seas.” This region had been called Carolina in honor of King Charles I., and kept this name when the first colony was formed in 1663.


In 1660 a colony of men came from New England and made homes for themselves near the mouth of the Cape Fear river. They wanted to raise cattle to sell to people in London and other large cities, and thought that the land in that part of the country would make good pastures.

That was long before Wilmington was settled. It was a few years before the colony on Albemarle Sound became established, and seven years after Green and his flock settled on the Chowan.

At that time the land in North Carolina did not belong to any one especially; or rather, it belonged to so many different ones that nobody knew who really had the best right to it. The king of England claimed it. So did certain Englishmen to whom the king had given it some years before. The Indians claimed it as their own; and it does seem that their right was the best one, for they were living on it.

These men from New England traded with the Indians, and bought a large tract of land on Old Town creek. The price paid was not large; only a few beads, finger rings and the like. They brought large numbers

of cattle from New England and Virginia to stock their farms. These men were very industrious, and soon had good sheds and stalls for the cattle. They attended strictly to their business, and for a time the outlook seemed bright.

In a short while, however, they began to see that the land was not so well suited for stock-raising as they had thought. Grass was not so plentiful as they had supposed. The cattle did not thrive well. Disease broke out among them, and it looked as if all their money and time would be lost.

As their cattle business was a failure, they determined to make up for their loss in some way. So they began to lay plans to kidnap some Indian children, carry them off to the West Indies, and sell them as slaves to the Spaniards. There was near the camp a good-natured Indian family of several children. The white men had learned to talk with these Indians in their own language. They spent a good deal of the time with them and talked about the interesting things to be seen in other places.

One of the shrewdest of the white men one day went to the Indian wigwam and asked if he might teach the little boys and girls how to read. The Indians had no schools, and did not know anything about reading.

But they were glad to learn, and were delighted with the idea of “making paper talk” and learning to talk out of a book. So this shrewd man began to teach school in the wild Indian country. He told the Indians about the large schools in Massachusetts and the good teachers there.

“They have large wigwams with long rows of seats for the boys and girls to sit on,” said this schoolmaster. “They can teach Indians how to read quickly there.”

One of the Indian boys said that he would like to go to school in Massachusetts. Soon others said that they wanted to go, too. This was what the white man wanted, and he persuaded the parents to let the children go. So quite a large number of Indian boys and girls sailed one day from the Cape Fear in a boat belonging to the settlers. They thought they were going to Massachusetts to school, but these wicked white men sent them to Cuba and sold them to the Spaniards.

Time passed, and the fathers and mothers of these children began to think that it was time for the pupils to come back and spend a vacation at home. But they did not come; and the parents began to feel uneasy. They went to the white men and asked when the little Indians would come back.

“It has been twelve moons,” said the chief, “since

they left, and we want to know when they are coming back.”

The white men said that school would be out in a few weeks, and then the little boys and girls would return. That satisfied the Indians for a time, but soon they suspected that they were being deceived. A large body of them went to the settlers and demanded that the children be returned at once.

“We have waited,” said the chief, “for our paleface brothers to bring back our children; but we do not intend to wait much longer.”

“If the next moon,” said he, “does not bring them, we are going to tear down your houses and take your scalps.”

That was terrible news to these settlers, for none of them wanted to be scalped. So they concluded that they would leave before the Indians had time to get their knives sharpened.

They got everything ready, and one night sailed away, never to return. The Indians, no doubt, grieved a long time because their little boys and girls had been stolen from them. But the poor children were slaves in the Spanish colonies.


“We shall burn the paleface who has been selling our lands.” Page 29, Book II.

North Carolina History Stories


William Drummond, the first governor of North Carolina, was a Scotchman. He came from Scotland to Jamestown, Virginia, when very young. He was industrious and intelligent, and soon won the respect of the people of the Jamestown colony.

In 1653, when people began to move from Virginia to the Chowan river in North Carolina, Drummond was one of the first to visit the new land. He went there with others interested, and when the king gave the land to the Lords Proprietors, he reported to them that the land was fertile and well watered.

A governor had to be appointed for this new colony in North Carolina. The men in England who owned the land in the colony sent word to Governor Berkeley of Virginia to appoint one. He went to the settlement on the Chowan, consulted with the people, and appointed William Drummond. This was agreeable to the people of the colony.

Governor Drummond went to North Carolina in 1663, and served as governor four years. He was very popular with the people, and governed them well. But for some reason Governor Berkeley removed him from office and put another man in his place.

Drummond then went back to Jamestown to live. Governor Berkeley never liked Drummond after this, for he thought that the North Carolina governor would try to do him some harm. William Drummond, however, lived quietly in Jamestown, and had very little to do with public matters. He was a friend of the people, and thought that they ought to have more freedom than Governor Berkeley gave them.

The Indians had made war upon the settlers in Virginia. They attacked the settlements on the James river, and killed many people. Governor Berkeley did nothing to stop the Indians from killing the people and destroying the crops. This negligence of the governor made the people band together for protection.

About three hundred men formed a company to fight the Indians, and chose for their leader a young Englishman named Nathaniel Bacon, who had come to the colony only three years before. Nathaniel Bacon and his men asked Governor Berkeley for a commission to march against the Indians, but the governor would not give it

The people were compelled to protect themselves, so a number of them marched with Bacon against the Indians and drove them back. This made Berkeley very angry, and he said that these men should be punished.

With four hundred men Bacon marched to Jamestown to demand his commission, which Berkeley granted. Again Bacon marched against the Indians and defeated them. While he was away from Jamestown Berkeley raised a force of men to resist Bacon and his followers. When Bacon returned from fighting the Indians he marched to Jamestown, and Berkeley was forced to flee to a ship in the river.

Soon after this Bacon died, and his followers became scattered. Governor Berkeley returned, and showed himself to be a better fighter against his own people than he had been against the Indians. Many of Bacon's men were killed, or taken prisoners and hanged.

One of the most active followers of Bacon was William Drummond. He was taken prisoner and brought to Jamestown. Governor Berkeley showed a very bad temper when Mr William Drummond was brought before him.

“Mr William Drummond,” said the governor, “you are very welcome. I am more glad to see you than any man in

Virginia. Mr. Drummond, you shall be hanged in half an hour.”

“Just as you please,” replied Drummond. “I am your prisoner, and do not expect anything else than death.”

It took about two hours to erect a scaffold, to go through with a form of trial, and to pass sentence of death. Then Drummond was led out to the gibbet and hanged. Thus ended in disgrace, as it seemed, the life of the first governor of North Carolina, but to-day Drummond's name is honored by all who love liberty and uprightness.

The people hated Berkeley so for his tyranny and cruelty that he went to England. The king refused to see him, and he died in disgrace.


At one time the people of North Carolina were as hard to govern as headstrong schoolboys. They were very jealous of their rights, and would not submit to any ruler who tried to force them to do things against their will.

They had settled in the wilderness because they were in search of homes where they might be free to live without oppressive laws; and they were not going to let their freedom be taken away from them without a struggle. So when the governor tried to make the people obey an unjust law, they declared that they would not. They took up arms against the governor and his men. This was in 1676. Peter Carteret was then governor.

He tried to carry out the laws that were made in England by the Proprietors; but the people would not submit. When they disobeyed the laws, he punished them for it. Thus the colony was in a state of trouble and disorder.

At that time there were two men living in North Carolina whose names were Thomas Eastchurch and

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Thomas Miller. These men had great influence with the people. Eastchurch was Speaker of the General Assembly, and Miller was very popular with the people. Both of them sided with the people in their struggle against the governor.

Once Miller went to the governor and told him that the people would not submit to a certain law that he was trying to enforce.

“I tell you, governor,” said he, “these people are not going to give up their rights.”

Governor Carteret had him arrested for this language and sent to Jamestown for trial. He was turned loose, however. He then went to England to complain to the Lords Proprietors about his treatment. They listened to him and promised to make the matter right.

Meanwhile Eastchurch had been sent to England by the people to tell the Proprietors that they would not submit to the unjust laws. The two men met in London and united in presenting their complaints. Eastchurch was a handsome man, with plenty of good sense. The Proprietors heard him with pleasure, and were much impressed with him. They thought that Eastchurch was the very man to be made governor of North Carolina, and so they appointed him to that office,

Miller was appointed as secretary and collector of customs in Albemarle.

After being appointed, these two men set out for North Carolina to begin their labors. They had received more honors than they had ever hoped for. On the way across the ocean they stopped at the island of Nevis. There Eastchurch met a beautiful Creole lady, with whom he fell deeply in love. He forgot all about his duties in North Carolina, and lingered on the island in the company of this lady.

After a while he sent Miller on to North Carolina to act as governor until he should come. Miller went to North Carolina and was welcomed by the people. He told them that Governor Eastchurch was on the way, and would arrive soon.

Miller ruled well for a time, but soon the people became dissatisfied. There was a noted man in the colony named John Culpepper. He encouraged the people to resist some of the demands of Miller. Trouble broke out, and the colony was again in danger of war. Miller was forced to give up his position and leave the colony.

During all this time Eastchurch had remained on the island of Nevis. He had won the love of the beautiful Creole lady and had married her. Then he remembered


that he was governor of North Carolina, and made haste to leave the island for his field of labor. Accompanied by his wife, he set out for home, but when he arrived there he found matters in bad shape. Miller had been deposed from office and John Culpepper put in his place. No one received him as governor. He found himself in a country with a title to the highest office, but another man filling the office.

Eastchurch now began to realize what he had lost while he was stopping on the island of Nevis. He went to Virginia to see if he could get help to uphold his authority in North Carolina. No one there took any special interest in his case, and after many disappointments and failures he died heartbroken. He had promised a high position to his wife, the beautiful Creole lady, but she found herself a homeless exile with him. Yet she remained true to him to the last, and encouraged him in every way in her power.


About the year 1700 John Lawson came to North Carolina to live. His home had been in England. He wanted to see the New World, and so came over in one of the trading vessels. His boat landed at Charleston, South Carolina, and he stopped there about four months. It is probable that he would have decided to live there, but when some one told him that North Carolina was the most delightful country in the world, he came to this colony to find a home.

Lawson was a very sensible man, and his coming was worth much to the colony. He was a good surveyor, and soon found plenty of work in his new home. The settlers made him surveyor-general of the colony. In a short while he became one of the best known men in the country.

While Lawson was surveying he kept a record of what he did each day. From this record he afterwards wrote a book about what he had seen and heard in North Carolina, and had it published under the name of “History of North Carolina.” It was a very interesting book at the time. It told about the Indians, the animals

and the birds that lived in the swamps and forests where he had been surveying. The book is not printed now, but may be found in some of the old libraries owned by private individuals, and in the State library at Raleigh.

Once Lawson had quite a strange experience. He was surveying land on the Neuse river not far from where Newbern now is. Near the bank of the river he had built a small house in which he could stay at night with his dog and a friendly Indian. In this house they dwelt for some weeks. About one mile away was an Indian village.

One night Lawson was sitting in his little house. His dog was slumbering in the corner. His Indian companion had gone to the village to visit his people. Lawson was writing his journal and laying plans for his next day's work. It was in March, just before spring opens. Suddenly he heard a tremendous roaring directly under his house. He did not know what to think of it. His dog became frightened and whined as if in great distress. The roaring would come in spells, and seemed to shake the earth under his feet.

Lawson was a brave man, but this noise under his house made him feel very uncomfortable. He had never heard anything like it before. Presently he began

to think that it was some trick which the Indians were playing to steal his goods. So he decided that he would not go out of the house, and if the Indians wanted to steal anything from him they would have to break in. He stood inside and waited for the attack. But the attack did not come, though the noise under the house was kept up. It grew so loud that it shook the house and made a horrible din. The dog was almost dead with fear. Lawson himself started to rush from the house and seek a place of safety; but just as he was about to open the door some one knocked. It was the friendly Indian who had returned from the village.

The Indian told Lawson what caused the noise. He said it was an alligator that had made its bed under the house deep down in the earth. There it had stayed all winter, asleep, but as spring had come the alligator was getting ready to come out of winter quarters. Lawson moved his house and gave the ’gator all the room he wanted. Afterwards he studied the habits of these animals, and found that on the approach of winter they went down into the mud and cut their way up to the highland, where they remained until spring. The house had been built over a nest of them, and they were getting ready to come out of their winter homes.

Lawson lived about ten years in North Carolina. He

went over most of the Albemarle and Neuse river sections, but he never had another such experience with alligators. Lawson was afterwards put to death by the Indians in a very cruel manner.


There was once a man in the Albemarle colony who had a way of persuading people to do things just as he told them, and who made a great deal of trouble. This man was John Porter. He lived in Edenton near the beginning of the eighteenth century. He was a very shrewd, but bad, man. His influence over the people of his time was wonderful.

Most of the people who had settled in North Carolina had moved there to escape unjust laws and to secure the right to live without oppression. They were very quick, therefore, to oppose any law that was oppressive; and they were suspicious of those who were sent to rule over them. John Porter was one of the men who encouraged the people to resist the governors that were sent to North Carolina. He did this without waiting to see whether the laws were right or wrong.

When Colonel Carey became governor in 1705, John Porter began to stir up the people. He soon had them very much dissatisfied. Governor Carey made every one appointed to office take an oath that he would do his duty while in office. This was a right and necessary

thing, but it displeased a large number of people. They did not believe in taking oaths for anything.

John Porter did not care whether anybody took an oath or not, but he complained against this law of the governor's. In fact, he complained louder than anybody else, and tried to make the people think that it was a dreadful thing to take an oath.

His loud complaints gave him a free ride to England; for the people chose him as a delegate to go there and ask that Governor Carey be removed from office. Porter was a good talker, and he soon persuaded the Proprietors to depose Carey and put another man in his place. They gave him a commission to go back to North Carolina and call a meeting of the people to elect another governor.

Soon after his return, the citizens met and asked Governor Carey to give up the office. Then the delegates asked John Porter what they must do next. Some thought that he would have himself elected governor, but he did not. He told them to elect William Glover, and they did so. No doubt John Porter thought that Glover would do as he was told, but he was mistaken. No sooner was Glover made governor than he began to do the same things that Carey had done. This made


Porter very indignant. He swore a big oath, which was the thing he was fighting, and said that he would have William Glover put out of the office. So he called the people together in another meeting and made a big speech to them.

“We made a mistake,” said Boss Porter, “in electing this man Glover to rule over us. He is a rascal, and ought to be driven from the colony. We do not want such a governor.”

“Down with him!” shouted the assembly, and Glover was voted out. Now was Porter's chance to make him self governor, but he turned his back upon the prize and walked out. He sent in word that he would return in a little while. He went straight to the house of Colonel Carey and knocked at the door. Carey was surprised to see his old enemy coming to visit him. The two shook hands and went into the house.

“Colonel Carey,” said Porter, “I've come to get you to take the office of governor again.”

“You have?” said Carey, laughing. “That is strange. You must have forgotten what you did a short while ago.”

“No, indeed!” replied the other, “but we want you on our side. You must come over and be one of us.”

So these men entered into a bargain, and Porter went

back to have Carey re-elected to the office of governor. This was done, and the assembly adjourned. Governor Glover and the other men who were on his side fled to Virginia. John Porter and Carey ruled just as they wished for several years.

After a while the Proprietors in England appointed Edward Hyde as governor. He came over in 1710. Governor Carey and John Porter seemed to be glad to see the new governor, and gave up the place without a word. It seemed that the troubles of the colony were over, but they were not; for John Porter loved to make trouble. Soon he aroused the people against Governor Hyde. He called them together and declared that Hyde was not governor. He then induced the people to elect Carey for the third time. Governor Hyde, however, did not run, as Glover had done. He had come there to be governor, and he was not going to be deposed.

Carey and his followers said they were going to hang Governor Hyde if they could catch him. But Hyde was no coward. He collected as many men as he could and waited for Carey to come and hang him. Carey came, but Hyde and his men shot so rapidly and accurately that Carey and his followers decided to wait a few days before catching him.

In a day or two Governor Hyde thought that he

would visit Carey and see if he had the rope ready for him. Carey did not wait to receive him, but fled to the swamps and carried the rope with him.

Shortly afterwards Carey was captured and sent to England for trial. John Porter went to the Indians and tried to rule them as he had the colonists; but he soon found that he could not do so. He did succeed, however, in bringing on a great Indian war.


In the summer of 1711 John Lawson and several other men went up the Neuse river to explore the country. Baron de Graffenreid, a Swiss nobleman, was in the company. He had brought over from England a large number of settlers, who had made homes for themselves near the mouth of the river. He wished to see whether there were good places for settlements up the river. Lawson, who was the surveyor-general of the colony, was also interested in the upland country. He was interested, also, in the birds and animals that lived in the swamps.

The men carried provisions enough to last for several weeks. All along the river they noticed the large trees and beautiful flowers. The birds also were plentiful and pretty. Squirrels and foxes were often seen, and sometimes the howl of wolves was heard. John Lawson made notes of all these things. The white men thought it was a very beautiful country. Several times they stopped, and Lawson surveyed the lands on both sides of the river.

