NORTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL SERIES
NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY.
Alfred Williams &Co. Raleigh, N.C.
ALFRED WILLIAMS & CO.’S
NORTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL SERIES.
NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY.
CORNELIA P. SPENCER.
RALEIGH, N. C.:
ALFRED WILLIAMS & CO., PUBLISHERS.
Copyright, 1888, BY ALFRED WILLIAMS & CO., Raleigh, N. C.
PRESS OF Sherman & Co., Philadelphia.
This little book has been written to interest and instruct the boys and girls of North Carolina. It is addressed to them, is dedicated to them, and its Author would be glad to know that not one of them, from ten to fifteen years old, will fail to read or to approve of it. She will be very well content with such a test of its merits.
It is one of the brightest signs of our new day that more and more books about North Carolina are called for and find a market among our own people, and that more and more are written by our own people.
The story of our State has few romantic incidents. It is the story of a slow growth, beginning in a series of failures and marked by recurring periods of depression. Heaven had perhaps done too much for us. If we had had an ungenial climate, a stony soil frozen for half the year, and few or no advantages from Nature, we might have developed more activity, exhibited more perseverance, and built our walls more rapidly, showing ourselves in many ways more aggressive and more calculating.
That has not been our way. Ours is the story of a quiet, contented, somewhat unambitious people, not studious of change, not easily provoked—a people loyal to Law and to
Religion, steady, modest, sincere, and brave; generous, but not enterprising; prodigal of their best when called upon by others or in defence of their own rights, but moving too slowly and cautiously when not under the strong stimulus of special occasions.
But these occasions have shown the world that North Carolina is worthy of high honor. Our State has always sprung to the front in resistance to oppression—has been the first and freest to shed her blood, and the last to furl her flag. She has maintained her self-respect and her credit in crises where others have wrecked both. Her moderation has stood her in good stead, and the strength and durability of her adherence to both Law and Liberty prove that her sons are true “hearts of oak.”
It has been our fault that we have left our story so long to other hands—a fault that we have suffered from. If it has been well told in these pages, our children will feel each fibre thrill with a new attachment to the land of their birth, and will imbibe fresh zeal to show themselves worthy of their sires.
A list of the books consulted is appended, and I gladly seize the occasion to express my grateful acknowledgments to the librarians of the University and Dialectic and Philanthropic Libraries for their generous courtesy in allowing me the unstinted use of their books.
CORNELIA P. SPENCER.
Chapel Hill, N. C., 1889.
|I.||Our State—Its First Inhabitants||1|
|II.||Early Settlers—Indian Troubles||7|
|III.||Sir Walter Raleigh—First Settlements||12|
|IV.||Governor White's Colony||17|
|V.||Carolina Named—The “Lords Proprietors”||22|
|VI.||Proprietary Government—William Drummond||27|
|VII.||Making the First Laws||33|
|VIII.||Troubles with Virginia—Religious Affairs||39|
|X.||Massacre by the Tuscaroras—End of the Indian War||51|
|XI.||Governor Eden—Black-Beard the Pirate||57|
|XII.||Growth under the New Government||65|
|XIII.||French and Indian War||70|
|XIV.||Governor William Tryon—The Stamp Act||76|
|XV.||The Regulators—Battle of Alamance||82|
|XVI.||Governor Martin—The Revolution||89|
|XVII.||Independence Declared in North Carolina||95|
|XVIII.||A Great Struggle for Independence is Begun||101|
|XIX.||The War of the Revolution—Battle of Moore's Creek||107|
|XX.||British Decline to Enter North Carolina—Brave Mrs. Slocumb||113|
|XXI.||Population—Constitution of 1776||118|
|XXII.||The War Continued||124|
|XXIII.||Battle of Camden—New Levies of Militia||129|
|XXIV.||Battle of King's Mountain||134|
|XXVI.||Defeat of Colonel Pyle—Battle of Guilford Courthouse||145|
|XXVII.||British Troops Leave North Carolina||150|
|XXVIII.||Condition of the Country||157|
|XXIX.||Forming the Nation—Visit of President Washington to North Carolina||164|
|XXX.||The Young Republic||171|
|XXXI.||Forming the Nation||177|
|XXXII.||North Carolina Leaders||185|
|XXXIV.||Trouble with Slavery||199|
|XXXV.||The Great Civil War||207|
|XXXVI.||The War Continued||214|
|XXXVII.||The Close of the War||220|
|XXXVIII.||After the War||226|
|XXXIX.||Reconstruction of Government||232|
|XL.||New Order of Things||239|
|XLII.||North Carolina's Resources||253|
Governors of North Carolina under the Constitution of 1776.
Governors Elected by the People from 1835.
|Date of Election.||Names.||County.||Died.|
|1792.||Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr.||Craven||1802.|
|1795.||Samuel Ashe||New Hanover||1813.|
|1798.||William Richardson Davie||Halifax||1820.|
|1802.||John B. Ashe||Halifax||1802.|
|1824.||Hutchins G. Burton||Halifax||1836.|
|1832.||David Lowry Swain||Buncombe||1868.|
|1835.||Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr.||Craven||1850.|
|1837.||Edward B. Dudley||New Hanover||1855.|
|1841.||John M. Morehead||Guilford||1866.|
|1845.||William A. Graham||Orange||1875.|
Presidents of the United States.
|Date of Election.||Names.||County.||Died.|
|1851.||David S. Reid||Rockingham|
|1854.||Warren Winslow (ex-officio)||Cumberland||1862.|
|1859.||John W. Ellis||Rowan||1861.|
|1861.||Henry T. Clark (ex-officio)||Edgecombe||1874.|
|1863.||Zebulon B. Vance||Buncombe|
|1865.||William W. Holden (provisional)||Wake|
|1868.||William W. Holden||Wake|
|1870.||Tod R. Caldwell||Burke||1874.|
|1874.||Curtis H. Brogden (ex-officio)||Wayne|
|1877.||Zebulon B. Vance||Buncombe|
|1879.||Thomas J. Jarvis||Pitt|
|1885.||Alfred M. Scales||Rockingham|
|1889.||Daniel G. Fowle||Wake|
Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.
|John Quincy Adams||Massachusetts||1825-1829||1767||1848.|
|Martin Van Buren||New York||1837-1841||1782||1852.|
|Wm. Henry Harrison||Ohio||1841; 1 mo.||1773||1841.|
|James K. Polk||Tennessee||1845-1849||1795||1849.|
|Millard Fillmore||New York||1850-1853||1800||1874.|
List of Authors Consulted, and Date of Edition.
|Franklin Pierce||N. Hampshire||1853-1857||1804||1869.|
|Rutherford B. Hayes||Ohio||1877-1881||1822|
|James A. Garfield||Ohio||1881; 6 mos.||1831||1881.|
|Chester A. Arthur||New York||1881-1885||1830||1886.|
|Grover Cleveland||New York||1885-1889||1837|
|Bancroft||History of United States||6 vols.||1852.|
|Burke||History of America||1 vol.||1780.|
|Byrd||History of Dividing-line||1 vol.||1841.|
|Caruthers||Old North State in 1776||1 vol.||1854.|
|Caruthers||Old North State, 2d series||1 vol.||1856.|
|Caruthers||Life of David Caldwell||1 vol.||1858.|
|Davis||Cape Fear Settlements (pamphlet)||1855.|
|Ellet||Women of the Revolution||3 vols.||1850.|
|Foote||Sketches of North Carolina||1 vol.||1846.|
|Graham||Mecklenburg Declaration (pamphlet)||1875.|
|Hand-book of North Carolina||1 vol.||1886.|
|Hawks||History of North Carolina||2 vols.||1857.|
|Irving||Life of Washington||5 vols.||1859.|
|Jones||Defence of North Carolina||1 vol.||1834.|
|Kerr||Geology of North Carolina||1 vol.||1878.|
|Labberton||Historical Atlas||1 vol.||1887.|
|Lawson||History of North Carolina||1 vol.||1860.|
|Lodge||Short History of English Colonies||1 vol.||1882.|
|Lossing||Field-book of Revolution||2 vols.||1852.|
|Martin||History of North Carolina||2 vols.||1829.|
|McMaster||History People of the United States||5 vols.||1883.|
|McRee||Life of James Iredell||2 vols.||1857.|
|Manual of North Carolina||1 vol.||1886.|
|Moore||History of North Carolina||2 vols.||1882.|
|Gilman||Rearguard of the Revolution||1 vol.||1886.|
|Rumple||History of Rowan County||1 vol.||1881.|
|Saunders||Colonial Reports||6 folio||1887.|
|Schenck||Battle of Guilford (pamphlet)||1888.|
|Swain, Hawks and Graham,||Lectures||1 vol.||1853.|
|Spencer||Last Ninety Days of War||1 vol.||1866.|
|University Magazine, North Carolina||10 vs.||1851-61.|
|Vass||History Presbyterian Church in New Bern||1 vol.||1886.|
|Watson||Men of Revolution||1 vol.||1856.|
|Williamson||History of North Carolina||2 vols.||1812.|
|Wheeler||History of North Carolina||1 vol.||1851.|
FIRST STEPS IN NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY.CHAPTER I. OUR STATE.—ITS FIRST INHABITANTS.
The State of North Carolina lies between 34° and 36½° North latitude. On its northern boundary lies the State of Virginia; south lies South Carolina; east of it is the Atlantic Ocean, and west the State of Tennessee.
It is about 400 miles long from east to west; about 120 miles broad from north to south; it contains about 50,000 square miles of territory (or 3,000,000 acres), and has 1,400,000 inhabitants.
If we look at the map, we see that the west side of the State is full of mountains. Many of these are thousands of feet above the level of the sea. From their lofty heights the land slopes down gradually eastward, becoming less and less mountainous. In the middle part of the State there are only hills to be seen. The hills are lower and lower as we go east, till at last on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean the land is flat and sandy and full of swamps and lakes.
The climate varies with the height of the land, being, of course, colder among the mountains and hotter in the lowlands; but it is, on the whole, a temperate and healthy climate. The air is clear and soft and mild for a great part of the year, and there are no plants, no trees or flowers or crops grown in any of the United States that will not flourish in North Carolina. It is remarkable for the variety of its vegetable growth.
The State has also a great variety of minerals. Fine stones for building, and precious stones and mines of many different metals abound.
All along the seacoast, a few miles out from shore, is a belt of low, narrow, sandy islands which look as if they were a bar placed to defend us from the stormy ocean outside of it. That bar of sand has a good deal to do with the history of North Carolina. Inside of it are the great bays, or sounds, of Albemarle and Pamlico, into which many rivers pour their waters.
This is our State. We are bound to love it, for here we were born and this is our home. We will study its history and know it well, and be prepared to honor and defend it always.
Three hundred years ago this fine country, which now is full of towns and villages and farms, was inhabited only by a race of wild and savage men whom we call Indians. They were tall and straight, with long straight black hair and copper-colored skin.
They lived chiefly by hunting and fishing, and were clothed in skins of wild animals they had slain, or in a sort of coarse cloth made of platted grass.
They were separated into tribes, each tribe with a different name, and each with a chief or king of its own, and each living apart in its own village or huts. These huts—or, as they called them, wigwams—were made of poles and branches of trees covered with bark or with skins. Inside, the ground was covered with skins or rude mats.
The language these redmen spoke, though different in the different tribes, was yet so similar that they could understand each other.
They had no tools or weapons or utensils made of metal of any sort. Their weapons were bows and arrows, and small stone hatchets which they called tomahawks. Their arrow-heads were made of flint, and plenty of them are still found in our woods and in places where the Indians had their camps.
The only tame animals they had were dogs, and these were not much better than half-tamed wolves. They had no means of cultivating the ground except by scratching the surface with rude wooden hoes: in this way the Indian women and children raised corn and potatoes and beans in small patches around their wigwams; and they had plenty of melons and gourds.
A large part of North Carolina that is now covered with forests was then open prairie, with tall grass and cane growing thick over it. This could easily be cultivated by the Indian women, who had no way of clearing ground except
by burning the grass off of it. Whenever the Indians wanted to get a large tree down to make a boat or a bowl, or a mortar to pound their corn in, they had to burn it through near the ground and hollow it out afterwards with fire.
Some of them had stone mortars, and rude pots made of clay in which they cooked their pounded corn and called it hominy. The Indian men usually left all kinds of work, except that of hunting, to the women. All ignorant savages have this sort of pride and despise honest labor. They think it is degrading to a man.
Their chief business was fighting or preparing for war, and their greatest happiness was in torturing or killing their enemies. The various tribes, great and small, were almost always at war with each other, killing and destroying. Their warriors would march hundreds of miles over mountains and through deep snows, swimming wide rivers, and enduring patiently every hardship, for the pleasure of revenge and destroying those they hated. They were extremely treacherous, stealthy, and cruel in their way of making war. They had no ideas of pity or mercy.
We are to consider that they had never been taught better things. They had some good traits, ignorant savages as they were. They possessed a rude religion. They believed in a God, whom they called the “Great Spirit,” who after death would reward the good and punish the wicked. They were very brave and patient in suffering. They would keep a promise and remember a kindness, and they were hospitable to strangers who came peaceably
among them. The Indian women especially could be very gentle and kind; and they all were very fond of their children.
The principal tribes that dwelt in North Carolina when the white people came here were the Tuscaroras, the Catawbas, and the Cherokees. The Cherokees lived in the mountains, and do not appear in our early history. The Catawbas, dwelt in the middle section. They were less savage than some, and more friendly to the whites. The Tuscaroras lived on the east side of the State. They were numerous and warlike, and gave the white people a great deal of trouble.
Besides these there were many small tribes—the Meherrins, the Enoes, the Corees, and others.
The Indians were often visited by pestilences, and, as they were always at war and led lives of great exposure and hardship, their tribes were small; and it is likely that even if the whites had not come here, in a few generations the redmen would have destroyed each other or would have died out from natural causes.RECITATION.INDIAN NAMES.
- Ye say they all have passed away,
- The race of Indian braves;
- That their light canoes have vanished
- From off our crested waves;
- That ’mid the forests where they roamed
- There rings no hunter's shout;
- Yet their names are on our waters:
- Ye cannot wash them out.
- Their memory liveth on our hills,
- Their baptism on our shore;
- Our everlasting rivers speak
- Their dialect of yore.
- ’Tis heard where Swannanoa pours
- Its crystal tide along;
- It sounds on Nantahala's shores,
- And Yadkin swells the song;
- Where'er the lordly Roanoke sweeps
- The Indian name remains;
- And swift Catawba proudly keeps
- The echo of its strains.
(Adapted) by K. P. B.
CHAPTER II. EARLY SETTLERS.—INDIAN TROUBLES.
In those early days the woods and prairies of North Carolina abounded in wild animals. There were herds of light-footed deer. There were clumsy brown bears and fierce wild-cats and panthers; there were buffaloes, and plenty of beavers building their dams on the creeks; plenty of wolves, foxes, raccoons, opossums, and squirrels.
Birds of many kinds that are no longer seen here abounded; wild-pigeons came in such immense flocks that they darkened the daylight, and small green paroquets were so numerous that after the white people settled the country and planted orchards they destroyed the fruit. They would tear an apple to pieces with their strong bills to get at the seeds. There were swans and cranes and great flocks of wild-turkeys.
There was a great abundance of wild fruit in the forests and prairies. A variety of fine grapes flourished, and plums and cherries and many kinds of berries. The Indians had a dark-red peach in their fields which we have yet and call it the “Indian peach,” and we call the wild red and yellow plums “Chickasaw plums,” after the name of an Indian tribe.
Walnuts, hickory-nuts, chestnuts, chinquapins, locusts, persimmons, and haws abounded then, just as they do now.
The great bays on the seashore, the rivers and the creeks, were full of fish.
The whole country teemed with abundance, and seemed as if the Creator had intended it for the abode of a great and prosperous and powerful Christian people.
1492. It is only four hundred years since the whole of the vast continent of North and South America first became known to the people of Europe.
Christopher Columbus was the first man who resolved to sail from Europe straight across the wide and stormy Atlantic Ocean. He came from Spain, and had three small ships, and a few men in each, to follow his guidance in that dangerous voyage.
The first land they discovered was one of the West India islands, and, as these islands lie very near both North and South America, it was not long before these great continents were discovered, and a vast and glorious new world was found, apparently waiting for the white races of Europe to come and take possession of it.
Because Columbus and others of the first who came over carried back some gold and silver which they got from the Indians on the islands and in Mexico, people in Europe thought this new world of America was everywhere full of gold to be had for the digging.
Adventurers came over from every nation, eager to make discoveries and to claim new possessions for their own king and country at home. None of them appeared to think
the wild and savage Indians had any special right to the land. We are very apt to despise those who are weaker than we and who cannot maintain their rights.
The Indians everywhere at first were willing to see the white strangers, and welcomed them kindly. They were struck with fear and wonder to see their great ships and the new and strange things they brought. The guns, the swords, the knives, the simplest articles of domestic use, the very clothes the white men wore, were astonishing. They thought the flash and report of a gun were thunder and lightning.
Of course the poor savages were eager to possess some of these wonderful and useful things. As long as the white men were peaceable and gave them presents and treated them well, the Indians seemed well pleased; but soon there began to be quarrels. The Indians were thievish and revengeful and murderous. The whites showed them that they too could take revenge, and that they meant to be the masters, and were strongest.
Then there was war for many years all over the country, from Massachusetts Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, wherever the white people attempted to settle and stay. And what made war with Indians so horrible was that the Indians were absolutely ruthless. They killed the babe and its mother as readily as they would an armed foe. They massacred without mercy, and destroyed everything—houses, crops, and cattle—in their path.
The people of Europe, however, kept coming over. It was understood after a while that there was no gold or
silver to be had along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, but that there was a great country to be settled, new homes to be had. And the white-sailed ships kept coming. Wherever was a good harbor they entered and landed crowds of adventurers.
The Spaniards settled in the West India Islands, in Florida, in Mexico, and in South America.
The French sailed up the broad St. Lawrence River, and explored lands lying on each side of it, and the great lakes in the North-west, and the Mississippi River, and the valley of the Ohio.
The English spread all along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida. Other nations mingled with their settlements, but the king of England claimed it all, and all the settlers were subject to him and his laws.
But many years had yet to pass before there were any real growing, prosperous colonies anywhere in America. The very first attempt to found one and to build a town is a specially sad story, and especially interesting to us, because that first attempt was made on the shore of North Carolina.RECITATION.WACCAMAW LAKE.
- Moonlight on Waccamaw! the breeze
- Scarce makes a ripple on the lake;
- The lingering sunbeam ’mid the trees
- Loiters, as loth his leave to take,
- And deeper dyes the autumnal hues
- Of leaves already bathed in dews.
- Thrice fifty years have passed since rolled
- The Indians’ warwhoop o'er the wold;
- Thrice fifty years since chief and sire
- Were gathered to the council-fire;
- And scarce, sweet Waccamaw, a trace
- Has time left of their ancient race,
- Now gone, like withered oak-leaves given
- To every breath and wind of heaven.
- But Fancy's torch shall light the gloom
- That gathered o'er that nation's doom,
- And Memory's fingers yet shall trace
- Dim outlines of that fated race—
- Shall spread upon the page of story
- A chieftain's love, a warrior's glory.
W. W. Winslow.
CHAPTER III. SIR WALTER RALEIGH.—FIRST SETTLEMENTS.
Three hundred years ago England was ruled by a queen named Elizabeth. She reigned many years, and so wisely that England became every year more prosperous and more powerful. She sent her ships, her gallant sailors, and her brave soldiers all around the world, and they were proud to discover and claim new kingdoms for her.
1552. Among the noble English gentlemen who loved to serve Queen Elizabeth was one Sir Walter Raleigh, whose name and fame are dear to us, since it was he who first endeavored to settle a colony in this State; and, though he failed to do it, yet as he gave himself for many years a great deal of trouble, and spent a great deal of money trying, we are bound to remember him kindly.
1584. In the year 1584 he sent out two ships full of men, with instructions to examine the coast and find out all they could about this country. These ships sailed slowly along the dangerous sandbar, looking for some opening so they could get within it. At last, on the 4th of July, 1584, they found an inlet near Roanoke Island, and entered. When they saw the great smooth sheet of water which we now call Albemarle Sound, saw the flocks of
waterfowl skimming over it, saw the pleasant islands and the mainland and the beautiful and (to them) strange-looking woods full of singing birds of rare plumage, full of grapevines loaded with grapes, and full of flowers that made all the soft and sunny air sweet, they thought it was like Paradise.
The Indians came down to the shore to gaze at them, met them kindly, took them to their chief village to visit their king, and gave them the best they had to eat.
The English did not stay long. They were in a hurry to get back home and tell of this splendid, bright, fruitful country. They took with them many things which they easily bought from the Indians—furs of wild animals and specimens of the native woods—the pine, the red cedar, the sassafras. They took tobacco, corn, and potatoes, none of which had ever been seen in England. They invited some of the Indians to go with them, and two did go.
Sir Walter Raleigh was highly pleased with the fine account brought back by his ships. To be sure he and everybody else would have been better pleased to have seen or been told of plenty of gold and silver, but they thought these would come in time. Sir Walter set to work at once to smoke the tobacco, and one of his servants, coming into the room and seeing the smoke coming out of his master's mouth, was frightened, thinking Sir Walter was on fire, and threw a pitcherful of water all over him to put him out.
As for Queen Elizabeth, she too was pleased and very proud. She claimed the new country as hers for thousands
of miles up and down the coast and as far inland as their thoughts could go. She gave it all the name of Virgin-ia, in honor of herself, who was a virgin queen.
She must needs try the tobacco too, and was made very sick by it. So she called up two of her maids-of-honor, and made them finish her pipe. And then, no doubt, they were all sick together.
Soon Sir Walter Raleigh had seven ships full of men eager to go and see that good land, which they all hoped would turn out to have an abundance of gold and silver and pearls and precious stones. Every one expected great things. But nothing came of this second visit.
1585. The ships arrived safely next year, and came to the same inlet near Roanoke Island. The same Indians came to meet them, and were still civil and hospitable, and were no doubt glad to see the two who had gone away with the white men return safe and sound.
We may think that these two, who had been so far and seen so much, had a great deal to tell of the vast and wonderful city of London, and of the strange and splendid sights of a civilized land. But it is more likely that they had very little to say, for they had no words in their language to express their new thoughts in. How could they describe a house built of brick and several stories high, or a carriage drawn by horses, or store full of goods? They could not even describe a common blacksmith's shop. It is probable that they grunted a good deal, and tried by signs to tell their friends of something new, and were proud to display the gifts that had been given them; but
it all must have amounted to very little, for people can only see what they have the sense to see, and what these poor savages had seen in England soon faded from their ignorant minds like a dream.
The English landed and began at once to build houses on the island, and gave the place the name of “the City of Raleigh.” While some were building, others were sailing up and down the great bay of Albemarle, viewing the shores and making acquaintance with the Indians. They went a little way up the broad waters of the Roanoke and the Chowan rivers. Wherever they landed they asked the Indians for gold, and the Indians, seeing how anxious they were about it, deceived them with fine stories of cities far inland shining with gold and precious stones.
When the English found the Indians were fooling them, they began to treat them harshly, and the savages in turn began to hate their visitors. They stole from them, they would not bring them any more food, would not fish nor hunt for them, and lay in wait to kill them when they landed and went into the woods.
The English, who did not know how to hunt wild animals, and began to be afraid of the lurking savages and their deadly bows and arrows, did not dare to venture far into the forests. They now found that even in a land of plenty they might starve.
1586. Then they made up their minds to sail back to England and finish building the City of Raleigh some other time. Fifteen men said they were willing to stay there till other Englishmen should come over and join them. They
had a fort built, and with plenty of arms and ammunition they were not afraid to remain. They thought themselves much stronger than the savages.
So, after a few months, the ships all sailed away, promising to send help to the party left behind on the island. It was certainly brave of those fifteen to stay, but it was as certainly very rash.RECITATION.
- Carolina! the pride of my bosom;
- Carolina! the land of the free;
- Carolina! the land of my fathers;
- Carolina! my song is of thee.
- On thy vine-bordered sands of the ocean,
- Where Manteo greeted the whites,
- Were laid the first arches of empire,
- And Freedom looked down from its heights.
- What though the grim hand of disaster
- Swept over the island and sea,
- There's ever a charm in the story
- That tells of a Raleigh to me.
- From Mitchell, the pride of the mountains,
- To Hatteras, the dread of the sea,
- The sunshine of liberty gladdens,
- And tyranny trembles at thee.
- Then hurrah! Carolina for ever!
- A glorious destiny waits
- Carolina, the cradle of Freedom—
- The noblest of all the great States.
T. W. Harrington.
CHAPTER IV. GOVERNOR WHITE'S COLONY.
Sir Walter would not give up his hope of founding a great state over here. In a year or two he had more ships ready, and sent one hundred and fifty men, many of them with their wives and children; and this time he also sent plenty of farming implements, so that they might go to work and cultivate the ground and have farms, and not depend on the Indians or upon hunting and fishing. He ordered them, besides, to stop at the Bermuda Islands and get cattle, sheep, hogs, and horses.
1587. The man whom Sir Walter put at the head of this new attempt was named John White. The ships reached the same place on the Albemarle Sound and on Roanoke Island where the others had landed, and, though the Indians were now in general unfriendly to the whites, yet there were some good-natured and friendly who came forward and welcomed them.
But nothing was to be seen or heard of the fifteen men who had been left behind. Their fort was broken down, and the houses around it were in ruins, and wild deer were feeding on a melon-vine inside the walls of one. There were some bones of one of the Englishmen found in one place.
They had all been killed, and everything belonging to them carried off by the hostile Indians. The new-comers, however, went bravely to work building new houses and a stronger fort, and trying to make friends among the well disposed of the Indians. Soon after they had landed a Mrs. Eleanor Dare, daughter of Governor White, gave birth to a daughter, whom they named Virginia in honor of the virgin queen. Next Sunday she was christened.
This was the first white child born of English parents in America. One of our counties on the Albemarle Sound, opposite Roanoke Island, was named Dare for her not many years ago.
Pretty soon, at the entreaty of these settlers, Governor White left them and went back to England to get more help and more men. The settlers hoped he would not be gone long, but they told him if anything should happen to them in his absence—if the hostile Indians should attack them—they would go across the sound to Croatan, where the friendly Indians lived, and take shelter with them, and if they did go they would carve on a tree the word “Croatan” in plain letters, so he might know where they were. If they had to go in any great straits of disaster, they would cut the figure of a cross over the letters.
Having agreed upon all their arrangements, White and his ships sailed away, leaving about one hundred men, women, and children on the island. One would think he would have hurried back as soon as possible, especially as he had left a little grand-daughter there.
1590. But he did not hurry back. He let first one
thing and then another keep him in England, though Sir Walter provided him at once with two ships. And it was three years before he came with more people and help for the colony. When at last he arrived, nothing was to be found of the hundred men and women he had left. All was silence on Roanoke Island; the white people had disappeared. There were the ruins of the fort, and some of the cannon rusted, and some remains of their things among the ruins of their houses. But they all were gone, little Virginia Dare and all, and nothing was ever seen or heard of them again. There was a tree found with the word “Croatan” cut deep into it, as had been agreed upon, but no cross was cut. They must have gone over to Croatan. There were no Indians to be seen, no one of whom to ask questions.
It seems very strange that Governor White did not at once sail to Croatan and try to learn something there, and find some trace at least of his own family.
He said to excuse himself for his not doing so that the weather was stormy and his ships came near being wrecked. No doubt the silence and desolation of the island appalled the hearts of all. At any rate, they went no farther. They sailed away as soon as they could, and left the City of Raleigh to the wild deer again, and the unfortunate colonists to their fate, whatever it was.
It is thought that the colonists took refuge with the friendly tribe of Indians, and, living among them for years, hopeless of ever seeing white people again, gradually married among them and became like them. Many years
after there was found a tribe of Indians in North Carolina with blue or gray eyes and light hair and light skins, who claimed to be descended from white people.
However, this may be, nothing was ever certainly known of these poor deserted Englishmen—one hundred men, women, and children. And, though three hundred years have passed since then, it is still pitiful to think how they must have waited and watched and wept for the help that never came.
Thus ended disastrously Sir Walter Raleigh's third and last attempt to settle a colony upon our shores. He tried no more. The rest of his life was sad. When Queen Elizabeth died, King James, who succeeded her, became 1618. Sir Walter's enemy, and finally put him in prison, and after keeping him there twelve years had him beheaded on a false charge of treason.
Sir Walter failed to do many things on which he had set his heart, and his end is melancholy to think of. But no man's life is a failure who does his duty. He was a noble and gallant gentleman, a brave soldier, a scholar, and a good Christian. The books he wrote are still read; his life and character are studied and admired.
The State which he in vain tried to found, after two hundred years had passed away became great and free and independent, and then it built a new capital city in the centre of its territory, and in grateful memory of him named it Raleigh.
And may Raleigh live and flourish for ever!
[These lines were written by Sir Walter Raleigh in his prison the night before his execution.]
- Even such is Time, that takes on trust
- Our youth, our joy, our all we have,
- And pays us but with age and rust;
- And in the dark and silent grave,
- When we have wandered all our ways,
- Shuts up the remnant of our days,
- But from this grave, this earth, this dust,
- The Lord shall raise me up, I trust.
CHAPTER V. CAROLINA NAMED.—THE “LORDS PROPRIETORS.”
These unfortunate enterprises ended all attempts to settle white colonies in North Carolina for nearly one hundred years.
The Atlantic Ocean on the outside of our long sand-bar was stormy and dangerous. Sailors avoided the coast and gave it a bad name. One of the capes they called Cape Fear, and another Cape Lookout. The inlets were hard to find, and often after a storm the old ones were closed by the shifting sands and new ones were opened, and for large ships that cross the ocean no safe harbor could be found.
1600. So the North Carolina Indians were let alone for many years. The grapevines budded and bloomed and bore their clusters nearly a hundred times before ships were again seen on the sunny bays of Albemarle and Pamlico.
Meanwhile, many things were happening in the world's history elsewhere, though all was so still here. Englishmen were busy founding colonies and building cities in other parts of America. They began a settlement in Boston harbor in 1620; Connecticut was settled in 1633; New York in 1634; Pennsylvania in 1680; and Jamestown, in Virginia, was begun in 1607.
They were all growing and having a history, in spite of long and bloody wars with the Indians and many other discouragements, while Carolina lay undisturbed.
In order to understand the story of our own State it is necessary to look at the histories of other States and countries, often far distant, and study them.
What was done on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean two hundred years ago had a great influence on the fortunes of the different States of America.
At first those who came over from Europe came mostly to find gold or from a mere spirit of adventure. But after a while they began to come to avoid bad government and religious persecution at home. They wanted to be free, to be able to choose their own governors, make their own laws, and especially they desired to be allowed to worship God in the way they liked best.
1620. In Europe there had been for years and years, and still was, an immense amount of discord and misery and many bloody persecutions on this very account. It took men a long time to learn to let each other alone about their religion, and not to try to force all men to believe alike.
Most of these United States of America were settled by men who had suffered in this way; and when their children grew up in the free wild forests here they were determined that neither they nor their descendants should ever have such a yoke on their necks.
We must remember this in all we read about them. They first found freedom here, and they meant to stay free for ever, and were ready to fight for it.
Virginia and North and South Carolina and Georgia were all at first included under one name. It was all Virginia till long after the death of Queen Elizabeth, when a king reigned in England named Charles I.
1630. The Latin for Charles is Carolus, and this king, wishing to give his own name to some part of his vast dominion in America, ordered that part lying south of the great Dismal Swamp, as far as Florida, to be called Carolina. After a while Georgia was laid off, and Carolina was divided into North and South; and that is how we came by our name.
1660. One of the first acts of the second King Charles of England after he became king was to make a very handsome “grant,” or gift, to eight of his friends over there of this fine piece of land named Carolina. He claimed that it extended not only from Virginia to Florida, but from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Not that he nor any one else in those days knew exactly where the Pacific Ocean was, or anything about it, nor even how far it was across America. But he claimed it all the same.
A glance at the map will show that “Carolina” included nearly half of what are now the United States. It was a very splendid gift to make to eight men. But kings often have a way of being very generous with what does not belong to them.
1663. The eight men were “lords” in England. They belonged to the nobility, and some of them had a share in the government there. Their names were—Albemarle, Ashley, John Berkeley, William Berkeley, Carteret, Clarendon, Colleton,
and Craven. We have kept some of these names in our county names. All the north-east corner of our State, east of the Roanoke River, was called Albemarle at first, as well as the great sound.
These lords were called “The Lords Proprietors” of Carolina. Their rule lasted about sixty-six years, from 1662 to 1728, and is known in our history as the “Proprietary Government.”
The real history of our State begins with this government. Only one of these eight lords ever came to America to look at the “grant.” The only thought that any of them had about it was how to make the most money for themselves and their heirs out of it.
They wished at once to encourage emigration to the country, and they offered fair inducements and were liberal in their promises. Among other good things, they promised religious freedom and that no man should be forced to worship God in any way that he did not choose, and should not be persecuted in any way for his religion. This was a very good beginning, and many people who had been persecuted by the Established Church of England, which was also established by law in Virginia, came gladly over the border into free Carolina. The Quakers, or Friends, especially hurried to come, for they had been badly treated in Virginia and New England too. They were a sober, steady people, and very active and influential in the early part of our history.
SELECTION FROM “HATTERAS.”
- The Wind King from the North came down,
- Nor stopped by river, mount, or town;
- But, like a boisterous god at play,
- Resistless, bounding on his way,
- He shook the lake and tore the wood,
- And flapped his wings in merry mood;
- Nor furled them till he spied afar
- The white caps flash on Hatteras bar,
- Where fierce Atlantic landward bowls
- O'er treacherous sands and hidden shoals.
- He paused, then wreathed his horn of cloud
- And blew defiance long and loud:
- “Come up, come up, thou torrid god
- That rulest the southern sea!
- Ho! lightning-eyed and thunder-shod!
- Come wrestle here with me.
- As tossest thou the tangled cane
- I'll hurl thee o'er the boiling main!”
J. W. Holden.
CHAPTER VI. PROPRIETARY GOVERNMENT.—WILLIAM DRUMMOND.
Sir William Berkeley was the only one of these “Lords Proprietors,” the friends of King Charles II., who ever came to America or ever set foot in Carolina.
1663. He was already in America, having been made governor of Virginia twenty years before by King Charles I., in 1642. As the distance is not great, he could easily come from Jamestown into the Albemarle country to see how it looked and whether the grant was likely to be profitable. In 1663 he came.
Now, there certainly had been no formal planting of a colony in Carolina since the days of Sir Walter Raleigh's attempts. But there is no doubt that a good many white people had been for years quietly moving down from the settlements in Virginia into the pleasant land around Albemarle Sound and its rivers.
A certain Mr. John Porie, “Secretary of Virginia,” visited the Chowan River in the year 1622, and he wrote that “it was a very fruitful and pleasant country, yielding two harvests a year,” and that he “was very kindly received by the people.” And there are records of land-sales by the Indian chiefs in what is now Perquimans county to white
men in 1662, and before it. There is a letter too, written in the year 1654 by one Francis Yardley to a friend in England, in which he tells of trade and business transactions with the Indians in that part of Carolina, and of his building “a fair house” for the chief of one of the tribes, which he was to furnish with “English utensils and chattels.”
Such records as these show not only that there were settlements of whites there, but that they were on friendly terms with the Indians. Yardley says that the ruins of Sir Walter Raleigh's fort on Roanoke Island were still to be seen more than seventy years after it had been built, and were shown by the Indians.
And besides this, men from the Massachusetts colony in New England, who had been trading along the coast, attempted in 1660 to make a settlement at the mouth of the Cape Fear, and a few years afterward a party of English from the Bermuda Islands also began a settlement there. Neither of these came to anything, but it is plain that attention was drawn once more to the country as desirable.
The north-eastern corner of the State, being nearest to the Virginia colony, was certainly filling up with white settlers from Virginia when the “Lords Proprietors” took possession of Carolina. The winters were milder than in Virginia: the cane and grass fed the cattle all winter without the trouble of saving fodder for them. Here was a good soil, a fine climate, and abundant crops. And, what was still more attractive, here were no governors, no Church, no sheriffs, no taxes, no laws. Men could
live as free as the birds on the trees if they kept watch on the Indians and lived on friendly terms with them. Of course they came, and were glad to come.
Now the time had arrived for a regular government to be set up, that Carolina might take its own separate place among the other English colonies north of it. There must be law and there must be obedience, or else the sun and moon and stars would fall from their places in the sky.
The “Lords” were very anxious to see their “grant” flourish. They hoped and expected to get a vast revenue from such a great possession, though, in truth, none of them knew exactly how great it was. They were very ready to make laws and send governors and law-officers and agents of all kinds over here.
But the trouble was, that they were at too great a distance from the country they governed, and they did not understand what was best for it, nor what laws the people who lived in it needed.
The first mistake they made was to get a great scholar in England to write out a form of government for their new State. He knew nothing of the country, but he sat down in his library three thousand miles away and wrote out a plan which never could be carried out or used, and which proved to be as unfitted for a new wild country like Carolina as a fine cloth suit of clothes would be for a hardworking farmer in his cornfield.
This set of laws was called “The Fundamental Constitution,” and, though never fully accepted, yet as it was the only lawful government it gave the people a great deal of
vexation and hindered their prosperity for many years, till it was at last thrown off.
1664. In 1664 the “Lords Proprietors” appointed the first governor for Carolina, or rather for Albemarle country. He was William Drummond, a Scotchman by birth, who came from Virginia and was a friend of Governor Berkeley. As he was our first governor, it is pleasant to know that he was a man of good character and highly esteemed, and of a good family.
1664-67. We know very little of the three years during which he ruled the Albemarle country. He returned to Virginia afterward, and ten years later he became engaged in a serious rebellion of the Virginia people against their governor. Berkeley was getting old and very hard and tyrannical, and odious to the colonists after having been a popular and excellent governor for more than thirty years. They rose against him in 1676 in what is called “Bacon's Rebellion,” but were beaten and forced to submit, and Berkeley took a base revenge by hanging all the leaders who came into his hands.
Among them was ex-governor Drummond, who had been his friend, but had felt it his duty to oppose his tyranny. The vindictive old man showed no mercy. He made a low bow to his prisoner, and with cruel words of hatred told him he should be hung in half an hour. And so he was, as soon as a gallows could be built. Drummond died calmly and full of courage, believing that he died in a good cause.
This was the sad end of the man who had been the first
governor in our State. But for all that, he was a good and brave man, and his name stands much higher than Berkeley's. It is of no consequence how a man dies if he has lived well. Berkeley died within that same year in England, where he had gone to explain away his barbarous conduct, but the king refused to see him or to forgive him for his cruelty. He is said to have died “of a broken heart,” but it is not likely that he had much heart to break.
The lake in the Great Dismal Swamp between North Carolina and Virginia was named in honor of Governor Drummond.RECITATION.LAKE OF THE DISMAL SWAMP.
[They tell of a young man who had lost his mind on the death of the girl he loved, and who suddenly disappeared, and never was heard of again. As he often had raved about her not being dead, but gone to the Dismal Swamp, it was supposed he had wandered thither and perished in its dreadful morasses.]
- They made her a grave too cold and damp
- For a soul so warm and true;
- And she's gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp,
- Where all night long, by a firefly lamp,
- She paddles her white canoe.
- Away to the Dismal Swamp he speeds—
- His path was rugged and sore,
- Through tangled juniper, beds of reeds,
- Through many a fen where the serpent feeds,
- And man never trod before.
- And when on earth he sunk to sleep,
- If slumber his eyelids knew,
- He lay where the deadly vine doth weep
- Its venomous tear and nightly steep
- The flesh with blistering dew.
- And near him the she-wolf stirred the brake,
- The coppersnake breathed in his ear,
- Till he starting cried, from his dream awake,
- “Oh, when shall I see the dusky lake,
- And the white canoe of my dear?”
- Then he hollowed a boat of the birchen bark,
- Which carried him off from shore;
- Far, far he followed the meteor spark;
- The wind was high and the clouds were dark,
- And the boat returned no more.
- But oft from the Indian hunter's camp
- This lover and maid so true
- Are seen, at the hour of midnight damp,
- To cross the lake by a firefly lamp,
- And paddle their white canoe.
CHAPTER VII. MAKING THE FIRST LAWS.
1667. Samuel Stephens was appointed by the “Lords” to succeed Drummond as governor of Carolina, or rather of the Albemarle province. We are to remember that the States of North and South Carolina had not yet been divided, nor the State of Georgia. The Albemarle region was the first settled of all that vast territory, and the men sent to govern Albemarle governed all “Carolina.”
Now that law and government were established, the people had to wait for orders from England about everything. It would take a ship from four to six months to go and come, and so long they must wait to know what they might do about selling their crops or buying their lands or paying their rents or settling ever so many little matters of every-day business in which they had heretofore always done just as they pleased.
The Lords Proprietors and their governors wished everything here to be ordered just as it was in the mother-country. The Episcopal Church had been for more than a hundred years the only Church established by law in England. Every one there had to pay for its support, whether they
liked it or not. The “Lords” of course meant that it should be the established Church here too. Other churches were to be allowed. People might build and worship as they chose without being persecuted, but no ministers but Church-of-England ministers were to be paid by the State or were allowed to perform the marriage ceremony or to teach in the schools, for they were the only lawful ministers. No other Church was established by law but that one.
All this was very vexatious and tedious, and made these free folks in the North Carolina woods feel very impatient of their “Lords” and governors.
The people could not choose their own governors, but they could elect the members of their legislature, or “Assembly,” that met every two years, and were allowed to make and unmake the laws in general pretty much as they pleased. They laid the taxes and settled the money affairs, and had a great deal of power. As there were no towns in those early days, they generally met at some well-known tavern or public man's house that was convenient. The first legislature elected by the people met in 1665. One of the first laws made was that no man living in Carolina should be arrested for debts that he owed before he came here. In those days a man could be put in jail who did not pay his debts.
This law made the people in Virginia very angry, because a great many Virginians who were in debt would easily slip across the line into Carolina, and call themselves Carolinians, and be very comfortable here without paying anything.
The governor had a council of twelve men, who were his advisers, and the president of this council, or the “Speaker,” the presiding officer of the legislature, would be called on to take the governor's place in case of his death till the Lords Proprietors could appoint another.
The first justices of the peace were appointed in the year 1679. The first chief-justice was Edward Mosely, but he was not in office till 1707.
All the laws and regulations and forms of government for Church and State were on the pattern of those in England, for the people naturally looked to England and the king and the government there as still their own, and were glad to belong to them. They called it “home.”
It seems almost a pity that the kings and “Lords” did not feel the same love and kindly interests in the colonies over here, and did not try to govern them wisely and keep them loving subjects of the Crown. If they had, however, we never would have been free, never would have broken away from them and become the great, independent United States of America.
This history will tell how gradually we learned to feel that the government of the “Lords” first, and of the king himself afterward, was oppressive, unjust, intolerable. It took the people of Carolina just about one hundred years to learn this lesson and to resolve to govern themselves.
1670. It was in Governor Stephens's time that the “Lords” sent over their absurd and useless “Fundamental Constitution.” Whenever they tried to carry out
any of its laws and regulations there would be worry and confusion and resistance.
1674. Governor Stephens died an old man and rich, leaving a widow, Madam Frances, who must have been a good deal younger than he, for after his death she married old Governor Berkeley of Virginia, and when 1677. Berkeley died she married Philip Ludwell, who was governor of Albemarle in 1689 and of all Carolina in 1693. Governor Berkeley loved her very much. When he died in England he made his will and left her all his estate, and said if it had pleased God to give him more he would gladly have given it to his dearly-beloved wife. Even after she became Mrs. Ludwell she always kept the name of “Lady Frances Berkeley.” She no doubt liked the title. When Ludwell became governor of all Carolina they went to live at Charleston.
One or two little things about this governor's lady are not pleasant to consider. After Governor Berkeley ordered Ex-governor Drummond to be hung, he seized and confiscated all his property, turning his wife and children out of doors. Mrs. Sarah Drummond was a woman of a great deal of spirit, and after Berkeley's death she took Lady Frances into the courts and made her give up the Drummond property, which she was then enjoying.
As this is not to be a large book, we cannot tell about every man who was, or who tried to be, the governor of Carolina in those times. Most of those who were sent over by the “Lords” were inferior men. They came like birds of prey, to make what they could out of Carolina
without the least regard to the wants of the people. They had neither good character nor ability to govern well.
The histories of all the English states in America show that there was a great deal of contention going on between the people and their rulers. They gave each other very bad language and many hard names. In North Carolina particularly the people were very restive, and quick to resent anything like injustice or oppression.
Some of the governors were men belonging to the colony, presidents of the council or the assembly, who had lived here long enough to understand the country and feel some attachment to it and to their fellow-citizens. When that was the case matters went more smoothly. Strangers can seldom govern a people well, even if well disposed.
There were two “rebellions” against the government—one called “Culpepper's Rebellion,” in 1677; the other, called “Carey's Rebellion,” in 1708. Neither of them amounted to much, except that they gave trouble and kept people irritated and excited, and hindered the general welfare.RECITATION.HO! FOR CAROLINA!
- Let no heart in sorrow weep for other days;
- Let no idle dreamer tell in melting lays
- Of the merry meetings in the rosy bowers;
- For there is no land on earth like this fair land of ours.
- Ho! for Carolina! that's the land for me;
- In her happy borders roam the brave and free;
- And her bright-eyed daughters, none can fairer be:
- Oh, it is the land of love and sweet liberty.
- Down in Carolina grows the lofty pine,
- And her groves and forests bear the scented vine;
- Here are peaceful homes, too, nestling ’mid the flowers:
- Oh, there is no land on earth like this fair land of ours.
- Come to Carolina in the summer-time,
- When the luscious fruits are hanging in their prime,
- And the maidens singing in their leafy bowers:
- Oh, there is no land on earth like this fair land of ours.
- And her sons, so true in warp and woof and grain,
- First to shed their blood on Freedom's battle-plain,
- And the first to hail, from sea to mountain-bowers,
- Strangers from all other lands to this fair land of ours.
- Then for Carolina, brave and free and strong,
- Sound the meed of praises in story and in song,
- From her fertile vales and lofty granite towers:
- Oh, there is no land on earth like this fair land of ours.
William B. Harrell.
CHAPTER VIII. TROUBLES WITH VIRGINIA.—RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS.
Besides the misfortune to North Carolina of having an unsuitable government and unfit governors forced upon her, she was also unfortunate in having no seaport where large ships could enter and bring and carry trade. Small coasting-vessels could enter the inlets and sail along the shore inside the sandbars, but the products that were to cross the ocean (such as tobacco) had to go through Virginia first.
The great open Chesapeake Bay, where all the ships in the world could ride safely, was a great advantage to Virginia, and Albemarle was obliged to send her tobacco there to ship it. In 1679, Virginia passed a law forbidding Carolina tobacco to be brought there at all. This law was in force for many years.
1679. This was unkind and unneighborly enough, but besides this, a year or two after, the governor of Virginia laid claim to the Albemarle country as belonging to Virginia, and tried to levy taxes there. The boundary-line had not then been fixed very clearly, and was not until forty years thereafter. Of course Carolina was not going to give up what was then the best part of her territory, and this was a source of ill-will between the States and of much vexation
to the people, who were kept unsettled, not knowing to which State they really belonged or how the dispute would end.
In all the tumults and uprisings that took place the Quakers, or Friends, were almost always very conspicuous. They had soon become numerous in Albemarle, having come to avoid the harsh laws made against them in Virginia. They had been treated there with great severity, and so also, a little later, were the Baptists. The Virginians were nearly all Church-of-England people, and could not bear to have any other denomination come among them.
So the Quakers came here. Their doctrines were full of peace and love, but they were always very ready to resist a government they did not like and to stir up trouble; and there was no love at all between them and the English Church.
There were also some Presbyterians and some Lutherans, and, after a while, some Baptists. Besides these there were a good many who had lived so long without any religion whatever that they did not care for it, and they would have been glad to live without law too.
Among such people, many of them rough and ignorant, all of them free and independent and fully resolved to stay so, the Church of England sent its ministers to teach and preach and endeavor to get that Church established here.
The leading families, the best educated and most refined and wealthy, were usually Episcopalians. But they had been so long without regular preaching that they had become very careless and indifferent.
The poor ministers wrote back very piteous letters to their bishops and missionary societies in England, begging for help or to be allowed to go home. They were terribly disappointed in their new parishes. Their habits of life had not fitted them for rough ways or for enduring hardships and privations. They were dismayed by a country of such vast distances, that had no roads to speak of—no churches, no bells, no parsonages, no money—and where it was with difficulty they could get a congregation together, or make parents have their children christened, or pay their preachers anything at all.
They complained a great deal, and had no good words to say of Carolina or its people. And of course they did very little good and had little or no influence.
On the other hand, the Quaker preachers made themselves at home. They bore patiently the want of comforts, the toilsome journeys, the dangers, the sleeping all night in the woods, the poverty. They went among the people very simply, making no claims, demanding nothing, holding their meetings from house to house. They were not at all particular as to forms, and would let the men smoke their pipes in meeting. All this suited a new country and a rough population.
The Quaker preachers wrote in praise of Carolina, and said the Albemarle people were “very tender,” and that 1695. they had “precious meetings.” They made many converts, and were the first who built a house for religious worship in this State.
It is a comfort to reflect, when we are reading history
and trying to understand what the quarrels and tumults were about and who was right and who was wrong, that after all the great body of the people were doing pretty well. In Carolina, at any rate, we are sure, from all accounts, that they ate and drank abundantly, and they married whether any Church-of-England minister was around or not, and they raised their children, and attended to their crops, no matter who was, or was trying to be, governor.
The tobacco grew finely, the flax and corn were flourishing, the cattle increased and grew fat in the canebrakes, the hogs were duly converted into bacon. There was plenty of rum brought in light vessels over the bars from New England, and plenty of molasses—or, as it was called, “long sweetening”—and sugar and salt from the West Indies to be exchanged for our products.
There is no doubt, too, that there was a good deal of tobacco smuggled into Virginia along the “Coratuck Sound.” When rulers make unwise laws, people will always be found ready to break them. Tobacco never was exchanged for anything but money, and was the only crop that brought money.
One of the reasons why life was so comfortable to our early settlers in Albemarle was that they generally kept on friendly terms with the Indians. Later on we shall read of a dreadful war with the savage Tuscarora tribe, but for many years there was no serious trouble with any of the Indians in Carolina. They hung around the houses of the whites; they hunted and fished for them, though they
would not work. They knew well where were the sweet springs, and in what clear waters the fish bred fastest. Every rich planter would keep an Indian or two to shoot game for him or kill the wild-cats and bears that were making too free with his hogs and cattle. The Indian women and children brought their baskets and mats, and were always kindly treated by the white families.
Negroes were first brought to America in 1619 from the West Indies. They had been carried there from Africa by the Spaniards. The English who had taken Barbadoes and others of those islands from the Spanish brought the negroes over to this country.
Afterward English ships also went to Africa and brought more. Indians also made slaves of negroes and of other tribes of Indians taken captive in war. In slavery the Indians soon died out: they could not bear it. But the negroes were of a more peaceable nature than the Indians. They bore their sad fate with patience and good-humor, and seldom rose against their masters. They and their descendants were certainly much better off here, though they were slaves, than they would have been in Africa; for there they were in a dreadful and bloody slavery to other savages, the weaker to the stronger, and lived like the wild beasts around them.
Here they were taught something. It is a great rise for a barbarian to learn how to plough. They were cared for, and on the whole were kindly treated, decently clothed, and instructed in religion. And the way they have increased and improved as a race shows that the Creator intended
to do them good when he brought them to America. They lived and flourished among the whites, while the Indian tribes disappeared. When they were fit to be free, then He gave them their freedom.RECITATION.SUNDAY AT A SOUTHERN COUNTRY CHURCH.
- There no proud temples to devotion rise,
- With marble domes that emulate the skies;
- But, bosomed in primeval trees that spread
- Their limbs o'er mouldering mansions of the dead,
- Moss-girdled oaks and solemn pines between,
- Of modest wood, the house of God is seen,
- By shaded springs, that from the sloping land
- Bubble and sparkle through the silver sand,
- Where high o'erarching woodland blossoms blow,
- While fragrant blooms breathe kindred sweets below,
- And elm and ash their blended arms entwine
- With the rich foliage of the mantling vine.
- In quiet chat before the hour of prayer
- Masters and slaves in scattered groups appear:
- No city discords break the silence here,
- No sounds unmeet offend the listener's ear;
- But rural melodies of flocks and birds,
- The lowing, far and faint, of distant herds,
- The mocking-bird with minstrel pride elate,
- The partridge whistling for its absent mate,
- And cautious crows their harsher voices join,
- In concert cawing from the loftiest pine.
CHAPTER IX. FEMALE INDUSTRY.—MILLS.
One thing is to be noted in all the early historians and letter-writers of North Carolina: they are very apt to remark the industry of the women of this State.
They spun and wove both wool and flax, and clothed their families with the work of their hands. They made plenty of butter and cheese. They kept neat houses, their pewter plates were very bright, their tables were well supplied with good food, and they were very kind and hospitable.
When such things are said of the women of a State, we may be very sure that State is doing well and is a good State to live in. This character still belongs to the women of North Carolina, for whatever is partakes of the nature of what has been.
One of the greatest needs of the Albemarle country for a long time was mills. This was much complained of, for even as late as 1710 it was said there was but one mill, and that a wretched one, in the country. Rich people used hand-mills, and poor people pounded their corn in wooden mortars as the Indians did.
Perhaps one reason why mills were not built sooner was
that in a flat country like that on our seashore, where the rivers run sluggishly, good mill-sites were hard to find.
Another thing was lacking, of a great deal more importance than mills, and yet there does not appear to have been much complaint made of it: there were no schools, and no attempts made by the people to educate their children.
The ministers of the Episcopal Church were the only teachers in the country for a long time, and their schools must have been very little attended, for where people live many miles apart from each other, how can the children be got together in a school? There must have been hardly any reading and writing going on, except among the law-officers and the ministers. There were no books to speak of, and what few there were, were read by very few persons.
It was so everywhere except in New England. There they were wise enough to provide for the education of their children. School-houses rose side by side with their churches, and a church was the first thing they thought of after they had built their houses. Our warm and easy climate had the effect to make men sluggish, and unambitious, and indifferent to higher things.
The settlements gradually spread along the coast southward from Albemarle, along the Pamlico Sound and the pleasant rivers that empty into it, and toward Clarendon county on the Cape Fear, where already two
attempts had been made and failed, as we have seen, to establish a colony.
1690. In 1690 some of the French Protestants who had fled from persecution in France to Virginia came down to the Pamlico country, and located at Bath in Bath county, on the Pamlico River. This was the first town in our state, and the legislature met there for years, but it never grew to be of any importance.
It is very plain, however, that while the “Lords” and their governors ruled, our part of Carolina increased in population and prosperity very slowly. This has been accounted for in many ways, but the chief reason was the bad government and the unwise laws.
And, besides, after it was found that there were no good harbors here and no likelihood of building up a great seaport city, the “Lords” gave more attention to the southern province and favored it more. The city of Charleston, in South Carolina, was founded not very long before our town of Bath, and soon became of importance, because it had a fine harbor.
Many French Protestants who had been driven from France by religious persecution went there. They were excellent colonists, for they were not only religious, but they were industrious and thrifty. They were a polite, refined, and social people. Trade and wealth flowed into that province, and commerce helps to improve a people rapidly.
So the “Lords” looked after their own interests, and neglected Northern Carolina more and more. In the
sixty-six years of their rule more than twenty of their governors came and went. In the larger histories they and their misdeeds are all set down, and may be studied there.
Of them all, Governor Sothel (1683-88) left perhaps the worst character. There were always, however, a few men of honor and education prominent among the citizens who guarded the public interests, and to whom the people were in the habit of looking for protection. Such were Edward Moseley, George Durant, Christopher Gale, Thomas Pollock, Walker Henderson, Alexander Lillington, and others like them, whose names should be held in honor by us.
1705. The “Carey Rebellion”—so called from the name of the chief actor—was a more serious affair than the “Culpepper.” It arose from an attempt by Governor Daniel to compel the people of North Carolina to support the English Church, whether they belonged to it or not.
All who were not Episcopalians resented this of course, and after much contention and confusion the Presbyterians sent John Baptist Ashe, and the Quakers sent John Porter, over to England to remonstrate with the government. Queen Anne now reigned, and she had the good sense to order at once that no such laws should be enforced here.
It is likely the queen and her council were glad to take this opportunity to snub the government of the “Lords,” for the royal government was beginning to get jealous of the
immense “Grant” and the power which had been given them. Kings and queens are never pleased to see a rival authority in their own dominions.
The Quakers were very busy in this Carey rebellion, and were numerous and influential enough to turn one governor out and put another in his place, and keep everything in confusion for several years. At one time there were two men (Carey and Glover) each claiming to be the governor and fighting with each other.
This miserable quarrel was not settled till a third man, Edward Hyde, was sent from England in the year 1710. He succeeded in making peace.
1712. In this year a large company of Swiss and Germans came from Europe, led by Baron de Graffenreid, and bought lands and settled where the Neuse and Trent rivers join. They named their town New Bern, after the city of Bern in Switzerland. There were some good French settlers already on the Trent. These new-comers were a valuable addition. They were religious, industrious, and frugal, and possessed some education and valued it. Such people make a country prosperous.
1714. Their new town was destined to take root and grow and become important. The only other town we had then worth mentioning was that of Bath, on the Pamlico River. But Bath was a very small place, and in spite of every effort to make something of it, giving it a charter and getting the Assembly to meet there, it never did flourish. The name of the county of Bath was afterward changed, and the province divided into several small
counties. Albemarle was divided up in the same way, and so was Clarendon on the Cape Fear.
The names of all our eastern counties were given in compliment to men who were governors in our early days or the great men in England, or they recall only the Indian tribes who once dwelt there.RECITATION.CAROLINA.
- Tell me, ye winds, if e'er ye rest
- Your wings on fairer land,
- Save when, near Araby the Blest,
- Ye scent its fragrant strand?
- Tell me, ye spirits of the air,
- Know ye a region anywhere,
- By day or night, that can compare
- With Carolina, bright and fair?
- Her feet she plants on ocean's plane;
- Her arms the hills embrace;
- In mountain's snow or mist or rain
- She laves her smiling face;
- Turns then to greet Aurora's dawn
- Ere yet on sea the day is born,
- And stars that die at birth of morn
- Kiss her “good-bye,” and then are gone.
James A. Delke.
CHAPTER X. THE TUSCARORAS.—END OF THE INDIAN WAR.
1711. The fierce Tuscarora tribe of Indians, who lived on the head-waters of the Neuse and the Tar, had sullenly watched the quarrels among the whites. They had long been nursing their rage and despair at the steady increase and prosperity of the English, who were depriving them of their fishing-grounds and destroying their hunting-grounds by driving off and killing the game and cultivating the land. They felt that they, too, would in time be driven away to make room for white people.
John Lawson had been appointed government surveyor, and was busy laying off more and more land for new-comers. This irritated the Indians greatly. He went among them a great deal, and was very friendly. He was the first who wrote a description of North Carolina, giving an account of a long journey which he made in 1700 from Charleston in South Carolina to the Cape Fear, and up that river to the Yadkin, and then eastward across the country to the Pamlico.
His book is very interesting and valuable now. There is no other that gives so much information about the climate, scenery, soil, products, flowers, fruits, and animals; and he
writes so kindly of the Indians that his fate afterward at their hands seems especially lamentable.
The Tuscaroras had twelve hundred warriors, and a well-fortified town called Nahucke where is now the town Snow Hill in Greene county, and they engaged four hundred warriors from several smaller tribes to join them. They felt sure that the quarrels and distractions among the white people gave the long-wished-for opportunity to destroy them.
In the fall of 1711 they suddenly fell upon the unsuspecting settlements and upon the lonely farms along the Neuse, the Pamlico, and the Roanoke, and in two hours there were one hundred and thirty white people, men women, and children, lying dead in their homes, massacred in a horrible manner. In this massacre and in the war which followed more than eighty infants were slain with their mothers. Houses were burned, the plantations and crops destroyed, and the cattle slaughtered.
It took but a day or two of such horrid work to make a scene of ruin and desolation where all had been smiling plenty and prosperity, and to efface the work of years.
The white people were so taken by surprise, so terrified, and so unprepared for such a shock that they could at first do nothing but gather together and defend themselves as they best could. The Indians ranged through the woods and through the plantations with yells of triumph. They had seized Baron de Graffenreid and Mr. Lawson before they began the attack, and kept them close prisoners while the massacre was going on. They spared the baron's life because he was not an Englishman, and after keeping him
six weeks a prisoner let him go back to his ruined and despairing colony. But Mr. Lawson, whom they especially hated because he was the surveyor, they murdered by sticking his body full of fine lightwood splinters and then setting them on fire.
The governor at once sent off to both Virginia and South Carolina for help. If it had not been for the ready and generous assistance of South Carolina, all the settlements in North Carolina, those in Albemarle as well as those in Bath, would have been destroyed. South Carolina immediately dispatched nearly one thousand men to our aid, commanded by Colonel Barnwell, besides voting a large sum of money. Most of these men were friendly Indians of South Carolina, who were themselves at war with the Tuscaroras. Indians were valuable allies in a war with Indians, for they knew how to attack and defend in the Indian fashion.
Virginia also promised help, and voted a very large sum of money, but then Governor Spottiswoode demanded security for repayment, to be given by a mortgage on the long-coveted province of Albemarle.
In her deepest distress North Carolina would not give such security as that, and Virginia gave no help except by exerting a friendly influence with the Indians. South Carolina sent help at once without asking for security or anything else. Afterward, when the South Carolina Indians broke out in a bloody war, North Carolina had the opportunity to repay this kindness, and did it gladly and nobly.
States and nations act toward each other very much as
we see individuals do in society. Some always look out for their own interests; some are generous and uncalculating.
The Tuscaroras were soon driven back to their stronghold at Nahucke, and were besieged there by the South Carolina troops, and compelled to surrender with dreadful carnage, for the white people were in no mind to show them any mercy.
During the war, which lasted two years, South Carolina sent another army of more than one thousand men, under command of Colonel James Moore. The Indian tribes, great and small, were finally broken up; their homes and various forts were abandoned, and those of them that refused to live in peace with the whites left the province and went away to the western part of New York and joined the Indians living there.
1713. The chief of the Tuscaroras was named Tom Blount. He had become attached to the Blount family and took their name. He undertook to make peace, to remain in Carolina, and to keep those Indians who stayed quiet and submissive. They never broke out again, but under their king, Blount, remained faithful to their promises.
While all this was going on the “Lords Proprietors” in England did nothing for North Carolina. The whole province might have been destroyed for all they seemed to care. To all the appeals made to them for help they made no reply and gave neither aid nor sympathy.