For several days they had gone on without seeing an


Indian. That seemed strange, for the red men had always before come out to meet the white men. They had been very friendly to the white people. But now not one was to be seen. They seemed to have left the country. One day, however, while the white men were eating their midday meal, they saw a party of Indians watching them from a hill some distance away. The white men did not fear them, but they could not understand why they were watched by the Indians. They did not know that the savages had formed a plot to kill all the white people, and were at this very time on the warpath.

After finishing their dinner, Lawson and his men went farther into the woods. They wanted to see the timber lands higher up the river. For some time they marched on without noticing that the Indians were following them. Presently it was seen that a considerable body of red men was creeping along behind, trying to keep themselves hid behind trees and undergrowth.

“Look at those red devils,” said Graffenreid. “Just as sure as the sun shines, they mean mischief. Don't you see they have on their war paint and plumes?”

Lawson was quite sure that they were after scalps.

“Yes, sir,” answered he, “I am quite sure that we are going to have trouble, and if we get out alive it will be

a kindness of Providence. I think they intend to attack us.”

“Let us then prepare to receive them,” said the baron. “I, for one, do not want to be butchered without doing some damage in return.”

As it was nearly night, the party halted and made a fire to warm their food. There were only six or eight of them, and it seemed useless to resist if the redskins should make an attack. They felt quite sure that the attack would come, but they were in doubt as to how they should act. Graffenreid said that he was going to sell his life as dearly as he could. Lawson said that he was no fighter, but would defend himself to the last.

Soon the attack came. About sixty of the savages rushed upon them with shouts and yells. The white men fought the best they could, but the Indians ran ever them, beat them to the ground, and bound their hands and arms. Then they were forced to travel all night with these Indians to a town some miles inland. Footsore and weary they reached the town early next day, and were delivered to the chief in charge.

That afternoon a council of all the chiefs in the tribe was called to decide what should be done with the prisoners. Lawson, Graffenreid and the others were carried into the assembly and made to stand in the center

with all the chiefs seated around them. The king of the tribe from a high seat questioned them.

“Why did our paleface brothers come up the river?” asked he. “Have they come to spy our land and take it from us?”

“No, indeed,” said the baron. “We are looking for a short way to Virginia. If we wanted your land we would offer you money for it.”

“Did not Indians see the paleface brother with the chain, measuring our land on the river? How, then, can he say that he wants not the land?”

Lawson told them that he measured the land so that he could draw a map of the country. Then he showed them one of the maps that he had drawn. They were much pleased with the map, and seemed to be satisfied with the explanation. Finally they decided that the prisoners should be released and sent home the next day. So Lawson and his friends slept soundly that night, for they felt that they would be allowed to go back home. But a far different fate awaited them.

On the next day, instead of being turned loose, they were carried before another council and asked more questions. At this council was a Core Indian whom Lawson had known some time before, and with whom he had had some trouble. This Indian was a bitter

enemy of the white people, and spoke against turning them loose.

“Palefaces have taken away our lands,” he said, “and now they are after yours. This man with the chain measures and sells to white men. He is the man that has turned our hunting grounds into cornfields. He is the man who will measure your land and plant corn in the places where the deer and the squirrel are now found. Would you rather have the white man's corn growing upon your land or the deer and the quail there? O, Tuscaroras, look well to your hunting grounds!”

This speech made a deep impression on the savages. Lawson and his companions were beaten with clubs and condemned to death. The council broke up to carry out the sentence. They were roughly dragged to the place of execution.

“Would you put a king to death?” asked the baron. “Such a thing is never done. It would grieve the Great Spirit.”

“Who is king?” questioned the Indians, almost all at once.

“I am king of fifteen hundred palefaces, who are now looking for me,” answered the baron. “They would

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never forgive their dark-skin brothers if their king were put to death.”

The chiefs talked together very rapidly and excitedly. There appeared to be two parties among them—one for execution and the other for turning the prisoners loose. Finally a compromise was agreed upon, and the great chief came to the white men and said with much earnestness:

“Palefaces, you are in our hands. We can do with you what seems best to us. Nothing can save you from our power. We shall burn the paleface who has been selling our land, but the king we shall hold as a prisoner to keep his people from making war on us. Now you have heard our decision.”

The baron was led away to another part of the village, and Lawson was stripped of his clothing. They then made hundreds of sharpened lightwood splinters, keen at both ends. They stuck these splinters into the flesh of poor Lawson and danced around him with delight. Then these human devils bound Lawson to a stake. They danced the war dance around him and sang their dreadful songs. Presently they set fire to the splinters and burned him to death.

The baron could hear what was going on, and knew that the Indians were tormenting their prisoner.

Soon the savages came to him and told him that they had killed Lawson. Graffenreid was afraid they had come for him to share the same fate. But the chief said that he would be held as a prisoner, and that his life would be spared. Graffenreid's negro man was in the same room, and the Indians looked at him as if to say, “It is your turn now.”

“King of the palefaces,” said the chief, “you need not be afraid, for we will not kill you. But Indian braves want more song and more dance to-night. Your black man must be burned.”

This was dreadful news to the baron, for he was very fond of the faithful negro, who had been with him so long and had served him so well. He tried to change the redskins from their purpose.

“This poor fellow,” the baron said, “has never done any harm to the Indians. He came because I did. Spare him and you shall be rewarded.”

“He give Indians fun,” grunted the chief.

As night came on more Indians came into the village. They made large fires here and there. Sometimes they would yell like madmen, and the blood of the white man ran cold and the poor negro was almost dead with fear. Finally they came and seized the negro and carried him off. He struggled with his enemies, but

they dragged him along to the place of execution. There they bound him to the stake. Then they piled up pieces of dry pine wood around him and set them on fire. Then they danced around the sufferer until death relieved him of his agony.

Such things are dreadful to relate, but they happened long ago, before the white people had come in numbers large enough to prevent it. It was against such savages that the settlers had to contend, to make this country the home of the white men.

The savages held the baron for a long time as their prisoner. They let him go when he promised them that he would not make war upon them. He kept the promise, and would not join in the war which the white people made upon the Indians the next year.


When John Porter was driven away from the settlement on the Chowan river, he went to the country of the Indians. They received him kindly, for they had always been on friendly terms with the white people. But it was not very long before he persuaded them to begin a war against the settlers. He told them that the colonists had been getting ready for some time to drive the Indians away from their lands, and were only waiting to receive guns and ammunition from England.

There was a noted chief among the Tuscaroras, named Handcock. He had never been a friend to the settlers. He listened to Porter's story with delight. He questioned him, and found out that the settlers were fighting each other, or rather that there were two factions that were opposed to each other. Porter gave him all the information he wanted, and often he told things that were untrue. Handcock was pleased with the idea of attacking the settlers, and called the chiefs together to decide upon the plan.

When all the chiefs had come together under a large oak tree, he arose and said to them in his own language:

“Tuscarora chiefs, most fleet of foot and strong in

arms, you are the masters of this land. You have received it as a gift from the Great Spirit. You and your fathers have hunted the deer by the banks of the rivers and chased the raccoon and the fox in these woods. It is yours to live upon. It is yours to leave to your children. Will you give it up to the palefaces who have come among us? I know you will not, for it is your right to stay here.”

Handcock then told them the story which Porter had told him: how the settlers were only waiting to get help from England to drive them from their homes. For a while all were silent. Then Tom Blunt, another chief, arose and said that he would like to hear from the paleface brother. Porter replied that there was a division among the white people; some wanted to begin war upon the Indians at once, while others opposed it. He himself had opposed it, and for that reason he had to leave the settlement. That was a big falsehood, but the Indians did not know that it was.

The matter of beginning war upon the settlers was next discussed. Handcock and a majority of the chiefs were in favor of war, but Tom Blunt and a few others opposed it. When the vote was taken it was seen that all except a few chiefs favored immediate war. Tom Blunt and those who sided with him withdrew from

the convention and carried the matter to their followers. They remained neutral in the war, and for their fidelity were afterwards rewarded.

Handcock set about making preparation for war. The matter was kept a profound secret. Even Blunt and his followers kept the matter to themselves.

When the Indians were ready to strike the fatal blow, twelve hundred Tuscarora warriors assembled in the forest to begin their work of death. There they divided into three commands. One division was to strike the settlements on the Pamlico, another the settlements on the Roanoke, and a third those on the Neuse.

Silently they began their march. They approached the appointed places in the afternoon of the day before they were to make the attack. The settlers were unconscious of any danger. They were going about their regular business without a thought of trouble.

Out in the forest the Tuscarora army was waiting for sunrise before making an attack. Many of them threw aside their various weapons of war and came into the settlements, mixing with the people whom they expected to murder next day. They appeared to be friendly, and the settlers treated them with kindness, little thinking that the next day would be their last.

When night came the Indians in the villages disappeared to join their comrades in the woods.

At sunrise a dreadful warwhoop was heard, and the settlers were astonished to see their homes surrounded by a band of fierce savages. It was in vain that the white men seized their arms. The settlements were scattered, and the settlers were compelled to fight single-handed against large bodies of Indians. So it was not a battle, but a massacre. Those of the whites who escaped the first attack fled to the forests. Women and children ran for life, but often it was death that they found. Many were overtaken and cut down.

The torch was applied, and it consumed what the tomahawk left. Houses that had cost years of toil were burned. Fields of grain were destroyed. Cattle were killed. Nothing was left to meet the wants of those who escaped.

This dreadful massacre had happened at three different settlements at the same time. Those who escaped the slaughter came near starving in the woods before help could reach them. But assistance came after a while, and with it a cry for vengeance upon the redskins. With such an act as an example, it was seen that there could be no compromise with the Tuscaroras. They must be destroyed or driven out of North Carolina. Such was the determination of every white man.


After the Tuscaroras had killed so many white people, they went back into the forests to see what would be done. They believed that the settlers would make war upon them. To prepare for it, they built a strong fort about twenty miles from Newbern, and placed in it all their weapons and war supplies.

As the settlers felt that they were unable to whip the Indians, they sent messengers to Virginia and South Carolina for help. Both colonies promised to send troops. South Carolina was the first to send them.

Colonel John Barnwell, with an army of friendly Indians and a few whites, came rapidly to the assistance of the settlers. When he got to Newbern he found out that the Tuscaroras were not far from there. He was ready to fight them, and lost no time in going in search of them. As he came into the neighborhood of the fort, he found that the Indians were posted just ahead, in the woods, in considerable numbers. Barnwell was glad to hear of this, for he preferred to fight them in the field rather than to attack them in their fort. So he ordered his men to halt and prepare for battle.

He then sent some of the friendly Indians to find out exactly the position of the Tuscaroras. Soon they came back and said that it would be hard to drive the enemy from their position, but it could be done.

“Prepare for action!” said Colonel Barnwell. “Forward! March! Stop not until the fort has been taken!” With a rush the South Carolina Indians and whites assaulted the position of the Tuscaroras, and carried everything before them. The Tuscaroras fought bravely, but they could not stand the rush that was made upon their line. In a very short time three hundred of them were killed. The others fled to the fort and shut themselves up in its walls.

In this fort they had gathered all their wealth from the fields and from the forests. The old men and women as well as the boys and the girls were there. In fact, this was the last stand, as they thought, of the Tuscarora nation.

Barnwell approached the fort with much caution. He drew his lines around it with a firm grip. Then leading a charge he went up to the very walls, but he was wounded and had to be taken from the field. His men fell back.

The Indians in the fort were joyous. They gave a warwhoop, leaped upon the wall, and were about to make a

charge upon Barnwell's men, when Colonel Mitchell wheeled his cannon into line and began to fire grapeshot at them. They leaped back into the fort to protect themselves. Mitchell moved his gun toward the fort, firing as he went. His shots struck the walls, which began to give way; but just as his gun was about to make an opening an order was received from Colonel Barnwell to cease firing, and to retreat to his former position.

“What is the matter with the colonel?” asked Mitchell. “Can't he see that the fort is ours, and that it will take only half a dozen more shots to destroy the walls?”

Much to his sorrow he had to obey this order and withdraw his company. That left the Indians in the fort free from attack again. A big Indian at once mounted the wall and waved as if he wished to say something to some one in Barnwell's army. A friendly Indian was directed to approach and hear what he might say.

“Hear, O white men!” he said; “you have killed many of our braves. Why do you wish to kill our women and children? If you will let us go from this place with our wives and children, we will leave the country and go to our brethren on the shores of the great northern

waters. If you will not, then we go anyhow, but much blood of the white men will be shed.”

This speech displeased Colonel Mitchell and the North Carolina troops in the army; but Colonel Barnwell accepted the terms offered, and allowed the Indians to march out of the fort with their arms and equipments. Then his men took charge of the deserted fort.

Soon after this the South Carolina Indians committed some outrage against the Tuscaroras, who again flew to arms, and declared that they would not leave their homes. They said that they would die rather than give up their hunting grounds to the palefaces.


Colonel Barnwell had to return to South Carolina to recover from the wound he had received in the fight at Fort Barnwell. Most of the Indians that were in his party returned to South Carolina with him. Only a few remained; and they had all they could do to restrain the cruel Tuscaroras, who had broken their promise to leave the country and go north.

Governor Hyde died about this time, and Colonel Thomas Pollock was elected to fill the place of governor. He sent to Virginia and South Carolina for help, as Governor Hyde had done the year before. South Carolina was again the one to answer first. Governor Craven, of that State, sent Colonel James Moore with a large force of friendly Indians and a few whites to help the people of North Carolina against the Tuscaroras. This force came into North Carolina in the latter part of November, 1712. They had to remain in camp all the winter on account of the bad weather.

Late in February they set out for the Indian country, and reached there about the first of March. This was in the present county of Greene.

The Indians had built a strong fort on a little hill, and had gathered there all the wealth of the Indian nation. They called this fort Nahucke. In it all the old men and women were gathered. The little Indian boys and girls were also there. This was their strongest fort, and this was the place where they expected to make their most stubborn fight.

Moore came in sight of the fort early in March. The Tuscaroras knew that he was coming, and had sent out bodies of Indians to watch his movements. These Indians had retreated ahead of him, and at last had gone into the fort. Colonel Moore halted and took a good look at the Indian stronghold. It seemed a stronghold indeed, but he resolved to take it. He ordered his men to form in four divisions, so that the fort might be attacked on four sides at once.

These divisions went to the places assigned them, and began to approach the fort slowly. The Indians saw what the whites were doing, and laughed at them. They said to themselves: “Do the palefaces expect to find us asleep on any side? We can see them, no matter how they come.”

Suddenly Moore's men ran towards the walls. But the Tuscaroras were watching, and let fly their arrows, which wounded many of the attacking party, and the

others retreated. Soon they made another charge, but the Indians in the fort again repulsed them.

Colonel Moore now concluded to rest his men. They did not fight again for several days. During that time the Indians in the fort climbed up on the walls and waved their plumes at those outside, and asked them if they did not want to come in. But Moore's men said nothing in reply. After a while all the men became anxious to attack the fort. They had rested, and were now ready to begin. This was what Colonel Moore wanted. He thought that if his men became eager for the battle they would fight more bravely.

At last he told his men they might take the fort. He formed them into one line, and led them against the stronghold. The Indians saw them coming, and thought they could easily drive them back. As the whites and Indians came nearer, the Tuscaroras leaped over the walls and met their enemies in a hand-to-hand fight. At first the South Carolina Indians were beaten back by this unexpected charge. But they soon recovered themselves and stood firm.

The Tuscaroras then retreated to the fort, but soon made another wild rush upon the South Carolinians. They were beaten back again. They became desperate, and with a loud yell ran upon their enemies and fought

at close range. Many were killed on both sides. The Tuscaroras broke through the ranks of the enemy and fled. They did not look back to see if they were being pursued, but ran to another fort they had built about twenty miles away.

Fort Nahucke was taken. Moore went in and found about eight hundred Indians inside, mostly old men, women and children. All of these were given to the South Carolina Indians to reward them for the aid they had given the colony. They at once took the captives to Charleston and sold them into slavery.

Soon after the fall of Fort Nahucke, Colonel Moore led his army against the other Indian fort to which the Tuscaroras had fled. But the Indians did not await his arrival. They left this fort and fled up the Roanoke river, through Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania to New York, where they joined the Iroquois, and helped to make the six nations in that State.

Thus all the Tuscaroras left North Carolina except Tom Blunt and the others who had remained friendly to the whites.



In the Indian war that followed the massacre of the white people in 1711, Tom Blunt remained friendly to the colonists. He was a Tuscarora chief, but opposed Chief Handcock in beginning the war upon the settlers.

As soon as the war began he retired to his own village and called his followers around him. He made them a speech, in which he advised them to take no part in the war.

“My braves,” said he, “you will be asked by the other chiefs to go with them against the palefaces. You should tell them that the white brothers have never done you any harm, and that you do not want to kill them. I tell you that a great calamity will come to you if you make war upon the palefaces. I beg you not to do it.”

That speech kept a part of the tribe from joining in the war. Blunt and his followers staid in their tents and kept their own counsel. They would not help the Indians, but they also refused to aid the settlers. After the war had been going on for some time, Colonel Pollock tried to get Blunt to join the white people against the Tuscaroras. He used all the persuasion he could

and made several promises, but the Indian chief would not consent to lift his hand against his own people.

After the capture of Fort Barnwell, when the Indian cause seemed to be lost, Colonel Pollock went to the Indian village himself to visit Tom Blunt. There they talked over the matter for a long time.

“The Tuscaroras,” said Colonel Pollock, “are doomed to destruction. Our people have made up their minds to drive them from the land, because they killed our friends in cold blood. I want to save you from the same fate. Tom Blunt has always been a friend to the pale-faces. He does not want to be an enemy to the white man.”

“Join us against the other Indians,” urged Colonel Pollock, “and you and your town shall be saved, and you shall be made king of all the tribes that remain in the country.”

“That is a big offer,” said the chief; “can my brother do as he says?”

“Yes,” said the colonel, “and I'll see that you have a large hunting ground on the left bank of the Roanoke.”

Tom Blunt promised that he would join the whites against the Indians. But he asked that he be allowed to make war upon the Cores and Pungos instead of the Tuscaroras. “For,” said he, “I cannot fight my own

people, but I will destroy the Cores and the Pungos, for they are the enemies of my race.”

So it was agreed that Blunt and his followers should march against those tribes, while the whites should attack the Tuscaroras.

Blunt soon had everything in order, and set out with a considerable body of Indians to attack the hostile tribes in Beaufort and Hyde counties. He was rapid in his march, and came up with them near the shores of Lake Mattamuskeet. The Pungos were not expecting an attack. They were having a great frolic over a massacre they had just made. Tom Blunt and his Tuscaroras charged upon them, killed a few, and put the rest to flight. Then he burned their village and hunted the braves in the swamps until he had killed or captured a great many. The others begged for peace.

Blunt then crossed the Pamlico river and came into the country of the Cores. This tribe lived in what are now Pamlico and Carteret counties. They were not strong in numbers, but had joined with the Tuscaroras in making war upon the settlers. For that reason Tom Blunt was sent against them. Blunt and his men fought the Cores wherever they could be found. Soon their country was desolate and they were suing for

peace. Then Blunt went back home. He had carried out his part of the contract.

It was about this time that Fort Nahucke was captured. The war was nearly over, and Blunt was expecting his reward. Colonel Pollock sent some men to measure off a large tract of land on the Roanoke for the friendly Indians. This was given to Tom Blunt and his followers. The other Indians that still remained were also allowed to go there and make homes for themselves.

Governor Pollock and the council gave to Tom Blunt the title of king; and he was called King Blunt by both the Indians and the white people. For many years King Blunt ruled in the Indian country. He was always a steadfast friend of the settlers. Through him peace was kept between the white people and the Indians in North Carolina. After his death the Indians became dissatisfied with their homes on the Roanoke. So they sold them to the settlers, and went to join their brethren around the Great Lakes. Thus the last of the Tuscaroras left North Carolina.


“Maynard was the better swordsman and soon ran Blackbeard through and through.” Page 13, Book III.

North Carolina History Stories


Men who rob people on the sea are called pirates. Those who do the same thing on land are called robbers.

About two hundred years ago pirates lived on the coast of North Carolina. This State was then a colony of England. Many of these pirates had large ships, equipped with cannon and other weapons for fighting.

Sometimes the pirates would seize a passing ship, kill all the people on board, and take all the valuable things they had. Then they would throw all the dead bodies into the sea and send the ship adrift or sink it. There was no safety on the sea for travelers. They never knew when these bad men would attack them.

One of the boldest and most cruel of these pirates was Edward Teach. He wore a long black beard, which he twisted into locks and wound around his ears. This made him look frightful. He was called Blackbeard by both his friends and his enemies.

When Blackbeard was going into battle he would fasten lighted tapers to his hat and ears in order to frighten his enemies. His followers feared him, and did his bidding without hesitation. He had a very high temper, and no one dared to oppose him.

For many years Teach had been a pirate in the West Indies. He gained a considerable fortune by his robberies, and then gave up his wicked ways. He came to North Carolina and bought a farm near Bath, in Beaufort county. There he settled down to enjoy his money. Why he came nobody ever knew. It was not long afterwards that he married his thirteenth wife. It is not known what he had done with the other twelve. He became a farmer, and seemed to have given up his old habits entirely.

One day Blackbeard was at Bath and bought a ship. He manned it with some of his old followers, who had been living near the town. He said that he was going to the West Indies to trade, and would return in a few months. When he came back, he towed into the harbor of Bath a large French vessel, loaded with sugar and cocoa. He said that he had found the vessel abandoned at sea. No one believed this story. Every one thought that he had captured the ship and taken it as his own, after killing all the crew.

Teach began to sell the cargo. He also gave away much of it. He sent several barrels of sugar to Governor Eden and some cocoa to Judge Knight. These men were afterwards accused of taking bribes, or hush money, from the pirate; for it soon became evident that he had again become a pirate.

Soon after this he put to sea with his band of pirates, and for many years was a terror to merchants and seamen along the coast of the southern colonies. His fleet was made up of six fast sailing vessels, each one armed with cannon and manned by bloodthirsty seamen.

At one time Blackbeard captured a vessel off the coast of South Carolina. Samuel Wragg, a member of the legislature of South Carolina, was on board. He was robbed of all the money he had, and, as he was a rich man, they did not kill him, but held him for ransom. Many of the pirates were sick at the time, and Blackbeard wanted medicine for them. So he sent four of his men to Charleston to demand the medicine. They told Governor Johnson that Wragg was in their hands, and that his head would be sent to the governor the next morning by breakfast time if he did not send the medicine. Governor Johnson did not want Wragg's head for breakfast, so he sent the medicine and saved the prisoner's life.

Blackbeard did many other bold and daring things. His fleet blockaded all of the southern ports, and kept the people in a state of alarm. His headquarters were on the Island of Providence, in the Bahamas. From that place the pirates scoured the sea in every direction, and brought much booty back with them.

This went on for a number of years. The people were getting very tired of having their ships taken and their sailors killed. They could stand these things no longer, so they sent to England for help.

At last a strong fleet was sent out against these sea robbers. It was commanded by Captain Woods Rogers. He was a good sailor, and knew how to fight pirates. He found out their hiding place and sailed there at once. As soon as he came to the island, he surrounded it with his fleet. The pirates saw that they were caught. Captain Rogers gave them the choice of surrendering, or of being shot to pieces. They decided to surrender.

Blackbeard was not there. He was somewhere on the sea, carrying on robbery and murder. Soon he and the others that escaped Captain Rogers came to North Carolina and established headquarters in Pamlico Sound, near Bath. His flagship was called Queen Anne's Revenge. It carried forty cannon and had a crew of one

hundred men. He had five other ships that hovered near the mouth of the Cape Fear river.

Blackbeard himself staid in and around Pamlico Sound. All trade between North Carolina and other countries was cut off; for the pirates would capture all vessels either coming in or going out. It was a bad state of affairs. People were afraid to send off their goods, or even to travel. They were almost wholly shut out from the world.

After a while they made up their minds to get rid of this pirate who was troubling them so much. So they sent a messenger to Captain Ellis Brand, who commanded the English fleet at Hampton Roads, to ask aid. Captain Brand was glad to find out where Blackbeard was. He sent Lieutenant Maynard with a strong force to capture the pirates or destroy them.

Blackbeard soon learned that Maynard was coming. He did not try to get away. He thought himself able to meet any force that might come. He remained near Ocracoke and waited for Maynard.

Maynard left the James river, in Virginia, as soon as he received orders from Captain Brand, and sailed directly for Ocracoke. He reached the inlet after a voyage of a few days. There he halted to rest his men and prepare for a fight with the pirates. He expected to

find Blackbeard just across the bar. He was not mistaken; for the pirates were waiting for him.

Lieutenant Maynard was a brave man and a good fighter. He was also very strong. He was a good match for Blackbeard, and was anxious to meet the chief of the pirates in a hand-to-hand fight.

After he had refitted and put everything in order, he sailed across the bar into the sound. There before him was the big ship of the pirates. He was very glad to see it. Now he would end the career of this bad man and free the people. He turned his ship toward the pirates and advanced rapidly upon them. Blackbeard was ready, and gave his enemy a broadside. Many of Maynard's men were swept overboard by the first fire. But he continued to advance, and would have grappled with the pirate but for an unfortunate mishap.

His vessel ran aground and stuck fast. Great fear seized the men, and it looked as if all would be lost. Blackbeard continued to fire upon the stranded ship with all his guns. Twenty of Maynard's men were killed, and the fire from the pirate's ship did not slacken. Then Maynard thought that he would try a trick. His vessel could not go to the pirates, so he would make them come to him. He ordered all his men

to go down into the hold of the vessel. No one was left on the deck but the dead and the dying.

Blackbeard thought that all of Maynard's men were either killed or wounded, and moved his ship up alongside to take possession. Blackbeard and twenty of his men leaped aboard Maynard's ship. Instantly they were met by twenty of Maynard's men, who rushed up from below with the lieutenant at their head. The pirates were taken completely by surprise, and staggered backward.

They quickly recovered themselves and the battle began. Every one knew that it was to be a fight to the finish. There could be no such thing as a drawn battle. One side or the other must win, and woe to the conquered!

Each man picked out his foe, and the battle became fierce. Blackbeard hunted for Maynard, and the lieutenant met him. They fired their pistols at each other and drew their swords. They rushed together and fought hand-to-hand. Maynard was the better swords-man and soon ran Blackbeard through and through. The pirate fell dead. At once all the other pirates surrendered. Maynard cut off Blackbeard's head, put it on the bow of his ship, and sailed away with his prisoners.

Later all of the captured pirates were hanged. No doubt they deserved it. The people of North Carolina were very grateful to Lieutenant Maynard for putting an end to Blackbeard's life.


Daniel Boone was a great hunter. He lived in the mountains on the banks of the Yadkin river. No man in all the country could handle a gun as he could. Whenever he pointed a gun at a squirrel, poor bunny knew that death was near. The bears and the deer knew his step, and ran for their lives whenever he was near.

Long before the Revolution, his father came with his family from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to live. He bought some land in Wilkes county, and built his home. Daniel helped to cut down the trees and clear up the fields. Daniel's father ploughed the land, and planted corn and wheat. Soon there was a good farm cleared up in the forest. On it Daniel lived with his father and mother. He learned while a boy to handle a gun, and often brought back meat enough from the woods to last for weeks. Sometimes he would take long hunting trips and be gone for quite a while. After a time he married and had a home of his own.

Not many years passed before other people began to come into the Yadkin country to live. Land was cleared up all around Boone's house, and here and there over

the hills houses could be seen which the newcomers had built. It was beginning to look like the place the Boones had left in Pennsylvania. Daniel did not like for so many people to be living near him. He said he wanted “elbow room.”

“If these people keep coming,” said he, “soon there will not be a bear in all this country.”

He thought more about bears than he did about people. He soon became restless, and went off on a long hunt across the mountains into what is now the State of Tennessee. Two or three backwoodsmen went along with him. That was in 1760, while the French and Indians were fighting the English colonies.

Boone and his companions crossed the Great Smokies and hunted in the valley of the Holston river. They killed a great many deer, and now and then other game was brought down. They had some interesting adventures with the Indians, and also some exciting chases after bears.

One day, as they were passing along a creek in Washington county, Boone saw some bear tracks. They had just been made, and he knew that the animals could not be far away. He at once followed in the direction the bears had gone. He did this cautiously, to keep from scaring the brutes. Very soon he came in sight of them.

There were three, two old ones and a young one. They were walking slowly along through the woods.

Boone crept up and shot one of the old ones dead. The other old one saw him and ran directly toward him. Boone fired at it, but, strange to say, the animal kept coming. It was a bear of great size, and Boone did not wish to come to a hand-to-hand fight. He had no time to reload his gun, so he looked this way and that for a chance to escape.

Near by was a large tree with branches hanging down. He ran to this and climbed up to the first limbs. Bruin was a climber, too, and began to follow up the tree. Boone made his way to the top of the tree. The bear followed, going from limb to limb.

When Boone got up as high as he could, he looked down to see where the bear was. He saw Bruin coming up as fast as he could. Boone did not know what to do. The bear would be up to him in less than a minute, and there was no time to load the gun. Boone pulled out the ramrod of the gun, and when the bear came in reach Boone whacked him over the nose with it. Bruin whined with pain and backed down the tree out of Boone's reach. Then he tried again to get to Boone; but when he came close enough, down came the ramrod

again upon his nose, harder than before. The bear roared with pain.

The bear then went down out of reach and seemed to be studying what next to do. Boone used this time to load his gun. Then he took good aim and shot the bear in the head. It was a good shot, and Bruin began to go down the tree. He was badly wounded and bleeding freely. Boone loaded again and shot the bear a second time. This shot was fatal, and the brute fell heavily to the ground. Then Boone came down the tree, reaching the ground just as his companions came up.

“Ah! Boone,” said one of them, “who was up the tree, you or the bear?”

“The bear,” answered Boone; and that was all he ever told them about his adventure with the bear. He then cut these words in the bark of the tree: “D. Boone killd a bar on tree in the year 1760.” It is said that the tree is still standing and that these words can be seen on it. While his spelling might have been better, his shooting could not be beaten.

Shortly after that the huntsmen returned to the banks of the Yadkin; but Boone was restless in his old home and wanted to get out farther into the forest. He wanted still more “elbow room.”

Nine years later Boone sold his home in Wilkes county,

and went into Kentucky to make another home. That State was then owned entirely by the Indians. They called it Kaintuckee, “the Dark and Bloody Ground,” for the Indians were constantly fighting one another there, and much blood was shed. Five other men went with Boone. Their names were John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Moncey, William Cool, and John Findly. They were all old hunters. On the way they found game enough to satisfy their needs, and they had many adventures with the Indians.

In order to get to the new country easily, they had to open a road across the mountains. That took a long time. Many dangers befell them, but they finally completed it.

The Indians troubled them a good deal with their tricks, but Boone was more than a match for them. Once while they were at work they heard a wild turkey gobble near them. One of the men told Boone to go out and kill the turkey for dinner.

“Not much!” said Boone; “that turkey is not the right kind. It is an Indian trying to get a chance to put a ball through my head.”

Another time they heard some owls hooting in the woods near by. They were keeping up a big racket as if they were much excited.

“Let us go and see what those owls have found,” said Findly. “They are keeping up such a noise that I think they have found a gang of turkeys.”

“Don't you know that they are not owls?” asked Boone. “Notice where the sound comes from. Owls do not sit on the ground.”

Sure enough, the sounds came from the ground, and they knew that Indians were making them. Then one of the hunters crept slowly along toward the place where the sounds came from. He was keener eyed than the Indians, and soon saw what looked like a stump in the woods. He fired at the stump and an Indian fell over with a groan. He had killed a red man.

When the road was finished, the hunters went back for their families. There were about thirty persons in the party that left North Carolina for Kentucky. Boone was the leader. He led them to a place that was suitable for a settlement and halted. There they built houses and a fort to protect themselves from the Indians. This place they called Boonesboro. Soon other settlers came, and the town grew to be quite large.

One day Boone's daughter and two other girls were out in a canoe near the town. Suddenly some Indians came, swam out in the water to the boat, and seized the girls. They started with them to a distant village.

As they went along through the woods, one of the girls broke off twigs and dropped them to let Boone know which way they were going. An Indian saw her doing this, and came to her with his tomahawk raised. He told her that he would kill her if she did it again. Then she secretly tore off pieces of dress and dropped them along the way.

Boone and others quickly followed the Indians. They could follow very well by the bits of dress. In a short while they came up close to the red men. It was at night, and they were sitting around a fire. Boone and his men crept up and fired at the Indians. The redskins fled, leaving the girls and two dead Indians behind. Then the girls were carried back to their homes, which they were glad to see once more.

At another time Boone was out in the woods alone. The Indians came suddenly upon him and took him prisoner. They liked him because he was such a good marksman. They adopted him as one of their tribe, and made him paint his face and wear feathers. Boone seemed to be satisfied, but all the time he was looking for a good chance to get away.

Soon he had a chance and went back home. The Indians liked him so much that they could not give him up. So they began to search for him. After a time

they found him in a tobacco barn, working on his tobacco. They pointed their guns at him and told him to surrender.

“Now, man of the long shot,” said one of them, “we've got you. No more can you get away.”

“How are you?” said Boone pleasantly. “Have my red brothers come to see me? Wait a minute, and I will give you some good tobacco.”

He gathered two or three large leaves in his hands, crushed them to powder, and dashed the fine tobacco dust into the eyes and mouths of the Indians. There was a great coughing and sneezing for some time, and while that was going on Boone made his escape. The Indians could not help from laughing at Boone's trick. They never got hold of him again.

When more people came into Boonesboro to live, Boone got restless again. He did not want to live in a city. So he moved out toward the west; and as people followed, he went farther and farther into the wilderness. Finally he moved across the Mississippi river into Missouri. There he had “elbow room” enough to last a long time.

When he died his body was brought to Frankfort, Kentucky, and buried. It is fitting that his grave should be in the capital of the State which he founded.


Just before the Revolutionary War there was in the central part of the colony a large number of men called Regulators. They said that the people were taxed too much; that their liberties had been taken away from them, and that they ought to resist such unjust laws. So they organized, chose leaders, and prepared to regulate, or put in good order, their own affairs. They declared that they would fight rather than be robbed any longer by the government.

Governor Tryon was the king's ruler in North Carolina at the time. He heard of the action of the Regulators, but laughed at it. With an oath he said that he would teach them a lesson in good manners.