The departure of so many Indians lifted the dread of their cruel presence from the province and opened the
beautiful streams and hills and valleys of middle North Carolina to the white people, who now began to move inland and settle along the branches of the Neuse, the Tar, and the Roanoke.
But it was a long time before the settlements recovered from this dreadful massacre. The people were discouraged and depressed, and their prosperity was wilted, and many 1712. moved away to South Carolina. The yellow fever in 1712 made its first visit to our coast, and many people in Albemarle died of it. Among them was Governor Hyde, whose loss was severely felt, for peace had not then been made. He was succeeded by Colonel Thomas Pollock, one of our planters, a man of ability, of wealth, and influence, who conducted public affairs successfully till the “Lords” sent over a new governor. It was while Hyde was governor that North and South Carolina were finally separated, and each had its own distinct government henceforth. Hyde was, in fact, the first governor of North Carolina alone.RECITATION.THE INDIAN'S VISION.
- I have seen it in a vision,
- Seen the great canoe with pinions,
- Seen the people with white faces,
- Seen the coming of this bearded
- People of the white-winged vessel.
- I beheld too in that vision
- All the secrets of the future,
- Of the distant days that shall be.
- I beheld the westward marches
- Of the unknown, crowded nations.
- All the land was full of people,
- Restless, struggling, toiling, striving,
- Speaking many tongues, yet feeling,
- But one heart beat in their bosoms.
- In the woodlands rang their axes,
- Smoked their towns in all the valleys,
- Over all the lakes and rivers
- Rushed their great canoes of thunder.
- Then a darker, drearier vision
- Passed before me, vague and cloud-like.
- I beheld our nation scattered,
- All forgetful of my counsels,
- Weakened, warring with each other:
- Saw the remnants of our people
- Sweeping westward, wild and woeful,
- Like the cloud-rack of a tempest,
- Like the withered leaves of autumn.
CHAPTER XI. GOVERNOR EDEN.—BLACK-BEARD THE PIRATE.
1714. Charles Eden was our next governor, and in compliment to him the name of a little seaport at the head of Albemarle Sound, called “Queen Anne's Creek,” was changed to Edenton.
1715. In this year North Carolina was able to return South Carolina's kindness to us when we were in trouble. The Indians there began a fierce war, and North Carolina hastened to send generous help in men and money both.
1716. Governor Eden and Governor Spottiswoode of Virginia agreed to end the long dispute about the boundary-line, and then South Carolina set up a claim to the land lying south of the Cape Fear. One of the South Carolina agents sent to London on this business proposed that North Carolina should be divided up between Virginia and South Carolina!
Governor Eden was accused of having protected a pirate named Edward Teach—nicknamed Black-Beard—who had a light, fast-sailing vessel and went up and down our coast stealing everything he could lay hands on.
He and his crew had their haunt on one of our sandbar
islands, and here he was hunted out by one of the king of England's ships and killed. His head was cut off and fastened to the bowsprit of the ship when it sailed away. His skull was made into a bowl and rimmed with silver, and is said to be kept in Virginia 1722. now. Governors of other States have been accused, as well as Governor Eden, of dishonorable association with pirates. It was probably some smuggling enterprises that they had together, and nothing worse. The charge could not be proved against Eden, but men in authority should be careful not to be even suspected of wrong-doing.
Governor Pollock, who was president of the council, was again governor for a short time. Then he died, and William Reid took his place till George Burrington was sent from England.
A great many hard things have been said about Governor Burrington, but, as he said many hard things about everybody, it is no more than might be expected. He had a bad temper and a sharp tongue, and indulged in very intemperate habits. Of course such a man had many enemies.
He was, however, an active and energetic governor. He bought lands himself, encouraged new settlements, and set on foot much-needed improvements.
1724. One instance of his violent temper is enough to have made him hated and despised. He was riding one day through a great tract of land that he had bought, and saw that a poor man had built a cabin and was living on
some part of his domain. He immediately ordered the man and his family to leave, and made his servants burn the cabin.
The “Lords Proprietors” were by this time very tired of their “grant,” as they had not made much money out of it and it had given them and their heirs a deal of trouble. They proposed that the king should buy it back from them, which he was very willing to do. George I. was 1728. now king of England, and he agreed to give them two hundred thousand dollars for that part of it which was called North Carolina.
In 1725 the county of Clarendon, at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, was permanently settled, and the town of Brunswick was begun about fifteen miles below where Wilmington now stands.
A gallant South Carolina gentleman named Moore, who had come to help in the war with the Indians, was so pleased with the Cape Fear country that he resolved to make it his home. Other men of wealth and refinement, some from Albemarle and some from South Carolina, joined him, and the new settlement took root and began to flourish from the first. The Lillingtons, Ashes, Waddells, Harnetts, Swanns, Hills, Moores, were all prominent, and their descendants still dwell in the country, useful and honorable citizens.
In 1728 the unsuccessful government of the “Proprietors” was ended. The last governor they sent over was Sir Richard Everard, who was no improvement on any of his predecessors.
As it is better to have one master than eight, North Carolinians must have been satisfied to come under the king's rule, and might hope for better times.
Just now, too, the boundary-line between us and Virginia was finally run by surveyors, who marched, with a party of gentlemen chosen from each State, straight west from Currituck Sound across the Dismal Swamp to the foot of the mountains.
One of the Virginia gentlemen wrote a very entertaining book about this expedition. He came over and paid a visit to the town of Edenton, which had only thirty or forty houses in it, and few of them, he said, with a brick chimney, and no church of any kind. The courthouse looked little better than a tobacco-barn.
From the appearance of Edenton this gentleman supposed there must be very little respect for law, and none at all for religion, in North Carolina. But in this he was mistaken, as people are apt to be who judge in a hurry and from slight observation.
He notices the fruitfulness, the abundant way of living, the evident industry of the women, the pleasant climate, and the hospitality of the country-people. Wherever the party went they found the farmers were anxious the line should be run so as to put them in North Carolina rather than Virginia, “because this was a free State.”
1729. The first governor given the colony by the king was no other than Burrington, who seems to have had friends at court if nowhere else. He began by quarrelling, and continued in his old scandalous way of life till removed
and a successor appointed, who proved the best ruler we had yet had. He held office, too, longer than any, being governor for eighteen years, and he left at the end an honorable name.
1734. This was Gabriel Johnston. He was a well-educated Scotch gentleman, a man of integrity and good sense and well disposed to do his duty. North Carolina under his rule entered upon a career of greater prosperity than had yet been her lot.
The population of the State then was about 40,000. Thirty years afterward it had increased to 125,000—four-fifths being whites, one-fifth negroes and Indians.
1745. Before Governor Johnston had been here ten years he wrote back to England that new inhabitants flocked into the State daily, and chiefly into the middle part. These came from Pennsylvania mostly, and were of Scotch-Irish descent. Many came directly from Scotland, and landed at the Cape Fear, and settled the country lying all along that river. Many came by way of Charleston, S. C., and moved into the lower valleys of the Yadkin and Catawba.
These people were all Protestants. The Scotch-Irish were mostly Presbyterians, but whatever Church they belonged to, they were always a steady, honest, industrious, and religious people, who made excellent citizens. There were many 1753. good Germans too, who settled in Rowan county. A great company of Moravians bought one hundred thousand acres of land in what is now Forsyth county and settled the town of Salem. There they have lived in peace
1765. ever since. These all were valuable settlers, and their descendants still dwell where their fathers first subdued the forests, and resemble them in their best traits of character.
Year after year they poured through Virginia in wagons and carts which carried the women and children and their household goods. The men walked or rode on horseback. They brought with them slips of fruit trees, shrubs and flower-roots, which their fathers and grandfathers had brought from Europe across the Atlantic. Many of their articles of domestic convenience are still in use among their descendants in North Carolina. A pear tree is yet bearing fruit in Orange county which was brought in a bundle of fruit-tree switches from Pennsylvania a hundred and twenty years ago. The women brought their flax-wheels and looms. They brought their tall old clocks, their heavy chests full of household linen. Above all, they brought their Bibles and hymn-books.
We wonder, when we look at the map and see how long and slow the journey must have been across the great State of Virginia and her wide rivers and mountains, why these people did not stop in some of the beautiful and pleasant Virginia valleys instead of coming on so far.
One of the historians of that day says they would not stop in Virginia because the English Church was the State Church there, and they could not be “free and equal” if they settled in Virginia. North Carolina was considered “a free State:” her people had not resisted bad government and stood out for their rights so long for nothing.
So here came the long wagon-trains bringing thousands of honest, God-fearing, earnest people who meant that the little red-cheeked boys and girls they brought with them should take root like the seeds and the fruit trees, and grow up in freedom in the new homes they were seeking.
It was in these years that the great Methodist preachers, John Wesley and George Whitefield and their friends, came from England to America and traversed the States, preaching with so much devotion and eloquence that great revivals of religion took place in the country. The first foundations of the Methodist Church were laid, and a general reformation in the morals and manners of their converts added greatly to the prosperity of every community where they entered.
Governors of Carolina under the Lords Proprietors.
|Kings of England.|
|Charles II. 1660-85.||1664.||William Drummond, governor.|
|Charles II. 1660-85.||1667.||Samuel Stephens, governor.|
|Charles II. 1660-85.||1674.||George Carteret, president of council.|
|Charles II. 1660-85.||1677.||Eastchurch and Miller, president (Culpepper Rebellion).|
|Charles II. 1660-85.||1680.||John Harvey, president; John Jenkins, governor.|
|Charles II. 1660-85.||1681.||Henry Wilkinson, governor.|
|Charles II. 1660-85.||1683.||Seth Sothel, governor.|
|James II., 1685-88.|
|William and Mary, 1688-1703.||1689.||Philip Ludwell, governor.|
|William and Mary, 1688-1703.||1693.||Alexander Lillington, deputy governor.|
|William and Mary, 1688-1703.||1695.||Thomas Harvey, deputy governor.|
|William and Mary, 1688-1703.||1699.||Henderson Walker, president.|
|Anne, 1703-14.||1704.||Robert Daniel, deputy governor.|
|Anne, 1703-14.||1705.||Thomas Carey, deputy governor (Carey Rebellion).|
|Anne, 1703-14.||1709.||William Glover, deputy governor.|
|Anne, 1703-14.||1710.||Edward Hyde, president.|
|Anne, 1703-14.||1712.||Thomas Pollock, president.|
|Anne, 1703-14.||1714.||Charles Eden, governor.|
|George I., 1714-26.||1722.||Thomas Pollock, president.|
|George I., 1714-26.||1723.||William Reid, president.|
|George I., 1714-26.||1724.||George Burrington, governor.|
|George I., 1714-26.||1725.||Sir Richard Everard, governor.|
|George II. 1728-60.||1729.|
- There were men with hoary hair
- Amidst those pilgrim bands:
- Why had they come to wander here,
- Far from their childhood's lands?
- There was woman's fearless eye,
- Lit by her deep love's truth;
- There was manhood's brow serenely high,
- And the fiery heart of youth.
- What sought they thus afar?
- Bright jewels of the mine?
- The wealth of seas? the spoils of war?—
- They sought a faith's pure shrine.
- Ay, call it holy ground,
- The soil their feet have trod:
- They have left unstained what there they found—
- Freedom to worship God.
CHAPTER XII. GROWTH UNDER THE NEW GOVERNMENT.
1740. Governor Johnston and his council must have been kept pretty busy laying off tracts of land and allowing for new counties to accommodate the increasing population.
As if there must still remain some of the bad results of the “Lords Proprietary” government, there was a strip of land running through the northern part of North Carolina from east to west that was claimed by the heirs of one of the “Lords,” who had refused to sell his share to the king when the rest was sold.
This of course gave no end of trouble in surveying lands and collecting rents and taxes. It was not always easy to tell if it was Lord Granville's land or the king's. Many disputes arose in consequence, which were not settled till the good time came when North Carolinians took the law into their own hands and got rid of kings and lords for ever.
1745. It very likely was because we had a Scotchman for our governor that so many of that shrewd and thrifty nation came to our State in those days. Many came from the mountains or Highlands of Scotland in consequence of
a war with the king of England in which they were beaten. Cross Creek on the Cape Fear, now called Fayetteville, was settled by these people in 1762. There are not many families in that part of the State now which are not of Scotch descent.
Salisbury in Rowan county was laid off in 1753; Charlotte in Mecklenburg was named in 1763 for Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. Hillsboro in Orange county was laid off in 1789.
These were very small and insignificant places for a long time. They would have a courthouse, an office for the land surveyor and the lawyer, a store, and a few houses scattered here and there. Our towns grew very slowly, for we had no large seaport to bring trade and encourage commerce and enterprise. Our settlers lived on their farms, and were satisfied to produce their own food and clothing and flourish undisturbed and unambitious.
Now that Governor Johnston was comfortably settled, we may suppose that public affairs were moving along smoothly and happily. It certainly was a great change for the better to have a really respectable man at the head. He married Miss Penelope Eden, daughter of Governor Eden, and settled in Chowan county, though we hear of him often 1750. in New Bern and Wilmington. He had much to do with removing the settlement at Brunswick to a healthier location, and gave Newtown the name of Wilmington. Some of his relations had accompanied him to North Carolina, and were settled near him, and their descendants are among our best citizens to this day.
He met the Assembly regularly at New Bern, which, being halfway between the towns of Wilmington and Edenton, seemed most convenient to the greatest number. He was an active, prudent man of business, and his rule was beneficial on the whole. He made it, however, his chief duty to care more for the interests and the increase of the revenue and power of his master King George than to study the wants and wishes of the people he governed.
They were very well satisfied with Governor Johnston till they found out this about him. Then they showed the same old spirit that had worried previous governors. The Assembly would not yield to him and pass laws which he wanted, but which they knew would bear heavily on the people whose representatives they were. Then he would dismiss or “prorogue” them for a time, and then call them together again and again, with the same result. They could be neither frightened nor flattered, and stood firm whenever the governor was arbitrary or unjust.
He was not pleased with this spirit of resistance and independence. He wrote back to England abusing the country and the people who inhabited it as “wild and barbarous.”
From 1705 to 1749 the man who was most active in promoting the real prosperity and liberty of North Carolina was Edward Moseley of Albemarle, who was our first chief-justice, and was in public life more than forty years. He was the faithful guardian of our best interests and real dignity. We owe him a great deal to this day. It was his judgment, skill, and firmness that secured North Carolina
her proper share of territory when the dividing-line was run between us and Virginia. If we had had a commissioner as faithful and as accomplished on our southern border, the line there would have been run straight and fairly too.
Edward Moseley married a daughter of Major Lillington, and removed to the Cape Fear in 1734, and his wife's nephew, young John Alexander Lillington, went with him, and became afterward distinguished in our history.
1750. In Governor Johnston's day many long-needed improvements took place for the benefit of the public. Roads were laid out, bridges were built, sawmills were put up. Cotton began to be cultivated, but only for home use, to be mixed with wool or flax. No machine was yet invented for separating the seed, and it had to be picked out by hand. This was very slow work. Children and old folks would sit round the fire at night and pick out the seed, and no doubt thought it a good evening's work when they had cleaned one pound.
The chief productions of the country were tar, pitch, and turpentine; lumber of all kinds; skins, furs; indigo, rice, Indian corn, hemp, flax, tobacco, pork, and beef. Fifty thousand fat hogs were driven over into Virginia every year to be converted into bacon, and ten thousand beef cattle.
In exchange for our products we took all kinds of manufactures—hardware, nails, cloth, tin and pewter ware, fine clothes, wines, liquors, sugar, molasses, etc. etc. These things came from the West Indies chiefly or from England.
The cultivation of indigo and rice was abandoned after a while, because they could not be raised with profit. Flax and hemp were used till cotton took their place. What were called the “quit-rents” due to the king for their land were paid by the people largely in these products, for there was very little money in the back settlements of the province.RECITATION.CAROLINA.
- Home of the beautiful and brave!
- Land of the mountain-torrent born!
- Land of the broad and sounding wave,
- Of pine and cedar! Hail the morn
- Which saw thy glorious banner fling
- Its gorgeous folds from hill to flood—
- Which heard thy glens and valleys ring
- With Freedom's triumphs! Hallowed blood
- In thy great cause hath freely gushed
- From patriot hearts; and we have blushed,
- And crimsoned deep with burning shame
- To think that glittering lyres are strung
- To hymn the base and mean to fame,
- While thy great deeds and glorious name
- Go down to dust unsung.
J. B. Shepard.
CHAPTER XIII. FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR.
1752. The first printing-press in North Carolina was set up in New Bern by James Davis in the year 1749. New Bern by this time was the most important town, being the regular place of meeting for the Assembly and the various courts.
The first book printed in our State was printed at New Bern in 1752, and was a copy of the State laws. The first newspaper was issued there. The first incorporated school was established there in 1766, and James Davis the printer was the first regular mail-carrier appointed by the legislature.
A distinct character was given to that section by the French and Swiss settlers. They were social, thrifty, and enterprising, and in a generation or two from this time New Bern people were noted for intelligence and refinement, and New Bern trade for successful enterprise.
The few schools that had been started in various places had not flourished. The ministers of the Church of England had endeavored to keep up some parish schools, and the government often attempted to levy taxes for the support of both ministers and schools. This was always resisted
by the taxpayers, for most of them were opposed to having a State Church or State-Church schools.
Sunday-schools had never yet been thought of. The children must have generally had little or no teaching. There were no books for them, not even spelling-books. There were very few for grown folks, and these few were on the scanty book-shelves of the ministers. Most families of fortune and respectability owned a family Bible, some prayer-books or some hymn-books. These were nearly all.
It is hard to guess how schools could have been taught. There were no histories for children, no geographies, no readers, no arithmetics. Such things as blackboards, or even slates and pencils, must have been unknown. And there were no delightful story-books for anybody.
Yet, with all this lack of education and indifference to it, there was in some places and in certain families a good deal of refinement and luxury, and some elegance in the style of living, especially in the older settlements on the Albemarle. The old court-records show this. Old wills, for instance, prove that there were in many families equipages, furniture, mirrors, silver plate, wines, and costly articles of dress that only people of wealth and social position and good family in those days possessed. Their servants wore liveries. Their hospitality was unbounded. Indeed, on their lonely plantations the arrival of a stranger must have been hailed with joy.
The ladies are reported by the travellers in those days to have been handsome, with “especially fine eyes;” and we may be sure that whatever fashions prevailed in England
were speedily copied here. The cherry-colored ribbons and hoods, the clocked stockings and high-heeled slippers, the lace lappets for the head, the lace ruffles for the hands and arms, the fine linen and the silks and the jewelry—all which fineries the old writers describe—were all brought across the ocean for the ladies of fashion and gayety.
Dancing, feasting, card-playing, hunting, foot-racing, horse-racing, wrestling, are all mentioned among the amusements of that day, especially in the eastern counties. Drinking too was much more common among all classes.
Governor Johnston died in July, 1752. A fort on the Cape Fear and one of our counties were named in honor of him. He was succeeded by the president of his council, Nathaniel Rice, who died in a few months and was succeeded by President Rowan. He was Irish by birth, and had been a very useful and prudent man in public affairs.
At one time he was a merchant in the town of Bath, and made voyages to and from England. He said in 1733 that on one voyage he carried above one hundred pounds weight of silver money to England, taken at Bath. It is evident that there must have been a good deal of “hard money” among the seaport towns, where trade flourished.
1753. The king appointed Arthur Dobbs to succeed Governor Johnston. He arrived in 1754, and was inaugurated at New Bern. He too was an Irishman, an educated man, an author, and had been a good deal in public life. But he was not as able as Johnston.
During his rule the Indians of the western part of the State began to give trouble, as the incoming crowds of white people invaded their lands and pushed them farther and farther west. He caused forts for the protection of the whites to be built on the Yadkin and Catawba rivers, and travelled through the State himself looking into affairs and buying land.
What is called “the Old French and Indian War” broke out in 1754 between the French people, who occupied Canada, and the English, who occupied the States along the Atlantic shore. The French wished to possess the vast and fertile country lying on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. They engaged the Indians to help them, and this made the war a dreadful and bloody one. It raged for years and devastated the north-west frontier settlements of New York and Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The French and English were old enemies in Europe, and over in this New World they struggled long for the supremacy. The English were finally victorious.
Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia called on North Carolina for aid against the common enemy, and the answer of North Carolina to this call was prompt and generous. The Assembly met and voted sixty thousand dollars and a regiment of men to march at once.
Colonel James Innes of Wilmington commanded this regiment. He was a Scotchman who had come over with Governor Johnston, and had been in public service for twenty years. He was placed in command at Fort Cumberland in Maryland, and there received the broken remnants
of the British army under General Braddock as they 1755. fled from the bloody defeat at Fort du Quesne in Western Pennsylvania.
It was at this battle that George Washington of Virginia first attracted public attention by his courage, skill, and prudence. Twenty years from that time he was called to lead the armies of America in the great war for American Independence.
Colonel Innes and his regiment returned to North Carolina next year. He died in 1759, and in his will gave a considerable bequest to found a free school in Wilmington “for the benefit of the youth of North Carolina.” This was the first legacy of the kind in the history of our State.
One of Colonel Innes's officers in his Virginia campaign was Major Hugh Waddell of Wilmington, who afterward was conspicuous in State affairs, and whose descendants have always been prominent and useful citizens.
Three years after Braddock's defeat, Major Waddell, in command of a large body of troops, besieged and took Fort du Quesne, and the French and Indians were driven out. Waddell was then sent to protect our own western frontier, and he served in many expeditions against the Indians, being a noted Indian fighter and distinguished for his fine person and great strength and many soldierly qualities.
1760. Governor Dobbs was an old man when he was first appointed, and was very much set in his ways. He was continually at variance with his legislature, and seemed either unable or unwilling to settle the disorders and disputes
which were frequently arising between the people and the law-officers of the king. In his old age he married a young wife, and after his death she married Abner Nash of New Bern, who became governor of the State many years afterward, and from them have descended the excellent and distinguished Nash families of our State.RECITATION.A DAY ON THE HILLS.
- In these green hills our brave forefathers sleep,
- The men of mighty deeds—a noble band.
- When driven from their homes, they crossed the deep
- And formed a state that grew so great and grand
- That in their day its shadow did expand
- And climb the tyrant's throne. Let history bind
- Their glory round her brow, until her hand,
- Weary with search, on record fails to find
- Minds tempered with such power to benefit their kind.
- And while they sleep she tells their deeds sublime,
- The everlasting base on which shall spring
- New empires like their own, till every clime
- Shall bless the breeze that bears their eagle's wing,
- And tongues of every language learn to sing
- Freedom's sweet song: far through the varied zones
- Of Asia's dark dominions it shall ring,
- Gladdening benighted nations, till its tones
- Startle their sleeping gods and shake barbarian thrones.
J. M. Lovejoy.
CHAPTER XIV. GOVERNOR WILLIAM TRYON.—“THE STAMP ACT.”
Governor Dobbs died in March, 1765. His successor was Colonel William Tryon, a soldier by profession, a man of ability and of polished address. He was, however, haughty and unfeeling in temper, fond of show and of absolute power. His wife and her sister, Miss Esther Wake, were relatives of the earl of Hillsboro, and were ladies who knew well how to exert influence in society and gain serviceable friends. They were handsome and accomplished, and soon gathered a little court around them at New Bern, where they fixed their residence.
One of Governor Tryon's first acts was to repeal the law which forbade any other minister than an Episcopalian to perform the marriage ceremony. He gave permission to Presbyterian ministers to act. This of course gave great satisfaction to the Presbyterian communities and was a good beginning.
It seems wonderful that the people for one hundred years had submitted to this law so quietly. It must have been that Episcopal ministers were very few and scattered, and, as a justice of the peace could always be had, religious feeling had been but little considered in their weddings. People
often married, as the Quakers did, with no religious form at all, and found it answered just as well.
Tryon found the State heavily in debt from the expenses of the Indian wars. The legislature was fresh from its quarrels with Governor Dobbs, and the whole country was excited by a law recently made by the government in England which was very odious to their colonies over here. This was the famous “Stamp Act,” which led directly to the great war for American Independence called “the Revolution.”
The king of England (or rather of Great Britain) and his government were very much in want of money. They had just come through a long and costly war with the French nation, and, though they had conquered and were masters of nearly all the French possessions in America, still they were exhausted and in debt; and as the war had been undertaken to defend the American colonies from the French and Indians, they thought that the Americans ought to help pay for it.
This was only fair, and if the British government had asked for help in a different way, the justice of it would have been acknowledged.
When a government needs extra supplies of money, it usually lays an additional tax on the people. The price of something that they cannot do without is raised, and they pay the increased cost without grumbling if they see that it is just.
In England itself and in every free state it is the representatives of the people elected by them to their legislatures
who have the power to fix these taxes. They are supposed to know what the people do or do not wish. It is an important power, always jealously guarded in a free country, and always respected by the English people themselves.
But now their king and his council—or “ministry,” as they were called—did not let the State legislatures of America have any word in this matter. They demanded the tax in their own way, showing a great contempt of the different State governments.
No doubt they did feel a contempt of these young and growing colonies, and were pleased to have an opportunity to show them how subject they were to the king, and how easily, if he chose, he could override them.
Paper is something that all classes must use, even if they never write anything themselves. Business in law and trade requires a great deal of it. The British government made a law that every bit of paper used in bonds, notes, and deeds, and every law document, should have a certain stamp on it and should be sold at a high price. This law also taxed other necessaries, but it was that on paper which was most odious. It was not the amount of the tax so much, though that was unwelcome enough, as the fact that the American legislatures were not allowed to vote upon it, as was their right. They were not consulted in any way.
This was very galling, and every State in America rose up in protest against it.
Just about this time in North Carolina it seemed as if all the land-agents and law-officers, the sheriffs and constables,
and the justices of the peace, were doing all they could to irritate the common people by every kind of odious treatment. The clerks of the court demanded unlawful and heavy fees continually for every service. Five or six dollars was the common price of a marriage license, and some of them demanded fifteen dollars.
In that part of Orange county where now is the pretty village of Chapel Hill and the University of the State, there was then only a small chapel of the Episcopal Church by the side of the road leading from Petersburg, Va., to Pittsboro in Chatham. The sheriff was going over the county with his deputies, distraining and selling the property of every man who did not instantly pay the amount of tax demanded.
He came to the cabin of a poor man not far from the chapel on the hill, who was not at home. Not finding anything, or enough of anything, among his poor possessions to satisfy the demand, the sheriff made the man's wife take off her homespun dress, which she had spun and woven and made herself, and sold it “under the hammer” for the tax, and then, giving her a slap in the face, told her to go and make another.
When such things, and even worse, were done in the name of the law, is it any wonder that the people hated the law and its officers?
A good governor would have made it his business to put a stop to all this oppression and show the people that he meant to be their friend. But Tryon was of too high and haughty a spirit for that.
When all the States sent delegates to a general congress held at Philadelphia to protest against, and consult what they should do about, the “Stamp Act,” Tryon prevented our legislature from sending a delegate, so that our State could not be represented there.
The people, however, had public meetings and expressed their indignation very plainly, and when an English ship arrived in the Cape Fear with stamps and stamped paper, the militia of the counties round Wilmington, with John Ashe and Hugh Waddell at their head, marched to the town of Brunswick and let the captain of the ship know that the stamped paper should not be landed.
1766. They set a watch on the vessel, and carried off one of its boats and paraded with it, placed on a cart and with flags flying, through the streets of Wilmington. The town was illuminated that night in honor of this exploit, and next day a crowd seized the stampmaster, who was at Tryon's house, and made him take oath before the mayor that he would have nothing to do with the stamps.
The English ship had to sail away, and Governor Tryon thought he had better try to conciliate these irritated people; so he invited the militia to a grand barbecue, where he had an ox roasted whole and barrels of beer and wine and many good things provided.
The people assembled, but, instead of sitting down comfortably to dinner and making friends with the governor, they seized his roast beef and all his provisions and threw them into the river, and poured out all his liquors on the ground.
In every one of the States such scenes occurred, showing very clearly the spirit that prevailed in America.RECITATION.NORTH CAROLINA, I LOVE THEE.
- North Carolina! thou sweet home of mine!
- On no dearer land does the sun ever shine,
- From ocean to mountain-tops climbing the sky;
- I love thee, my home-land, and will till I die.
- North Carolina! thou land of my pride!
- I'll serve thee for ever, whate'er may betide;
- And naught else to me, from sea, land, or air,
- Can e'er be so lovely, grand, or so fair.
- North Carolina! thou noblest of States!
- All may find welcome who enter thy gates.
- True to thy country and true to thy sons,
- Bravest in battle where Liberty's blood runs.
- North Carolina! great, glorious, and free!
- The joy of thy children shalt thou ever be;
- In storm and in sunshine around thee we'll stand,
- And may God bless thee with most bounteous hand.
E. G. H.
CHAPTER XV. THE REGULATORS.—BATTLE OF ALAMANCE.
By the time our next legislature met in New Bern the British ministry had repealed the odious “Stamp Act,” though they still insisted on the right to tax the colonies if they chose.
Our legislature, however, was in such a good humor that it voted the sum of £5000—equal to $25,000—to build the governor a fine palace at New Bern.
It was said that this was done to please the ladies of the governor's family, who had made themselves very popular with the members by their fascinating manners and elegant entertainments. One of the new counties was named for Miss Wake. The ladies were anxious to have a fine house, and they succeeded in getting it, though it was built on a plan so much grander than was intended that it cost the State $80,000 by the time it was finished.
This was a very untimely piece of extravagance. The State was already in debt, and the people so burdened and so full of resentment that they were ready for rebellion.
Governor Tryon had no sympathy for their troubles. He further gratified his love of display by getting up a costly military expedition to the West to settle a short
boundary-line for the Cherokee Indians, and in return they bestowed on him the name of “The Great Wolf of Carolina,” Such a title was a rather doubtful compliment, but no doubt it pleased Tryon and the ladies very much.
The inhabitants of the middle and western counties soon 1768. showed what they thought of all this. They did not care in the least for the beauty or the graces or the balls and dinner-parties of Mrs. Tryon and her sister; but they did care to find themselves harassed by bad laws, burdened with taxes, and impoverished by extortion.
Meetings were held and associations formed for mutual protection and assistance, especially in the central counties, where they called themselves “Regulators.”
A good many Quakers had come from Pennsylvania and settled in Guilford and what are now Alamance and Randolph counties. These good people were always ready to stand up for liberty. They would not own slaves, nor would they be enslaved themselves. One of their preachers was Herman Husbands of Orange county. He had but little education, but was influential in his own neighborhood, and now began to be very busy writing and speaking and urging the men of that section in every way to resist the lawyers and to appeal to the State government.
The foremost lawyer in the country was Edmund Fanning, who had come from New York and lived in Hillsboro, and had grown rich by extorting enormous fees, and in many ways made himself very much hated and feared. Governor Tryon supported and encouraged this man, and sent his private secretary to assist him and act with him. He issued
proclamations to overawe the Regulators, and refused to hear all petitions and remonstrances with scorn.
1769. Finally, the governor raised a company of militia, and marched from New Bern to Hillsboro under pretence of holding a court and redressing all wrongs. But the end of this court was that the poor Regulators were heavily fined, and some of them put in prison, while Fanning, though he was found guilty of all his evil deeds, was fined one penny for each one of them.
This was a mockery of justice, and had the effect to inflame and irritate the people still more. Then Governor Tryon issued another proclamation graciously granting a general pardon to all the Regulators except thirteen, whom he had not been able to lay hands on and whom he called “outlaws.” Then he marched back to his fine palace at New Bern.