“The villains,” said he, “want a good thing without having to pay anything for it. How do they expect a good government without paying taxes?”

Tryon sent all over the colony for men to come and help him. He got eleven hundred men who said they would help him whip the Regulators. These men were well armed and brave. Tryon led them against the Regulators. Newbern was at that time the capital of the colony. He had to make a long march to Alamance county, where the Regulators were. It took him about

two weeks to make the trip. When he got to Alamance creek he found that the Regulators were not far off. While waiting there Herman Husbands, the leader of the Regulators, wrote him a letter. In it he asked Governor Tryon if he would lighten their burdens.

“Curse your burdens,” answered the governor. “You must lay down your arms, obey the laws of your king, and return to your homes.”

Next day he marched toward the camp of the Regulators and halted in half a mile of them. There he waited to see if they had any answer to make him. The Regulators marched up to within three hundred yards of the king's soldiers and halted. The governor sent to them a justice of the peace to warn them against bloodshed. But the Regulators answered with loud shouts of “fight.” Tryon saw that they meant business; so he got his men in line and prepared for battle.

While the two armies stood facing each other Robert Thompson, a prisoner in Tryon's hands, tried to escape to the Regulators. Governor Tryon fired upon the poor fellow and killed him almost instantly. That was in sight of the Regulators, who at once fired upon the soldiers of the governor. Then the governor ordered his men to fire, but they did not obey the order.

“Fire upon the rascals,” repeated Tryon. “Are you afraid of them? Fire upon them or upon me.”

The order was then obeyed. The battle raged fiercely for half an hour. Tryon brought up his cannon and opened upon the Regulators. They could not stand grapeshot, and fled to the woods. From behind trees they kept up the fight for two hours. Governor Tryon, at the head of his troops, charged into the woods and put them to flight. Many were left dead on the field. Tryon's loss was about seventy killed and wounded, while the Regulators lost over one hundred.

This was the first resistance to British rule that was made in America. It was about five years before the beginning of the Revolution.

After the battle Tryon spent some time in hunting down the Regulators that were engaged in the battle. Many were captured. Some were hanged and many were put into prison and kept there for a long time. Hundreds were forced to take an oath that they would never again take up arms against the British government.

Herman Husbands fled from the State. He went to Pennsylvania to live, and years afterwards was in the “Whiskey Rebellion” in that State. Governor Tryon, shortly after the battle, was appointed Governor of New York. He left in July, 1771, to begin his new duties.


In 1765 the Parliament of England made a law called the Stamp Act. This law required the people in America to buy stamps from England to use for all checks, notes, deeds, newspapers and the like. Everybody who used such things had to buy these stamps, because no business was allowed to be done without them. England wanted to raise money to carry on war, and thought this would be a good way to get it.

But the people in America did not like to be taxed this way, as they had not been asked about the matter, and were not allowed to vote on the question. No colony in America was allowed to have a legislator in Parliament. So the colonists said they would not buy the stamps. They would go along and do as they had been doing, and let the stamps alone. But England sent the stamps over and appointed men to sell them. Then the king had to appoint men to make the people buy them.

This made the colonists angry. People in North Carolina said they would not use the stamps. They said they would quit business before they would use them. And they declared that no stamp seller should

stay in the colony. When a British ship reached the Cape Fear with the stamps on board, the captain was told that the stamps were not wanted. He saw on the shore Colonels Hugh Waddell and John Ashe with a large number of men to keep him from unloading; so he sailed out and anchored near the mouth of the river to see what would happen.

Shortly before that, James Houston had been appointed stamp agent. As soon as it was known that he had been appointed, a large number of men called upon him and urged him to resign his position. He did this, and promised that he would have nothing to do with the stamps.

Matters went on for some time without further trouble. After a while two merchant vessels from Philadelphia came in. When they landed, Colonel William Dry, the collector, found that the clearance papers had no stamps on them. He told Captain Lobb, of the British vessel, about it; and the captain seized both vessels for not using the stamps.

This act made the people of Wilmington so angry that over five hundred men got their guns to drive the British vessels from the harbor. Hugh Waddell was at their head. First they went in search of Colonel Dry, and made him give up the papers that had no

stamps upon them. Next they went to the house of Mr. Pennington, collector of the port.

“We have come,” said Colonel Waddell, “to demand that you give up your place as collector. We want no man in office who favors the buying of British stamps.”

Mr. Pennington made some excuses, but they did not satisfy the men around his house, and he was forced to resign.

Next day Colonel Waddell led his regiment of patriots to Brunswick to arrest Captain Lobb. They were determined to rid the colony of everybody that had anything to do with the stamp selling. They believed that their rights were being trampled upon, and they were terribly in earnest.

When they reached Brunswick they found that Governor Tryon was there also. He had come for the purpose of helping Captain Lobb. He had all the guns in Fort Johnston spiked for fear that the patriots would seize the fort and turn the guns upon the British ships.

Cornelius Harnett carried a letter from John Ashe to Governor Tryon. The letter told the governor that the patriots were not after him, but had come for Captain Lobb. Governor Tryon received him kindly, but said that he would not give up the captain.

“Then we shall come and take him,” said Harnett. “Governor, we have nothing against you; but we must have this man who has interfered with our business.”

Waddell and his men surrounded the house which the governor was in; but it was soon found out that Captain Lobb had made his escape, and was then on board the British gunboat, Viper. But the British ships were without food. They sent a small boat to Wilmington to buy some. This boat was seized and not allowed to go back. So the British were entirely at the mercy of Colonel Waddell and his men, as they could get nothing to eat.

Then Governor Tryon sent for Hugh Waddell and John Ashe. They came, and the governor asked them what they were contending for.

“We want these merchant ships, which your agents have seized, turned loose,” said Waddell. “The owners have committed no wrong, and we will not allow them to be punished!”

“And,” said Ashe, “this Stamp Act will be resisted to blood and death, and we want it repealed!”

“I shall release the men that were arrested,” said Tryon; “but the British government has the making or the unmaking of the Stamp Act.”

The men were turned loose, and Colonel Waddell's

men went home, ready to resist any further attempts to sell stamps.

There was now no stamp agent in the colony, nor could anybody be found to take the office.

Thus it happened that no stamps were sold in North Carolina. Soon the British government thought that it was best not to try to force the Americans to buy stamps, and the law was repealed.


When the British heard that the Americans would not buy the stamps that had been sent over, they became very angry about it. They said the Americans were stingy and rebellious, and that they should be made to obey the laws. But that did not help to sell the stamps. So they had to be sent back to England.

As the Americans would not buy the stamps, the British repealed the Stamp Act and put a tax upon tea. They thought the Americans would pay the tea tax without question; for they supposed that the patriots liked tea so well that they would never quit drinking it, although it was taxed. They were mistaken in that, also.

Soon after the law was made for taxing tea, the news reached North Carolina. There was a great deal of excitement in many places. At Edenton everybody became much excited, for that town was quite a tea market. The Americans did not like the idea of paying such taxes to England, because they were not allowed the right to vote on the laws that taxed them. They were not represented in the English Parliament, and the cry arose, “No taxation without representation.”

The people did not like the tax half so well as they did the tea. And so they declared that they would not pay the tax even if they had to quit drinking tea. That was a day of tea parties, too. Every one drank tea; and often the people would meet at a neighbor's house and spend the evening in social talk, drinking tea and playing games. The tea party was a pleasant way of spending an evening.

At a tea party each guest made his own tea. The leaves of the tea plant were brought to the table, and at the same time a large vessel of boiling water was brought. Each guest put a certain number of leaves in a cup, poured the hot water over them, and placed the saucer on top of the cup to let the leaves steep for a while. Then the tea was ready for drinking.

The tea party that was held in Edenton on October 25, 1774, was quite different. No tea was drunk at that party. The guests did not go there to drink tea. But it was one of the most famous tea parties in North Carolina history. It came about in this way: Not long after the news of the tea tax reached Edenton the ladies of the town said that they would quit using tea. They appointed a meeting place to talk over the matter. Fifty-one of them met at the house of Mrs. Elizabeth King. As the town of Edenton had only five hundred

inhabitants, it is evident that nearly all the ladies were present.

Mrs. Penelope Barker was made chairman of the meeting. She made a talk, saying that she thought the ladies of Edenton ought not to use the hateful tea any longer.

“We must not use the tea,” said Mrs. Barker, “as long as the tax is on it. I, for one, will never use it again, unless the tax is removed.”

Then the speaking began. Nearly all of the ladies had patriotic speeches to make. They were indignant that England should dare to put a tax upon their favorite drink; and they spoke their minds freely.

“My tea cups,” said Mrs. Valentine, “shall never hold any more of the vile stuff, unless England instantly removes the tax.”

“This tea drinking is all a habit, anyway,” said Miss Isabella Johnston. “A drink made from the dried leaves of the raspberry vine is far better than the hateful tea with the hateful tax upon it.”

Mrs. Hoskins, Mrs. King and others declared that anything would be better than giving up their liberties by drinking tea with a tax on it.

After more talk of this kind, a committee was appointed to write some resolutions on the subject. The

committee brought in a resolution saying that the ladies of Edenton would stop using tea, or wearing any goods made in England, until all taxes upon them had been repealed. All the ladies signed the resolution and went home in good humor, feeling that they had done their duty as patriotic dames.

And thus it happened that there was no more tea drinking in Edenton for a long time; and there were no more tea parties until after the Revolution was over.


In May, 1775, a number of men met in Charlotte to hold a county convention. Abraham Alexander was made chairman. John Alexander and Ephraim Brevard were made secretaries.

These men had met for the purpose of attending to some business which concerned their county. They knew that the colonies were expecting trouble with England. But they did not know that the war had already begun. There were no telegraph wires in those days, and news traveled slowly.

One day, while they were busy in the convention, a man on horseback rode into Charlotte as fast as he could come. The place was then a village. Everybody ran out into the street to see what was the matter. The man was from Massachusetts, and he brought the news of the battle of Lexington. That was the nineteenth of May, 1775, one month after the battle was fought.

This man went into the room where the convention was being held. He told them how the British had shot some Americans at Lexington.

“The war has begun,” said he. “Some of our men were shot down while standing on the lawn in Lexington.

The British then went on to Concord to destroy our powder and balls; but when they got there they found our men, and there was a fight.”

“How was that?” asked many excitedly. “Did the men of Massachusetts dare to fight with the British?”

“Yes, indeed,” said the man. “Our people came in from all over the country and shot at the British from behind fences and trees. The redcoats were glad enough to get away from there. Our men chased them back to Boston, and killed a number of them.”

“That ends British rule in America,” said Brevard. “You will see that I am right.”

To the south hurried the messenger to let others know of what had taken place. The convention broke up, for the news had created intense excitement. The battle was on everybody's mind. It was talked about on the streets and in the homes.

That evening when the convention met there was still much excitement. Men were whispering to each other. Some were writing rapidly, and all were talking. Then one member arose and made a motion that a committee be appointed to consider what should be done about the war that had begun.

“This is the time when all Americans should stand together,” said he. “If Massachusetts has been attacked,

that means a blow at North Carolina. I, for one, am in favor of sending help to our brethren.”

The committee was appointed and drew up resolutions. Ephraim Brevard wrote the resolutions, and they were signed by every member of the convention. That was on the 20th of May, the day after they had heard about the battle of Lexington. In these resolutions North Carolina was declared to be free, and the men who signed them pledged themselves to stand by the resolutions.

The meeting then adjourned and the men went home. Their neighbors did not know what to think about the step which had been taken. Many were afraid that England would send soldiers there and hang all of the men who had signed the paper. Eleven days later they met in Charlotte again. This time they organized a government for the county of Mecklenburg, which, according to their previous resolution, was now independent of England.

“The other day we declared our independence of England,” said Brevard. “Now we must set up a government of our own. Governor Martin, the king's representative, has fled from the colony. We must take charge of our own affairs and run them as it shall suit us.”

Without further words they adopted rules for the government of the county. This was the first act in America that meant separation from England. At all other places people thought that the colonies would get what they were fighting for and still continue to belong to the mother country. But in North Carolina they declared for entire freedom.

These resolutions were copied and read all over the country. They helped to raise the courage of the Americans. Soon the British tried to come into North Carolina, but they could not make a landing at Wilmington, and had to go on to some other place.


After the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence no further action was taken for nearly a year. Patriots all over the colony were talking about the Declaration, and saying the colony ought to take other steps; but no one did anything to get the colony to act.

Finally Colonel Samuel Johnston, about the first of the year 1776, called a congress to meet at Halifax in April. This meeting took place on the fourth of that month. Colonel Johnston was elected chairman. The members talked about declaring the colony free. Cornelius Harnett, of Wilmington, was particularly bold in what he said. He urged the other members to take a stand for freedom from England.

“England has passed bad laws,” said he, “and we are no longer obliged to obey them. I give my vote for liberty. Let others do what they may, I am for independence.”

“Can we afford to take such a step when the British are at our doors?” asked a member. “You all know that a British fleet and army are now at the mouth of the Cape Fear, ready to land and destroy our property.”

“That is why we should speak for independence,” answered Harnett. “Let us show these tyrants that we

are not afraid of them. Let us pass a declaration of independence, and then go to the Cape Fear and prevent their landing. We can drive them from our shores.”

Nearly all the members agreed with Harnett. A committee was named to write some resolutions. Harnett was made chairman of the committee. He wrote the resolutions and read them to the congress on the 12th of April. These resolutions declared that the colony ought to be free. They also instructed the delegates at Philadelphia to vote for the independence of all the colonies.

As soon as Harnett had finished reading, the members began to applaud, and cries for Harnett and independence were heard on the streets. A motion was made to adopt the resolutions, and a hundred seconds to it were made. With a shout the motion was carried.

People on the streets soon found out what was being done, and began to gather in crowds. The bells rang out for independence. The old town was ablaze with excitement.

News of this heroic act was sent abroad. It raised the spirits of the Americans, and made them more anxious to meet the British. Before the year was out ten thousand North Carolina soldiers had been raised to drive the British from the colony.


There was a beautiful lady living in Fayetteville in 1776, who aided the British in that year against the patriots. This lady was Flora McDonald, a Scotch woman, who had come to North Carolina in 1774. She was loved by the Scotch settlers on the Cape Fear, and had a great deal of influence over them.

She was born in Scotland, and lived there until the year before the Revolution. When she was a young woman she saved the life of Prince Charles after he had been beaten in a great battle. That was in 1745, when Prince Charles was trying to take the throne of England from King George II.

Flora McDonald believed that Prince Charles should be king instead of the coarse old king who was then on the throne. She got all of her kinsmen and friends to join Prince Charles in making war on the English. It was a short contest. At first the Scots were successful, but later the English sent a powerful army into Scotland to finish the war.

Prince Charles had a fine little army, but they were not a good match for the English. The two armies met at Culloden. The Scotch fought bravely, but the English

won the day. The battlefield was covered with the dead and wounded.

Prince Charles was in the battle, and barely escaped being killed. He fled from the battlefield pursued by the English. He narrowly escaped capture, which would have meant death for him, and succeeded in getting to the woods and hiding himself.

After staying in the woods for some days, he came out and went to the house of Flora McDonald. He was hungry and penniless. He was received with kindness and told that he still had friends, and was taken and cared for. But it was unsafe for him to remain in Scotland. The English soldiers were looking for him everywhere. It was expected that they would come and search the house at any time. So he had to get away. How to escape was the hard thing to decide upon. He would be recognized as soon as seen, and then his head would be cut off.

His friends began to think of plans to get him to a place of safety. It was Flora McDonald who thought of the plan that succeeded. She pretended to be going to a little island on the coast of Scotland. Prince Charles was disguised as a lady's waiting maid, and went along with the fair lady. They passed through crowds of people, and even soldiers, but no one knew

the Prince in his strange dress. Once they were stopped, but each of them was sensible enough to answer all questions with satisfaction. After some time they reached the island, and soon Prince Charles found his way to the continent of Europe, where he found other firends.

Flora McDonald lived in Scotland for thirty years after that time. She watched the fortunes of Prince Charles, hoping one day to see him king; but when he died all hope of that was lost. She came to America and made her home among the Highlanders on the Cape Fear.

In 1775 news reached Fayetteville that war between England and the colonies was certain. In May of that year it was known that the war had begun in Massachusetts. It soon became known, also, that the patriots at Mecklenburg had declared their independence. Flora McDonald heard all of these things, and was much opposed to the Americans. She was a strong friend of England now.

“I fought England to put ‘Bonnie Charles’ upon the throne, yet I cannot aid the Americans in this rebellion,” she would say. Many Scotch settlers thought as she did.

Late in the fall of 1775 news came to the Tories at

Fayetteville that Sir Henry Clinton, with a large fleet and army, was coming to North Carolina. He had sent word down to the Cape Fear that he hoped to meet a large number of the friends of the king at Wilmington early in February, 1776. He expected to take that place, and, with the help of the Tories, conquer North Carolina. The Americans who aided the British were called “Tories.” Those who fought the British were called “rebels” and “patriots” and “Whigs.”

Flora McDonald was very active in getting the Tories together. She sent letters and messages over the settlement, urging the people to assemble in the name of King George. By the beginning of 1776 she had helped to get together about sixteen hundred Tories. They soon had a chance to fight, for Colonel Caswell and his Whigs had prepared to resist them. The battle was fought and the Tory army was completely destroyed.

Some time after the Revolution Flora McDonald returned to Scotland, where she spent her last days. Her life was a sad one, because she had engaged in two great undertakings, both of which were failures. She is known in history as one of the heroic women of her day.


At the beginning of the Revolution there were many Tories in North Carolina. These people believed that the Americans were doing wrong in fighting England. Many of them joined the British armies and fought against their countrymen.

Flora McDonald and her husband, Alan McDonald, were very active in organizing the Tories. It was quite strange that these two were in favor of the English king. They had been active against him in Scotland, and had come to North Carolina to regain the money they had lost in fighting for Prince Charles. But when the time came for them to decide what to do they sided with King George. They got many of the Scotch settlers to join against the North Carolina patriots. So in January, 1776, there were more Tories in arms in North Carolina than patriots. Governor Martin had promised to raise ten thousand Tories to join the British when they should come to Wilmington in that year. It was a gloomy time for the patriots.

There were a few North Carolina soldiers watching the Tories. Colonel Moore had a small force in the neighborhood of Fayetteville. Colonel Caswell was

coming with another force from Newbern. Their combined strength did not amount to twelve hundred men, while the Tories had more than two thousand armed with broadswords.

Caswell posted himself at Moore's Creek Bridge, which was situated between the Tories and Wilmington, where the Tories wanted to go. Moore was at Rockfish, some miles below Fayetteville.

General Donald McDonald, the Tory leader, marched up in sight of Moore's little army and demanded its surrender. He was very haughty and overbearing.

“I command you,” said he, “in the name of King George, to lay down your arms and take the oath of allegiance.”

Colonel Moore declined to do this. He said that he was engaged in a noble cause, and invited General McDonald to join him in this cause.

The Tory leader turned off and hurried on toward Wilmington. When he came into the neighborhood of Caswell's little army, he sent a messenger to demand the surrender of the patriots. Caswell replied that he did not come there to surrender, nor did he expect to surrender. Then McDonald got his men ready for battle. But as General McDonald was sick and could not

lead his men, the command was given to Colonel Donald McLeod.

As the bridge had been taken away, the Tories had to cross the creek on two girders that had held the bridge. The patriots were on the other side ready to shoot down any men that attempted to cross.

Soon they heard the Tories give three cheers for “King George and broadswords,” then the long roll on the drum, and the call to arms by the bagpipes. It was still dark when the patriots heard the tramping of the Scots and knew that the battle was about to begin. McLeod and Campbell led the Tories, who appeared on the other side of the creek.

“Who goes there?” asked the sentinel at the bridge.

“A friend,” answered McLeod.

“A friend of whom?”

“Of the king,” was the reply.

The sentinel did not answer. McLeod thought that he was one of his own men, and addressed him in Scotch. But as no answer came back he ordered his men to fire. They did so, and made a rush to get across the bridge. McLeod and Campbell got across, but the other Tories were shot down as fast as they crowded upon the logs. The two commanders and many of the men were killed.

The patriots then charged across the creek, attacked the Tories and put them to flight, capturing eight hundred of them. Many wagons, horses and guns fell into the hands of the patriots. General McDonald and Alan McDonald were taken prisoners. The patriots lost only one man.

It was a great victory. Not only did it stop the Tories from going to Wilmington, but it kept the British from making a landing there. Thus North Carolina was saved that year.


Adventures of an American Spy. Pages 37-38, Book IV.

North Carolina History Stories


When the British captured Charleston nearly all of South Carolina surrendered. Cornwallis, the British commander, then got ready to conquer North Carolina. He sent Colonel Tarleton ahead to destroy any force that he might meet.

There were two small armies in North Carolina then. General Caswell had one in the eastern part of the State and General Rutherford one near Charlotte. These two patriots were watching to see what Cornwallis would attempt to do.

General Rutherford was raising all the men he could, for he thought that the British would soon be coming into North Carolina. He wanted to get together a force large enough to give Cornwallis some trouble when he did come. So he was sending here and there to get the North Carolina heroes to join him. Before he had gotten together an army large enough to meet the British,

he heard of the assembling of a large body of Tories at Ramseur's Mill, in the mountains. These were under Colonel John Moore, a noted Tory leader. About thirteen hundred had already assembled, and the whole country seemed to be full of them.

General Rutherford knew that this body of men would do a great deal of harm unless they were beaten. He sent Colonel Francis Locke and Major David Wilson with four hundred men to keep a watch, and, if the situation was favorable, to attack them. These patriots set out at once, and on the 19th of June reached the neighborhood of Ramseur's Mill.

That night the patriots held a council of war. All the officers in the little army met and talked over the matter. All were in favor of attacking the enemy next day.

“It is true they have three men to our one,” said Colonel Locke, “but one brave man in the cause of justice and right is worth a dozen of these rascals.”

“Let us give the scamps a blow that they will not soon forget,” said Major Wilson. “Let us march at mid-night and attack them at dawn. They shall not escape us.”

It was decided to make the attack at daylight next morning. So they got in place before daybreak, and

waited for the time. Just as the day broke the patriots on horseback charged up the hill toward the Tory camp. The Tories fled at the first attack, but soon recovered from their fear and began to return the fire. The Tory fire was too hot for the horsemen; so they ran back down the hill. The Tories began to pursue them. But the infantry came up just then and fired rapidly upon the Tories. Many of them fell, and they had to retreat up the hill. With a shout the patriots followed.

The Tories got into a strong place on top of the hill, and the patriots could not drive them out. Colonel Locke began to retreat down the hill with his men. Just then Colonel Hardin, with another body of patriots, came upon the field and opened fire upon the Tories. They in turn ran back up the hill, followed by Locke and Hardin. Their position was stormed, and the Tories fled to a position on the other side of the hill. Then they sent in a flag of truce. The request was that there should be no more fighting until the dead could be buried and the wounded attended to. Colonel Locke refused this request.

“Tell Colonel Moore,” said he, “that I give him ten minutes in which to surrender. If at the end of that time he does not, then I march upon him.”

When the minutes were out the patriots made a

charge upon the Tories. They fled, leaving their dead and wounded behind. The field was covered with them.

This was a great victory for the patriots. It was one of the most brilliant affairs in the whole war. The four hundred North Carolina soldiers had met and defeated a force more than three times their number. This victory raised the hopes of the Americans; and the Tories began to creep back to their homes and firesides.

About the same time Colonel Bryan, another Tory, was raising men for the British army on the Yadkin river. General Rutherford heard of this and went against him. Bryan had heard of Moore's fate at Ramseur's Mill. So he did not wait to see General Rutherford. He got out of the country as quickly as he could.


Cornwallis finished the conquest of South Carolina in the summer of 1780. He was determined to conquer North Carolina, too. Nothing, he thought, would be able to stop him.

It was in September that his army began to move northward. There was no American army to oppose him. Gates had been beaten a short time before at Camden. But there was a small force of North Carolina troops, under Colonel W. R. Davie, watching the British army. This little band was made up of about one hundred and fifty men on horseback.

They were very active men, and gave the British a great deal of trouble. Sometimes they would gallop down upon a British foraging party, charge upon them with their sabres, and be gone before the British could recover from their surprise. At other times they would appear in front of the line of march and make such a noise that Cornwallis would order a halt, thinking that an army was about to attack him. Again, they would gallop around to the rear of the enemy, put spurs to their horses, and charge right into the British lines, causing a big stir and bustle, and be off before the

enemy could do anything. In this way Colonel Davie and his dragoons worried the British a great deal. They had made up their minds to drive Cornwallis out of North Carolina.

It was about the last of September that the British came to Charlotte. Davie had reached there first, and resolved to give them a hot reception, and show them how North Carolinians received visitors when they came unbidden. For that purpose he stationed his little band so that they could receive the British as they came up the street.

Charlotte was then a town of about twenty families. It had two streets crossing each other at right angles. The courthouse was near the crossing of these streets. Davie put one division of his soldiers near the courthouse behind a stone wall. He placed two other divisions a little farther down the street, up which the British were expected to come. With these arrangements made they awaited the coming of the redcoats.

They did not have very long to wait, for soon the British came charging up the road, expecting to see the Americans scatter and run like rabbits before them. But they were mistaken. The North Carolinians did not fire until the British were in good range. At the first volley many British fell from their horses. The

others continued to advance, but another withering fire came from the Americans.

Again Cornwallis ordered his men to charge and drive the Americans from behind the stone wall. They came in a headlong rush, but Davie and his men were ready for them. The volleys rang out, once, twice, thrice, and the British fled, leaving the road covered with dead and wounded. The third attack shared the same fate, and it seemed that Davie's little band was a good match for the whole British army.

The British were determined to capture this Hornets’ Nest; so Cornwallis sent some men to attack the North Carolinians on the side. Davie saw what they were up to. He thought that it was a good time for the hornets to leave their nest, as it was beginning to be a little warm for them. They left Charlotte to the British and retreated toward Salisbury.

Cornwallis sent a detachment of cavalry to catch Davie and his brave little army. They galloped up the road after the Americans; but when they came in reach Davie and his men were ready for them again. They fired upon the British and put them all to flight. Then Davie and his men rode on to Salisbury.

Several days after this Cornwallis heard that Colonel Ferguson, one of his bravest officers, had been defeated

and slain by an army of mountaineers at King's Mountain. This was a great blow to the British general. He concluded that there were too many hornets’ nests in North Carolina, and that it was not a very good time to go farther north. He retreated into South Carolina to wait until cooler times should come.


While Cornwallis was in Charlotte he needed provisions for his army. There was no bread and meat in the town. Colonel Davie had taken good pains not to leave any there for the British. Cornwallis had heard that there was a considerable quantity of provisions on Mr. McIntyre's farm, about seven miles from Charlotte. One morning in October, 1780, he sent four hundred men with wagons to capture these provisions and bring them to camp. This large number of men was sent because he was afraid that Colonel Davie with his dragoons might be near. Besides, he wanted to catch all the chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows that might be seen. They started early in the morning so that they could load up and get back the same day. They took with them a pack of hounds to catch the poultry and the pigs. As they went they shouted for King George. People living along the road saw and heard them, but kept at their work.

Presently the soldiers came to a farm where a boy was ploughing in the field some distance from the road. As they were passing they gave a shout for “King George and merry England.” The boy stopped and

looked at them a moment; then he unhitched his horse from the plough, leaped upon his back, and rode rapidly across the field to the woods. The British yelled at him to stop, but he kept going. Soon he reached the woods, took a by-path, galloped with all his might to the road, and came out ahead of the British column. He put spurs to his horse and rode rapidly up the road toward McIntyre's, for he knew the British were going there. As he went he spread the news that the British were coming. At every house he shouted the alarm.

When he reached McIntyre's it was yet early in the day. Quickly he told the news and dashed up the road to tell the minute men the enemy was coming. Mr. McIntyre and his family got away as quickly as possible, but they could not carry anything with them except their guns. They ran to the woods, and had just hidden themselves when the British came in sight.

In the meantime the boy had gone on spreading the news. The patriots began to join Mr. McIntyre in the woods near the farm. Colonel George Graham with twelve dragoons came and halted some distance from the house. He could see what was going on at the farm. The British had taken possession of the place. They were chasing the chickens and the turkeys over the lot. Some were killing the pigs and the cows. Others were

out in the field gathering fruit and vegetables. The wagons were being filled with the provisions. Every one was hurrying to and fro.

Some of the British ran out into a lot where a number of beehives were. One soldier knocked one of the hives over. Then, in the scuffle to get away, two or three hives were overturned. The bees came out in swarms and attacked the redcoats. There was a great scampering of the soldiers. They did not know how to fight bees, so they ran with all their might to get out of the way. The bees had won a great victory.

Out in the woods Graham, McIntyre and others were watching the British. They could not help from laughing when the soldiers got among the bees. They did not feel that they were strong enough to attack the redcoats, but decided to give them some trouble when they started back to Charlotte. They crept up as near as they could and noticed what was being done at the house. But Mr. McIntyre became so anxious about his house and property that he could not control himself. He wanted to drive away the enemy from his home.

“Boys,” said he, “I can't stand this any longer. See how they are destroying my things. I pick the captain. Every one choose his man and shoot to kill.” With that he pointed his rifle at the British captain, standing in

the porch, and pulled the trigger. Each of the others picked out a man and did the same. The captain, with nine soldiers and two horses, fell dead at the first fire. The fire was repeated and others fell. There was at once a great uproar among the British. The trumpets sounded and the men came running from the fields. By the time they had formed in line the patriots had changed their position and were pouring in a deadly fire from another direction. Men and horses were shot down by the score. The British ran here and there to no purpose. They were panic-stricken.

“Set the dogs on the rascals!” shouted some of the redcoats. The dogs ran to the woods, but soon returned whining and howling. One had been killed and others wounded. Then the soldiers charged into the woods, but they could not find the patriots. The Americans changed their position every time they fired. The British were being shot down, but could not return the fire with any effect.

There was great hurrying to get away from the farm. The loaded wagons rattled down the road, with the soldiers straggling after them. The horses were killed and the wagons blocked the road until there was hopeless confusion. For nearly seven miles the British ran with all their might, and the patriots kept shooting

them down. Other country people, hearing what was going on, seized their guns and joined the patriots. The British were chased to Charlotte, which they reached after having lost many men and horses. They said that every bush on the road concealed a rebel.

Thus it was that Cornwallis's men got into another hornets’ nest. They left North Carolina soon after that and returned to South Carolina.


Cornwallis's wished to get supplies for his army and to rouse the Tories. For that purpose he sent Colonel Patrick Ferguson with eleven hundred and fifty men to western North Carolina. This officer was one of the bravest and most skillful in the British army. He went to the foot of the Blue Ridge, and sent word to Colonel Isaac Shelby that he was coming to destroy the settlements and kill all the people, unless they joined the British.

Colonel Shelby received the message, but it had a different effect from the one Ferguson desired. There were many other patriots in the settlements along the French Broad and the Holston like Colonel Shelby. They were anxious for a chance to meet the British on the battlefield. Nothing could please them more than to have Colonel Patrick Ferguson attempt to carry out his threat. They sent him an urgent invitation to come on.

These hardy mountain settlers were good fighters. They had fought the Indians many times, and were skillful in the use of arms. Besides, they were excellent riders. They loved freedom, and were ready to shed their blood for it. When they heard that the British

were coming, word was sent from settlement to settlement to get weapons in order and to assemble at Sycamore Shoals on the 25th of September. Colonel Campbell, a Virginia patriot, was also informed, and he came with four hundred men from the Old Dominion.

At the appointed time there were more than a thousand mounted men at the place of meeting. Colonel Campbell was chosen as leader. Colonels Shelby, Sevier, McDowell and Williams were to be advisory commanders. Parson Doak preached a parting sermon, telling them to go forth and smite the enemy “with the sword of the Lord and of Gideon.”

Over the mountains they went in a gallop. They were afraid that Colonel Patrick Ferguson's heart would fail him, and that he would turn back. So they galloped by night and by day. On through mountain defiles and gaps they hurried, anxious to meet the proud enemy who had threatened to burn their homes. As they hurried on, other riders joined them until there were eighteen hundred sturdy patriots hastening to meet the enemy.

Ferguson heard of what was coming. He was afraid to meet these rough riders from the Balsams and the Smokies. So he turned back and traveled east as fast as he could. At the same time he sent a flying messenger

to South Carolina for help. He had raised a storm in the “Land of the Sky,” and was now flying before it.

Colonel Campbell thought that Ferguson would run. To prevent his escape, nine hundred and ten of the fastest and boldest riders were selected and sent on in rapid pursuit. They pushed on and overtook the enemy at King's Mountain.

Ferguson had halted on top of the mountain and fortified his position. He boasted that “all the rebels in hell” could not take him. He found out that the rebels in Western North Carolina could. Soon after he halted, the mountaineers came in sight of the British. They dismounted, tied their horses, formed into columns and began to advance up the mountain side. They were armed with rifles, sabres and tomahawks. They were Indian fighters and knew how to dodge bullets.

When the British cavalry charged down the hill upon them, they dodged behind trees and shot the riders. Three times the British rushed upon them, but each time the deadly fire of the rough riders rang out, and many of the enemy fell to rise no more. At last Ferguson himself, leading the last charge, was pierced with seven bullets and fell dead. All the British were either killed or captured.

After the battle the officers of the mountaineers held

a council of war. They decided that nine of the captured Tories were traitors to their country and deserved death. They were promptly hanged. Then these men gave their prisoners and spoils to the American authorities and set out for their homes. They had been away from home about one month, and had performed one of the most brilliant deeds of the whole Revolutionary War.

Cornwallis heard of the event soon after he had gotten into a hornets’ nest at Charlotte. He at once retreated to South Carolina, and gave up the conquest of North Carolina for that year.


Nathaniel Greene was one of the best generals in the American army. He was General Washington's righthand man. More than once he had done things for which Washington had praised, and Congress had thanked, him.

When Gates was beaten in the battle of Camden it was thought that Greene was the man who should take his place. Washington believed that Greene would be able to employ the attention of Cornwallis better than any other general in the army. For that reason Gates was recalled and General Greene was sent to take command of the army in North Carolina.