Two more years of such government and of growing discontent brought these Regulators into open armed resistance. Their numbers had greatly increased, and among them were many men of lawless and desperate character. This is always so in such uprisings, and the leaders of the people should be careful to watch and repress such characters, for they give a bad name to the whole movement. But the Regulators had no leader. Herman Husbands got out of the way as soon as the fight which he had instigated began, and went back to Pennsylvania. Most of these men were plain farmers and church-members, who, though goaded by oppression, did not mean to rebel against government, but only desired justice.
The rude and desperate men among them were now committing many excesses and outrages, seizing and cruelly beating lawyers, sheriffs, and other officials, Edmund Fanning among them. They burned and destroyed Fanning's fine house and furniture in Hillsboro, and finally, going farther and farther in their resistance, two or three thousand men at last assembled on Alamance Creek in arms, demanding fair play from the governor.
Tryon understood his profession as a soldier, if he did not know how to be a good governor. He acted swiftly and with energy. He ordered out the militia from several counties around New Bern, and sent orders to Hugh Waddell, who was at Salisbury, to raise troops and meet him in Orange. He set out at once himself with a train of artillery and baggage-wagons and all the belongings of a regular army, about eleven hundred strong.
Now, though the Regulators had assembled and stood at bay, it is not probable that they had expected there would be a battle. They had no soldiers among them, no arms but their guns, and no experienced leaders to tell them what to do. They knew that most of the men with Waddell and with Tryon sympathized with them and would not want to fight. All they wanted was justice, and they thought Tryon might give them that without any bloodshed if they only showed they were in earnest in demanding it.
A party of them, who called themselves the “Black Boys” of Mecklenburg, went to meet Waddell's company near Salisbury, and destroyed their powder. Waddell's
men were not anxious to fight the Regulators, and were no doubt very willing to be dispersed.
Tryon met the whole body of about two thousand drawn up on Alamance Creek, May 16, 1771. They sent one of their men to his camp to negotiate with him. Tryon shot him dead with his own hand as he was leaving the camp, and the Regulators, seeing their messenger killed, immediately fired on Tryon's flag of truce. This began the battle.
The Rev. David Caldwell, many of whose congregation were among the Regulators, was with them vainly trying to persuade the governor to peaceable measures, and praying the men to do nothing rash—to be prudent, to wait. He was walking in front of their lines, between the two armies, when the firing began. Tryon ordered his men to fire, and when they hesitated he shouted, “Fire! fire on them or on me.”
Everything was in confusion among the insurgents, who had no commander and very little ammunition. Every man fought for his own life as he best could, and fought bravely till his powder and shot gave out. It is said that in truth not more than half of the men had guns.
Tryon's victory was soon assured. The Regulators had to fly, and, as they knew the country well, but few of them were taken prisoners. Exactly how many were killed was never known, but many were wounded. Tryon in his report said that his own loss in killed and wounded amounted to sixty men.
Whatever the violence or the outrageous lawlessness of
the Regulators had been, it was no excuse for the severity and cruelty of Tryon toward his unfortunate prisoners.
He marched on to Salisbury, carrying his prisoners and actually exhibiting them in chains as he went, and treating the country-people as he passed with great severity. When he returned to Hillsboro he hung a number of these prisoners. Among them was a man whose little boy came in and begged the governor to hang him instead, so his father could go home to his mother and the other children.
Tryon showed no mercy. He effectually suppressed the Regulators, so that they never again rallied. He returned to New Bern in triumph. Within six weeks after the battle he was appointed to be governor of New York, and he and his family, accompanied by the lawyer Edmund Fanning, all left North Carolina together that summer.
He was governor of New York during the Revolutionary War, and distinguished himself there, as he had done here, by his activity and his severity toward the Americans.
Fanning, who was a man of fine education and ability, rose high in the king's service, and it is said that in after years he expressed deep regret for the part he had acted in Carolina.RECITATION.ALAMANCE.
- No stately column marks the hallowed place
- Where silent sleeps, unurned, their sacred dust—
- The first free martyrs of a glorious race,
- Their fame a people's wealth, a nation's trust.
- Above their rest the golden harvest waves,
- The glorious stars stand sentinel on high,
- While in sad requiem near their turfless graves
- The winding river murmurs moaning by.
- But holier watchers here their vigils keep
- Than storied urn or monumental stone;
- For Law and Justice guard their dreamless sleep,
- And Plenty smiles above their bloody home.
- Immortal youth shall crown their deathless fame,
- And, as their country's glories still advance,
- Shall brighter glow o'er all the earth thy name,
- Our first-fought field of freedom—Alamance!
Seymour W. Whiting.
CHAPTER XVI. GOVERNOR MARTIN.—THE REVOLUTION.
Josiah Martin succeeded Governor Tryon. He too was a soldier and a man of liberal education, and anxious moreover to do his duty. He was the last of the royal governors, and for the few years that he inhabited the palace at New Bern his course was judicious and conciliatory.
He openly condemned Tryon's violence and extravagance, granted a free pardon to all offenders, and spent a part of next year travelling through the disturbed counties and trying to restore order and good feeling. He took especial pains to get acquainted with the principal men who had been Regulators, and to win their confidence and keep them quiet.
He was more successful in this than might have been expected, for these men had not been fighting to overturn and break up the government. They had only wanted justice and consideration, and to be freed from the intolerable oppression of the understrappers of the law.
All America was in an excited and rebellious temper by this time, for the royal government still asserted its right to tax its colonies without their consent. The dispute had been going on for ten years.
We must remember that it was not the amount of money that the tax called for that the American people complained of. It was the principle on which it was to be collected. The States were all well able to pay three times the amount. In fact, the tax was made very light on purpose to induce them to pay it. It was the assumed right of the king to order it as he did that was so exasperating. The English people themselves had once gone to war and dethroned their king on just this principle.
It was plain that the English government had long been jealous of the growing strength of these colonies. As early as 1719 the government decided that no manufactures should be allowed here, because they might injure the trade of England. It declared that no hatter should employ more than two apprentices, for fear hats should be made here in too great quantities. All forges and mills for working in iron were forbidden, and, above all, no ships must be built, lest America should have a navy.
In spite of all this unwise treatment, in none of the States had there yet been any thought or wish of separating themselves from England, “their mother-country” as they called it, from which their fathers and grandfathers had come. They were proud to belong to that great nation, and to think they were part of it and had the same language, the same laws, the same history. They still called it “home.” Rich people sent their sons there to be educated.
And in all the States there were many people who to the last deplored the very idea of separation, and could not
believe that America could be even respectable apart from Great Britain.
In North Carolina there were many such. They were called Tories or Loyalists. Those who fought for liberty and independence were called Whigs or Patriots. These two parties grew to hate each other very bitterly, and really fought each other more cruelly and unmercifully than the Whigs fought the British soldiers. They fought in hate, and such war is most dreadful of all.
1772. The English ministry had now repealed for a time all other taxes except that on tea, and they arranged this so that the Americans should actually get their tea cheaper than ever before—cheaper even than the English people themselves could get it.
It was of no use. Americans would not take the tea at any price. The English sent a shipload of tea in December, 1773, to Boston. As soon as it arrived a party of Boston men, dressed and disguised like Indians, went on board the ship and threw all the chests of tea into the sea. Soon after another ship went to Annapolis in Maryland with a cargo of tea, and that ship was burned with all its freight to the water's edge. In Charleston and Wilmington they would not let it be offered for sale. Then the king sent his ships loaded with soldiers. Seven regiments under General Gage landed at Boston, and to punish the inhabitants for their obstinacy the harbor of Boston was shut up, or “blockaded,” and no ships were allowed to come in, and the trade and business of the city were at an end.
At this all of the States rose up to declare their sympathy with Boston. They held meetings and offered help. Bells were tolled in all the cities as if for a funeral, and fast-days and general prayer-meetings were appointed all over the country.
Provisions were sent to Boston from every quarter, for her people were in danger of starving. South Carolina sent two hundred barrels of rice; Virginia sent hundreds of bags of flour; North Carolina loaded a ship at Wilmington with all kinds of stores, and the captain and crew refused to be paid for their services, “because,” they said, “it was a common cause.”
1774. The ladies of Wilmington were very active, and in two days they raised ten thousand dollars to send to Boston. Even the people of Canada sent provisions and offers of sympathy and further help. The Boston people, shut up with the British soldiers to threaten and insult them, stood firm and declared they would die rather than yield one inch.
In August of this year a convention, or “Provincial Congress,” as it was called, of prominent citizens from every part of North Carolina met at New Bern without consulting Governor Martin or asking his permission. This was the first convention in our history that was independent of royal authority. Governor Martin was very indignant and denounced it as unlawful; but it paid him no attention. John Harvey of Perquimans, Speaker of the Assembly, was elected president of this convention, and all its acts and resolutions, while still
declaring loyalty to the king, announced that it sympathized with the people of Boston and considered the king's treatment of the colonies unjust and oppressive.
Three men—William Hooper of Orange county, Richard Caswell of Lenoir county, and Joseph Hewes of Edenton—were chosen to be our delegates to a Congress from Sept., 1774. all the States which was to meet at Philadelphia next month. The members of the first Committee of Safety for the State were John Harvey, Robert Howe (afterward general in our army), Cornelius Harnett, William Hooper, Richard Caswell, Edward Vail, John Ashe, Joseph Hewes, and Samuel Johnson.RECITATION.OUR NATIVE LAND.
- Breathes there the man with soul so dead
- Who never to himself hath said,
- “This is my own, my native land!”
- Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned
- As home his footsteps he hath turned
- From wandering on a foreign strand?
- If such there be, go, mark him well:
- For him no minstrel raptures swell;
- High though his titles, proud his name,
- Boundless his wealth as wish can frame,
- Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
- The wretch, concentred all in self,
- Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
- And, doubly dying, shall go down
- To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
- Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.
CHAPTER XVII. INDEPENDENCE DECLARED IN NORTH CAROLINA.
1774. The members of the Philadelphia, or Continental, Congress showed an excellent temper. They sent a humble address to the king, full of loyal feeling, praying him to protect his colonies and change his way of governing them. They sent an address to the people of England, explaining the trouble and declaring they only wanted their rights. They appealed to them for sympathy as brothers having the same love of liberty; and they also sent an address to the American people, telling them to stand by each other and be united.
The Congress was in session two months. The best men in America were members, and all they said and did showed great moderation, ability, force, and dignity.
Virginia was the oldest State, the wealthiest, the most important. Her great men were prominent. Among them all George Washington stood foremost.
All the little jealousies and rivalries between the States, such as we often see among men in private life, were at an end. Their delegates met in a common cause to consult for the common good, and generous feeling and generous resolves rose high.
Patrick Henry of Virginia, one of the greatest orators the world has ever seen, said: “I am not a Virginian; I am an American. The distinctions between the colonies are no more. We are all one.”
All differences and ill-will between the various churches were at an end for the time. Baptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Quakers stood side by side and prayed together for a common country, referring themselves to God Almighty to judge their cause.
Such are among the good effects of trouble and disaster. Men's hearts are warmed and become more tender and more unselfish.
While the Congress was in session Governor Martin went to New York to consult with Governor Tryon upon the state of affairs. It is likely Tryon advised him to hold his head very high and not give way an inch to the rebellious rabble of North Carolina. When he returned he went on issuing his proclamations and using every means to prevent public meetings.
1775. Still, the meetings went on, and the people elected delegates to another convention, which met at New Bern next April, at the same time with the regular State Assembly. Some men were members of both. Governor Martin was very angry and dissolved the Assembly within one week. But he could do nothing with the convention. The men told him they had a right to meet and to take measures for the public good.
Meanwhile the people of Massachusetts had actually begun the war. They had stored some powder and shot
at the village of Concord, sixteen miles from Boston, and General Gage sent a party of his red-coat British soldiers to seize it.
Information was secretly sent to Concord, and most of the ammunition was carried off and saved. But the country-people around Lexington and Concord had assembled, and when the soldiers arrived there was a fight. The British were driven back to Boston in a hurry, leaving two hundred and seventy-three of their own men dead and wounded, and eighty-three of the American farmers, who had left their wives and children that morning and caught up their guns and rushed out in defence of the common cause of liberty, lay dead.
The news of this fight, of the first blood shed in the great Revolution that had now commenced, thrilled through every State as express-riders on swift relays of horses galloped from town to town with the tidings. From Concord to New York, to Philadelphia, to Baltimore, to Annapolis, to Norfolk, to New Bern, to Wilmington, to Charleston, to the pine-forests beyond Savannah, it sounded like a buglecall to resistance.
1775. Just one month from the day of this fight the news reached the little village of Charlotte in Mecklenburg county. The people of that section had been in the habit of assembling to hear the news and to discuss public affairs. There were no regular mails anywhere, and very few newspapers. Handbills were printed and sent out by riders, and would be read at meetings.
The Mecklenburg men were called together in the last of
May, and the handbill brought by express with the Concord news was read to the crowd.
Speeches were made by such men as Colonel Polk, the Alexanders, the Brevards, and other prominent citizens.
The condition of the country was discussed, and the excitement rose so high that the whole assembly cried out for “Independence of the British government.” A committee was appointed at once to draw up resolutions.
When the convention met again many of the wives and mothers of the men were present. Dr. Brevard had written the resolutions; Colonel Thomas Polk read them aloud from the courthouse steps. They were unanimously adopted, with great cheering and throwing up of hats in the air.
These celebrated resolutions, which have ever since been a crown of just pride and glory to North Carolina, made the first declaration of independence for America.
The people of Mecklenburg county absolved themselves from all allegiance to that kingdom which had trampled on our rights and inhumanly shed the blood of our brothers at Concord and Lexington.
May 20th, old style; 31st, new style, 1775.—They declared that we were under the control of no power but that of Almighty God, and to maintain this independence they pledged each other their lives, their fortunes, and their most sacred honor.
This was a noble and daring act of patriotism. Nothing so bold had yet been said in America, nor was said for more than a year after, when the Continental Congress
re-echoed it in the national Declaration at Philadelphia.
Copies were sent to the next State convention at Hillsboro in August, and to the General Congress at Philadelphia. But these assemblies were not yet ready to move so boldly. They hoped still there might be reconciliation.
On his return from New York, Governor Martin had resolved to fortify himself in the palace at New Bern. He placed six cannon in front of it and set up a military guard. The citizens of New Bern did not choose to have a fortified palace in their town. They intercepted a letter he had written to General Gage asking him to send him ammunition, and they seized and carried off the cannon.
That night (June 14, 1775) Governor Martin fled from New Bern and took refuge at Fort Johnston on the Cape Fear. From there he soon removed to an English ship of war, the “Cruiser,” lying in the river, and made this his home for a year.
That move was the end of royal rule in North Carolina.RECITATION.THE LITTLE CLOUD.
- As when, on Carmel's sterile steep,
- The ancient prophet bowed the knee,
- And seven times sent his servant forth
- To look toward the distant sea,
- There came at last the little cloud,
- Scarce larger than the human hand,
- Spreading and swelling till it broke
- In showers on all the herbless land;
- Even so our eyes have waited long,
- But now a little cloud appears,
- Spreading and swelling as it glides
- Onward into the coming years.
- Bright cloud of Liberty! full soon,
- Far stretching from the ocean strand,
- Thy glorious folds shall spread abroad,
- Encircling our beloved land;
- And every bondman's chain be broke,
- And every soul that moves abroad
- In this wide realm shall know and feel
- The blessed Liberty of God!
CHAPTER XVIII. THE STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE BEGINS.
In the seven years of war which now followed we are to study chiefly the part which our own State took in it. In the large histories which have been written of that time all its events are recorded, and must be well studied by those who love their country. We can now only glance at the most important.
Within a few weeks after the fight at Concord thousands of enraged Massachusetts men assembled round Boston. The fight at Bunker Hill took place June 17th. As soon as the General Congress met in Philadelphia measures were taken for organizing and equipping and paying a regular army, and of this army George Washington of Virginia was unanimously elected general-in-chief.
Washington was already a soldier, having made a reputation in the Indian wars. His character is one of the noblest in all history, and to him more than to any other man is owing, under God, the final triumph of the American people.
All hearts turned to him with entire confidence. He was invested with full authority over all the forces to
be raised by all the States. In July he arrived in Cambridge, near Boston, and took command of the army.
Among the public men of our State to whom our people looked for guidance now, Richard Caswell and Cornelius Harnett were prominent. Caswell hastened home from the Congress at Philadelphia to urge the State to action.
The next State convention met at Hillsboro, and assembled in the Presbyterian church on the 20th of August. Aug., 1775. It consisted of one hundred and eighty-four delegates, from every county and chief town in the State. Samuel Johnston of Edenton succeeded the lamented Harvey as president, at Caswell's instance. He was a grand-nephew of Governor Johnston and a very able and upright man; not inclined, however, to move as fast on the road to independence as some others of the leading men. Owing to his influence, the convention adopted a very moderate tone, and, though firm on the patriot side, yet declared in favor of reconciliation with the king and his government if the unjust taxation should be abandoned.
The administration of public affairs in the State was provided for, now that there was no governor. A State council was appointed, with committees of safety in every county. Officers were commissioned, battalions and regiments of soldiers ordered to be raised, and arms and ammunition provided. Above all, the means to pay for this great revolution in the government must be arranged. Paper money must be issued and taxes laid. Premiums were offered for the manufacture of gunpowder, cotton and
woollen cards, cloth; for the erection of furnaces, papermills, and salt-works; and to encourage the manufacture of steel and iron.
Such times called for an immense amount of wisdom, patriotism, prudence, and foresight; and we may say of our leaders that they acted not only with great dignity and judgment, but with proper spirit.
However, they did not then adopt the Mecklenburg declaration, nor would they recommend a plan proposed by William Hooper for the permanent union of all the States. They were not ready for steps so bold and forward. Samuel Johnston's influence prevailed: they adopted his conciliatory and moderate tone.
North Carolina has often been induced in the course of her history to appear as if inconsistent with herself. She will take a noble step in advance of all others, and presently act as if she regretted it or feared the consequences. Thus she has often lost the reputation and advantage her first move would have secured.
After Governor Martin had taken refuge on board the royal ship, John Ashe and Cornelius Harnett went to Fort Johnston with four hundred men and set it on fire. This was to prevent its being made use of by the governor or any of his friends.
From his place of safety the governor still issued his proclamations, still tried to act as if he was governor, and still endeavored to keep alive the spirit of loyalty in the State. He was very much enraged by the Mecklenburg resolutions, and sent a copy to the British government, saying
that they surpassed all the horrid and treasonable writings that had yet appeared.
He complained too that Mr. John Ashe, who had been his friend and in the king's service, had now rebelled, and had appeared in Wilmington at the head of four hundred armed men, and when asked by what authority he was acting simply pointed to the men around him.
Poor Governor Martin! He could not understand how the people could be allowed to rule. He declared in one of his letters that “his situation was most despicable and mortifying, and that he only lived to deplore it.”
His only son, Samuel Martin, a very promising youth, had died not long before this, and was buried at New Bern. The poor father must have carried a heavy heart with all these public cares and mortifications, for he was separated now from all of his family, having sent them to New York when he fled from New Bern.
He would have been regarded more kindly by our people and mentioned more respectfully in our history but for his recommendation that the slaves should be incited to rise against and murder their masters. The royal governor of Virginia also urged the same horrible plan. This exasperated the people more than any other measure, and nothing Martin could do after this could conciliate them. They defied his threats, jeered at his proclamations, and ridiculed his offers of pardon.
One thousand men were raised and equipped. Colonel James Moore was given the command of one regiment, and Colonel Robert Howe of the second. In addition, battalions
of five hundred men each were ordered to be raised in every district.
Samuel Johnston, Samuel Ashe, Abraham Nash, Cornelius Harnett, James Coor, Thomas Jones (of Edenton), Whitwell Hill, William Jones, Thomas Jones (of Halifax), Thomas Person, John Kinchen, Samuel Spencer, and Waightstill Avery composed the first State council, which met first in Oct., 1775. Of this council Cornelius Harnett was president.
Royal Governors.RECITATION.THE VOLUNTEERS.
|George II., 1728-60.||1731.||George Burrington.|
|1734.||Nathaniel Rice (president council).|
|1752.||Nathaniel Rice (president council).|
|1753.||Matthew Rowan (president council).|
|George III., 1760-1820.||1764.||William Tryon.|
|1771.||James Hasel (president council).|
- They are gathering, they are gathering
- From the cabin and the hall;
- The rifle leaves its bracket,
- The steed must quit his stall:
- The country sends its thousands,
- And the city pours its throng,
- To resent their country's insult,
- To avenge their country's wrong.
- They are gathering, they are gathering
- From mountain and from plain,
- Resolved in heart, of purpose high,
- A bold and fearless train.
- No forceful mandate calls them out,
- No despot bids them go;
- They obey the freeman's impulse,
- But to strike the freeman's blow.
CHAPTER XIX. THE REVOLUTION.—BATTLE OF MOORE'S CREEK.
King George III. of England, who began to reign in 1760, was a man of stubborn temper and of dull mind. He had set his heart on making his American colonies submit to him, and nothing could move him.
He and two or three of his council—or “ministers” as they are called—were able to carry on an eight years’ war in opposition to the will of a large part of the English people, and in spite of the remonstrances of the English Parliament.
He could not believe that these new and poor American States could possibly stand against the power of the great British nation, or even that they would stay united in the common cause. His chief minister, Lord North, said the Union was “only a rope of sand.” When the men of Wilmington heard this, they said “it was a rope strong enough to hang him.”
The royal governors in all the States were of course stout for King George, and were continually sending him word that he had a great many devoted subjects over here who were ready to fight for him. All he had to do, they
said, was to send a well-equipped army and the rebels would soon be put down.
The great trouble for the British army was the wide ocean that had to be crossed. All their arms and ammunition and stores and equipments must be brought in ships that in those days were of small capacity, and might be two or three months in the voyage, and often be delayed or wrecked by storms. Such circumstances prolonged the war and favored the American cause.
Early in the year 1776, General Washington compelled the British army, which had held Boston in its clutches so long, to abandon its prey and betake itself to its ships once more. It was sent to the South, where by this time the king was assembling a large force. Twelve ships had sailed from England in January under command of Sir Peter Parker, having on board seven regiments of soldiers under Lord Cornwallis, Lord Rawdon, and Colonel Tarleton, and many other gallant officers.
These were all ordered to the Cape Fear, where they were to be joined by others from New York and from Boston, all commanded by Sir Henry Clinton. They expected to make short work of the rebellion in North Carolina, and Governor Martin was in high hopes that he would soon be able to return to his palace in New Bern. But all these ships were delayed by winds and storms, and did not arrive in the Cape Fear till late in the spring. Meanwhile, North Carolina had not been idle.
The Scotch settlers who lived above Wilmington along the Cape Fear were nearly all Tories or Loyalists. Many
of them had not been in this country long enough to love it, or to understand the controversy. They were all willing to fight for the authority of the king, and when 1776. Governor Martin sent commissions and arms and equipments through the counties, appointing officers and calling on the Tories to rise to his aid, early in February a band of nearly two thousand of them assembled at Cross Creek. They were commanded by General McDonald, a veteran soldier. Among their officers was a Colonel McLeod, who had come down in the winter from the British army in Boston to see a young lady whom he loved, whose family had lately come from Scotland. They had been married but a short time when he joined the Tories under General McDonald.
Their plan was to collect as large a force as possible, march down below Wilmington, and be there ready to receive the fine British army when it arrived.
But they had been watched. General James Moore at the head of his own regiment, joined by Kenan from Duplin and Ashe and Lillington from Wilmington, each with a small band of militia, checked them at Cross Creek.
After a day or two spent in sending defiant messages, McDonald, hearing that Colonel Caswell was on the march with eight hundred men raised from the counties around New Bern, suddenly decamped and hurried off toward Wilmington.
Moore immediately dispatched Lillington to meet Caswell and make a stand twenty miles above Wilmington,
at the bridge on Moore's Creek near where it runs into South River, and where the Tories would be likely to cross.
The patriots met, and intrenched themselves on the east or farther side of the creek, which, though narrow, was deep and muddy.
The planks were taken from the rude bridge and the sleepers—round smooth pine logs from which the bark had peeled—were greased with tallow and soft soap to make them still more slippery.
The patriots numbered about eleven hundred. They were full of enthusiasm. The men from Craven wore silver crescents in their hats, with “Liberty or Death” inscribed on them.
They remained under arms all night. At daybreak on the 27th the bugles and pibrochs of the Highlanders were heard, and soon they appeared marching in fine style. As they approached the bridge the firing began.
Feb. 27th, 1776. Young Colonel McLeod was the real leader of the Tory army, for General McDonald had been taken ill and was at a farmhouse eight miles from the bridge.
To cross those slippery pine logs in the face of a steady fire from the Whigs required nerve. McLeod rushed on desperately, and with one other officer succeeded in gaining the other side, but there they both fell at once, pierced with many bullets, McLeod cheering his men on with his last breath.
They followed as they best could, the officers trying to
steady themselves by sticking the points of their swords in the logs. But they were shot down, and their men thrown into confusion by the loss of their leaders and the condition of the bridge. Many fell into the water and were drowned. The short and furious struggle ended in the rout of the Tories. They turned and fled. The Whigs soon replaced the planks and charged across the bridge, pursuing them with great impetuosity.
Lieutenant Slocumb from Craven county with a small company hurried up the creek to a ford, crossed there, and attacked the Tories in the flank. Colonel Moore, following from Cross Creek, soon came up and assisted in the rout.
It was an overwhelming victory. The camp, the wagons and horses, and all the stores of the Tories were taken. Fifteen hundred rifles, three hundred and fifty guns, one hundred and fifty swords and dirks, medicine-chests and other fine military equipments from England, and a bag of English gold worth $75,000, were among the spoils.
General McDonald, who had gotten out of bed and was sitting on a stump near the house, unable to escape, was taken prisoner, with all his officers and eight hundred and fifty of his soldiers.
The patriots had but one man killed. His name was Grady from Duplin county. When he was buried, the captain of his company, James Love, took off his own sword, wrapped a silk handkerchief round it, and laid it on his dead friend's breast. The grave is now unknown.
Too many of these patriots rest in unknown or unmarked graves.RECITATION.
- Thy sacred leaves, fair Freedom's flower,
- Shall ever float on dome and tower,
- To all their heavenly colors true
- In blackening frost or crimson dew;
- And God love us as we love thee,
- Thrice holy flower of Liberty!
- Then hail the banner of the free,
- The starry flower of Liberty!
O. W. Holmes.
CHAPTER XX. BRITISH DECLINE TO ENTER NORTH CAROLINA.—BRAVE MRS. SLOCUMB.
The defeat of the Tories at Moore's Creek was of great importance. It placed North Carolina in her proper place among the foremost on the side of liberty; it inspired her patriots with fresh confidence; it taught the Tories a lesson; and, above all, it saved the State from the threatened invasion by Lord Cornwallis.
The day after the battle Colonel Caswell sent his report of it to the State council, then at Halifax. The ardor excited by such glorious news was so great that in less than a fortnight full ten thousand men were in arms and enrolled, and ready to march to Wilmington.
But the British ships were delayed by a stormy voyage, and did not arrive till several weeks after the battle. There were then fifty vessels, armed and unarmed, riding in the Cape Fear below Brunswick. Governor Martin felt sure of a speedy restoration to power.
The British commanders, however, were much discouraged by the defeat and losses of the Tory army and by the hostile attitude of the State. They resolved to make no attack on North Carolina just then, beyond landing some troops and burning and plundering some of the plantations
on the river. Among these was the home of our General Robert Howe, who was at that time in Virginia with a North Carolina battalion assisting to drive the governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, to take refuge on an English ship of war, as our governor had done.
May, 1776. Disappointed in their hopes, the whole British fleet left the Cape Fear in May, taking Governor Martin with them. They sailed away to Charleston, South Carolina, and spent the month of June in a vain attempt to take the fort on Sullivan's Island in the harbor of Charleston.
General Moore, General Howe, and General Nash were all sent with North Carolina troops to the assistance of Charleston.
The greatest enthusiasm was felt for Caswell and his officers and for their gallant little army. The General Congress at Philadelphia sent them its thanks, and made Caswell and Lillington both brigadier-generals. The State council appointed a day of thanksgiving, which was kept with religious services.
The Rev. Mr. Debow, minister of the Hawfield church, was preaching that day very earnestly on the goodness of the Almighty, to whom alone he ascribed the victory. One of Caswell's soldiers was present, an honest and brave but rude fellow. He got up in meeting and said if that was to be the way, and Dick Caswell and his men were not to have any credit, he wouldn't stay there any longer. And so he went out.
The wife of Lieutenant Slocumb at her home, sixty
miles from Moore's Creek, felt so uneasy about her husband that she saddled a horse and rode as fast as she could go, and alone, all night in the direction Caswell's troops had taken. At nine o'clock in the morning she heard the guns of the battle. She galloped on till she came up on the edge of the fight, and then alighted from her horse and set at once to work helping the wounded. Her husband and Colonel Caswell came up presently and were astonished to find her there. She stayed all day attending to the wounded Whigs and Tories alike, and at night mounted her horse and started for home. She rode one hundred and twenty miles in forty-eight hours without resting.
We are glad to know that this brave soldier and his brave wife lived happily together more than fifty years after this battle.
There were many such heroic women as Mary Slocumb in North Carolina, and indeed in all the States. Many stories are told of their courage and their patriotism all through the long war. They encouraged and assisted the patriots, they shared in all the dangers and hardships cheerfully, taking care of their homes and their children while their husbands and sons and brothers were fighting for their country. Many of them worked in the fields and raised with their own hands the corn and the potatoes and the flax to feed and clothe their families.
The women of the Revolution share now in the love and grateful remembrance of the nation whose freedom they helped to secure.
Among the McDonalds in the Tory army at Moore's Creek was one Kingsborough McDonald, who was taken prisoner. He is always mentioned in our history and supposed to be interesting to us because his wife, Flora McDonald, had had a romantic history in Scotland thirty years before she came to North Carolina.
She had generously risked her own life to assist in the escape of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who was fighting against the British king, and had been beaten and had escaped with great difficulty. This lady saved his life by her courage and fidelity.
We honor and admire her devotion to her unfortunate prince. Such stories are treasured in all countries and in all ages with delight.
But Flora McDonald is in no sense “a North Carolina heroine.” She was not in the State more than a year, and while here did not at all identify herself with the country or its people. She urged her husband and her son, a lad only seventeen years old, and her countrymen to take up arms against the patriot cause, and tradition tells of the scorn with which she and her daughters looked upon our rude North Carolina militia and “backwoods rebels,” as she called them.
As soon as her husband's release could be effected the whole family went back to their old home in Scotland, much disappointed and disgusted by their experiences here. North Carolina certainly owes this lady nothing, though she deserves honorable mention in Scotch history. She had not,
nor wished to have, any part or lot with us, and there is no reason why we should claim her.RECITATION.AT HOME.
- The wife who girds her husband's sword,
- ’Mid little ones who weep or wonder,
- And bravely speaks the cheering word,
- What though her heart be rent asunder,
- Doomed nightly in her dreams to hear
- The bolts of death around him rattle,
- Hath shed as sacred drops as e'er
- Were poured upon the field of battle.
- The mother who conceals her grief
- While to her breast her son she presses,
- Then breathes a few brave words and brief,
- Kissing the patriot brow she blesses,
- With no one but her secret God
- To know the pain that weighs upon her,
- Sheds holy blood as e'er the sod
- Received on Freedom's field of honor.
CHAPTER XXI. POPULATION.—CONSTITUTION OF 1776.
1776. In April the State council, of which Cornelius Harnett was president, met at Halifax on the Roanoke River. Johnston had lost in popularity and influence within the past twelve months: he did not represent the temper of the times.