He came to Hillsboro in the fall of 1780. The army was in bad condition. The Americans had been so badly beaten at the battle of Camden they could not bear to hear even the name of Cornwallis. The army was small and without provisions. Nathaniel Greene hardly knew what to do, but he realized that it would not do to be idle. He divided his little army into two divisions. One of these he sent into the western part of South Carolina to attack Tarleton. This division was under General Morgan.

The other, under General Huger, remained in the neighborhood of Charlotte.

General Greene himself was very active. He was traveling here and there trying to raise more troops and to get money and supplies. Sometimes he was alone, and at other times members of his staff went with him. One night he was riding along the road from Guilford courthouse to Salisbury, entirely alone. He had been trying to raise some money among the rich landowners of that part of North Carolina, but had failed everywhere. He was tired and discouraged. Presently he heard the sound of horses’ hoofs in front coming towards him. He stopped and reined his horse to one side of the road and waited. The sounds came nearer. Soon he could tell from the sound of voices that they were not British soldiers, but citizens returning from Salisbury.

When they came up he spoke to them. They halted and exchanged greetings.

“Did you see any British soldiers at Salisbury?” asked General Greene.

“Yes,” said one of the men, “a company of cavalry came in while we were there. They were rejoicing over a great victory that Tarleton has gained over Morgan.”

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Greene knew that the men had not recognized him, and he did not want to say anything that would make him known to them. At the same time he was overwhelmed by the bad news. But he hid his feelings.

“How is that?” asked Greene. “Have the two armies met in battle?”

“Yes, indeed; and one division of Greene's army has been completely destroyed, and Cornwallis is after the other.”

This was a piece of bad news. General Greene put spurs to his horse and galloped off, leaving the countrymen wondering who he was. He could not believe the report, for General Morgan would surely have sent a messenger. Still he was in a depressed state of mind.

Soon he came to a large house by the roadside. He decided that he would stop and ask permission to stay all night. He dismounted and knocked at the door. A lady opened to him.

“You see at your door, madam,” said he, “General Greene, of the American army, homeless, penniless and almost friendless. Will you allow him to spend the night under your roof?”

“General Greene is welcome to this house and all that is in it,” said the lady.

She then called a servant, who took the general's horse to the stables.

“Come in, General Greene, and I will have tea prepared for you. I am Mrs. Steele, and my neighbors will tell you whether I am a Tory or a patriot.”

In a little while a bountiful supper was ready, and while Greene was eating, Mrs. Steele took out from a safe a bag of gold and gave it to him.

“This is the savings of many years,” she said, “and I know of no better use to which to put it than for the defense of my country. Take it, and may it be serviceable to you. I only wish it were more.”

General Greene thanked her, and said that it would be a most valuable means of getting supplies for his army. Just then some one knocked loudly at the door. Mrs. Steele opened the door and found a man, dressed in the ragged uniform of an American soldier, standing there. He asked if General Greene was there.

“I was told that he might be here. I have important dispatches from General Morgan.”

By that time Greene was at the door, and the man with a salute delivered the papers into his hands.

“I am a messenger from General Morgan,” he continued, “who told me to inform you that he had met

Colonel Tarleton at the Cowpens and had killed or captured almost his entire force.”

“Thank God for that!” said General Greene, as he opened the dispatches. He found that Morgan had gained a most brilliant victory, and was then on his way to join the main army under Huger.

Next morning Greene and the messenger bade farewell to Mrs. Steele, and hastened to join the army on the Yadkin.


As soon as Cornwallis heard that General Morgan had beaten Tarleton at the Cowpens, he set out from South Carolina with his whole army to cut off Morgan's retreat. He knew that the American general would try to get back to North Carolina to rejoin General Greene. He thought that he could cut him off at the Catawba river and capture his army and set free the prisoners.

He marched as rapidly as he could. Hardly any time was given the men to rest. Day and night he hurried along. He must get to the fords of the Catawba river before Morgan. But Morgan was no idler. Knowing that Cornwallis would try to cut him off, he made up his mind to reach the Catawba river before Cornwallis. He marched as rapidly as he could. His men rested little either by day or by night. He must get to the river before Cornwallis.

It was a great race. Morgan had the start, and he kept his advantage. He reached the river and passed over before Cornwallis arrived. The river rose during the night, and Cornwallis could not get over for two days. During that time Morgan rested and sent his prisoners to a place of safety.

General Greene placed General Davidson at McCowan's ford with three hundred North Carolina soldiers to prevent the British from crossing. He and Morgan led the army away. Cornwallis with the whole British army was on the other side of the river, waiting for the water to fall.

General Davidson was a brave North Carolina soldier. He had given the British a great deal of trouble the year before, when they attempted to conquer North Carolina. He was ever on the watch for a chance to give the British a blow, and he usually hit hard.

On the morning of February 1, 1781, Cornwallis began to cross the river. Colonel Webster, with one division, crossed at Beattie's ford. Cornwallis himself led the other division. He came to McCowan's ford early in the morning while it was yet dark. On the other side of the river could be seen the fires of the North Carolinians.

Cornwallis saw that he must fight his way across. “Who would have thought that the rebels would make a stand here?” he said to General O'Hara.

“They mean business, too,” said the other.

General O'Hara was given the task of driving General Davidson from the river. He ordered Colonel Hall to cross the river with a strong force. When this force

was about half way across the stream, they were fired upon by the Americans. The current was very strong and the British soldiers were waist deep in the water. They stopped and would have gone back, but the officers urged them on. General O'Hara spurred his horse into the river for the purpose of urging on his men; but before he reached the first line his horse stumbled and threw the General over into the water. He got out as best he could, but his ardor was somewhat dampened.

Cornwallis also dashed in, but his horse was killed while he was crossing, and he found himself afoot.

Several British soldiers, including Colonel Hall, were killed. Those that reached the other shore charged up the hill against the North Carolinians.

While the British were crossing, General Davidson stood firm with his three hundred brave men. He directed the fire of his men with good effect. But when the British reached the shore he saw that it was useless to resist longer. So he gave the order to his men to scatter.

“To the woods,” said he, “and come together at Terrent's Tavern.”

As he was in the act of mounting his horse to follow his men, a British bullet put an end to his life.

His death was a severe blow to Greene and the

American cause. Davidson was one of the most active patriots in North Carolina. He did much to hold the patriots together in the dark days of the war.

The scattered soldiers came together at Terrent's Tavern as they had been ordered. But as there was no leader they were in a helpless condition. Tarleton and his dragoons soon attacked them and put them to flight.


It was in February, 1781. Cornwallis had come into North Carolina for the purpose of destroying General Greene's army. He was eager for battle, and so were his men.

Greene's army was not strong enough to meet the British in open battle. The men were so ragged and so poorly armed that Greene kept out of the way of Cornwallis as best he could. But he stayed near the British army so that he might be able to stop any plundering.

Often he would send a soldier, disguised as a countryman, into the British camp to find out what the enemy was doing or was going to do. Such information was very useful to General Greene. He could tell at any time where the British army was, or where it would be next day, and in that way he kept out of the way of Cornwallis.

One day Greene sent a man named Jones into the British lines to find out something for him. Jones spent the day among the British soldiers, and found out everything that he wanted. That night when he started to leave, a sentinel ordered him to stop. He immediately broke into a run and soon reached a little patch of

woods near the British camp. Soldiers were sent in pursuit of him.

As the British entered the woods they saw Jones creeping along under the bushes. They fired upon him, but he did not stop. The British were gaining on him, and he thought he was lost. As his only hope lay in flight, he began to run again. He thought he might be able to escape in the darkness.

While he was running his foot caught in a bramble and tripped him. He now felt sure he would be shot. But a bright idea came into his mind while he was lying on the ground. Near him was a large, hollow log. He crawled into it, thinking that the British would soon pass by in pursuit, and then he could come out and go his way. The soldiers came up near the log and stopped.

“I am not going to run that rascal any longer,” said one. “He is out of our reach by this time, anyway, and I'm tired.”

“So am I,” said another.

“Let us make a fire here and rest.”

All agreed to this. To Jones's horror they gathered brush to make the fire and piled it against the log. Then they set fire to the brush. Soon the log began to burn, and Jones's hiding place became uncomfortable.

What he should do he did not know. To come out would be death. To stay in would be the same.

Just then the wind sent the smoke and flame into the hollow log. Jones could not stand it any longer. He began to scramble out backward. The British saw a stir in the flames, and soon a man with blackened face and half-burnt hair and clothes jumped out of the log.

“It's old Nick himself!” shouted one of the soldiers, and then they all took to their heels.

Jones did not stop to inquire what they were running for, but got away as fast as he could. It was well that he did; for the British soldiers soon recovered from their fear and came back to capture the spy. With torches they began to search the woods again. But it was too late; for Jones had gotten out of the woods and found a hiding place in the house of a patriot some distance away.

The patriot had a daughter named Hannah. She took Jones up-stairs, put him in a barrel, and headed it up. Then she waited to see what would happen. All night the family waited and listened. Just at dawn some one knocked loudly at the door. The door was fiercely shaken, and somebody said in a harsh voice: “Open the door instantly, or we will break it down.”

Hannah opened the door as quickly as she could, and

there were the British soldiers outside. She was not afraid of them, and asked what they wanted.

“Where is that dog of an American spy?” asked the leader. “I know he is here, for we have tracked him to this place.”

“I do not keep up with American spies,” said the girl. “I reckon you had better go about your business.”

“I am ‘about my business,’ and if you don't tell me where you have hidden him we'll tear up everything in this house. We are going to find him.”

The British began to search the house. After they had searched everything downstairs, they went upstairs. There were several barrels in a room, in one of which was Jones.

“Come out of that barrel,” said the leader of the British, and he rolled one of the barrels downstairs. That was the one Jones was in. The head burst out as it was going down, and the spy jumped up and seized a stave.

“Come on, my men!” he shouted. “We have them at last.”

The British thought there were other Americans around, and fled with all speed. Jones made his way as fast as he could to the army of General Greene, and the British soldiers went back to their army.


After the battle of Cowpens, General Morgan retreated to the Yadkin river and joined General Greene there. The two armies then marched northward, as Cornwallis was coming. Greene thought that he was not strong enough yet to risk a battle, and retreated toward Virginia. The cavalry, under Colonel Williams, remained behind to protect the infantry that went before.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lee was the most active officer in the cavalry division. He was General Greene's most trusted man. Colonel Williams gave him very important duties to perform in this retreat. He had to guard the rear, and that brought him often into conflict with the British.

In Colonel Lee's command was a bugler boy named Gillies. He was hardly more than fifteen years of age, but had volunteered to do service for the American cause. There was not an officer or man in Lee's command that did not know Gillies. He was a general favorite. Colonel Lee kept him near himself all the time. He was a trusted friend as well as a comrade in arms. Lee often sent him upon errands and always found that

he did his duty. On this retreat Gillies was particularly useful.

One morning in February, 1781, the cavalry had made an early march, and had stopped about 9 o'clock near Guilford courthouse to cook breakfast. The fires had been made; the meat was broiling on the coals; the cornbread was in the ashes; the soldiers were lounging around waiting for the food to cook. Just then the sound of hoofs was heard, and every man made ready to mount at the signal. Then a countryman was seen riding up the road in a great hurry and excitement. He was hailed and stopped.

“Where's the general?” asked the countryman; “I have some news for him.”

He was conducted to Colonel Williams, who asked him what his errand was.

“Lord Cornwallis is right behind you, general,” he said. “I saw his army not half an hour ago coming up the road this way. They are not three miles away.”

Colonel Williams knew that Cornwallis was coming, but he did not know that he was so near. But as he could not doubt the honest farmer's word, he ordered Colonel Lee to send a small force down the road to see if the report was correct. Captain Armstrong with a few horsemen and the countryman went a mile in that

direction, but saw nothing. Colonel Lee, Gillies and a few others followed and soon overtook them. They went on together for two miles, but did not see or hear the enemy.

Lee was about to conclude that the countryman was mistaken. But the man protested that they were only a short distance farther on. Colonel Lee decided that he would return to breakfast. He told Captain Armstrong to go on with the countryman until he came to the place where the British had been seen.

Captain Armstrong selected the men that were to accompany him, and was moving on when the countryman stopped and said that he could not go on unless he was furnished with a better horse. “For,” said he, “if I should be captured it would go hard with me.” Lee saw that the farmer was right. He told Gillies to give his horse to the countryman and to take the countryman's horse back to camp. The exchange was made and the two parties separated, one going on to meet the British and the other going back to breakfast.

Instead of returning to camp, however, Lee led his dragoons off from the road and halted in the woods to see what might take place. The bugler boy rode on toward the camp. He rode slowly, for the countryman's horse was lame. Presently a rattle of musketry

was heard, and then the noise of horses running. Lee concluded that Armstrong had found the enemy and was retreating. Sure enough, Armstrong and his company, followed by some of Tarleton's dragoons, soon came in sight. The American horses were swifter than the British, and Lee was certain that the Americans could take care of themselves. But he was afraid for the safety of the bugler boy, who was mounted on the countryman's horse. So when the dragoons dashed by him in pursuit of Armstrong, Lee ordered his men to go in pursuit of the dragoons. He came up in time to see the British horsemen sabre Gillies and beat him to the ground. This angered Lee and his men.

“See those cowards,” said he, “murdering a defenseless boy. Soldiers, let not one of the villains escape.”

The British saw him coming, and turned to meet him. The Americans halted not, but bore down with all their might upon the enemy. Great was the shock, and most of the British were knocked from their horses and killed. Captain Miller and two or three of his men tried to escape, but Lee ordered Lieutenant Lewis to go in pursuit and give no quarter. Lewis soon returned with Miller as a prisoner. Lee ordered him to be shot for the murder of the bugler boy; but Miller denied that

he had anything to do with it, and said that his men were drunk and did not know what they were doing.

Lee went to where Gillies was lying. The poor boy was not dead, but life was fast going from him.

“My poor boy,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, “you are badly hurt, but those cowardly rascals have already been punished.”

“Did their captain get away?” Gillies asked with great effort. “He was the one who struck me first with his sabre.”

That was enough. Lee went back and ordered the British captain to prepare for instant death. He begged for his life in vain. But just as those who were appointed to execute him were leading him off, some one shouted that Tarleton's cavalry was coming. The Americans hurried on to camp and joined the main army. The British captain was turned over to Colonel Williams, who sent him on to a prison in Virginia. And so it happened that he was never punished for the killing of the bugler boy.

Gillies died in a few minutes after the advance of the British was seen, and his body was placed by the roadside. There is a monument to him on the Guilford battle-ground near Greensboro.


Cornwallis tried to catch Greene's army, but he did not succeed. General Greene kept going until he crossed the Dan river into Virginia. Then Cornwallis went to Hillsboro and encamped.

From this place he sent word to the people of North Carolina that he had come as a friend, and that he expected them to be true subjects of the king. As there was no American army in North Carolina to keep the Tories in check, they began to flock to the standard of the British general.

Greene, who was resting at Halifax, Virginia, heard of what was going on in North Carolina, and made up his mind that he would try to put a stop to it. He sent Colonel Lee and General Pickens, with a small force, into North Carolina. He told them to keep a close watch on the Tories, and, if possible, keep them from joining the British.

Soon after crossing the Dan river, these two officers learned that Colonel Tarlton, with his dragoons, was just ahead of them and was going toward Guilford courthouse to rouse the Tories in that neighborhood. Colonel Lee thought that it would be a good time to

attack Tarleton and, if possible, drive him from North Carolina. With that in view they proceeded in the direction of the British camp. On the way they met a countryman, who told them that Tarleton and his dragoons were about three miles ahead.

“They have halted at the farm of a neighbor of mine,” said the countryman. “They are much given to liquor and their horses are unsaddled.”

Lee saw that his opportunity was at hand. He hurried on in order to reach the place before the British should finish their dinner. When they arrived at the farm, however, all the British were gone except two, who were left behind to settle with the farmer. These two were captured. From them it was learned that Tarleton had gone on about six miles farther to encamp for the night.

Lee then thought that it would be best for his men to pass through the country as British soldiers coming from Hillsboro to the aid of Colonel Tarleton. He informed all his officers and men of what he was doing, and told them to act the part of British soldiers. He gave the two prisoners into the hands of a sergeant, who was instructed to kill them instantly if they should try to betray the Americans. Thus having arranged

matters, the little army marched on toward Tarleton's camp.

In a little while they met two well-mounted young countrymen. These young men rode up and asked to see the colonel. They were deceived. They thought that the Americans were British, and that the commander was Tarleton himself. They were led to Colonel Lee, whom they saluted with respect.

“We have come from Colonel Pyle,” said one of them, “who has four hundred brave North Carolinians ready to join your command to fight for the cause of the king. He wishes to know how he may unite his force with yours.”

Lee saw that the countrymen had made a mistake in thinking that he was Tarleton. He decided to turn the matter to advantage. He told one of the men to return to Colonel Pyle and tell him to draw up his men along the roadside and await his coming. The other man remained with Lee.

Colonel Pyle did as he was requested. Lee came up with his command and halted. Then he marched his dragoons along the line of Colonel Pyle's command. Lee was at the head of the line. When he came to where Colonel Pyle was he stopped, and that officer gave the military salute. Lee returned the salute.