Instructions were sent to our delegates in Congress to urge a declaration of independence for all the States. This was a great improvement on the Assembly that had met in Hillsboro the year before.
July 4. On the 4th of July the Continental Congress issued its famous Declaration of Independence for America. Copies were sent at once to all the States. Except among the Tories it was received everywhere with great rejoicings. Harnett read it to an immense public gathering in Halifax, and the crowd took him on their shoulders and carried him round the square amid shouts.
North Carolina's long sandbars now proved of valuable service in helping to protect her shores. The British ships of war could not cross them, nor had we any good harbors where they could enter and lie safely.
Besides, we had no great or rich cities to tempt them with hopes of plunder or of comfortable subsistence for their armies. Our two largest towns, New Bern and Wilmington, had not more than six or eight hundred inhabitants.
The population of North Carolina was much scattered, and did not exceed 300,000, one-seventh of whom, or 40,000, were negroes. The whole population of all the States was only about 3,000,000.
A few years before the Declaration of Independence was made a gentleman from Boston travelled slowly through North and South Carolina, and, comparing the two States, said that there were not near so many negroes or slaves here as in South Carolina, and in consequence the white people were more industrious and their farms were better. Property was more equally divided in this State; that is, there were fewer rich people and fewer very poor. No one was very rich, and all had enough.
This is an excellent report of any land. It shows that, though North Carolina had grown slowly, her progress had been in the right direction, ensuring the greatest good to the greatest number.
“Industry,” says this traveller, “was at work in the woods at tar, pitch, and turpentine; in the fields ploughing, planting, fencing, or clearing the land. Healthful countenances and numerous families prevailed in North Carolina.”
The British armies turned from our shores to the richer and more tempting prizes of Charleston or Savannah or
Norfolk. After the departure of the fleet from the Cape Fear no invading army entered our State in five years.
But in all the campaigns of those years North Carolina contributed her full share to the common cause. Her men marched to the aid of every State. From New York to Florida there were few battlefields in which her troops did not serve, and do their duty well and bravely.
After their repulse at Fort Sullivan the British army sailed to New York, and that city remained in their power and was head-quarters for their armies for seven years. There all their plans and expeditions against the American patriots were devised and set in motion.
Washington, often with but a handful of troops, ill equipped, half clad, and half fed, watched them from one point or another, opposed them, or retreated before them, out-generalled them, or was defeated. But in all the varying fortunes of the long war the spirit of the Americans was unconquerable. “Give me Liberty or give me death!” was the cry of the great Virginia orator. That cry became the watchword of America.
In the large histories the sacrifices of the patriots and their sufferings are recorded. Often when all seemed lost Washington's calm courage, his steady trust in the final triumph of the right, restored the sinking hearts of his countrymen and were like a bulwark of strength and hope.
When we see a great movement like this, where a feeble nation rises up against oppression and gains its freedom, though all the chances of war are in favor of their enemies,
we must refer their final success, as Washington himself did, “to the favor of Almighty God.”
In the fall of 1776 each of the States had to form a new constitution and a new State government. North Carolina called a convention at Halifax for that purpose, of which Richard Caswell was president. Many of the best men of the State were members, and among their most important acts was one providing for the “establishment of a university for the promotion of all useful learning in the State.” This could not be carried out for twenty years yet, but it is an evidence of the high character and high purposes of these men that on the eve of a great war, in the midst of the tremendous responsibilities, embarrassments, and uncertainties of the time, they should bethink themselves of the importance of education and bind the new government to provide for it.
No changes of any importance were made in the judiciary system or the general administration of the law as established under the royal governors. The governor and the judges were to be elected by the legislature. In December, 1776, Caswell was elected governor.
The first three judges were, John Williams of Granville, Samuel Ashe of New Hanover, and Samuel Spencer of Anson. Till the war was at an end, however, there was but little use for law.
Richard Caswell was a native of Maryland, but had been living in North Carolina for twenty-five years, and, having married here, was thoroughly identified with the State. He had filled many places of public trust, and in
all had proved himself a man of excellent sense, good temper, and great prudence.
His home was in what is now Lenoir county, and he had been colonel of the militia and in command in Tryon's army at the battle with the Regulators. But no man was now more heartily engaged in the struggle for independence or did more important service.
He was a lawyer by profession, a statesman as well as a soldier, and met every call made upon him generously and with marked ability. For these services he refused all compensation. His first term as governor lasted three years.
North Carolina was unfortunate in the premature deaths of some of her best and ablest citizens. General James Moore, returning home from Charleston in 1777, died suddenly in Wilmington, and his brother, Judge Maurice Moore, died on the same day. Neither was yet fifty years old. General Ashe died early in the war, broken down by its hardships. General Hugh Waddell died in the prime of life in 1773. John Harvey died in 1775.RECITATION.WHAT IS A STATE?
- What constitutes a state?
- Not high-raised battlement or labored mound,
- Thick wall, or moated gate;
- Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned,
- Not bays and broad-armed ports,
- Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
- Not starred and spangled courts,
- Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride.
- No: men, high-minded men,
- With powers as far above dull brutes endued
- In forest, brake, or den,
- As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude,—
- Men who their duties know,
- And know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain,
- Prevent the long-aimed blow,
- And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain.
Sir William Jones.
CHAPTER XXII. THE WAR CONTINUED.
1776. The Cherokee tribe of Indians on our western frontier had been quiet for a long time, but in this year, instigated by Tories from South Carolina who were sent by the British, came down from the mountains and began to lay waste the settlements. General Rutherford of Rowan county was sent out by Governor Caswell with a large force to attack them. He crossed the Blue Ridge at Swannanoa Gap, entered their country, burned their towns, destroyed their crops, and so effectually punished them they never again came down on this side of the mountains.
A strong and daring population had been gradually moving from North Carolina and Virginia into the fertile valleys of the French Broad, the Nolichucky, and the Holston. There they were laying the foundations of a new State, and we shall hear of them often again as our history proceeds.
Upon General Moore's death General Francis Nash took his command, and with six battalions of North Carolina infantry marched to the aid of Washington, who had retreated from New York across New Jersey, and was now endeavoriug
to save Philadelphia from being taken by the British general Howe.
1777. The battle of Brandywine was fought Sept. 11; the Americans were defeated, and Howe and Cronwallis took possession of the city. The American Congress had left on the first news of their approach, and was then in York, Pa., where it remained in session.
On the 4th of October, Washington attacked the main body of the enemy encamped at Germantown, but was driven back with loss. In this battle our gallant General Nash, Colonel Edwin Buncombe, Colonel Henry Irwin, and many others of our brave men were killed.
There were two commanders in the British army named Howe. Our Robert Howe of Wilmington was of the same 1778. family. He was now in command of the Southern troops. He led an expedition against the enemy in Georgia, but was defeated and driven out of Savannah. He was then ordered North, and General Lincoln took his command.
In the year 1778 the French nation agreed to ally itself with the Americans against its old enemy, England, and a fleet of more than thirty French ships of war with six thousand French soldiers now appeared in our Southern waters. They joined with General Lincoln in a brave attempt to retake the city of Savannah. But the attack was repulsed with great loss: the French ships sailed away and Lincoln retreated to Charleston.
1780. Here, in the spring of 1780, Lincoln was besieged by Lord Cornwallis and Sir Henry Clinton. After
a gallant defence, he was compelled to surrender with all his force, which included one thousand North Carolina militia and nearly two thousand North Carolina regular troops.
This was a severe blow to our State, for now it was nearly stripped of all its defenders, just when it was about to be invaded by the enemy. Georgia and South Carolina were both overrun and prostrate, and the royal authority was again set up. Lord Cornwallis would now of course move upon North Carolina. He had a well-equipped force. Some of the most experienced officers in the British army were with him.
Colonel Tarleton commanded a body of cavalry called the British Legion. He was a brave and accomplished soldier, but of as cruel and vindictive a temper as an Indian chief. He and his dragoons were the terror of the Southern country, and left a terrible name for barbarity and cruelty. They were Lord Cornwallis's right arm, and he depended much on Tarleton's energy and rapid action.
In the last of May, Cornwallis dispatched Tarleton to overtake Colonel Buford of Virginia, who had come into South Carolina with several hundred militia to assist General Lincoln, but, hearing of his surrender, was retreating toward Charlotte.
Tarleton surprised him in the Waxhaw settlement, near the North Carolina line, and routed him with great slaughter: his men were butchered after they had thrown down their arms and were asking for quarter. A North Carolina company led by Captain John Stokes was literally cut to pieces in this fight.
North Carolina had not a single organized troop of soldiers ready for her own defence, except a small body of cavalry commanded by Major William R. Davie, who was stationed in the neighborhood of Charlotte. Davie was a young man of uncommon merit. He had been highly educated and was a lawyer by profession. He possessed an elegant person, a fine mind, and many accomplishments, excelling especially in oratory. His career was a brilliant one, and his name is cherished high on the roll of our greatest men. The Tories now began to hold up their heads once more, hailing the prospect of Lord Cornwallis's advance. In June, thirteen hundred of them assembled at Ramsour's mill, near the present town of Lincolnton.
General Rutherford hastily collected a few hundred militia and sent word to Colonel Francis Locke of Rowan to gather as many men as possible and hurry to join him and Davie. Locke, with about four hundred men, attacked the Tories without waiting for Rutherford, and put them to flight after a desperate struggle. Rutherford and Davie came up with their men just after it was over.
This battle was one in which brothers and near relations fought on opposite sides, recognizing one another from time to time as it went on. The next day, when the friends of the dead, the dying, and the wounded went to the battlefield to attend to their own, heartbreaking scenes took place and a terrible wail went up.
Such is war. Even war undertaken on such rational, just, sacred grounds for resistance as this was must bring
in its train an unspeakable amount of ruin and misery. Let no people resort to it rashly or lightly.RECITATION.THE BROTHERS.
- Yes, now I remember it all too well:
- We met, from the battling ranks apart;
- Together our weapons flashed and fell,
- And mine was sheathed in his quivering heart.
- He spoke but once, and I could not hear
- The words he said for the cannon's roar;
- But my heart grew cold with a deadly fear:
- O God! I had heard that voice before!—
- Had heard it before at our mother's knee
- When we lisped the words of our evening prayer:
- My brother! Oh would I had died for thee!
- This burden is more than my soul can bear.
- I pressed my lips to his death-cold cheek,
- And begged him to show me, by word or sign,
- That he knew and forgave me: he could not speak,
- But he nestled his poor cold face to mine.
- The soldiers who buried the dead away
- Disturbed not the clasp of that last embrace,
- But laid them to sleep till the judgment day,
- Heart folded to heart and face to face.
CHAPTER XXIII. BATTLE OF CAMDEN.—NEW LEVIES OF MILITIA.
1780. Lord Cornwallis left Charleston early in August, and moved up to Camden. He had about two thousand regular British soldiers, well armed and equipped, besides Tarleton's cavalry, whose chief business was to scour the country right and left and in advance, to harass and destroy, and to intimidate the country-people as much as possible. A large force occupied Charleston, and abundant supplies of all sorts were within his reach as he moved slowly with his main army.
Washington had placed General Gates in command in the South after Lincoln's surrender at Charleston. Gates now hurried to meet Cornwallis with about three thousand five hundred men collected in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina. The North Carolina troops were commanded by General Caswell and General Rutherford. Abner Nash was governor of North Carolina in that year.
The battle of Camden was fought on the 16th of August, and was a most disastrous defeat to the Americans, two thousand of whom were killed or wounded or taken prisoners. Among the prisoners was General Rutherford.
The whole army was routed, and all the stores and ammunition taken by the British. Governor Martin was in this battle, and Cornwallis said that he fought “with the spirit of a young volunteer.”
Gates and Caswell retreated in confusion to Charlotte, and Gates hurried on to Hillsboro, where the North Carolina legislature was then in session. Governor Nash exhibited great spirit in taking vigorous measures at once for the defence of the State. The militia were ordered out, appeals were made to the patriots, arms and supplies were collected, and every effort made to repair the situation.
But this summer was a gloomy time for those who loved the American cause and hoped it would prevail. Everywhere fortune was against the patriots and disaster attended them North and South.
In the intervals between the great battles, when the large armies are taking breath, much good work is often done by the small independent bands which are led by active, daring men. They move rapidly and secretly, and strike unexpected and severe blows on the enemy.
Such bands were now active under Francis Marion and Horry and Sumpter in South Carolina. They were real guerillas, lying out in the swamps on the Santee and Pedee and Wateree rivers, and dashing out suddenly when least expected.
In North Carolina, while Caswell was busy mustering the militia in the eastern counties, Major Davie and Major Graham with a small troop of cavalry did good service in this way. They were ordered to manœuvre in front of the
advancing foe and take every opportunity to check and harass him. At Hanging Rock and at Flat Rock and at Stono Davie's gallantry was conspicuous.
A party of Tories had assembled at Wahab's plantation on the west bank of the Catawba. Davie marched all night and surprised them on the morning of September 21st, killed and wounded sixty of them, took one hundred horses and one hundred and twenty stand of arms, and returned to his own camp with but one man wounded, having marched sixty miles within twenty-four hours.
These were small affairs, but were important just at that time, for they kept up the hearts of the patriots, and served to show Lord Cornwallis that, though Georgia and South Carolina might be prostrate and quiet, there was a good deal of work to be done in North Carolina.
Davie and Graham gradually fell back as the British advanced toward Charlotte. Cornwallis detached Major Ferguson, one of his most active officers—not unlike Tarleton in his energy and ruthlessness—with a small company to scour the upper part of South Carolina thoroughly, and to muster the North Carolina Tories west of Charlotte. Ferguson was a very able and accomplished soldier, and was said to be the best marksman living. He had the power to make himself very popular when he chose, and his soldiers were devoted to him.
Tarleton and his cavalry traversed the country in the neighborhood of the main army. At Fishing Creek he fell upon Sumpter, who had just captured a fine train of army supplies and four hundred men on their way to Cornwallis.
Sumpter was taken by surprise and utterly routed, losing not only all his prisoners and his spoils, but three hundred of his own men. He rode into Charlotte next day bareheaded, half dressed, and without a saddle.
Such exploits made Tarleton much dreaded by the patriots and an object of great pride to the British army. Cornwallis, who was rather hesitating and sluggish in his movements, wrote to Tarleton that he always felt hopeful and confident where he was concerned.
As the British army approached Charlotte, Davie and Graham were on the alert, skirmishing with the advance-guard and taking a number of prisoners. They rode into Charlotte at midnight, Sept. 25, and Davie said they would give his Lordship a taste there of what he might expect in North Carolina.
He and Graham posted their handful of men so advantageously in the courthouse and under cover of a stone wall that they repulsed and held at bay next morning the whole British Legion in three separate charges. Tarleton was sick and not in command that day. At last Cornwallis himself rode up to the front reproaching the Legion for cowardice.
Davie and Graham were compelled to retreat with a loss of twelve men, while the British loss was fifty. Major Graham and his brother George were both severely wounded in this skirmish, which was as bold an exploit as was performed during the whole war.
Cornwallis now waited to hear from Major Ferguson, from whose raid in the West he hoped great things.
SONG OF MARION'S MEN.
- Our band is few, but true and tried,
- Our leader frank and bold;
- The British soldier trembles
- When Marion's name is told.
- Our fortress is the good greenwood,
- Our tent the cypress tree;
- We know the forest round us
- As seamen know the sea;
- We know its walls of thorny vines,
- It blades of reedy grass,
- Its safe and silent islands
- Within the dark morass.
- Well knows the fair and friendly moon
- The band that Marion leads—
- The glitter of their rifles,
- The scampering of their steeds.
- ’Tis life to guide the fiery barb
- Across the moonlit plain:
- ’Tis life to feel the night-wind
- That lifts his tossing mane.
- A moment in the British camp—
- A moment, and away,
- Back to the pathless forest
- Before the peep of day.
CHAPTER XXIV. BATTLE OF KING'S MOUNTAIN.
1780. Major Ferguson had gone on successfully with his enterprise as far west as Gilberttown, had collected more than a thousand Loyalists, and had armed and equipped them. He had acted with such brutality and insolence himself, and had permitted his men to commit so many outrages on the Whigs, that the whole western country was roused with hatred and desire for vengeance.
At different points, as the news of his raid was circulated, volunteers began to assemble. Word was sent rapidly through the mountains. Men from South Carolina under Williams and Hill, men from Virginia under Campbell and Cleveland, men from Watauga and over the mountains under Sevier and Shelby and McDowell, gathered swiftly like a dark cloud on the horizon. They had no tents, no baggage, and but little provision. They came as volunteers, asking no pay, receiving none; bent only on freeing the country of a detested enemy. Some Tories carried the news of the gathering to Ferguson. He was too far from Charlotte to escape thither, nor could he get a messenger to Cornwallis, for all that he sent out were waylaid and captured.
He hurried to King's Mountain and encamped with more than eleven hundred men on the summit—an advantageous post, from which he boasted that the Almighty could not drive him.
Oct. 9. The Whigs did not number a thousand. They pressed on without stopping even to rest, and made the attack with the greatest spirit, as if the dangers and the difficulties only inflamed them the more. The British troops met them with equal spirit. They knew their situation was desperate. Three times the patriots were driven back; three times they returned to the charge with fresh ardor. The world has never seen a more heroic band than those King's Mountain men and their gallant leaders.
Ferguson was mounted on a white horse, conspicuous everywhere in the fight, and his silver whistle was heard all through the din of battle animating or recalling his men. Gradually the patriots pressed the enemy to retreat to the top of the mountain among their wagons. Ferguson was shot dead, disdaining to surrender, and in a very short time after his fall his whole army, disheartened, surrounded, and broken, raised the white flag.
Two hundred of them had been killed, one hundred and fifty lay on the ground wounded and dying, more than six hundred were prisoners. All their baggage-wagons, ammunition, and fifteen hundred stand of arms were taken.
Of the patriots only about fifty were killed. Among them were Colonel Williams and Major Chronicle. They had many wounded. One reason why so few of them were killed was that, the enemy firing from above them
on the mountain, the shot generally went over their heads. The Americans too protected themselves by fighting in the Indian fashion, from tree to tree.
It was a brilliant victory, and, like that at Moore's Creek in Feb., 1776, took place at an important crisis, checked the British at their first advance into the State, intimidated the Tories, cheered the Whigs, and gave our leaders time to breathe.
Lord Cornwallis heard with dismay of this disaster. While waiting at Charlotte he had found it no place of repose. His position was dangerous, for the spirit of the country-people of Mecklenburg rose high against him. He was too far from Charleston or other posts in South Carolina where his supplies for his army were, and the country-people would furnish him with nothing voluntarily, while Davie and Davidson hovered around, shooting his sentries, destroying his stores, cutting off his foraging-parties, and ready to strike him at every opportunity.
He declared that this was the most rebellious and ill-disposed county in all America, and Tarleton gave it the name of “the hornets’ nest.” They said “there was a rebel in every bush outside the British camp.”
Departing from Charlotte in the night, they retreated to Winnsboro, South Carolina, Davie and Davidson pursuing them and capturing part of their baggage. Here Lord Cornwallis himself was sick, and a good many of his officers and men. The climate was against them, and their habits were not suited to it.
In those days drinking was more common than it is now,
and the British army especially was given to it. They carried rum for the soldiers, and served it out every day with their bread and meat; many of the outrages committed by Tarleton's dragoons were done because they were half drunk. Fevers and other diseases assailed them.
Cornwallis now hesitated whether to strike North Carolina again in the western counties or to enter the State this time among the Tory settlements on the Cape Fear, and establish himself there and in Wilmington.
This would have been his best move, keeping near the seaports and near his friends and supplies. Fortunately for America, he resolved on a different plan, which finally led to his ruin.
General Nathaniel Greene had been ordered to succeed General Gates in the command of the shattered Southern army, and he arrived in Charlotte in December. Early in January he sent General Morgan and Colonel William Washington with one thousand men to protect the northwestern part of South Carolina. They encamped at the “Cowpens,” a region among the Thicketty Hills abounding in grassy valleys and fine springs, where large herds of cattle were pastured. Thence came its name.
Lord Cornwallis ordered Tarleton with his Legion to disperse Morgan's command. But the Americans would not be dispersed. They stood firm, and the end was the rout of the British Legion with the loss of its colors, its cannon, and four hundred men. Tarleton fled precipitately back to Cornwallis, Colonel Washington chasing him for twenty miles.
This defeat stung and roused the British general to instant action. He resolved to try to overtake Morgan Jan., 1781. encumbered with his prisoners, and prevent him from joining Greene, who was on the Catawba above Charlotte waiting for him.
He left Winnsboro in hot pursuit, entering North Carolina about forty miles west of Charlotte. He halted at Ramsour's Mill and lightened his army by destroying all the heavy baggage. The officers and private soldiers all did this with great cheerfulness, being resolved to catch both Morgan and Greene if possible, for they knew the hopes of the Southern “rebels” depended now on them. Morgan eluded them, joined Greene in safety, and sent his prisoners on.RECITATION.THE SOLDIER'S REST.
- Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
- Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking;
- Dream of battlefields no more,
- Days of danger, nights of waking.
- No rude sound shall reach thine ear,
- Armor's clang or war-steed champing,
- Trump nor pibroch summon here
- Mustering clan or squadron tramping.
- Yet the lark's shrill pipe may come
- At the daybreak from the fallow,
- And the bittern sound his drum,
- Booming from the sedgy shallow.
- Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
- Dream of fighting fields no more;
- Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking,
- Morn of toil, nor night of waking.
CHAPTER XXV. GREENE'S RETREAT.
It was now a chase of two hundred miles. Greene made for the Dan River, knowing that if he could get over into Virginia he would be safe. Cornwallis pressed so closely at his heels that the two armies could hear each other's bugles, and were often in sight.
Greene and his men knew the country well, and, rapidly as they fled before the British, they used the greatest vigilance and neglected nothing. Greene guarded every ford and kept his outlying light troops in constant motion.
A heavy rain swelled the Catawba after the Americans had crossed it, so that Cornwallis was delayed forty-eight hours. He finally crossed at Cowan's Ford, where Greene had stationed General Davidson's command to check him. In the skirmish here about twenty of our patriots were killed, and among them was the noble and intrepid General Davidson, shot by a Tory at the last moment of the fight.
Governor Martin, who was still in the train of Cornwallis, was so unfortunate as to lose his hat, which was picked up in the river ten miles below the ford, and had his name written in it. There was a fight at Torrence's Tavern,
where Tarleton's dragoons surprised and routed Greene's rear-guard.
At Trading Ford, on the Yadkin, Cornwallis was again baffled by a heavy rain. The river rose in the night of Feb. 3d, and was impassable to the British by daylight, while Greene on the other side was speeding safely on toward Guilford C. H.
Cornwallis had to change his route and move higher up the river to Shallow Ford. He crossed there, and entered the Moravian settlements, and remarked in his dispatches that the country there was fertile and well cultivated, and he could find supplies for his troops without difficulty. The Quakers and the Moravians were men of peace, and flourished and increased as all peaceful people are apt to do.
When General Greene entered Salisbury he was wearied and depressed, and almost broken down by the desperate anxiety of his situation. The Yadkin was before him, the enemy only a few miles behind. He stopped for refreshment at the house of Mrs. Elizabeth Steele, one of the patriotic Scotch-Irish women of that town.
She overheard General Greene talking in a desponding tone to one of his friends, and her heart was moved. She went out of the room, and presently came back with two small canvas bags full of money, the earnings of years of toil, and put them in Greene's hands, saying, “Take it, general; you will need it, and I can do without it.”
This was the spirit of the American women. When Cornwallis was in Mecklenburg county he stopped at the
house of Robert Wilson, whose wife treated him with so much courtesy that he thought she must be a Tory. But she said, “No, no; she had seven sons in the Patriot army, and would be willing to go herself, if necessary, and die for her country.”
Even the boys and girls, the little children, shared the feelings of their fathers and mothers. While the British were in Salisbury some officers were quartered at the house of Dr. Newman, a good Whig. His two little boys were playing the game of “the battle of the Cowpens” on a board with grains of corn—red corn for the British, white for the Americans. Colonel Washington and Tarleton were especially marked, and the boys made Tarleton run all over the board with Washington after him, while they shouted, “Hurrah for Washington! Tarleton runs! Hurrah! hurrah!” Tarleton stood and looked on at the game till he got angry, and then he walked off cursing the “little rebels.”
General Greene arrived at Guilford C. H. on the 7th of February. Here he was joined by Colonel Huger of South Carolina and Colonel Lee of Virginia with a troop of cavalry. Cornwallis's design was now to head Greene off from the Dan and compel him to fight or to surrender. He therefore marched with great rapidity, no longer in the rear, but on the left hand of Greene's army, and, as Greene was equally active, both armies moved at the extraordinary rate of thirty miles a day. Sleepless vigilance on the part of the Americans saved them. Greene disposed of his light troops under Colonel Otho Williams, and Colonel Lee's
Legion so judiciously manœuvred in the face of the enemy as to delay, harass, and frequently to delude him.
On the 13th of February, with the main army, Greene reached Irwin's Ferry on the Dan, a few miles above its junction with the Staunton. A great shout went up from Williams's corps when a courier, covered with mud and his horse in a foam, dashed among them at noon with the news that Greene was safe across and in the rich and friendly county of Halifax.
That shout was heard by the British army. They felt that it meant triumph. But they pressed on, and when they reached the ferry at nightfall on the 15th the last man of Williams's and Lee's troops had just crossed, and the boats were safely moored on the other side of the swollen river.
The prize was lost. With deep chagrin Cornwallis turned about, and after giving his wearied army one day's rest he marched to Hillsboro in Orange county.
This retreat of General Greene was one of the most masterly that history records. Tarleton himself declared that “every movement of the Americans was judiciously designed and vigorously executed.” Cornwallis complimented his own officers and soldiers for the enthusiasm and activity and untiring perseverance they had shown. Both armies displayed fine qualities, but the British were well clad and well fed, and so were prepared to endure the tremendous call on their strength and energy in such a march; while the Americans were thinly clothed, provided
with but one blanket to every three men, and had but one meal a day served out to them. What was it sustained them and shod their feet and sheltered their heads and gave them nerves and muscles of steel? They knew that they had taken arms for their country, for their homes, for their freedom.RECITATION.THE BATTLEFIELD.
- Once this soft turf, this river's sands,
- Were trampled by a hurrying crowd,
- And fiery hearts and armèd hands
- Encountered in the battle-cloud.
- Ah! never shall the land forget
- How gushed the life-blood of her brave—
- Gushed, warm with hope and courage yet,
- Upon the soil they sought to save.
- Now all is calm and fresh and still;
- Alone the chirp of flitting bird,
- And talk of children on the hill,
- And bell of wandering kine, are heard.
- No solemn host goes trailing by
- The black-mouthed gun and staggering wain;
- Men start not at the battle cry:
- Oh, be it never heard again!
CHAPTER XXVI. DEFEAT OF COLONEL PYLE.—BATTLE OF GUILFORD COURTHOUSE.
1781. Thomas Burke, a native of Ireland, a man of good family and education, a lawyer by profession, was now governor of North Carolina. He had been four years a delegate to the Continental Congress, and had taken a conspicuous part in North Carolina affairs. His home was in Hillsboro.
The State had no capital city or seat of government, and the legislature seldom met twice in the same place. It assembled wherever it was most safe or convenient.
When Cornwallis had finally decided to pursue Morgan and Greene, he ordered Major Craig, an experienced and able officer, to seize the town of Wilmington. In the latter part of January, Craig had taken possession with about four hundred men, and had fortified himself there, using the Episcopal church as his citadel. He was vigilant and active, organizing bands of Tory raiders, who carried on a merciless warfare on the Whigs all through the Cape Fear, the Haw, and the Deep River country.
The Whigs were not slow to retaliate, and bands of men equally lawless and cruel for more than a year ranged the
country, shooting and hanging, robbing and burning, and destroying with furious hatred.
Such a terrible state of affairs prevailed in every State, for in time of war law is powerless. General Greene declared if this continued much longer the population of North Carolina would be exterminated. Later in the year Governor Burke fell into the hands of one of Craig's raiders.
Lord Cornwallis hoped when he moved to Hillsboro that the Loyalists would come flocking in to join him. He issued a proclamation boasting that he had driven the rebel army out of the State, and calling on all the friends of the king to come forward.
Meanwhile, he found it hard to support his army at Hillsboro. There were no supplies brought in from the country, and he was compelled to send a file of soldiers from house to house in the village, forcing the people to give up what food they had. Fortunately for Hillsboro, he stayed there only ten days.
As soon as General Greene had refreshed his army and received reinforcements he recrossed the Dan into North Carolina. He put General Pickens of South Carolina in command of our lamented General Davidson's troop, and detached him and Colonel Lee with his cavalry to hem Cornwallis in at Hillsboro and prevent him from communicating with the country-people.
Lee learned that Tarleton's Legion had gone into the Deep River country, and was assembling a large force of Tories. Tarleton's treatment of the country-people was
especially brutal and insulting. He had no regard for age or sex, and the stories that are told of him and his dragoons in this expedition still stir our blood with indignation.
Aware of the enemy in pursuit of him, he eluded them and got back safe to Hillsboro, while Lee unexpectedly fell in with a party of four hundred Tories, all mounted and armed with rifles, on their march to Hillsboro under Colonel Pyle, a noted Tory who had been in the Moore's Creek battle and was taken prisoner there.
Lee and Pickens surprised them drawn up by the road-side and waiting for Tarleton, and showed them no mercy. Ninety of them were cut down where they stood, a large number wounded, and the rest taken prisoners. The Whigs had none killed.
February. This terrible blow put a stop to all recruiting of Loyalists. Cornwallis left Hillsboro on the 27th of February and marched west, crossing the Haw and the Alamance. Greene, now further strengthened by a body of North Carolina militia, advanced toward him. The two armies manœuvred and menaced each other for two weeks, while skirmishes, assaults, and retreats daily occurred.
Greene's army was now much the largest, numbering forty-five hundred, while the British were about two thousand. Lord Cornwallis was too far from his supplies. He had sent orders to Major Craig to forward them to Cross Creek, but Craig had not been able to do this, and had received no aid whatever.
The country was poor and thinly settled. The army
had been two days without bread, and Cornwallis, with his customary hesitation, now “meditated,” as Tarleton said, whether to give battle to Greene or retreat to the Scotch settlements and to Wilmington.
March 15. He resolved to fight. The battle-ground was at Guilford Courthouse, where Greene had chosen his own position, and the battle took place on the 15th of March.
Both armies fought well; both generals displayed great skill, courage, and power of resource. The British soldiers were all veterans, steady and cool and under admirable discipline, though they had had nothing to eat that day. The North Carolina militia received the first charge from the British, and, acting under orders from General Greene, retreated after their first fire. This movement was misunderstood by others and threw the second line into confusion. Such a disaster, occurring so early in the fight, was not easily retrieved. The issue was long doubtful, for both sides put forth every energy; the struggle was obstinate and bloody. But Greene at last drew off, making an orderly retreat to Speedwell Iron-works, leaving Cornwallis master of the field. It was, however, a barren victory for the conqueror. His loss in killed and wounded was 532; Greene's was 400, but his army was undismayed and unbroken, while Cornwallis found himself so disheartened and crippled by his losses, so unable to sustain himself where he was, that in a day or two after the battle he issued another proclamation announcing his victory, and then began to retreat toward Wilmington, leaving his
wounded and all his wounded prisoners to the care of the good Quakers of New Garden.
Greene, having refreshed and reorganized his forces, was now at his heels, and had the triumph, after all, of pursuing him down the west side of the Haw River till he crossed the Deep at Ramsay's.
There Greene turned off, and proceeded to South Carolina to attack Lord Rawdon. Cornwallis continued his march without hindrance to Cross Creek, where the Scotch Loyalists received him and his shattered army with great kindness, but gave him no reinforcements. Thence he proceeded, on the south side of the Cape Fear, to Wilmington, encamping there on the 7th of April, 1781.RECITATION.ODE.
- How sleep the brave who sink to rest
- By all their country's wishes blest!
- When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
- Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
- She there shall dress a sweeter sod
- Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
- By fairy hands their knell is rung;
- By forms unseen their dirge is sung.
- There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
- To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
- And Freedom shall a while repair
- To dwell a weeping hermit there.
CHAPTER XXVII. THE BRITISH TROOPS LEAVE NORTH CAROLINA.
1781. Lord Cornwallis's “meditations” while in Wilmington were not cheerful or hopeful. He had marched and countermarched twice across the breadth of North Carolina in the depth of winter, through heavy rains, over deep and wide rivers and ruinous roads, enduring privation and fatigue; had driven his enemy before him, had beaten him in a pitched battle, and had announced himself victor. All in vain.
The enemy had eluded him. The battle of Guilford was in reality a defeat, so felt and acknowledged by himself, and by the British government when it received his account of it.
He described himself at Wilmington as “in a distressing situation.” He remained there eighteen days, uncertain what to do or where to turn. He had no fleet at command, no hope of aid from South Carolina, where the Patriots were now holding up their heads again under Greene and Marion—no hope of aid whatever from North Carolina Loyalists.
Craig's policy of sending out Tory raiders, and their
barbarity and the Whig retaliations, had so reduced the resources of the country that he could not hope to subsist his army upon it.
April 25. For the third time he was compelled to retreat from North Carolina. He resolved to cross the State once more and join a large British force under General Phillips at Petersburg.
It was a long and tedious march from Wilmington to Halifax and thence to Petersburg, but they made it safely. While on the march a part of his army, under Colonel Tarleton, halted at the farm of Colonel Ezekiel Slocumb, who was so active at Moore's Creek in 1776. Mrs. Slocumb was at home, and received the British officers with politeness and gave them a good dinner. While they were eating, her husband with a small company rode up unexpectedly and unaware of the presence of the enemy. He turned just in time, leaped over the fence, and galloped off in safety under a shower of bullets.
May 20. General Phillips had just died of a fever when Cornwallis reached Petersburg. However, he received considerable reinforcements, and spent the summer marching with his usual indecision to and fro along the James, skirmishing here and there with various troops sent by Washington to manœuvre around and harass and obstruct him. He had his faithful Tarleton to ride rough shod over the country and bring him what aid and comfort he could. But Tarleton's reputation and power had never recovered the defeat at Cowpens. He had mounted his men on an inferior breed of horses in South Carolina, and
whenever they met the splendid Virginia horses of Lee's Legion they went down before them like sheep.
Washington and his French allies gradually closed around Cornwallis, forced him finally to take refuge at Yorktown, and there besieged him by land and sea, till, on the 17th of October, he was compelled to surrender with his whole force, amounting to nine thousand—all his arms, October. colors, ammunition, and baggage. This crowning victory was the real ending of the Revolutionary War, though two years passed before all hostilities ceased.
Major Craig held on in Wilmington till he heard of the surrender at Yorktown. The Tories had been much encouraged by his presence, and after General Greene's departure into South Carolina they became very active. Craig himself with a small force traversed the low country as far as New Bern, which he occupied for a short time during August. It was at this time that Alexander Gaston, father of Judge Gaston, was shot by a Tory, who levelled his gun over Mrs. Gaston's shoulder.
Governor Martin, whom Cornwallis left in Wilmington, is supposed to have accompanied Craig on this expedition. Some books and papers which he is known to have had while on board the Cruiser, and which no doubt accompanied him in his campaign with Cornwallis, were found at New Bern long after. He left North Carolina for ever some time during this summer, and sailed for England in the fall. His health and spirits were broken, and he died in London in 1786.
A civil war was waged with great bitterness in North Carolina all through this year between small bands of the Patriots, led by such men as General Butler in the upper counties, and Brown, Owen, Robeson, Wade, and others in the Cape Fear country, and the Tory leaders Slingsby, McNeil, and Fanning.
Fanning was a real scourge to the central counties. A man of mean extraction and of no education, he had attracted Major Craig's attention by his extraordinary energy and daring. He was furnished with a horse well equipped, and with the title of colonel and with a small band of fifty or a hundred followers, all well mounted, he commenced a series of savage exploits which carried terror with his name.
His most remarkable feat was the making a sudden dash into Hillsboro one day in September, and capturing Governor Burke in his own house, together with several other State officials. In spite of every effort made by the Whigs, he succeeded in carrying them off to Wilmington and delivering them to Major Craig, who treated Burke with great harshness. The governor was at once imprisoned, and afterward transferred to an island near Charleston, and kept there in ignominious confinement with the vilest miscreants in the British camp, though not in prison.
He had given his parole, or word of honor, that he would not attempt to escape from the island. At the end of four months, having repeatedly remonstrated against being kept there, and being assured that his life was in danger from these men, some of whom were Tory refugees from justice in North Carolina, he deliberately
made his escape, and returned home in safety. He immediately sent a letter to the British general commanding at Charleston, explaining why he had broken his parole, and saying he was still at the general's command and would return to prison when required.
Meanwhile, he resumed his official duties as governor. This he ought not to have done under such circumstances. Alexander Martin, Speaker of the Senate, had been acting in his place, and he was not really needed.
Before any arrangement was made with the British general an exchange of prisoners was effected, and Governor Burke was free. But the verdict was against him in North Carolina for having acted as he did in breaking his parole. At the next meeting of the legislature he was defeated for re-election by Martin. He was a man of high spirit, and it preyed upon his mind. He retired from public life, and died in a year or two at his plantation near Hillsboro. He left one child, Mary Burke, who died unmarried about 1870 in Alabama.
General Rutherford, who had not long returned from captivity in Charleston, where he had been taken after the battle of Camden in August, now collected a large body of men and marched toward Wilmington.
Craig retreated on hearing of his approach, and betook himself to some British vessels below the town. About the first week of November he left our shores for ever, and there was no longer an invading enemy among us. Rutherford entered Wilmington in triumph.
Fanning and his confederates kept up their depredations till some time in 1782. As law and order began to be re-established, they and other despairing Tories made their way to Charleston, and accompanied the British army when it retired from that city in December, 1782. Fanning took refuge in Nova Scotia, where he died many years after.
The State government could not have been vigorously carried on at this time. Confusion and lawlessness prevailed, and Alexander Martin does not seem to have been the man to restore order by main force.RECITATION.THE SOLDIER'S RETURN.
- How sweet it was to breathe that cooler air,
- And take possession of my father's chair!
- Beneath my elbow, on the solid frame,
- Appeared the rough initials of my name,
- Cut forty years before. The same old clock
- Struck the same bell, and gave my heart a shock
- I never can forget. A short breeze sprung,
- And, while a sigh was trembling on my tongue,
- Caught the old dangling almanacs behind,
- And up they flew like banners in the wind;
- Then gently, singly, down, down, down they went,
- And told of twenty years that I had spent
- Far from my native land. That instant came
- A robin on the threshold; though so tame,
- At first he looked distrustful, almost shy,
- And cast on me his coal-black, steadfast eye,
- And seemed to say—past friendship to renew—
- “Aha! old worn-out soldier, is it you?”
- While thus I mused, still gazing, gazing still,
- On beds of moss that spread the window-sill,
- I deemed no moss my eyes had ever seen
- Had been so brilliant, lovely, fresh, and green.
- Feelings on feelings mingling, doubting rose;
- My heart felt everything but calm repose;
- I could not reckon minutes, hours, or years,
- But rose, and then sat down, and then burst into tears.
CHAPTER XXVIII. CONDITION OF THE COUNTRY.
1783. The war for independence was over, though the British government did not formally admit that America was free and independent till November, 1782, more than a year after the surrender at Yorktown, and the last British army did not leave New York City till November, 1783. In that month General Washington disbanded his war-worn army, took leave of his veteran officers, and resigned his commission to Congress, then in session at Annapolis.
It was now a critical time in the history of our country. Each one of the thirteen States had its own government to adjust, its own disorders to heal, its own impoverished soldiers to pay off, its own finances to consider.
There was no general government or real solid union among the States. When the war ended, when the pressure of danger was no longer felt, the States began to fall apart. A common danger has the good effect to bind states as well as people closer together.
It required all the wisdom, firmness, good feeling, and good management of the leading men of America to induce
the thirteen States to form a lasting union and inaugurate a general government.
So many questions arose, so many interests had to be consulted, so many doubts and fears had to be met and allayed. How were the States to become one, and yet all remain free? How much power should the people have? How much should be allowed the government? Great and good men differed widely as to these things.
Every State held conventions and sent delegates to a General Congress for several years in succession without adopting any plan. One of the most important questions was, how should the finances or money matters be arranged, and, above all, how should the war debts be settled and the brave army be paid off?
General Washington had refused any pay for his services. When he gave in his accounts to Congress it appeared that his expenditures for the public service amounted to $74,485. The total pecuniary cost of the war, exclusive of the immense losses from the ravages of the enemy, burning and plundering of towns and private property, was $170,000,000. Two-thirds of this Congress had spent; the different States spent the rest. It had been paid by taxes—taxes in the shape of depreciating paper money, taxes directly and indirectly imposed—paid by borrowing and by running in debt.
North Carolina had furnished in Continental troops and militia 22,910 men. The whole amount of paper money issued by the State was $76,375,000. It depreciated in value steadily till in 1782 one dollar in silver would buy
$800 of the paper money. Mrs. Governor Nash said that it took the governor's whole salary for one year to buy her a dress. This money had purchased all the supplies for our armies and paid all the wages of our officers and soldiers. At the value of 800 for 1 it was worth $95,000 in silver. The price of corn then was about 33 cents a bushel; wheat, 43 cents; rice, 81 cents. Pork was 3⅓ cents a pound; beef, 2½ cents; flour, 2¼ cents; salt, 2¾ cents. Tobacco was $3 a hundred. Linen cloth, yard wide, was from 33 cents to 75 cents, according to its quality; cotton cloth was not known or thought of.
The burdensome taxes were lightened by the order that one-half might be paid in such products as these.
1784. Richard Caswell was again elected governor in 1784, and served till 1787. During his rule the General Congress, which still continued to meet, though the States had not agreed upon the terms of union, was greatly embarrassed by want of means to pay off either the soldiers of the Revolution or the public debt contracted in the war. It had to call on the different States for their proportion of the debt.
North Carolina was in difficulties about her own debts, but she rose to this call with a noble sense of duty and of public spirit.
The territory then belonging to North Carolina extended at this time to the Mississippi River. It had once been bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, but that was in the days of King Charles's “grant” to the Lords Proprietors. We owned in 1784 no more than the fine country
now called the State of Tennessee, which was then mostly a wild, unbroken forest, where the Indian and the buffalo yet roamed and disputed inch by inch the advance of the white man.
But for some years before the Revolution and during it many brave adventurers from North Carolina and from Virginia had been crossing the Blue Ridge and making new homes for themselves and their families in that noble and fertile land on the eastern side of Tennessee next to North Carolina. John Sevier of Virginia and James Robertson of Wake county, North Carolina, were the first leaders of this movement, and they were followed by long trains of staunch, hardy emigrants—wild bordermen to whom the crack of the rifle was a sweeter sound than the church-going bell.
They built themselves log houses and log forts, and defended themselves successfully against the fierce Cherokees of the mountains and the Creeks and Choctaws of the river-valleys.
These high-spirited, free, and fearless backwoodsmen were devoted to their leaders and felt themselves quite independent. They were unwilling that North Carolina or any other State should claim any authority to dispose of the land they had rescued from the Indians. They had shed their blood freely, not only to establish themselves there, but to establish American independence. They had left their wives and children almost undefended from the savages while they recrossed the mountains to fight for North Carolina, and at the battle of King's Mountain had shown
what the frontiersmen inured to Indian warfare could do against the discipline of the British soldier.
North Carolina in the legislature of 1784 resolved to offer this splendid new country to Congress as a free gift to assist in paying the public debt.
This was a generous and princely offer which the State had a perfect right to make. But it was made prematurely; the Congress at Philadelphia, as then constituted, could not accept it, and the State of North Carolina had to take it back. But meanwhile the people over the mountains, with John Sevier at their head, rose up in great indignation at the idea of being given away whether they chose or not. They met and declared that they were henceforth free of North Carolina, and would set up an independent State for themselves.
They elected Sevier governor that fall, and proceeded to inaugurate a new government, and called the new State “Frankland.” Revolution and secession must stop somewhere, or every county in the State will be setting up for itself. North Carolina soon let the State of Frankland know that all this was a foolish and unlawful usurpation, and that she was quite able to protect her dignity and her rights.
Governor Caswell acted with great moderation, great prudence, and at the same time with all needful energy and spirit. Sevier was brought to trial, but in consideration of his high character, his patriotism, and his noble services in the cause of American liberties he was treated with marked tenderness and forbearance.
1787. The State of Frankland was soon dissolved, and in the legislature that met at Fayetteville in November, 1789, Sevier was allowed to take his seat as a member from the reconciled counties.
In that legislature Caswell was Speaker of the Senate, Samuel Johnston having succeeded him as governor in 1787.
His clear and steady mind was overshadowed now by grief for the death of a beloved son who had been lost at sea passing from Charleston to New Bern. Some circumstances led him to believe that his boy had certainly been taken and murdered by pirates. Worn by the weight of public cares and anxieties long continued and bravely sustained, Caswell sank under this blow. While presiding in the Senate he was stricken by paralysis, and died on the 10th of November, being then only sixty years old. He was interred at his home in Lenoir county, and the State has erected a monument there in grateful memory of his services. His family has long been extinct, but his name is preserved in the county which bears it.
We are slow in expressing public gratitude. There are other men of the Revolution, to whom North Carolina owes much, whose graves are still unmarked.RECITATION.THE GOOD GREAT MAN.
- How seldom, friend, a good great man inherits
- Honor and wealth, with all his worth and pains!
- It seems a story from the world of spirits
- When any man obtains that which he merits,
- Or any merits that which he obtains.
- For shame, my friend! renounce this idle strain:
- What would'st thou have a good great man obtain?
- Wealth, title, dignity, a golden chain,
- Or heap of corses which his sword hath slain?
- Goodness and greatness are not means, but ends.
- Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
- The great good man? Three treasures—love and light,
- And calm thoughts, equable as infant's breath;
- And three fast friends, more sure than day or night—
- Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death.
CHAPTER XXIX. VISIT OF PRESIDENT WASHINGTON TO NORTH CAROLINA.
General Caswell had been chosen delegate to the convention which met at Philadelphia in 1787 to form the Federal Constitution, but he declined this appointment. Our delegates to that assembly were William R. Davie, Alexander Martin, Richard D. Spaight, Dr. H. Williamson, and William Blount.
1789. To General Davie's exertions and personal influence it was owing that North Carolina's vote was now finally given in favor of ending the unsatisfactory state of affairs that had prevailed since the close of the war. Our State accepted the terms of the new government and voted to enter the Union of the thirteen States. At the next session of our legislature (1789) this was ratified, and to the unbounded joy of all good people North Carolina took her place in the new and splendid republic known henceforth and for ever as the United States of America.
George Washington had been elected first President, and was inaugurated at New York April 30, 1789.
Alexander Martin was now a second time governor. Samuel Johnston and Benjamin Hawkins were our two first Senators in the new Congress, and one of their first
official acts was to release our lately rebellious western territory from all allegiance, executing a deed of cession to the United States. Congress accepting this deed, the State of Tennessee entered the Union, John Sevier its governor, 1796.
1791. During Governor Martin's second term a tract of land was bought in Wake county from Colonel Joel Lane, and our capital city was laid off there and named for the illustrious Sir Walter Raleigh. Now, for the first time in our history, the State legislature and the State officials had a permanent place of assembly and a home. The cornerstone of the State-House was laid in 1791, and the legislature met in the completed building in December, 1794, Richard D. Spaight being governor. At the same time it was resolved to carry out the generous resolutions of the Halifax assembly of 1776, and establish a University for the education of the young of the State.
General Davie, with his usual clear intelligence, foresight, and address, advocated this important step from the first, and was ever the warm and powerful friend of the institution.
Chapel Hill in Orange county was selected for the site, ten or twelve farmers of that neighborhood giving liberally of their land to endow the new enterprise, and in October, 1793, in the presence of a large assembly, the corner-stone of the first of the University buildings was laid by General Davie. Dr. McCorkle of Salisbury, son-in-law of the patriotic Mrs. Elizabeth Steele, delivered the address.
In 1795 the University was opened with two professors
and one student. This leader of the long line of thousands who have been educated there was Hinton James of Wilmington. In 1804, Dr. Joseph Caldwell, the professor of mathematics, a native of New Jersey, was elected president, and guided the affairs of the institution with success till his death in 1835.
A love of learning and respect for education, and all that education brings with it, had not yet been awakened among our people in general. Very little education of any kind had been imparted beyond that which trains men to be brave, honest, and free.
The most famous school in the State before and during the Revolutionary War was that of the Rev. David Caldwell, a Presbyterian minister, in Guilford county. A classical academy was established in Charlotte in 1777, named Liberty Hall. This was under the care of the Presbyterians, whose preachers were all men of classical education. Cornwallis's troops had occupied this building, and destroyed it on leaving.
The Scotch-Irish population were distinguished for the value they set upon good preaching and good teaching. In one of Governor Dobbs's journeys through the State he recorded the fact that the Presbyterians chose to settle in communities, thirty or forty families in a neighborhood, so they could employ teachers to their liking.
Teaching as a profession was generally combined with preaching. The trade and business of North Carolina have always been those of an agricultural State, and one hundred years ago money came in very slowly for her
products. We had no means of transportation, no canals, no railroads, no steamboats. Our country roads were of the rudest description, and in winter almost impassable. People rolled their tobacco in hogsheads along the roads leading to Norfolk and Petersburg. Trade was mostly carried on by barter. Farmers had no need to buy anything to eat or drink or wear, for their own farms produced all they needed. Salt, nails, and such hardware as was necessary did not cost ten dollars a year.
Where there was very little money very little was spent. A teacher who did not want to be paid with a lot of hides or of tar, pitch, and turpentine, or tallow or tobacco, would have to be satisfied with a very small pittance in money over and above his board.
In return, it is likely to have been a very small pittance of education that most of these teachers imparted. A little reading, a little writing, a little spelling, and enough arithmetic to make change or to calculate the interest due on a note, would comprehend the most of what country schools taught. Rich men sent their sons abroad for education. The Cape Fear gentry patronized Harvard; the Presbyterians preferred Princeton; the Albemarle people sent their sons to England.
The time had now arrived when, the State having begun to provide for the education of its young men, a stimulus was given to the training of boys and girls. Private schools were established, and in 1804 the Moravians opened an excellent boarding-school for girls at Salem,
which was long the only one in the South, and which still stands foremost among the best.
In 1791, President Washington, who seems to have been fond of travel in a stately way, resolved to visit the Southern States. Accordingly, he set out from Mount Vernon in a carriage and pair, with a few friends accompanying, and, passing through Richmond and Petersburg, came down the eastern side of North Carolina. He visited in turn the towns of Edenton, New Bern, and Wilmington, proceeded to Charleston and Savannah, and returned through the western counties of our State, visiting Charlotte and Salisbury, being received everywhere with the warmest tokens of love and honor. At Salisbury the boys turned out to receive him dressed in the true “soldier-of-the-Revolution” style, with bucktails in their caps. The great chief was particularly pleased with this display, and declared it was the best thing he had seen yet.
He had a methodical way about all his arrangements, and he notes in his journal that his horses were as fresh and gay when he reached home after this long journey as when they first started.
Wherever he went, of course good housewives took great pride in bringing out their daintiest and best for his entertainment. A generation afterward, when the gallant French soldier La Fayette was making just such a tour among the people whose liberty he had helped to secure, a good woman, anxious to do her best for him, brought to the committee in Salisbury who were charged with the preparations, a silk bed-quilt, well preserved,
though somewhat faded by time. They suggested something fresher, but she went away indignant with her treasured bed-quilt, saying, “General Washington had slept under it when he was in Salisbury, and what was good enough for Washington was good enough for La Fayette.”RECITATION.THE AMERICAN FLAG.
- When Freedom from her mountain height
- Unfurled her standard to the air,
- She tore the azure robe of night,
- And set the stars of glory there!
- Then from his mansion in the sun
- She called her eagle-bearer down,
- And gave into his mighty hand
- The symbol of her chosen land.
- Flag of the brave! Thy folds shall fly,
- The sign of hope and triumph high,
- When speaks the signal-trumpet tone,
- And the long line comes gleaming on.
- Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn
- To where thy sky-born glories burn,
- And as his springing steps advance,
- Catch war and vengeance from the glance.
- Flag of the seas! on ocean wave
- Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave;
- Each dying wanderer of the sea
- Shall look at once to heaven and thee,
- And smile to see thy splendors fly
- In triumph o'er his closing eye.
- Flag of the free heart's hope and home,
- By angel hands to valor given!
- Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
- And all thy lines were born in heaven.
- For ever float that standard sheet!
- Where breathes the foe but falls before us,
- With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,
- And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us?
CHAPTER XXX. THE YOUNG REPUBLIC.
When war is at an end, then law rises up and comes to the front again for the protection of the people in settling claims and disputes and re-establishing order.
Questions in reference to public lands, the titles to private estates, and the confiscation of lands belonging to the Tories gave rise to a great deal of work for the lawyers. A number of the Tories had returned and attempted to reoccupy their old homes among neighbors whose relatives they had shot or hung at their own doors, whose property they had stolen or destroyed. They were compelled to fly for their lives now, and their lands were confiscated to the State.
1796. Scandalous frauds in the sales of public lands, many of them at the expense of the soldiers of the Revolution, who were paid in these lands, were discovered to have been practised by James Glasgow, our Secretary of State, and various confederates. These men were promptly brought to trial and punished.
Besides her domestic troubles and disorders, North Carolina had, of course, to share in the perplexities and dangers which would naturally arise in the establishment of the Union and of the new general government.
The eight years of Washington's administration were a stormy time, not only for America, but for the nations of Europe. Free thought had been awakened by the bold stand America had taken in defence of her rights, and revolutions were the order of the day.
The French nation in particular, which had sent such generous aid to the Americans, was inflamed by American ideas of liberty. The people at last broke out with great violence against their weak and tyrannical rulers, and amid such furious and bloody strife as the world has seldom seen destroyed their ancient monarchy and established a republic.
They not unnaturally expected some aid in their struggle from the Americans, and many of our leading men were for sending it. But Washington's prudence and good sense prevailed, and saved our newly-settled and as yet weak confederacy from what would have been a useless and disastrous interference with foreign affairs.
Still, a very great gratitude to France and sympathy with the people were felt. The French language was more familiar to our educated classes than it has ever been since. French books were read and French opinions were popular.
Unhappily, the French in throwing off their aristocratic government threw away also, for a time, their religion, and the infidel ideas of their great writers were in danger of becoming fashionable here also. Too many of the leading men of America were leavened with this poison, so that we were not only threatened with the prospect of a war with our late ally, but with the greater disaster of a flood of French infidelity and skepticism.
But no form of infidelity or disbelief in the providence of the Almighty ever took firm root or flourished amid the deep forests and wide spaces of a new country. Great revivals of religion began in all the churches at this time, spreading from State to State as godly preachers of every denomination went through the land holding camp-meetings and assembling vast congregations in the open air. French influences gradually disappeared, and our friendship with that gallant nation was not broken.
In 1798, General William R. Davie was elected governor of North Carolina, but resigned the office next year to accept a place in the national embassy to France. He remained abroad two years. His fine address, his accomplishments, and his distinguished ability attracted attention wherever he moved.
Two great political parties now swayed our counsels to and fro for many years. One party held that the masses of the people should not be entrusted with so much power as they seemed likely to obtain, but should submit to a strong central government wielded by the President and his Cabinet or council. This was the Federal party, led by such men as the Adamses of Massachusetts, Hamilton of New York, and most of our best and oldest and most experienced men. They were all a little tinged with aristocratic feelings and prejudices, and doubted the ability of the common people to govern themselves.
The other party upheld more distinctly the cause of the people, defending their rights and their ability to givern themselves. These were the Republicans of that day, and
Thomas Jefferson of Virginia was their greatest leader—a man of genius and a consummate politician.
North Carolina was Republican on the whole, though many of her ablest and wisest men were of the other way of thinking.
The first native North Carolinian elected governor was Richard Dobbs Spaight of New Bern, nephew of Governor Dobbs, and a man of ability, of sense, and of a most amiable character. He belonged to the Republican party, and, with Nathaniel Macon of Warren, David Stone of Bertie, and Willis Alston of Halifax, was active in public life and shared in the bitter political animosities of the day. He was killed in 1802 in a duel with John Stanley of New Bern, who was a leading Federalist. Thirty years after, a son of his of the same name was also governor of the State.
The Federal party gradually lost power. John Adams had succeeded Washington in 1797, and many of his measures were very offensive to the people, who thought that they tended toward despotism. In 1800 he was beaten in the new election by Thomas Jefferson, and the Republicans were triumphant.
North Carolina's vote was for Jefferson, who was President for eight years and conducted affairs with great success. The purchase of Louisiana Territory from the French was negotiated by him, and was certainly a master-stroke of policy, and more than doubled the area of the republic.
In December, 1799, the whole country went into mourning on the death of Washington. He died at his beloved
Mount Vernon after a few days’ illness. (Born Feb. 22, 1732; died Dec. 14, 1799.)
1799. His life in all its relations, his conduct in every part of his splendid and important career, may be safely accepted as models for the youth of America to study and endeavor to imitate. His “Farewell Address” to the American people, issued at the close of his last term of office (1796), is one of the weightiest and wisest documents ever penned by the hand of man. Religion, education, and integrity, union, resistance to foreign influences, and avoidance of sectional jealousies, he solemnly advises for the foundations of the American government. His words should be impressed on every American heart.
Before Washington's death the site of a capital city for the Union had been chosen on the northern bank of the Potomac, and the new city was named Washington. It grew very slowly for many years, but is now one of the most beautiful and magnificent cities in the world.RECITATION.DIRGE.
- Close his eyes; his work is done:
- What to him is friend or foeman,
- Rise of moon or set of sun,
- Hand of man or kiss of woman?
- Lay him low, lay him low,
- In the clover or the snow.
- Fold him in his country's stars,
- Roll the drum and fire the volley:
- What to him are all our wars?
- What but death bemocking folly?
- Lay him low, lay him low,
- In the clover or the snow.
- Leave him to God's watching eye;
- Trust him to the hands that made him:
- Mortal love weeps idly by;
- God alone has power to aid him.
- Lay him low, lay him low,
- In the clover or the snow.
- Lay him low.
CHAPTER XXXI. FORMING THE NATION.
New States were forming and being added to the Union as the tide of emigration rose steadily over the Alleghanies and poured into the fertile valleys of Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. North Carolina lost much of her population in this tide, and her growth and prosperity were for a long time at a standstill. The history of the State for many years is mainly the history of political parties, to which our people unhappily turned their attention rather than to more profitable interests.
A slowness and hesitancy in adopting any system of internal improvements that will encourage enterprise and open new sources of industry and wealth is bad policy for any State. Emigration to North Carolina ceased when no effort was made to attract it.
A canal through the Dismal Swamp, which should open a safe way to the sea for the products of the north-eastern counties, was long talked of, but a generation passed before it was constructed.
In 1802 the last of the Tuscarora tribe of Indians left their lands on the Roanoke and joined their kinsfolk in
Western New York. The Cherokees still held on to their reserved territory in the mountains, where a remnant of them live to this day.
1811. The general prosperity of the United States which marked the administration of Mr. Jefferson received a check during the rule of his successor, James Madison. A war with England became inevitable. That country had never quite forgiven her revolted colonies, and being now again at war with France, as her ships ranged the ocean they took the liberty of searching American ships and seizing American sailors to man her vessels.
The American government had made various vain endeavors to put a stop to this insolent piracy by peaceable means. In 1812 war was declared. All the States held themselves in readiness to serve when called upon.
1812. Camps were established and soldiers assembled in North Carolina at various points under command of some veteran officers of the Revolution, Governor Hawkins being commander-in-chief.
Our men were not called on, however, to any extent, as the war was carried on chiefly on the Canada border-line and at sea. The Americans had no success to boast of on land, but, very much to their surprise, they were victors in a number of very brilliant engagements at sea.
Captain Johnston Blakeley of Wilmington, commanding the United States sloop-of-war Wasp, gained a great reputation cruising in English waters, capturing and burning English ships. In the midst of his success he and his gallant crew disappeared from public view, and were seen
and heard of no more. The Wasp was supposed to have foundered at sea with all on board.
The State adopted and provided for his daughter, the only survivor of his family. She died in early womanhood.
1813. Captain Burns of Beaufort commanded a privateer, the Snapdragon, in a number of dashing exploits. He long survived the war, and the county-seat of Yancey is named in his honor.
The three years of this war ruined for a time the trade of Wilmington, New Bern, and Edenton with the West Indies. These towns had exported large quantities of lumber, naval stores, and provisions, receiving in return sugar, salt, coffee, dry goods, etc. The want of these things was severely felt and made the war very unpopular.
In 1814, Colonel John Graham was sent with a North Carolina regiment to assist in punishing the Creek Indians for a terrible massacre of the white settlers on the Alabama River. They arrived too late, however, to be of any service. General Andrew Jackson had marched swiftly from Tennessee, fallen suddenly on the Creek warriors, and nearly annihilated the tribe.
1815. Peace was made in 1815 with England without settling the cause of the quarrel. But England henceforth withdrew from all attempts to override or insult America. A cordial and permanent friendship has grown up between the two great nations; which is but right, for we are of the same blood and have the same language, the same laws, the same religion.
1819. In 1819, Spain gave up all claim to Florida. The United States then engaged in a long and bloody and costly war with the Seminole Indians, who still held possession there. After twenty years the Indians were forced to yield and remove to lands reserved for them west of the Mississippi River.
When Florida entered the Union as a State (1845) her first governor was William D. Moseley, a descendant of Edward Moseley, our first chief-justice.
1820. About 1800 gold was discovered in Mecklenburg county, but the mines were not opened or worked till twenty years afterward, and even to this day have not been fully developed.
After the overthrow and decline of the Federal party new issues appeared and new parties were formed, and just as much warmth and bitterness were excited in the new disputes as ever had been in the old.
In all free countries freedom of thought and freedom of speech and freedom of action are the birthright of the people. It is the duty of men to form opinions upon the principles of government, and it is to be expected that there will be differences of opinion. The trouble is that men will not agree to differ, but must carry rancor and ill-will into their debates.
Still, even this is better than the ignorance and indifference and stagnation of all thought and intelligence that come of despotism and tyranny. Life is better than death, even though its movements are sometimes unruly and dangerous.
The two foremost of the new parties took the names of Democrat and Whig, and Federals and Republicans gradually disappeared, some on one side and some on the other of the new division. General Andrew Jackson, a native of Mecklenburg county, who had moved to Tennessee and gained a great reputation as a soldier in the Indian wars and in the last war with England, was one of the earliest and most powerful leaders of the Democracy. He became President in 1829.