“Colonel Tarleton,” said Pyle, addressing Colonel Lee by mistake, “you see before you four hundred as brave subjects of the king as are to be found anywhere. They have become tired of seeing their countrymen in arms against their sovereign. So they have resolved to join you in breaking down the rebellion.”

“Colonel Pyle,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, “you are mistaken in the man and the meeting. Be easy and listen to me. I am Lieutenant-Colonel Lee.” At this Colonel Pyle gave a start and partly drew his sword.

“You must be easy,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Lee. “Your life is not worth a baubee if you make any movement at all. My men have orders to shoot you down if you do not comply with my orders.”

Just at that time a heavy firing was heard down the road. Some of Colonel Pyle's men had seen General Pickens's militia in the woods and fired upon them. The Americans returned the fire, and Lee's dragoons, thinking that they were discovered, began to cut down the men in their front. Colonel Pyle tried to lead his men against Lee, but the dragoons were too fast for him. In less than fifteen minutes Colonel Pyle himself was cut down and left for dead, while ninety of his command had been killed. The others scattered in every direction, and succeeded in getting away, as they were not pursued.

After this Lee hurried on to attack Tarleton. It was nearly sundown when he came within a mile of the British. He wanted to make the attack at once, but it was thought best to wait until morning. So the Americans slept with their arms near them. About the middle of the night Tarleton broke camp and hurried back to Hillsboro to rejoin Cornwallis. Lee and Pickens pursued him, but could not get near enough to give battle that night.

So Colonel Pyle probably saved Tarleton from capture. Lee was expecting to meet a British colonel, but met an American colonel instead.


“He dashed down the rock at lighting speed into the river.” Page 32, Book V.

North Carolina History Stories


During the Revolutionary War there was an organization in western North Carolina known as “Minute Men.” It was made up of the patriots who could not leave their homes permanently to join the regular army, but were ready to fight at a minute's notice whenever the British came into North Carolina.

These men lived among the mountains and loved their freedom. Some of them had rifles and swords, but most of them had only the fowling pieces they used on their hunting trips in the mountains. But they knew how to use these weapons with telling effect. They were thoroughly organized and ready to respond to the call to arms, no matter when it should come. They answered when they were called to fight Ferguson at King's Mountain and the Tories at Ramseur's Mill. At each place they answered with a powerful blow, which struck down the enemy.

When Cornwallis came into North Carolina in February, 1781, word was quickly sent up to the hill country that an enemy was at their doors. This news produced a stir in the mountain coves. Messengers were sent here and there. Lights shone from the mountains. The air was full of hurry and preparation.

Soon the tramp of feet told that the minute men were assembling. Out from the coves and valleys they came to join together to drive the enemy from their doors. They traveled over the mountains looking for a chance to strike the British. When they reached Salem it was learned that Greene had retreated and was then in Virginia. Cornwallis was at Hillsboro. But soon it was known that General Greene was going to return and give battle to Cornwallis. This news raised the spirits of the minute men.

For some days they waited to see what would be done. Then a messenger from Greene came through the country telling the news everywhere: “General Greene has recrossed the Dan with a large army, and he expects every patriot to meet him at Guilford courthouse early in March.” It was then near the last of February. The minute men set out for the appointed place. They aroused the country as they went. Hundreds of men joined them as they proceeded, and when

they reached Greene's camp the strength of his army was very much increased.

General Greene now thought himself strong enough to meet Cornwallis in battle. He therefore prepared himself and waited for the British to come up. The North Carolina minute men were placed in front. They were ordered to fire upon the British and then fall back to the next line.

Presently Cornwallis and his army came in sight. With colors flying and drums beating they marched up the road toward the minute men. It was a beautiful sight. The minute men had never seen anything like it before. They had fought Indians and had chased the bear in the mountains, but they had never seen war in such colors as this. But they stood their ground until the British were in good range. Then they fired with deadly effect, and retreated as they had been ordered to do. They ran from the field with much haste, and gave the appearance of a flight. They re-formed behind the other lines and joined in the battle later.

When the minute men fled the British shouted, thinking that the battle was already won. They found that they were badly mistaken, for when they met the regular troops their forward march was checked. Tarleton with his dragoons was ordered to drive the Americans

back, but he found Greene and Lee ready to pounce upon him.

While the battle was in doubt, General Greene ordered his men to retreat. Then it was that the minute men of the hills came in for some real service. Tarleton's dragoons began to pursue them. They turned round and poured in a deadly fire upon the dragoons and checked their advance.

The minute men carried their bullets in their mouths for convenience. As quick as a flash they would fire and reload. Every time a rifle was fired a British soldier fell from his horse or a horse tumbled in his tracks. Tarleton thought that he had better wait until the minute men had left the field before he went any farther. So he halted and they went on.

In this battle the British lost about six hundred men and the Americans about four hundred. The men from the mountains did good service, as did the other North Carolina soldiers. The minute men remained in Greene's army until Cornwallis was driven from North Carolina. Then they went back to their homes to raise their crops and to look after their stock.


After the battle of Guilford courthouse, Cornwallis sent word home that he had gained a great victory. He also sent out notices to the people that he had finished the conquest of North Carolina, and would expect all of them to aid him in establishing peace. He was surprised that they did not come to his camp to congratulate him upon his victory. He began to feel a little uneasy; and presently he began to think that he had won no victory at all.

In a day or two he heard that General Greene was getting ready to attack him. Greene was not whipped at all, but had made a strong camp on Troublesome creek. He was hoping that Cornwallis would attack him there, but the British general had another matter to attend to. He was anxious to get away from the neighborhood of Greene and the North Carolina minute men. With this object in view he ordered his army to begin to move towards Wilmington. This was three days after his “great victory” at Guilford courthouse.

No sooner had the British army broken camp than the Americans began to close in upon them. Lee's legion hung on the rear, and again and again made attacks

upon the British. His horsemen would gallop up to the rear line of the enemy, discharge their rifles, and dash away before Tarleton could organize a pursuit. Colonel William Washington was also with Greene's army, and his men helped in these attacks. They were mounted on large, blooded horses, while Tarleton's men had only small ponies. The British dragoon was therefore no match for the American.

One day it was learned that the British army would soon pass along a road that had a high fence on each side. Colonel Washington said to Lee that it would be an excellent place to destroy Tarleton's cavalry.

“If we attack them there, Tarleton will have to protect the rear, and we can ride him down,” said Washington.

This was an excellent plan. When the British dragoons had gotten well into the lane, Lee sounded the signal for attack, and the big horses of the Americans ran like the wind down the lane toward the British. Tarleton saw them coming, and turned around to receive the attack. His little horses could not stand the shock. Every one that the Americans reached was knocked down and rolled in the mud. The riders were killed and the ponies ridden over. Tarleton himself came near going down in the charge. He saved himself by putting

spurs to his pony at the first shock and galloping out of range. Just then a British cannon was rolled into position and began to fire straight down the lane. Lee gave the signal for retreat, and drew off without losing a single man or horse.

Cornwallis hurried on to Cross creek, which was settled by Scotch Highlanders who were friendly to the British cause. There he hoped to get out of the way of the Americans and have time for rest. Before he could reach that settlement Deep river had to be crossed, and there was no ford. So he had to build a bridge. Greene had halted his army on account of the scarcity of provisions, but had sent Lee and his dragoons to watch the British and annoy them in every possible way. Lee delayed Cornwallis as much as he could. He kept dashing up with a great deal of noise to where the carpenters were at work upon the bridge, scaring and confusing them. Then he was off almost in a minute's time.

One night, when the bridge was nearly finished, and the British army was expecting to march over it the next morning, Lee thought he would destroy it. If he could do so, it would cause Cornwallis to have to wait until it could be rebuilt; and then Greene would be there to attack him, and the whole British army might

be captured. He chose two hundred men from his legion to do this work. At their head he rode ten miles around the British army and came into the neighborhood of the bridge late at night. He was greatly disappointed to find that Cornwallis had placed a guard at the bridge too large for him to think of attacking. With regret he had to retreat to his former position.

Next day the whole British army crossed over and came into the settlement of the Highlanders. Lee did not think it wise to follow them farther. So he waited until General Greene arrived. It was then decided to let Cornwallis alone and drive the British out of South Carolina.

Cornwallis went to Wilmington. He remained there for some time. Then he went north into Virginia, and soon reached Yorktown.


After Cornwallis had worn himself out whipping General Greene at Guilford courthouse, he retreated to Wilmington. He was afraid to meet the Americans in another battle. So he shut himself up in that city, and would not come out again.

General Greene decided to march into South Carolina and attack the British there. Before he went he sent Colonel Harry Lee with his horsemen to South Carolina to let the people know that he was coming. Lee was also to find General Marion, the “Swamp Fox,” as he was called, and tell him to collect as many men as possible by the time Greene should arrive.

“Light Horse Harry,” as Colonel Lee was called, was the very man to do this work. With his dragoons he set out from Greensboro on his long march through the forests of North Carolina. He was a brave man, and did not mind the dangers that surrounded him. His horsemen also were brave. They scoured the country as they passed through, looking for British and Tories. There were no British to be found; and if there were any Tories around they were afraid to let it be known when Lee's men were near.

One night something happened which they remembered for a long time afterwards. They had halted and made their camp in a large forest. As usual, Colonel Lee had placed pickets all around his camp to give the alarm if an enemy should attack. Then they all retired for the night and slept soundly after a long day's march. Late at night the soldiers on guard on the south side of the camp heard a great tramping of feet in the brush just in front of them. They thought that the British were making an attack upon them, and fired in that direction. Then they heard a galloping through the forest as if the enemy was running.

One of the men ran as fast as he could to Colonel Lee's tent. The colonel was already up, for he had heard the firing.

“What's the matter?” asked Lee. “Is the enemy about to attack us?”

“Yes, sir,” said the soldier saluting, “a squadron of the enemy attacked us in front a short while ago, but we beat them off with loss. They are now in full retreat.”

Colonel Lee ordered the men to be aroused from sleep and to prepare for battle. He expected the enemy to return. He exhorted his men to stand firm and to strike hard when the British appeared. Just then the pickets

on the east side began to fire their guns. Lee ordered his men to face in that direction, expecting the enemy to attack in force. But the firing ceased. Soon a soldier came running into camp from the east side.

“Where is the enemy?” asked Lee.

“I have to report, sir,” said the man, “that the enemy attacked us vigorously, but the good aim of our men has driven them off.”

“Let every man be ready to charge at a moment's notice,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Lee.

Before he finished speaking a sharp firing was heard on the north side of the camp. Lee felt sure the attack was coming now, but it did not come. He did not know what to think, and the men were puzzled. They were not cowards, but they were greatly disturbed by the strange behavior of the enemy. Presently a messenger came in from the picket line on the north side and reported that the enemy had made an attack there, but had retreated at the first fire, and was retiring northward. This was a very strange thing for an enemy to be doing. But Lee held his men in line of battle all night, ready to repel any attack that might come.

When daylight came they looked for the British, but not a redcoat could be seen anywhere. If they had been there during the night they were gone now. There

was no sign of them anywhere. It was a great mystery. After a while they found the tracks of many wolves all going in the same direction toward the north. Then the mystery was understood. Not far off was an old building where meats and other supplies for the soldiers had been placed. The wolves had found this out and had gone there in a large pack.

Having satisfied their appetites, the wolves were returning when they ran into the pickets of Lee's men on the south. Fired upon by these they turned to the right and ran through the woods. Trying to get back to the road, they ran into the pickets again and were fired upon. Scampering off again they continued their flight and were fired upon the third time on the north side.

When the truth became known a broad smile was seen on the faces of the soldiers, and for a long time it was a joke upon the pickets that they could not tell a pack of wolves from the British army.


When Cornwallis left Wilmington in April, 1781, he went straight to Virginia, after stopping at Halifax for a few days to give his men rest. While there his famous cavalry leader, Colonel Tarleton, received a worse defeat than the one he got at the Cowpens.

Cornwallis was hurrying to Virginia to keep Washington from capturing New York. There was no American army to oppose him. General Lillington, a North Carolina patriot, had a small army, but he could not stand against the British. So he followed along behind, and sometimes he would attack the rear line with a great deal of vigor. In that way he kept the British worried. He sometimes took a few prisoners and destroyed some of the enemy's wagons.

About the first of May the British came to Halifax. There was only a small North Carolina force under Governor Nash to guard the town. These did not wait to welcome Cornwallis, but got out of the way as best they could. The British went in and took possession of the place.

Some of the British officers put on many airs, and walked the streets with high heads as if they owned the

town. They made fun of the people, and spoke with contempt of the American army and of General Washington and the other officers. The people took all these ugly words without saying much, because they knew that it would do no good to get angry. There were so many British that it would be foolish to provoke them.

There were in Halifax, however, two ladies who were not afraid to express their opinions. These were Mrs. Wiley Jones and her sister, Mrs. Ashe. These ladies lived in an elegant mansion near town. They were as patriotic as their husbands and friends who were then in the American army fighting for liberty. One day General Leslie, Colonel Tarleton and some other British officers went to Mrs. Jones's house to call upon the ladies. Mrs. Jones did not want to see them at all, but she thought it would be rude to refuse to receive them. So she and Mrs. Ashe went down to the parlor and there found the officers, who were very polite and bowed low and spoke kindly. Very soon the talk drifted to the war, and a British officer made a slighting remark about the American army and the officers.

“The American generals know nothing about war,” said he. “None of them ever had any military training.”

“They have at least learned some things on the battle-field,” said Mrs. Jones. “They are very good matches

for the trained soldiers in the British army. For my part I think you might learn some things from them.”

“They are indeed good soldiers,” said General Leslie, “and if they had had the training that our people have had the war would soon end in their favor.”

“Mrs. Jones,” said Colonel Tarleton, “are you acquainted with Colonel William Washington? I have heard him spoken of so often that I should be glad to see him.”

“You should have looked behind you at the battle of the Cowpens,” said Mrs. Ashe, “and you would have had that pleasure. Colonel Washington does not hide himself, nor does he run away from an enemy.”

This reply made Tarleton very angry, for he remembered well that a handsome young American had wounded him in the hand in that battle and made him run. But he did not know that it was William Washington.

“I did not come here to be insulted,” said he. “I did not run because I was afraid, but to save my troops. He is no soldier. I am told that he is an ignorant boor and cannot write his name.”

“At any rate, Colonel Tarleton, he knows how to make his mark,” said Mrs. Jones, “for the signs are still

plain.” She said this while looking at his wounded hand.

Tarleton became furious, and swore that he would kill Washington if he had to spend the remainder of his days in hunting him down.

“He shall not escape me, the impudent cur, to lie upon me that way. I'll have his blood or die in the attempt. These despised Americans shall learn not to speak disrespectfully of their betters.”

Thus the fierce Briton went on in his rage, saying all sorts of ugly things, until General Leslie ordered him to stop. Soon they went away, and the two ladies were glad of it. The fair patriots had met the enemv and had defeated them in a war of words.

Not long after that Cornwallis left Halifax and went on to Virginia. Tarleton was still sore over his defeat. He never saw Colonel Washington to carry out his threat, for shortly after reaching Virginia Cornwallis had to surrender at Yorktown with his whole army. Tarleton went back to England, and never returned to America.


There was a man living in North Carolina during the Revolution named David Fanning. He was a very cruel man, and took delight in bringing troubles on his neighbors. He joined the British against his country, and did all he could to destroy the American army. Cornwallis appointed him as a leader of the Tories in North Carolina. This was in the spring of 1781. Soon he had four or five hundred men who went about with him, killing people and robbing their neighbors of horses and money. He was quite a daring fellow. Sometimes he did some very remarkable things.

At one time court was in session at Chatham courthouse. The lawyers were talking law to the jury, and the judge was sitting on the bench. Suddenly David Fanning, at the head of forty Tories, rushed into the courthouse and made the whole court prisoners. He hurried them off to Wilmington, which was in the hands of the British. Then he and his men went off to find other things to do. He was never idle, and he hardly allowed his men to sleep. Everybody was afraid that Fanning would come upon them unawares; and no one ever knew when to expect him.

There was one man in Chatham county that Fanning hated. This was Colonel Philip Alston. Once Fanning had been out upon one of his exploits and had met with Colonel Alston and a company of patriots. Fanning was beaten, and had to run as fast as he could to get out of the way of Colonel Alston. This wounded Fanning's pride, and he made up his mind that he would get even with Alston.

About the first of August, 1781, Fanning heard that Colonel Alston was at home with a small company of soldiers. He thought it would be a good time to capture him. He took twenty-four men and set out for Colonel Alston's house. It was Sunday morning when they reached there. Alston had placed sentinels around the house. These had been on the watch for a long time, and had gotten somewhat careless. Suddenly Fanning rode up and captured some of the sentinels before they could get into the house. The others escaped. Then Colonel Alston saw that his house was surrounded by the soldiers of his enemy.

There was much excitement in the house. Mrs. Alston put the children up the brick chimneys to protect them from the shots; then she got into the bed and covered up, head and ears. Colonel Alston and his men shot from the windows and doors. Fanning and his

men got behind fences and trees and shot at the house as best they could. The fight was kept up for some time. After a while Fanning told Lieutenant McKay, one of his officers, to run to the house with some men and burst open the doors. McKay jumped over the fence to do so, but was shot dead. The other men dodged behind the fence. They could not stand the hot fire. Then a negro ran up on the other side of the house to set it on fire, but he was shot down also.

Late in the day Colonel Fanning thought of a sharp trick. There was an ox cart standing out in the lot. He filled this with hay as a protection against bullets. His men were to push this cart ahead of them to Colonel Alston's house and burst down the door, or set the hay on fire, which would burn the house down.

Colonel Alston saw what they were doing and knew that he could not defend the house much longer. He told Mrs. Alston that the fight was about over, and that they would have to surrender. Mrs. Alston jumped out of bed, unbarred the door and held out a white flag. Fanning stopped firing and called out to her to meet him half way. She went out into the yard and Fanning came out from behind the hay.

“We will surrender, sir,” said she, “if you will grant us favorable terms.”

“What terms do you want, madam?” said Fanning.

“That none of us shall be injured or sent out of the country,” was the reply.

“And what if I do not give those terms?”

“Then we continue the fight,” answered the brave woman. “There are but a few of us, but each man will bring down a Tory before the end is reached.”

Colonel Fanning was struck with this brave answer, and immediately granted the terms asked for. He had Colonel Alston in his power, but he was bound by his promise to Mrs. Alston that none of them should be harmed. So he paroled all the prisoners and allowed them to go home in safety.

Shortly after this event Fanning, at the head of his Tories, marched into Hillsboro and captured Governor Burke and all the State officers. These were sent to Wilmington and kept in prison for a long time.

Fanning continued to be a terror to the people of North Carolina until after the close of the war. He was hated by all the patriots. He murdered many men and women, and finally, after the war, fled to Canada, where he passed the remainder of his life, an exile and an outcast.


Colonel William Hunter was one of the patriots who kept David Fanning busy in the summer and fall of 1781. His home was near Sandy Creek Church, in Randolph county. He was a strong patriot, and did all he could to gain the independence of his country.

Before the Revolution he was a regulator, and was in the battle of Alamance. When the war began he joined General Washington's army and served under him during the first years of the war. When the fighting was over in the north he came back to North Carolina to help his people against their enemies. He found the State overrun by the British and Tories. Cornwallis had marched through the State three times. Fanning and his Tories were laying waste the country and murdering the people.

Colonel William Hunter went about the country raising a force of men to put a check on the Tories. He soon had a small body of men to follow him. Fanning was doing some ugly things in Chatham county, so Hunter went in search of the famous Tory. Fanning had over a hundred men with him. Hunter had less than twenty. He did not know that Fanning had so many; but Hunter

was just as brave with twenty as he would have been with a thousand. He had no thought of running away from the Tory. When Fanning attacked, Hunter held his ground and fought bravely. Four of his men were killed and several wounded. Many of Fanning's men were killed also. After holding his ground for some time, Hunter saw that his men were surrounded and could not escape. So he surrendered on condition that their lives should be spared. Fanning was glad enough to agree to this, for his men were falling every time Colonel Hunter's men fired their guns.

Fanning then set out for Hillsboro with his prisoners. While on the way Colonel William Hunter saw a good chance to escape, and made use of it. Quick as a flash he made a dash for the woods and hid under a rock, while the Tories were searching for him in the forest. He lay quite still until dark. Then he crept out and made his way to a farmer's house. The farmer promised to help him get away from the Tories, for they were still looking for him. Hunter knew that if he could get to Chatham courthouse he would be safe; for he had friends there. The important thing was to pass the Tories who were guarding the roads. He asked the farmer to take him in his wagon as a bag of grain. The farmer put him in the wagon, piled bags of grain around him, and set

out for the mill. But he had not gone far before he was stopped by Fanning and his men.

“Where is the rebel, my friend?” asked Fanning. “He went to your house last night, I have been told.”

“I do not try to keep up with the rebels,” answered the farmer. “I am on my way to mill, and I shall be obliged if you will let me pass.”

“Not so fast,” was the answer. “We need some corn for our horses, and shall have to ask you to divide with us.”

Colonel William Hunter heard what was said, and knew that he was caught. But he lay quite still until one of Fanning's men came to lift out the bags. When he got hold of the bag that Hunter was in he knew that it was not corn. So he called for help and soon rolled Colonel William Hunter out of the wagon. Colonel Fanning was over-joyed to see his enemy in his hands again.

“I am very glad to see you, Colonel William Hunter,” he said. “How did you pass the night? You look tired. You shall be hanged at once.”

He gave the order for Hunter to be hanged to the nearest tree. His men were getting ready to put the rope around the prisoner's neck, when Hunter, with the activity of a cat, leaped upon Colonel Fanning's horse, that was standing near, and sped away like the

wind. Fanning fired several shots at the horse and rider as they dashed up the road.

Fanning leaped upon another horse and went in hot pursuit, followed by his dragoons. It was then a race to Deep river. Hunter had the start, and was mounted on Fanning's favorite horse. He reached the river some distance ahead of his pursuers, but there was no ford near. Just before him was a large slanting rock rising out of the water. This was too steep even for a man to run down. But Hunter dug his heels into the flanks of Fanning's horse and dashed down the rock at lightning speed into the river. The horse swam the river, reaching the other side just as Fanning and his men came up to the banks. They dared not follow him.

Colonel William Hunter stopped a moment on the shore, shook his fist at Fanning and rode away. He kept the horse as a trophy of his exploit. Hunter's escape was always a sore subject with Fanning. He became angry whenever anyone referred to how he lost his favorite horse.


Soon after the Revolution some of the people in the mountains became dissatisfied with the North Carolina government, and tried to form a State government of their own. Tennessee was then a part of North Carolina.

These people became angry because the State legislature gave all the country west of the Great Smoky mountains to the United States government. They said the State had no right to take such action. So they declared themselves free, and called a convention to meet at Jonesboro to write a constitution.

All that country had been settled by hunters and trappers, who, like Daniel Boone, wanted “elbow room.” They had come from eastern and central North Carolina, and were looking for better hunting grounds. Colonel John Sevier, one of the rough riders who had whipped the British at King's Mountain, was the best known man among them.

“What right,” said he, “has the legislature to trade us off? We are not cattle. We are free men and helped to drive the British from this land. We have a right to

say how we shall be governed. I say we should be a State to ourselves.”

Most of the people agreed with him. They met in Jonesboro to begin a new State. But the delegates were all bear hunters and Indian fighters, and they knew more about hunting than they did about law-making. They could not agree on anything. Every man had his opinion, and had little respect for the opinion of any other. So they talked and disagreed with each other, and made no constitution. Finally they adjourned without accomplishing anything.

Next year they met again. This time they were not so noisy. They knew better what to do. Soon they had the constitution written, and went home. Colonel John Sevier was elected governor.

As there were no gold or silver coins in the State, one of the things the legislature had to do was to make some money to carry on trade. It was agreed that the skins of animals should pass as money. One raccoon skin passed for one shilling and three pence, one beaver skin for six shillings, and one deer or otter skin for six shillings. That kind of money was very convenient for the hunters and trappers of the new State. Anyone could get it, as game was plentiful. Whenever a man needed money all he had to do was to take his gun and

dogs, go to the woods and shoot it from the trees or capture it in the chase. So it happened that there was always plenty of money in the land.

When Governor Caswell, of North Carolina, learned what Colonel John Sevier and his people had done, he sent a message to Sevier that he had better stop trying to be governor. Sevier would not agree to this, as he thought himself to be as much a governor as Caswell was. Then Governor Caswell sent a detachment of soldiers under Colonel Tipton to settle the matter. Sevier was so independent that Colonel Tipton declared that he would break up Colonel Sevier's government. He heard one day that court was being held at Jonesboro. He and his soldiers went there and marched into the courthouse. They upset the tables and the chairs, seized the court records and turned the judge and jury into the street. When Governor Sevier heard of it he collected his soldiers and went hunting for Colonel Tipton. He attacked Colonel Tipton's house and burst open the doors. Tipton was away. Sevier took the court records and carried them off in triumph. No blood was shed.

Soon afterward Colonel Tipton made an attack upon Governor Sevier's house and found him absent. He went in and found the records which had been taken from him, and carried them away with him. Again

Sevier led forth his soldiers to battle. They went to Colonel Tipton's house, but found that he was gone. The court records were again taken, and were hidden in a cave. And so the fight raged. It was a war in which one side always attacked the other in its absence and no one was hurt. Colonel Tipton and Governor Sevier were both brave men, but they did not happen to meet.

Finally, in 1788, Governor Sevier was at home one day when Colonel Tipton called. Sevier was captured and carried to Morganton. There he was put in prison and kept for some time. After a while he was turned loose because he had been such a brave patriot in the Revolution.

With Sevier's capture the State of Franklin fell, for he was the leader of the movement. In a few years all that part of the country was organized as the State of Tennessee, and the people elected him as the first governor. After his term as governor was out, he was elected to the United States Senate, and served his State well. He was a brave man, and did much for his country and for the State of Tennessee.


Near the mouth of the Pamlico river in Beaufort county is a little town called Bath. It was settled in 1705, and is the oldest town in North Carolina. About four hundred people live there now, but many years ago it was much larger.

In colonial times it was a place of much importance. Some of the leading men of the colony lived there, and many interesting things happened in or near it. The famous Blackbeard had his home near Bath for some years before he began his piracy on the Atlantic coast. He had many hiding places in the neighborhood, and, it is said, concealed much of his stolen treasure there.

One day, in 1718, the people of the town were very much excited over a piece of news that had just been received. A man had come from Jamestown, Virginia, and had brought the tidings that a war vessel had been sent from the Chesapeake Bay to capture Blackbeard. Lieutenant Maynard was in command of the vessel. It was expected to reach Pamlico sound that very day, and every one was expecting to hear the roar of battle. People were walking about the streets and talking in an excited manner. “Will Maynard be strong enough

to capture the pirate?” was the question asked. No one could answer, but many were fearful that the fight would be won by Blackbeard.

“If the pirate beats in this battle,” said a citizen, “then the trade of Bath is ruined. We will be in his hands for all time. He has already cut us almost entirely off from the world.”

“That is so,” said another. “If Maynard fails, then we might as well move away from this place and begin somewhere else.”

“Blackbeard is a terrible enemy,” added another, “and dreadful will be the fate of Maynard if he falls into the hands of the pirates.”

Just then the boom of a cannon was heard far down the river. Then another and another followed. People became wild with excitement. They were going hither and thither.

“That's the beginning of the battle,” was heard on all sides. “Pray God that the right may win!”

For some time the roar of the cannon was kept up. Then the booming was less frequent, and finally ceased altogether. All felt that the battle was being fought out on the deck of one of the vessels, and there was greater anxiety than before. All were anxious to know the result of the fight. Hour after hour passed and no

tidings came. Men began to feel sure that Maynard had been beaten and his vessel destroyed.

“Surely Maynard will come here if he has been successful,” all said. But the day was growing old and he had not come. Men and boys, in their anxiety, had gone far down the river to catch the first glimpse of a coming vessel. But time passed and no boat came.

Suddenly a vessel was seen coming up the river with all sails set. When it came near enough to be seen plainly, it was found to be a war vessel, and it was not Blackbeard's. It came up and anchored in the harbor. A great cheer went up from the people who had gathered on the shore. It was Maynard's vessel, and had Blackbeard's bloody head on the bow and thirteen pirates as prisoners in the hold.

The people were glad to see that the dreaded pirate had been slain and his band broken up. Lieutenant Maynard was received with every mark of favor. After staying there for a day or two, he sailed away to Virginia to carry the news of his success.

For many years after the death of Blackbeard the town had nothing to hinder its growth. People from all over the colony came there to live, and it soon became the leading town of the colony and a center of trade and commerce.

One day, while Bath was at its greatest prosperity, a noted preacher came there. This was the Rev. George Whitefield, who had preached to large crowds in England and the colonies. Wherever he went people flocked to hear him. His preaching was a subject of conversation everywhere. At Bath it was quite different. Nobody seemed anxious to hear his sermons. It is even said that people mocked and made fun of him. No doubt this good man thought the people were very great sinners, and doubtless they were.

It is said that, after he had been mistreated by the people, he went out into the street, shook the dust from his feet, pronounced a curse upon the town, and left. It is not positively known that he did this, but people living to-day in that part of the country tell it as the truth.

There are several interesting objects in Bath. Among them is the old brick church that was built in colonial times. The bricks used in building it were brought from England. It is an object of much interest to those who visit the old town.



There is a neighborhood in Halifax county called Dumpling Town. No one has ever been able to tell why it is called by that name. It may be because the people living there were very fond of apple dumplings. There is an old legend which says that the housekeepers of that part of the county, a long time ago, had a contest to decide who could cook the largest dumpling. People from far and near came to see the dumplings, which were of all sizes, from the tiniest apple to the largest cooking pot. There were dumplings round and dumplings long, dumplings small and dumplings large. It was a great day for dumplings. If this story is true, then the place has a good right to its name. But no one knows whether it is true or not.

About a hundred years ago there lived in that neighborhood a teacher whose name was Thomas Peterson. The boys called him “Old Peters.” He was a very learned man, and knew a great deal of Latin and Greek. He taught for six months in the year and hunted and fished the other six. As a consequence he was just as good a hunter as he was a teacher.

In those days there were no fine schoolhouses as

there are now. In many neighborhoods there were no schoolhouses at all. The house in which “Old Peters” taught was built of logs and had one room, one door and two windows. The floor was laid with slabs, split from pine trees, and had large cracks in it. The windows were made by sawing through a log on each side of the room. These windows let in some light, but they also let in more cold. Between the logs earth and sticks had been placed to keep out the cold winds, but on warm days the boys would punch the earth out to get fresh air. So there was not much left to protect the children from the winter winds except a great roaring fire in the fireplace.

The fireplace took up nearly the whole of one end of the room. In cold weather large logs were piled upon the fire until the flames leaped up the chimney and the heat went into all parts of the room. At such times no one could sit in the chimney corner, for it was as hot as a furnace. But when the fire was not so large half a dozen children could sit in the corner at the same time.

Very little furniture was in the room. The teacher's table and stool were in one corner. Benches without backs were placed here and there for the pupils to sit on. There was a long desk built along the wall, which

was used as a writing desk for children who had advanced that far in learning. Those in the lower grades had to sit on the benches without desks and study their books. They often spent a good deal of the time in drawing pictures on their slates.

Usually things went well in this school, for the pupils all feared “Old Peters” and learned their lessons well. But sometimes when Mr. Peterson had the dyspepsia everything seemed to go wrong. The boys did not know their lessons and the girls whispered too much.

One day “Old Peters” came into the schoolroom with a frown on his face. The boys and girls began to feel uneasy, and kept watching the large bundle of switches that he had near his desk. It was plain that he was in a bad humor, and that trouble was ahead.

“Get your spelling lesson!” said the master, and every pupil began to study the lesson aloud and sway back and forth in his seat to keep time with the syllables. That was the style in those days. One boy knew his lesson already. He moved back and forth with the others, but while they were studying their lessons he was saying, “Old Peters, Old Pete, Old Peters.” But alas! just as he was saying the last name, all the others ceased to speak and his words sounded out loud and distinct.

All the children laughed out. “Old Peters” saw the little rascal and called him up to the desk. He came trembling. The master reached for his switch and gave him several severe blows. Then he made the boy stand up in the corner on one foot.

When the class came up to recite, the boy who had been punished could not spell the words, because he was scared. He had lost all his knowledge. “Old Peters” was angry, and put the dunce cap on the boy's head. He then had to stand on the dunce stool for the other children to laugh at. The poor boy sobbed and groaned for a long time, but this did not soften the master's heart. He made one of the others hold his book bag under the boy's face to catch his tears. This was worse than the other punishment, and the boy almost died with shame.

This was the way he punished for misbehavior, or for not knowing a lesson. If two boys got into a quarrel with each other, he would have them settle their difficulty at recess, and he did it in this way: Each boy was given a stout hickory switch, and they had to play “wrap jacket” until one had enough. Sometimes the fight would be kept up until the switches were worn out. Then others would be gotten and the battle continued

until one of the boys cried “enough.” Then the master declared the fight ended and named the winner.

At Christmas time it was the custom for the boys to shut the teacher out, and in that way get a holiday. One morning, about a week before Christmas, all the boys reached the schoolhouse before the master and locked the door. Then they waited for “Old Peters.” When he came he found the door and windows fastened. He knew what was up, and joined in the fun.

Presently a boy on the inside said: “We must have a holiday for ten days. Will you give it to us?”

“No,” said the master.

“Then we will duck you,” said all the boys; and the door was opened and the boys ran out. “Old Peters” ran down the road with the crowd at his heels. Soon they caught him and started for the creek near by; but before they got to the water he gave in and promised a holiday. Then all went back to the house, and the master dismissed school until after the Christmas holidays.

This was one of the old schools of the long ago. There were many others in North Carolina like it. They were small and unfurnished, but they did much good in training our forefathers to become useful citizens.

North Carolina history stories
North Carolina history stories / by W. C. Allen. Richmond : B. F. Johnson publishing company, 1901. 5 pts. in 1 v. 18 cm.
Original Format
Local Identifier
F255 .A43 1901
Location of Original
Joyner NC Rare
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