Henry Clay of Kentucky led the Whigs. They differed as to the distribution of money that had accumulated in the public treasury at Washington, about the United States Bank, about the tariff. Tariff is the tax levied by the government of a country on certain kinds of goods either brought in from foreign lands in trade or sent out. The revenue is largely made up from this tax. The wisest statesmen differ as to what goods shall be taxed and what shall go or come free.
Such questions are constantly coming up, over and over again, in our history.
But the great question that began to appear in all the disputes, and affected not only the general government, but that of each State in the Union, was whether it was right for a great and free people to hold the negroes in slavery any longer.
The Northern States had long since decided for themselves that, at any rate, it was not profitable, and they sold their slaves and then washed their hands of the whole business. Their climate was too severe for the colored
race; their agriculture did not need them; slave-labor had never been profitable at the North, nor had it indeed been generally introduced.
The Southern climate and Southern crops and Southern ways of life, on the other hand, made slavery a different affair from what it had been at the North. It was more profitable to the owners and less rigorous to the slaves.
Profitable or not, it was wrong everywhere, and many of the best men of the South were opposed to the institution as heartily as the men of the North; and in the early days of the Union it might easily have been gradually and peaceably abolished with the common consent of all parties. In 1790 there were nearly seven hundred thousand negroes in the country who were native-born Americans. They had increased and improved in a state of slavery, which, whatever its evils, was infinitely better than any lot that could have been theirs in Africa, where they were savages enslaved by other savages.
But the opportunity to set them free, once let slip in those early days, was never regained. The evil remained. And now, however men were excited, under whatever names or principles or leaders, slavery was the real point of attack and defence.
The invention of the cotton-gin in 1792 at once immensely increased the cultivation of cotton and opened a new and inexhaustible source of wealth to the South. In the cultivation of this and the rice crop, the negro was a better hand than the white man, and his value to his owner
was greatly increased, and his freedom seemed more impossible and farther away than ever.
The South began to grow rich and powerful as new slave States were added, and her leading politicians grew more and more sectional in their views and more and more arrogant and overbearing. They rather prided themselves on their slaves.
The North had not then begun to develop her splendid system of manufactures which has now given her such wealth and power, and a strong party began to allow jealousy and hatred of the South and of its institutions to mix with all their politics. Northern men and women resolved that slavery was a blot on the Union. They were right. Slavery is always a blot, but more especially in a country that boasts of its devotion to freedom.
Still, the Constitution of the United States allowed and protected it, and the South took its stand on that, and was resolved to defend its rights. Whether slavery was morally wrong or not, the South had a legal right to its property.RECITATION.THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER.
- Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
- What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
- Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
- O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
- And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
- Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
- The star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
- O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
- On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
- Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
- What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
- As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
- Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
- In full glory reflected now shines on the stream.
- Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
- O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
- And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
- That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
- A home and a country should leave us no more?
- Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
- No refuge could save the hireling and slave
- From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.
- And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
- O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
CHAPTER XXXII. NORTH CAROLINA LEADERS.
1831. A DISASTER befell North Carolina in the year 1831. Her capitol building in the city of Raleigh was burned, and in it was destroyed a magnificent marble statue of Washington ordered by the State from the celebrated Italian sculptor Canova.
The building could be replaced, and soon was, by a far finer and more costly one, but such a work of art could not be replaced. The loss was irreparable.
In 1835 a convention was called in Raleigh to amend the constitution of the State. Nathaniel Macon was president of this assembly, which contained many of the ablest and most influential men in the State, and which made many important changes.
The power of electing the governor, which the legislature had enjoyed since 1776, was now given to the people, and the legislature was appointed to meet every two years instead of annually.
One change was ominous, showing an increase of illiberality and rigor toward the colored people: The right to vote was taken from free negroes, who had hitherto been
allowed it, and if they once removed from the State they were not allowed to return.
The Senate, or upper branch of the legislature, was limited to fifty members. The Commons, or lower branch, was to represent population, and its numbers depended on the population of each county.
1835. The last governor elected by the legislature was Richard D. Spaight the younger. He represented the Democratic party, and at the first election by the people was beaten by the Whig candidate, Edward B. Dudley.
1836. Dr. Joseph Caldwell, the first president of the University, who had directed its course for thirty-five years with energy and success, died in 1835, and a lawyer from Buncombe county, who had been judge, Congressman, and governor of the State, was appointed to succeed him.
This was David L. Swain, who, though far from being such a scholar as Dr. Caldwell, or even having scholarly tastes and pursuits such as would seem fitting in a college president, yet exhibited such sagacity, prudence, and skill in affairs as carried the University on to a greater prosperity and reputation than it had yet known. It attracted students from every Southern State, and became an object of just pride to North Carolina.
In Governor Dudley's time the State began to make some move in the direction of internal improvements. In 1830-32 charters had been given for two short railroads leading from Petersburg and from Portsmouth, Virginia, to Weldon in Halifax county. In 1833 the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad had been incorporated, and in 1841
the Raleigh and Gaston road was completed. The Dismal Swamp Canal was finished in 1836. These improvements were all in the interest of the eastern part of the State. The West was still a land locked up and unknown.
1837. In 1837 the general government distributed among the States an immense sum of money that had accumulated in the public treasury from the sale of public lands. North Carolina received for her share $1,500,000. The State government added to this certain sums realized by the sale of swamp-lands belonging to the State and certain shares of bank-stock, and set it all apart to be devoted to the establishment of free schools. In 1839 the counties were divided into school districts and school-houses began to be built.
A great step in advance was made in this, and a general move in favor of education followed. The churches took it up. The Baptist denomination established a college 1838. at Wake Forest in 1838, and Davidson College in Mecklenburg, named for the patriot soldier who fell at Cowan's Ford in 1781, was founded by the Presbyterians in the same year. Private schools began to flourish, and a number of good female schools were established all over the State in the course of the next dozen years.
The judges and lawyers of North Carolina have always formed a learned and powerful body. The Supreme Court grew out of the superior courts, being first established in 1818. Its judges enjoyed a national reputation. John Taylor, John Hall, John Henderson, Thomas Ruffin, William Gaston, Joseph Daniel,—such men as these were
competent to hold their own in any assembly of the profession. Their names have given lustre to the annals of North Carolina and are cherished with pride.
In the superior courts Iredell, Murphy, Mangum, Badger, Battle, Strange, Nash, Seawell, Norwood, Dick, Pearson, and others whom we have not space to mention, each in his own degree secured an honorable and enviable reputation.
At the bar, Yancey, Badger, B. F. Moore, Louis D. Henry, David Outlaw, John M. Morehead, William A. Graham, and many more of equal merit sustained and increased the reputation of the profession. Our lawyers have, with few exceptions, been men of tried integrity and great worth of character, well-read, studious, reliable advocates—some possessing the fire of genius and adorned with the graces of oratory, and all distinguished by intelligent patriotism and devotion to the best interests of the State. Most of them have been more or less in political life, shaping the course of the State and rendering no mean service in the affairs of the nation.
North Carolina owes much to her lawyers. Among them, prominent as men of business, were such as John M. Morehead, William S. Ashe, Judge Duncan Cameron, Samuel F. Patterson, William A. Graham, David L. Swain, who were active in promoting enterprise, building up railroads, factories, and schools, and establishing the financial interests of the State on a firm basis of sound principle and integrity.
Such men have given our State its well-deserved character
for honesty, good sense, a steady adherence to right, and a hatred of wrong.RECITATION.COLUMBIA.
- Columbia! Columbia! to glory arise,
- The queen of the world and the child of the skies.
- Thy genius commands thee; with rapture behold,
- While ages on ages thy splendors unfold.
- Thy reign is the last and the noblest of time;
- Most fruitful thy soil, most inviting thy clime;
- Let the crimes of the East ne'er encrimson thy name;
- Be freedom and science and virtue thy fame.
- To conquest and slaughter let Europe aspire,
- Whelm nations in blood, and wrap cities in fire;
- Thy heroes the rights of mankind shall defend,
- And triumph pursue them and glory attend.
- A world is thy realm; for a world be thy laws,
- Enlarged as thine empire and just as thy cause;
- On Freedom's broad basis that empire shall rise,
- Extend with the main, and dissolve with the skies.
- Fair Science her gates to thy sons shall unbar,
- And the East see thy morn hide the beams of her star.
- New bards and new sages unrivalled shall soar
- To fame unextinguished when time is no more;
- To thee, the last refuge of virtue designed,
- Shall fly from all nations the best of mankind;
- Here, grateful to Heaven, with transport shall bring
- Their incense more fragrant than odors of spring.
CHAPTER XXXIII. GENERAL PROGRESS.
1844. In 1844 the first line of telegraph in America was constructed by order of Congress between Washington City and Baltimore. When finished and ready to flash its first message, a fair lady in Baltimore was invited to say what the message should he. She said it must be this: “What hath God wrought!”
In this year the Whig party nominated Henry Clay for the Presidency; the Democrats, James K. Polk of Tennessee. He was a native of North Carolina and a graduate of our University. Polk was elected, and Democratic principles thenceforward were the rule.
The principal dispute just then between the parties was as to the admission of Texas into the Union. Texas had been settled by Americans, had gained its independence of Mexico, and now begged to join the great republic. The Whig party opposed, the Democratic favored, this annexation, and under Polk's administration Texas was admitted. A war with Mexico about the boundary-line was the result, as had been feared by the Whig party. In North Carolina, from 1836 to 1851, the State government was Whig. Governor Dudley, John M. Morehead, William A. Graham, and
Charles Manly had succeeded each other. Among our members of Congress, Mangum and Badger in the Senate, Rayner and McKay and Clingman in the House, had assisted to carry out the Whig policy. Democratic principles, however, were gaining ground here.
The Mexican War was a very unpopular undertaking in our State, and volunteers for the army were not enthusiastic. A regiment was sent out under command of Colonel Robert T. Paine of Chowan, and various companies were raised, the men and officers alike doing their whole duty in the modest, manly, steady fashion always characteristic of North Carolinians. Major Louis D. Wilson of Edgecombe was among those who never returned. He gave his life to his country and his estate to charity. By his will he devoted the sum of $40,000 to be applied to the benefit of the poor of his native county.
Captains Bragg and Burgwyn of Northampton county, Captains Clarke and Bryan of Wake, Major McRee and Captains Holmes and Rains of Wilmington were all distinguished in the service. The war ended in little over a 1848. year with the defeat and submission of Mexico. Not only was all that Texas claimed given up, but the provinces of New Mexico and California were ceded to the United States for the sum of $25,000,000.
1849. Soon after this vast increase of territory the discovery of gold in California caused immense excitement, and a great wave of emigration poured thither, not only from all the States, but from all parts of Europe and from the eastern shores of Asia, and gold was king on our Pacific coast.
But cotton was king at the South. Both North and South were growing rich by its cultivation. The cotton-planter sent his bales to Northern markets, and the North sent him its goods in return. In the twelve years succeeding the Mexican War the condition of the South was in the highest degree prosperous.
The North Carolina legislature of 1848 had voted for the construction of a railroad which should connect Charlotte with Goldsboro, running through Salisbury, Greensboro, Hillsboro, and Raleigh. This measure brought the western part of the State into connection with the outside world, and was due mainly to the exertions of Governor Morehead, William S. Ashe, and Calvin Graves.
The same legislature further made its session memorable by establishing asylums for the education of the deaf and dumb and blind children of the State. It also made an appropriation for an asylum for the insane, and enacted a law for the better protection of the persons and property of married women.
The old English common law on which ours has been largely founded paid little or no regard to the rights of women. In America women have always received so much consideration and tender care from the men that it was seldom asked what the law was. Still, good laws should be made, because they must be obeyed, and now for the first time the legal rights of our women were fairly established in North Carolina.
One improvement is apt to call for another. New lines of railroad opened new sources of industry and wealth.
The quantity and the variety of our products increased as soon as markets were found. The value of land increased, and the land itself improved as more intelligent ways of farming were introduced.
An agricultural society was formed, and Paul C. Cameron of Orange county, then and since, the largest planter in the State, was its first president.
Rather too much sectarianism was apparent among the churches. Their revival in the cause of education was very much due to a spirit of rivalry among them. Their girls’ schools were mere nurseries for the different sects that had established them, and beyond a certain point did not grow. The State University, conducted on liberal principles and keeping clear of political and theological disputes, attracted a large patronage from all the Southern and South-western States. In 1858 it numbered about 450 students and 16 professors.
Social manners and customs were becoming more refined. Card-playing, horse-racing, cock-fighting had retired into the background. Better houses were built, and wealthy people began to spend their summers in travel and intercourse with polite society in other States, and the consequence was improved taste and a better style of living.
But, with all this prosperity and apparent progress, the people of our State in general were not developing any taste for letters or love of intellectual improvement. They had a great respect for learning, and admired and looked up to those who had a reputation for it. They desired the best for their children, and often
went to great expense in sending North for private teachers for their daughters. To have “a lady from the North” teaching in one's family was considered a sufficient guarantee that all was right as to education.
1850. Still, there was a singular want of ambition in this direction. We had men highly cultivated, refined, learned, who contented themselves with an occasional literary address or an article in a paper or magazine of such singular merit and elegance as proved that the material for literary eminence was not wanting. But no writers or authors of any note rose up among us. We had no connected, authentic history of our State—no poets, no scientists, no novelists. We depended on the North for books for our schools and colleges. We left it to other people to record what our fathers had done, to present us and our institutions to the world, to say what we were or were capable of.
There was, in truth, a great want of books through the State—no private libraries, no public ones except at the colleges, and these insufficiently provided. There was not one circulating library of the least efficiency—no lyceums, not a museum, not one society in any of our towns for the promotion of literary improvement and taste. Where books are not read, books will not be written.
Between fifty and sixty newspapers were published in the State. Only two of them were daily, and all were merely political, with the exception of two or three belonging to different religious sects. A small literary magazine was issued at the University, of little merit beyond the historical
contributions of Governor Swain and a few other gentlemen instructed in the history of North Carolina. The controversies of the churches and the disputes of the politicians were the chief topics of thought and of conversation among men.
In the eyes of Northern Christians, among the Quakers both North and South, slavery was now held to be an enormous sin. It was certainly, by this time, an enormous political evil.
In 1832 the American Anti-slavery (or Abolition) Society was formed with twelve members. In ten years’ time there were two thousand such societies, each numbering hundreds of members.
A great immigration from Europe was continually opening up more and more States in the North-west. Northern political writers, Northern poets and novelists, and Northern preachers leavened all classes with anti-slavery doctrines.
The South found herself outvoted in Congress. Slavery was forbidden to cross certain lines, and was confined to the old States: the new States would have none of it. The great Whig leaders, Henry Clay at their head, had in vain endeavored to effect a compromise that should be lasting. Clay was now dead. The Whig party was breaking up. Some voted with the Democrats; the larger part at the North assisted to form the new Republican party, which began to declare openly for the abolition of slavery. In the South the Democrats were wholly triumphant.
1851. In North Carolina, Democratic governors had been elected since Reid had defeated Manly. Bragg succeeded
Reid, and John Ellis of Rowan succeeded Bragg. The doctrine of “States’ Rights” was now brought forward, and the idea gained ground among the leaders of that party that each State had a right to secede from or leave the Union and set up an independent government for itself.
It cannot be said that the Southern people as a body believed or accepted this doctrine. It was absurd on the face of it. The Union of the States of the great American republic built by the wisdom and cemented by the blood of the patriots of the Revolution was not to be dissolved by the hot breath of party or of sectional strife.
Ever since the election of Polk in 1844 the Democrats had had the administration of the general government in their hands. They had defeated the Whig and the Republican candidates again and again, till at last, in 1860, the anti-slavery party succeeded in electing Abraham Lincoln of Illinois to the Presidency. Southern leaders had declared beforehand that if this should be the case the South would leave the Union.RECITATION.NOT ON THE BATTLEFIELD.
- Oh no, no—let me lie
- Not on a field of battle when I die,
- Let not the iron tread
- Of the mad war-horse crush my helmèd head;
- Nor let the reeking knife
- That I have drawn against a brother's life
- Be in my hand when Death
- Thunders along, and tramples me beneath
- His heavy squadron's heels
- Or gory felloes of his cannon's wheels.
- From such a dying bed,
- Though o'er it float the stripes of white and red,
- And the bald eagle brings
- The clustered stars upon his widespread wings
- To sparkle in my sight,—
- Oh never let my spirit take her flight.
- I know that bards have sung,
- And people shouted till the welkin rung,
- In honor of the brave
- Who on the battlefield have found a grave;
- I know that o'er their bones
- Have grateful hands piled monumental stones.
- Such honors grace the bed,
- I know, whereon the warrior lays his head,
- And hears, as life ebbs out,
- The conquered flying and the conqueror's shout.
- But as his eye grows dim,
- What is a column or a mound to him?
- What to the parting soul
- The mellow note of bugles? What the roll
- Of drums? No, let me die
- Where the blue heaven bends o'er me lovingly,
- Where the calm voice of prayer
- And holy hymning shall my soul prepare
- To go and be at rest
- With kindred spirits—spirits who have blest
- The human brotherhood
- By labors, cares, and counsels for their good.
CHAPTER XXXIV. TROUBLE WITH SLAVERY.
1860. South Carolina took the lead in the secession movement. That State called a convention, and in December of that year passed an ordinance to dissolve the Union between herself and all the other States.
North Carolina did not sympathize with her sister State. But other Southern States soon followed the example. Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana formed with South Carolina a separate government which they called the Confederate States of America.
1861. They met at Montgomery, Alabama, and adopted a constitution much like that of the old Union, but making slavery of the negroes permanent. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, formerly a soldier in the United States army and a member of the United States Senate, was elected President, and he formed his Cabinet of men who shared his opinions.
North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas stood aloof from the new Confederacy for some months, waiting, hoping for some adjustment, some glimpse of reason among the furious parties.
Every effort was made by the wise and good among us
to avert the ruin that was clearly in prospect if the Union was to be dissolved. In February, 1861, two delegations left our State with instructions to make a last attempt for peace. Chief-justice Ruffin, Ex-governor Morehead, Ex-governor Reid, Hon. D. Barringer, and Hon. George Davis were sent to the Peace Convention which met in Washington; Ex-governor Swain and Messrs. R. R. Bridgers and M. W. Ransom to the convention at Montgomery.
Neither of these delegations was able to effect anything. The Montgomery meeting was in the flood-tide of hopeful secession, and North Carolina stood alone, viewed with distrust by the fiery seceders and taunted with her constitutional slowness and lack of true Southern chivalry. Too clearly even then she saw the end from the beginning.
The Peace Convention was a failure. Judge Ruffin's appearance there was said to be in the highest degree venerable and impressive, and his speech for the Union and the old flag most eloquent and affecting. But nothing availed. No voice could be heard in the rising of such a storm.
After the inauguration of President Lincoln, South Carolina seized and garrisoned the forts in Charleston harbor belonging to the United States government. This was open rebellion, and this began the war. No government can let its forts be taken or allow its flag to be pulled down.
President Lincoln appealed to all the other States, and called for 75,000 men to support the Union. All sprang to arms at his appeal except those Southern States which,
though unwilling to leave the Union, were also unwilling to take arms against their sister States.
What could they do now but cast in their lot with the South? On May 20, 1861, North Carolina, in a State convention called at Raleigh, decided to join the secession movement as the others had done. Hon. Weldon N. Edwards was president of this assembly. Every political party was represented there; all were unanimous that no choice was now left.
The Confederacy numbered eleven States, with a population of nine millions, of which slaves formed one-third. The twenty-three States which remained loyal to the Union, and were resolved that the others should not leave it, numbered twenty-three millions, all free.
It was to be a war between brothers, horrible to think of, still more horrible to witness and endure. Neither side believed it would last long. Volunteers for the army enlisted at first for only three months. The North thought it was only a great riot led by a few hot-blooded Secessionists, who would soon be put down. The South believed the North would allow disunion to go on peaceably as soon as it was seen that the Southern people were in earnest.
In the limits of a short history like this we can hardly give even the outlines of the tremendous struggle that lasted four years.
It ended, as was foreseen from the first by all but the fiery and enthusiastic leaders of the extreme Southern party, in the total defeat of the Southern armies and the forcible reinstatement of the seceded States into
the old Union which they had tried to abandon and to break up.
The South trusted to the fervid valor of her gallant men to win the battles, and to the hope of turning her cotton into gold in Europe for the means of carrying the war on. It was thought that the great nations of Europe would sympathize with the South.
Battle after battle was won by us against overwhelming numbers. Of glory such as a bloody battlefield can give the South had enough. But in such a war as this a nation's strength is measured by the gold it can command.
The North had every advantage besides that of numbers. She had the treasury and all the power and resources of the government; she had the navy, the manufactories, the commerce, the wealth, and she had the sympathy of the civilized world.
Every Southern port and all our coasts were at once blockaded or shut up, and patroled by Northern vessels, so that no trade with Europe was possible. Southern ships, which were few, could run in and out only by stealth and at long intervals, and at last not at all.
Blockading the seaports of a country means strangulation for the trade of that country. The paper money issued by the Confederate Congress went steadily down in value as the paper money in time of the Revolution had done, while of foreign gold there was none, and of foreign sympathy but little.
The Confederate government fixed its seat at Richmond, Va., and Robert E. Lee of Virginia, who had belonged to
the United States army, had refused the offer to command it in the war, and had come home to Virginia to be in her service, was made commander-in-chief of our army.
Twenty thousand volunteers were called for by Governor Ellis as soon as North Carolina adopted the ordinance of secession, and the call was answered with enthusiasm. The United States forts on our coast and all the property belonging to the Federal government in the State were seized. Richmond was the first object of attack by the Federals.
A regiment under Colonel D. H. Hill was sent off at once to Yorktown peninsula in Virginia, and in a skirmish at Big Bethel on June 10th, Henry Wyatt of Edgecombe county was the first Southern soldier killed in the great Civil War now commenced. From the outset North Carolina went forward cheerfully, steadily, nobly to do her utmost in the cause she had deliberately chosen to stand by.
In July the first great battle was fought at Manassas in the northern part of Virginia. It resulted in the defeat and rout of the Federal army. The South hailed this victory as if it was the end of the war, but it only served to sting the North to greater effort. Its Congress at once called for $500,000,000 and half a million volunteers, and got them.
There were three regiments from North Carolina in the battle, and Colonel Charles Fisher of Salisbury, among many other brave men, was killed.
In July, 1861, a fleet of Federal gunboats attacked and seized a small fort or sandwork at Cape Hatteras.
Early next year General Burnside, with a fleet of gunboats 1862. and fifteen thousand men, entered Albemarle Sound and took Roanoke Island, after a stubborn resistance by two North Carolina regiments intrenched there under Colonel Shaw. Two thousand of our men were taken prisoners in this action.
New Bern was the next point of attack in our State. Governor Branch had been put in command there with half a dozen regiments. Neither the commander nor the troops had ever been under fire, and, though they behaved with gallantry, on the 14th of March the fate of New Bern was settled by the rout and precipitate retreat of its defenders. Fort Macon fell next. Colonel White was compelled to surrender it in the last of April, it having been held by North Carolina only about a year. With New Bern fell Edenton, Plymouth, and all the towns on our seacoast except Wilmington.
Forty thousand North Carolinians were under arms, and only a handful of these were on duty in their own State. The events of the second year were favorable to the Southern cause, and Southern hopes ran high.
At Williamsburg, at Winchester, and at Seven Pines Southern valor rolled back again and again the tide of war, but, like the waves of the incoming ocean, the numbers and the strength of the Northern armies were again and again reinforced. The South was losing her best blood in vain. At the battle of Seven Pines, Colonel George Burgwyn Anderson, in command of the Fourth North Carolina, was killed, and of five hundred and twenty
men of the regiment, four hundred and sixty-two lay dead or wounded.
1862. In June nearly all the North Carolina troops participated in a seven days’ fight around Richmond which ended in the repulse of the Union army under General McClellan. Of ninety-two regiments engaged there under Generals Jackson, Longstreet, and D. H. Hill and A. P. Hill, forty-six belonged to North Carolina. Fully half the men engaged in that tremendous week of battle were from our noble and steadfast State.
But the cost of such renown was fearful. From the mountains of North Carolina to the seashore a loud lament went up. The desolation and mourning for our dead sons, though they had fallen in the service of the State and in the discharge of man's highest duty, were universal. Every town and village was in mourning. In remote farm-houses, in cabins on the hillsides, and in the mountain-glens sons, husbands, fathers were missing. They were lying mangled in Virginia hospitals or under Virginia sod.
Still, recruits were continually going to the front to fill up the vacancies. War is insatiable. Once started, it goes on crushing everything in its track.
Hospitals for our sick and wounded were established at our chief cities. Dr. Charles Johnson of Raleigh was the first surgeon-general of our State. We also established and supported a large hospital for our soldiers at Petersburg. The best physicians in North Carolina volunteered for this service, and many of our ladies were forward to give their aid and comfort.
Many ministers in every denomination gave up their charges at home and became chaplains in the army. Their faithful service, extending beyond the bounds of this life, cannot be estimated here.RECITATION.THE PICKET-GUARD.
- All quiet along the Potomac to-night,
- Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming;
- Their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon
- Or the light of the watch-fires are gleaming.
- There's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread
- As he tramps from the rock to the fountain,
- And he thinks of the two in the low trundle-bed
- Far away in the cot on the mountain.
- His musket falls slack; his face, dark and grim,
- Grows gentle with memories tender
- As he mutters a prayer for the children asleep,
- For their mother—may Heaven defend her!
- Hark! was it the night-wind that rustled the leaves?
- Was it moonlight so wondrously flashing?
- It looked like a rifle; “Ha! Mary, good-bye!”
- And the life-blood is ebbing and plashing.
- All quiet along the Potomac to-night—
- No sound save the rush of the river,
- While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead:
- The picket's off duty for ever.
CHAPTER XXXV. THE GREAT CIVIL WAR.
Governor Ellis died of a rapid decline in the summer of 1861, his death being hastened by his anxieties and labors for the public welfare. Henry T. Clarke of Edgecombe, being president of the State Senate, filled out his term of office, and at the next election (1862) Zebulon B. Vance of Buncombe, then colonel of our 26th Regiment, was called from the field of battle to direct the civil government.
He was a young man who had represented his district in Congress when the war broke out and all our Congressmen came home at the call of the State to arms. He was our governor till the end of the war, and his energy and foresight, supported by excellent judgment and enthusiastic devotion to North Carolina, made it soon conspicuous that he was the very man for the times. His popularity was unbounded and public faith in him implicit.
His first object was to provide a supply of arms and clothing for our troops, as well as innumerable other necessaries from which a strict blockade had cut us off, and the want of which was crippling every effort.
The South had but few vessels when the war began. The Northern cruisers swarmed in great numbers on all our coasts, and their light, swift-sailing gunboats swept over and within our sandbars, keeping strict outlook day and night.
Governor Vance took counsel with the adjutant-general of the State, General J. G. Martin, who strongly advised the purchase of swift steamers to be employed in running the blockade. This was a bold and happy thought, and was so carried out as to prove a brilliant success.
Colonel Crossan was empowered to go over to England and make the purchases. He proved an excellent agent. For two years these vessels escaped the blockaders that lay round the mouth of the Cape Fear, and, running regularly to the West Indies for supplies, steamed in and out of the port of Wilmington, followed by the anxieties of the whole State. One especially, named the Advance, turned out to be one of the swiftest ships afloat, and the news of its safe arrival was a signal for congratulations. “The Advance is in” meant that another cargo was in of shoes, blankets, cloth, medicines, cotton and wool cards, salt, and other necessaries for our people.
Our troops were the best supplied of any in the Confederate service, and their wives and children at home were comfortably clothed. The cotton and wool cards and the looms were wielded by skilful hands in many a log cabin, where they were the only provision against hunger and nakedness. North Carolina was enabled also to give important aid to the Confederate government.
Our cotton-factories were running day and night, for as the calicoes and muslins and silks and other fine dress goods were worn out, all classes took to wearing homespun. Every yard of fine white cloth was cut up and sent to the hospitals for the soldiers. Every scrap that could be used there was sacredly preserved for the purpose. Ten thousands of hands were busy rolling bandages, sewing, knitting gloves and stockings for those dear boys, preparing homely supplies for them, despatching to the various camps the last bit of luxury or shred of comfort at home.
Long before the war ended rich and poor fared alike. Corn bread and brown peas, and coffee made of parched rye or potatoes, were found on all tables. Tea and coffee and sugar and spice had disappeared with fine clothes. We made our own hats of wheat and rye straw, we made our own shoes and buttons; we boldly invented new fashions and contrivances never before dreamed of. There is nothing like necessity to set people's wits to work.
When tallow was thirty dollars a pound very few could afford much light in their houses at night. We burned raw spirits of turpentine in our lamps, or lightwood knots on our hearths. The lightwood gave the best light, and not half the smoke.
In 1861 there were fifty-seven newspapers in the State, and twenty-six ceased during the war. Those that remained were printed on very dingy paper, and were paid for at the rate of from fifty to one hundred dollars a year.
Churches and religious and benevolent work of all kinds were steadily sustained. All denominations stood
close together, often a whole community assembling in one church to pray for our armies and our cause. At the last, none but women and children and old men were to be seen at church.
Schools were kept up, though the common schools finally went down in the general decline of law and order. Some effort was made to get up school-books, such as grammars, arithmetics, and primers. But they were forlorn specimens of book-making, with coarse dark paper and worn-out type. As to books, magazines, and newspapers from abroad, we were nearly as much cut off from them, and as ignorant of the affairs of the outside world, as if we were living in the heart of Africa. Occasionally a copy of a Northern or an English paper or magazine would run the blockade or get through the lines.
As soon as the paper money issued by the Confederacy began to decline in value, prices for everything bought by such money went up as steadily. At last we were paying twenty-five dollars a yard for country jeans, thirty dollars a yard for calico that had run the blockade, five dollars for a paper of needles, twenty dollars for a hat made of wheat straw, twenty-five dollars for a bushel of corn meal, and ten dollars to have a tooth pulled. Our soldiers were paid sixteen and seventeen dollars a day.
In 1862, General Lee crossed the Potomac and carried the war into Maryland, and in the first battles fought in that campaign North Carolina's losses were very severe. General Branch, General Anderson, and Colonel Tew were killed at Sharpsburg. This battle was a repulse for Lee.
In North Carolina many skirmishes took place in the vicinity of the towns occupied by the Federal troops. Nothing decisive occurred during this year, but it was plain that the longer the war lasted the more certain would be the total defeat of the South.
Wilmington was nearly the only seaport within the bounds of the Confederacy which the blockaders could not close. Our sand-barred coast was still dangerous as in Sir Walter Raleigh's day and in the days of the Revolution, and ships had to stand off and on, so that our blockade-runners had many a safe passage through on dark nights. The yellow fever was brought over by these vessels, however, and in this fall Wilmington was fearfully ravaged by this scourge.
The year 1863 began disastrously for the Union armies. The battle of Chancellorsville was a great victory for Lee, and on all sides the Southern cause appeared to prevail. But the tide soon turned. The valley of the Mississippi, and the great river itself and all its tributaries, had long been in the hands of the western Union army. The Northern gunboats traversed every stream, and by degrees closed with a grasp never relaxed round every town on their banks.
1863. In July, 1863, after a long siege, the town of Vicksburg surrendered to General Grant, who commanded the western army of the Union. During the same week, Lee, who, misled by the success of his army in the spring, had carried the war into Pennsylvania, fought the battle of Gettysburg, which was a defeat for the Southern cause from which it never rallied. Southern soldiers performed prodigies
of valor, but they were met by equal valor in the Northern army and by nearly double their numbers. The Southern loss was 30,000 men. Among them were such as General Pettigrew, General Pender, Colonel Burgwyn, and Colonel Avery—names henceforth ever dear to North Carolina. In the death of James Johnston Pettigrew especially we mourned the loss of a singularly gifted, engaging, and brilliant young man.
It seems to us, looking back at those gloomy days and recalling our losses, as if every life laid down was that of a hero. These men died in obedience to the call of North Carolina. It was their duty to go: they went gladly, proudly, and died, knowing that their name and fame would never pass from the memory of their native State.
But with all this heroic sacrifice the heart of our North Carolina people was not in the war. They saw nothing glorious in the sight of a land drenched in fraternal blood, and nothing hopeful or inspiring in the prospect of a Southern Confederacy henceforth armed to the teeth, not only against the Northern States of the Union, but against all Christendom, in an unheroic attempt to destroy a great nation in defence of our right to hold slaves. Men laid down their lives who had never owned a slave. They fought not for secession, not for slavery, but because North Carolina, having felt in honor bound to act with the South, had gone into the war, and they were bound to obey her.
It is a part of the history of slavery in all times that its bonds are seldom loosed except by bloodshed. With us it was the white people only who suffered. The negroes looked
on in silence. They behaved well during the progress of the war, did their duty on the plantations while the white men were in the army, and were as faithful in the families of their owners as they ever had been; and they lifted neither hand nor voice, not even after President Lincoln had issued his proclamation (January, 1863) declaring them all free, and they were assured that they would be welcomed in the Northern army. They remained quiet, and when their freedom came at the end of the war they could accept it with a good conscience.RECITATION.TRUTH.
- Soon rested those who fought; but thou
- Who minglest in the harder strife
- For truths which men receive not now,
- Thy warfare only ends with life.
- Truth crushed to earth shall rise again—
- The eternal years of God are hers,
- But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
- And dies amid his worshippers.
- Yea, though thou lie upon the dust
- When they who helped thee flee in fear,
- Die full of hope and manly trust,
- Like those who fell in battle here.
- Another hand thy sword shall wield,
- Another hand the standard wave,
- Till from the trumpet's mouth is pealed
- The blast of triumph o'er thy grave.
CHAPTER XXXVI. THE WAR CONTINUED.
1864. The government at Washington City had changed the commander-in-chief of their armies many times in the first three years as one disaster after another overtook them. At last, General Grant, who had taken Vicksburg and opened the Mississippi Valley to New Orleans, and had followed up this triumph by seizing Chattanooga (November, 1863), was raised to the chief command and took charge of the army before Richmond.
From this time the fortunes of the Southern Confederacy declined. All through 1864 the struggle went on more and more hopelessly for us, though victories were still won by our troops on the battlefields.
Neither England nor France would interfere, though suffering for the want of cotton. In the manufacturing districts of England the working-classes were starving for food in the absence of work. England had first brought slaves to America, and England and the Northern States had assisted to make slavery permanent in the Southern States. But the English had long since outgrown the policy of such an ignoble institution. They had long since freed all the negroes in all their colonies and territories, and
now they wished to see the South compelled to give it up too. There was no chance of aid from abroad.
The Southern people withdrew their eyes from outside hope, and fixed them upon Lee and his generals and the rapidly diminishing forces at their command.
In President Davis and his Cabinet, and in the Confederate Congress at Richmond, there was little agreement of counsel. We went on electing Congressmen and Senators and trying to hope that some good would come of it. But North Carolina was not popular in that government. We sent our best to the Senate, but their views and opinions were overlooked. George Davis of Wilmington, William A. Graham of Orange, W. W. Avery of Burke, and W. T. Dortch of Wayne were in turn our Senators at Richmond.
No man in North Carolina stood higher at this time than Ex-governor Graham. He was the son of General Joseph Graham of Revolutionary fame, and had inherited the patriotism, the talents, and the nerve that had distinguished his father. He had been United States Senator, Secretary of the United States Navy, and governor of North Carolina, and in every position enjoyed and deserved the fullest confidence of our people. He had always been a Whig in politics, and was a typical North Carolinian in this, that though he was opposed to the doctrines of secession, yet he had sent his seven brave sons to the army.
Graham advised now that the South should hang together to the last, but that some attempt at compromise should be made by its government, and the war put an end to as soon as possible.
Another party was growing strong, made up of men who declared that North Carolina had better get back into the Union on the best terms she could make for herself, without waiting for the Confederate government, or for any other State. This was resisted by Governor Vance, Governor Graham, and others of our leading men, and by the greater part of our people, who saw nothing but ruin in continuing the fight, and yet opposed such counsel as dishonorable to us and treasonable to our sister States.
President Davis and his Cabinet persistently refused to listen to any advice or to accept any terms held out by the North. And so, amid conflicts of opinion, distractions and doubts, and general dismay, the great Southern States Rights struggle neared its close.
Grant left General Sherman at the head of the army at Chattanooga with directions to move upon Atlanta, and thence to the sea, and through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. These States were nearly defenceless. Sherman made a clean sweep as he went, burning houses and laying waste the country for miles on either side of his march. When he reached Columbia he allowed his soldiers full license, because South Carolina had been the first mover in the war. The city was plundered and fired and nearly destroyed.
Meanwhile Grant had fought the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, and others with varying fortune, but was still pressing steadily forward upon Richmond by way of Petersburg.
Jan., 1865. Wilmington had now become a point of
attack. General Bragg, General Whiting, and General Hoke had charge of its defences. Fort Fisher, Fort Caswell, and Fort Holmes at the entrance to the Cape Fear one by one were taken. When Fort Fisher fell, Wilmington surrendered. Our people were now in hopes that the Confederate government would take some steps toward making peace.
In February the Northern government made conciliatory advances and offered terms to the despairing and nearly-exhausted South. President Lincoln, who had just been re-elected to a second term, came down himself to Fortress Monroe and interviewed a commission of three gentlemen appointed reluctantly by President Davis to meet him.
President Lincoln was very anxious to put a stop to the war. He offered terms that now appear strikingly liberal and favorable to the South, on the sole condition that the South should return to the old Union. Whether Lincoln could have carried out these liberal terms may be doubted, for the Union Congress was led by men of very different principles from his.
President Davis and his Cabinet, who had certainly the merit of adhering to their own judgment, rejected any terms that would not secure the separation and independence of the Southern States. The Northern government could not be expected to agree to the dismemberment of the Union. To prevent that, it had poured out its blood and treasure. The commissioners returned to Richmond: the war was to go on to the bitter end.
General Joseph E. Johnston was immediately despatched
to meet Sherman in North Carolina. His command, uniting all the troops in retreat from Charleston, Wilmington, from Tennessee, and a division from Lee's army in Virginia, amounted to about 25,000 men.
Sherman, moving on triumphantly from what was left of Columbia, entered North Carolina at the point where Cornwallis would have done well to enter it a hundred years before—below Fayetteville. Passing through that town, his troops effectually plundered it. Cotton-factories were burned and immense damage done to private property. He effected a junction at Goldsboro with the army moving under General Schofield from Wilmington. At Bentonsville and at Averysboro, Johnston checked his advance, and was prepared to meet him at Smithfield, but, receiving despatches announcing that Grant had taken Petersburg and that Lee's army was retreating from Richmond, it became his duty to retreat before Sherman, to give up all hope of protecting Raleigh, and endeavor to join Lee wherever he might be.
On the 13th of April, at the head of 100,000 men, Sherman entered Raleigh. The same week a large force under General Stoneman, who had come into the State from Knoxville, Tenn., taking all the towns in his way and inflicting tremendous damage on the country, entered Salisbury, arriving there just in time to destroy all the valuable State and Confederate and private property which had been carried there for safety from Raleigh.
On the 9th of April, General Lee had surrendered to Grant with all his army at Appomattox. On the 26th,
General Johnston also capitulated and surrendered to Sherman at Durham. The Confederate government had fled from Richmond: all thought of further resistance was at an end. Secession was a dream of the past, and slavery was soon to be abolished. The Union of the States was now to be re-established more firmly than ever before, for the awful lessons of such a fratricidal war would surely never be forgotten by the reunited nation.RECITATION.ODE TO PEACE.
- Daughter of God! that sitt'st on high
- Amid the dances of the sky,
- And guidest with thy gentle sway
- The planets on their tuneful way!
- Sweet Peace! shall ne'er again
- The smile of thy most holy face,
- From thine ethereal dwelling-place,
- Rejoice the wretched, weary race
- Of discord-breathing men?
- Come, come from thy divine abode,
- Thou gladness-giving child of God!
- And cease the world's ensanguined strife,
- And reconcile my soul to life;
- For much I long to see,
- Ere I shall to the grave descend,
- Thy hand its blessed branch extend,
- And to the world's remotest end
- Wave love and harmony.
CHAPTER XXXVII. THE CLOSE OF THE WAR.
1865. Let us see now what North Carolina was doing in those last sad days.
While Sherman's great army was approaching Raleigh, Governor Vance and his counsellors and the State officials had been making what preparations were possible. They did not yet know that Richmond was in the hands of the Union army, that President Davis and his Cabinet were in full flight toward North Carolina, or that General Lee had surrendered, and that the Southern Confederacy had collapsed. They worked day and night, sending off an immense quantity of State property that had been stored at Raleigh for the use of our North Carolina soldiers. About forty thousand blankets; cloth and overcoats and clothes equal to one hundred thousand suits; ten thousand pairs of shoes; immense quantities of cotton cloth and yarns; one hundred and fifty thousand pounds of bacon; forty thousand bushels of corn; a great stock of medical stores and many other things of great value brought in by the blockade-runners; all the public records and other effects,—these things were deposited at various points along the Central Railroad, and mostly at Salisbury. They supposed
that they were saving this immensely valuable store, little thinking that they were sending it from Sherman to be seized and destroyed by Stoneman.
Governor Vance in the midst of his unspeakable anxieties and cares was ready to give comfort and counsel to all who called on him. He advised the citizens in general to stay quietly in their own houses, and make no useless demonstrations of hostility.
On the 12th of April, as Johnson's army was passing through Raleigh toward Hillsboro, Governor Vance sent a delegation of three gentleman—Governor Graham, Governor Swain, and Surgeon-general Warren—to Sherman's camp, then only fourteen miles below the city, with a letter from him saying that he would surrender the city peaceably, and asking protection for the inhabitants, the public institutions, buildings, etc. etc. Governor Vance resolved to stay in Raleigh and wait the return of this embassy, and learn what was to be hoped from Sherman.
The embassy, however, did not return at the time expected. It was detained by various accidents, such as might have been expected to occur when two armies were moving over the country it was to traverse—one in retreat, the other in pursuit. General Sherman was civil enough to the commissioners, and promised to spare Raleigh if it would surrender quietly. But he would not let them go back except in company with him next day. Governor Vance waited in Raleigh till midnight of April 12th, and then, having heard that the commissioners were prisoners, he left Raleigh with only two friends accompanying him,
and rode to Carey, eight miles off, where General Hoke's division was quartered. Thence he accompanied the main body of Johnston's army to Hillsboro, and there heard for the first time that Lee had surrendered.
While in Hillsboro he received two messages. One was from General Sherman, inviting him and the other State officials to return to Raleigh and confer with him as to public affairs, and sending them all a “safe-conduct.” The other message was from the fugitive Confederate President, who with his Cabinet had arrived at Greensboro and knew not where to turn for safety and for help. He begged Governor Vance to come to him at once.
Governor Vance might have consulted his own interests and gone back to Raleigh at Sherman's invitation. Every instinct of generosity impelled him to take the other route and to go to the fallen chief of the Confederacy, and show him a friend's face in the day of disaster.
This he did, and, though it was but a useless sacrifice, yet neither he nor any true-hearted North Carolinian ever after regretted that it was made.
He went to Greensboro, thereby identifying himself to the very last with the Confederate government and cutting himself off from any further chance to make terms for himself or his State. When he arrived in Greensboro he found that President Davis and his party had left for Charlotte.
On the slope of a hill near this town, where tradition says that General Greene held a council of war with his officers just before the battle of Guilford in 1781, President Davis
and his Cabinet, and General Johnston and a few other officers had held their last council. Vance followed Davis to Charlotte, and had a last interview with him there, giving him notice that he meant to make what terms he now could with Sherman.
President Davis continued his flight to Georgia. Then he and his Cabinet separated, each to shift for himself. Some escaped to foreign lands; some were taken prisoners. The President himself, being joined by his wife and children and refusing to leave them, was taken prisoner and carried to Fortress Monroe. Governor Vance was unable to get back to Raleigh. He joined his family at Statesville, where he was arrested later, taken to Washington, and imprisoned for a few months. General Johnston returned to Durham, where the last Confederate flag was still flying, and there he and his army laid down their arms.
It was at first evident that the military men who now held possession of North Carolina meant to act with consideration. They were under orders from President Lincoln to show every possible disposition toward mildness and liberality, and to help forward the restoration of peace, goodwill, and order. But a dreadful calamity now befell the conquered South.
President Lincoln, whose benignity of temper had been shown in a thousand ways, and who was now probably the best and most powerful friend the South had on earth, was foully murdered on the 15th of April by a half-crazy actor in one of the theatres at Washington. A tremendous
excitement followed in all the Northern States. Because the murderer was a Virginian the whole South was held responsible for the murder. Northern people seemed to lose their reason and judgment for a time. In their grief and rage they made an idol of Mr. Lincoln. His death must be avenged. They snatched up and hung the wrong people for the deed, and turned upon the South to begin a vindictive policy here.
The Vice-President, Andrew Johnson, who was now President, was a native of North Carolina. He and the United States Congress would not carry out Mr. Lincoln's mild and forgiving policy. Hard conditions were imposed, harsh feelings prevailed.
The surrender of the South had been total, unconditional, and in good faith. We had continued the struggle till nothing else was left us, and there was not the slightest disposition to resist or avoid the consequences.
To be allowed to repair the shattered condition of things, to go to work in silence and patience and make the best of what was before us,—this was all we desired or hoped for. But this did not suit the politicians or the fanatics.RECITATION.THE REFORMER.
- ’Twas but the ruin of the bad,
- The wasting of the wrong and ill;
- Whate'er of good the old time had
- Was living still.
- The grain grew green on battle-plains,
- O'er swarded war-mounds grazed the cow;
- The slave stood forging from his chains
- The spade and plough.
- Our life shall on and upward go;
- The eternal step of Progress beats
- To that great anthem calm and slow
- Which God repeats.
- Take heart! the Waster builds again—
- A charmed life old Goodness hath;
- The tares may perish, but the grain
- Is not for death.
- God works in all things; all obey
- His first propulsion from the night:
- Wake thou and watch; the world is gray
- With morning light.
CHAPTER XXXVIII. AFTER THE WAR.
1865. North Carolina had furnished to the armies of the Confederacy more than one hundred and fifty thousand men. This was more than one-fourth of all the forces raised by the eleven Southern States. She had lost over thirty thousand of these, the very flower of her young manhood. It was said that there was not a single regiment in the entire Confederate service in which could not be found some former students of our University. Our educated young men were the first to offer themselves in the cause, and were among the first to fall. And North Carolina, as usual, had contributed more than her share quietly and without parade.
Now the penalty was to be paid, and this too she endured with dignity and with no loss of self-respect. In common with all the conquered States, we were placed under military law; that is, no law could be administered, no justice was to be had, but such as the commanders of the various military posts in every district chose to allow. Everything was referred to them. We had no State government; we had no mails, no courts of law, no business of any sort going on; no schools. All was silence and suspense.
General Schofield was left in charge by Sherman, and his first proclamation, dictated by Congress, gave immediate freedom to the slaves.
This of course we had expected, and were in some degree prepared for. But it meant such a revolution in the lives and fortunes of both masters and servants as this generation can hardly understand.
The banks and all other financial institutions and investments were now wrecked. All that had been invested in Confederate securities was of course lost. The common-school fund, the funds of the University and other educational institutions, were all engulfed.
The Confederate government had gone down in debt to many North Carolina planters for their crops. With great difficulty one of them got an order in March for $6000 in Confederate notes. This sum he immediately exchanged for $57 in gold. But very many did not have even $1 in gold.
People who had never known a want were at once reduced to beggary. Families of women whose natural protectors had died in the Southern cause were left with the children dependent on them, in direst poverty. The estates of orphans had vanished. Bankruptcy was almost universal. The devastation and general demoralization of the country wherever the armies had passed were incalculable. The towns and villages and farmhouses in their course had been plundered without remorse, though none had been wantonly burned as in South Carolina. The farm-produce and stock and fencing were all gone.
The inhabitants of these sections were so stripped of all means of living, and the country so drained of its resources in the presence of so many armies that spring, that very many people were compelled to become pensioners on the Northern government, and drew their rations regularly at the military posts.
The newly-freed slaves were at once helpless, and a vast expense to the United States government. Wherever they had been swept along with the armies they had to be fed. They assembled in the towns in great numbers, or wherever was a military post.
Thousands of them died from exposure and want and disease. These were chiefly the aged, and the idle and vicious.
Freedom, however, was joyfully hailed by them. There were indeed many cases where they refused to leave their old homes and the white families who had raised them and been kind to them. In North Carolina slavery had worn a much milder aspect than on the great cotton and rice plantations farther south, where a stricter police had been necessary.
But slavery is a bitter draught under any circumstances. They were free now to go out and to come in as they liked. They could gather their families together, and be in no fear of separation any more. They might now choose their own homes, their own way of life. They might learn to read and aspire to education and all its benefits as freemen. It was certainly an astonishing change for them. But there was a wider prospect still unfolded.
Added to all the mourning caused by the war, the losses, the privations, and the humiliations of defeat, was the further trial for our people that the negroes but yesterday our slaves were now not only freemen, but were at once elevated to civil equality. They were to be not only voters, but, all unfit, must be magistrates, jurymen, legislators.
It was not to be expected that a high-spirited people would not protest against, and as far as possible resist, such violent changes. Every such resistance only made the government at Washington, and the Northern people generally, more sure that the South could not be trusted.
Every State and county official was removed from office. A “provisional governor” was appointed, for Governor Vance, so far from being trusted to take the reins again, was now in prison in Washington. His successor was W. W. Holden, who had for many years edited the most influential Democratic paper in the State, and had been Governor Vance's political opponent before and during the war.
He was a man of humble origin, but he had talent and energy, and was a keen and adroit political partisan. He had risen to be of very considerable importance in the political world of North Carolina, and his paper, The Standard, had been skilfully trimmed to suit various breezes. He was at first strongly against the war, but afterward became one of its most prominent promoters, and a signer of the ordinance of secession. Finally, he led the party that advocated making peace on any terms independently of the other Southern States.
This last change convinced the President that Mr. Holden was now the most suitable person to undertake the reconstruction of government here, and he gave him the best opportunity of his life to do his State good service and make himself a name. But men are never able to be more than they are. Governor Holden was nothing more than a partisan, and could not rise higher.
Instead of using his newly-acquired power and influence to soothe angry feelings and assist his State and people to regain their footing and re-establish their government, his object seemed rather to revenge himself on his old opponents, to hinder every man of former high standing, of experience in affairs, and of popularity with the people from receiving a pardon from the government at Washington and from holding any office of trust. Obstacles were thrown in their way, humiliating and exasperating conditions were imposed, and all the irritations of the time industriously aggravated.
President Johnson was much such a man as Governor Holden, and his idea was faithfully reflected here that treason to the Union must be made odious by punishing the traitor as severely as possible.
The old political divisions had pretty much disappeared for a time. The Republican party was triumphant at the North, and held the South with the strong hand of military rule. Several years passed before any regularly organized opposition could be made to it. The war had swept away so many old party themes, and had brought about so many new ones, that it was long before men could
settle to one side or another. Many good men joined the Republicans, believing it the party of progress and reform. As a rule, however, Southern white people held other views, and gradually fell into strict lines of opposition to the Republicans, who at once began to educate and drill the negroes in their political views, foreseeing the importance of their vote.RECITATION.MAN'S AUTHORITY.
- Oh, it is excellent
- To have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous
- To use it like a giant.
- Could great men thunder
- As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet;
- For every pelting, petty officer
- Would use his heaven for thunder—
- Nothing but thunder. Merciful Heaven!
- Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
- Split'st the unwedgable and gnarlèd oak,
- Than the soft myrtle; but man, proud man!
- Drest in a little brief authority, like an angry ape,
- Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
- As makes the angels weep.
CHAPTER XXXIX. RECONSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENT.
1865. In the fall of this dismal year orders came from Washington City that a convention should be assembled to restore civil government to the State and replace the State, in due form, in the Union. This convention met at Raleigh in October, and did all that was required. Elections were held immediately for governor and for Senators and Representatives in Congress and in the State legislature. Jonathan Worth of Randolph was elected governor.
The government at Washington refused to allow the newly-elected Representatives to enter Congress. They believed, or affected to believe, that Southern gentlemen were still full of enmity to the Union; they assumed that we would act malignantly toward our former slaves. They would not trust us with any power, and they used the merest quibble of law to bar the return of such a man as Governor Graham to his seat in the Senate. There was really more angry and bitter feeling excited now by such treatment than had been felt during the four years’ hard fighting. In generous natures generous action may be trusted to produce generous feelings.
Governor Worth was a plain, honest, and good man,
who made an excellent governor for such trying times. He was one of those who had most deplored and denounced Secession, but now he acted with great good sense and forbearance toward all parties.
1866. During the two years of his administration there was some return of comfort. If we were not allowed representation in Congress, at least we were able to rule ourselves at home. The University, which had been reduced to a mere handful of boys, now began to hold up its head, and, though with greatly diminished means, received a respectable return of patronage. The other colleges and schools revived. Business and trade repaired to their old channels in some degree.
Northern adventurers, however, were pouring into the South, eager to interfere and put their hands to the work of “reconstruction.” They came like harpies only for prey, and were soon designated as “carpet-baggers.” Their influence was exerted among the negroes chiefly and among the most unscrupulous class of whites. It was an influence of the worst kind. They instructed the ignorant freedmen that they alone were their friends; they filled their hearts with distrust and suspicion and hatred of Southerners, and they initiated them into all the chicanery and corruptions of faction.
1867. Many enthusiastic and educated women and preachers also came from the North in the train of the political “carpet-baggers,” to devote themselves to the education and elevation of the ex-slaves. They too helped to make mischief. We gave them credit in most cases for
acting under really benevolent motives, but they came violently prejudiced against us. With romantic notions of universal equality and philanthropy they showed great want of common sense and prudence, or even ordinary discernment of the situation. Some of them were backed by liberal contributions from benevolent friends, and founded really good schools which yet stand, but the larger number faded out after a while. They learned perhaps that a race cannot be elevated in a day. All good growth is slow growth, and two centuries of slavery had left impressions that three generations will hardly see effaced.
1868. In 1868 another convention was called to frame a new constitution for North Carolina, agreeably to the will of Congress. The colored people and their white Republican allies were now in full accord. Many thousand native white North Carolinians were prevented from voting, while every negro over twenty-one was bidden to do so.
Our military governor at this time was General Canby, residing at Charleston. All the election returns had to be sent to him for approval. He decided who should or should not have a seat in the convention, and, acting under orders from Congress, he declared Governor Holden governor of the State in place of Governor Worth.
The first legislature under the new constitution, which is now known as the “Canby Constitution,” was made up chiefly of carpet-baggers and their tools among the negroes. Their work exhibited just such reckless indifference to public opinion, such corruption, and such folly as might have been expected from such law-makers.
Sweeping and untimely alterations were made in our laws and old-established forms of government; new and unnecessary offices were created; extravagant expenditures and extravagant public salaries were authorized; and millions of debt were attempted to be fastened on the State.
For more than a hundred years the judges of our courts had been elected by the legislature. They were now to be elected by the people. The governor's term of office was to be four years instead of two. The conditions of practice in the courts were changed, greatly to the disgust of the Bar of the State. Magistrates were also to be elected by the popular vote instead of by the legislature, and this law secured the election of negroes to that office wherever the negroes outvoted the whites. Even the names of things, dear from old associations, were ordered to be changed. Some of the changes were an acknowledged improvement on the old order, and were allowed to remain when Southern whites were restored to power.
The colored race, if let alone, were not disposed to be malicious or vindictive, but at the instigation of their new friends, and under the excitement of their sudden elevation they had taken a wrong turn. They formed a secret society called “The League,” which was engineered by the carpet-baggers and intended to serve their political objects. Its effect was to bind the negroes to them in strict, unquestioning alliance. Many outrages were committed at this time which were attributed to the “Leaguers,” who began to act as if North Carolina belonged to them alone and as if they were above the law.
Houses of men obnoxious to them were burned; barns, gin-houses, and other property destroyed by night; women were insulted and murders committed.
In the midst of the alarm and irritation caused by these things suddenly there appeared in North Carolina, in the year 1869, a secret society called the “Ku-Klux Klan,” which was first started in one of the farther Southern States, where a similar condition of society prevailed. It was a well-organized body of horsemen who rode at night and in disguise, punishing criminals whom the law had failed to punish, taking on themselves to decide upon the guilty. The sort of mystery they preserved, their striking disguise, their silent and swift night-marches, and their certain vengeance struck terror among the guilty. Governor Holden had established paid spies and secret detectives who stood about in various suspected communities eaves-dropping and reporting private citizens’ words and actions. These creatures fled before the Ku-Klux. The governor himself quailed, called for a guard for his house, and tried the effect of proclamations on this midnight police without effect. With the legislature under his control, next winter he procured the passage of a bill giving him power to declare the State or any part of it to be in insurrection, and the authority to raise troops and maintain them if he saw fit. This was called the “Shoffner Bill,” and was a step full of danger, for in truth there was no insurrection anywhere nor any prospect of one.
The Ku-Klux were not the State. They were not even numerous, though active and dreaded. They were organized
at first only to overawe dangerous and vicious men and to give protection where the law did not. They were like the Regulators before the Revolution, and, like them and like all other self-constituted reformers who act outside of law, they proceeded to excesses, and finally to crimes which speedily led to their downfall.
Such things will be when people are goaded beyond their patience, and history repeats the story in all times.RECITATION.THE AMBITIOUS STATESMAN.
- Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness!
- This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
- The tender leaves of hope: to-morrow blossoms,
- And bears his blushing honors thick upon him;
- The third day comes a frost, a killing frost;
- And—when he thinks, good easy man! full surely
- His greatness is a ripening—nips his root,
- And then he falls as I do.—
- Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
- By that sin fell the angels. How can man, then,
- The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?
- Love thyself last; cherish those hearts that hate thee.
- Corruption wins not more than honesty.
- Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
- To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:
- Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
- Thy God's, and truth's; then if thou fallest,
- Thou fallest a blessed martyr.
- O Cromwell, Cromwell!
- Had I but served my God with half the zeal
- I served my king, he would not in mine age
- Have left me naked to mine enemies.
CHAPTER XL. THE KU-KLUX KLAN.
1869. This time of confusion and lawlessness encouraged the vicious and turbulent to take advantage of it. In the swamps of Robeson county a band of robbers and marauders was organized under a “half-breed” named Lowry. They kept that county and adjoining ones in a state of terror, issuing from their haunts, plundering and murdering in apparent security from law for months, while Governor Holden and his officials kept their attention fixed solely upon political matters and the Ku-Klux. It seems incredible that such a gang could have been permitted to exist for even one month. Governor Holden could run a political newspaper very well, but he was in the wrong place at the head of a government. He lacked not only magnanimity, but he proved essentially weak.
In February, 1870, the Ku-Klux took a mulatto named Outlaw from his own house in Alamance county and hung him in the county-town. Governor Holden declared the county in a state of “insurrection,” and sent a company of Federal soldiers to keep the peace. The Ku-Klux having disappeared long before the arrival of the soldiers, there was nothing for them to do. In the following May, John W. Stephens,
a member of the State Senate from Caswell county, was secretly murdered in a room of the courthouse at Yanceyville. It was a mysterious crime, committed when there was a large political meeting going on in the house. The assassins have never been discovered to this day. The Ku-Klux have always disowned the deed. Governor Holden declared that county also in a state of “insurrection,” and sent a company of soldiers there, while, as in Alamance, no obstacle to the exercise of the civil law existed. He acted as if panic-struck.
He had called for recruits, and put a fellow named Kirk, who had been distinguished for brutality and cruelty in the Union army in Tennessee, at their head with full power to arrest and imprison as he saw fit. More than one hundred citizens of Caswell and Alamance were now arrested in their houses by this ruffian, and imprisoned. Some of them were hung up by the neck to extort confessions, and were in other respects treated with great brutality. Many of these sufferers were men advanced in life, known and respected as among the best citizens in the State.
Judge Pearson was then chief-justice, and upon an appeal to him by these men for protection from the law he declined to do anything, declaring that he had no power to interfere and could not contend with the governor's authority. The judge of the United States district court for North Carolina was then appealed to—Judge George W. Brooks. He came to Raleigh, and, disregarding Governor Holden's endeavor to deter him, ordered Kirk to bring his prisoners before him, and discharged them at once.
Here was the wholesome spectacle of an upright judge doing his duty fearlessly. But for Judge Brooks's timely action a civil war among our exasperated citizens might have ensued. The State owes him a debt of gratitude. The United States government then proceeded to arrest, and try, and punish by imprisonment such of the Ku-Klux as it could get hold of, and the society was vigorously suppressed. The League died a natural death.
The election of 1870 showed Governor Holden in what estimation he was held by a people among whom he had once been popular and influential. The legislature elected was overwhelmingly opposed to him, and he was solemnly “impeached” and brought to trial as an enemy to law and liberty. He had committed a great crime in sending armed men in time of peace among the people, and in employing them to seize and imprison citizens without the least warrant from law; and justly, therefore, he was “impeached” by the representatives of the people, and brought before their bar charged with the commission of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The lieutenant-governor, a new official in North Carolina, created by the convention of 1868, was Tod R. Caldwell of Burke county. He had now to take the governor's place till the trial was ended. The history of our State gives no other instance of such a proceeding. Since the days of the early colonial governors not a man has been placed in the office of governor whose conduct called for it.
Chief-justice Pearson presided in the Senate during the trial. After a long and careful examination and impartial
hearing of the lawyers on both sides, Governor Holden was convicted of the charges, was deprived of his office, and was declared unfit and incapable of holding again any office of honor or dignity in the State.
This was an important page in our annals, and one to be studied by all “law-abiding” people. It presents North Carolina in an attitude of great dignity, such as the steady old commonwealth is quite capable of exhibiting on occasion. From this grave and unassuming and somewhat inert people can leap forth a generous flame or an avenging flash—a beacon-light for liberty or a swift sentence for the wrongdoer.
Caldwell was governor for the remainder of Holden's term, and was chosen at the next election (in 1872) to succeed himself, being the candidate of the Republican party.
One of the most unpopular as well as most unjust and shortsighted acts of Governor Holden while in office was the closing the doors of the State University in 1868 and dismissing Governor Swain and all the professors from office. In this high-handed piece of oppression he little foresaw that even-handed justice would shortly serve out the same sentence to himself. His object was never clearly understood, but was generally thought an expression of resentment for some fancied personal slight from Governor Swain. The injury done to the cause of education was very great, for it resulted in the virtual closing of the University for nearly ten years.
He sent a company of armed negroes to “guard” the college buildings and grounds, and after six months the
new board of trustees in accord with him elected a new faculty—two of them being “carpet-baggers”—and opened the doors again to the public.
North Carolina never at any time makes pretensions, but she always can protect her own dignity. No patronage of any value or importance was given to Governor Holden's University. It was steadily ignored by all intelligent classes, and was maintained by an appropriation made by the Republican legislature of 1868.
The legislature of 1870 ordered the institution to be closed after eighteen months’ trial and failure. It remained closed till 1875, when, reorganized and rehabilitated, chiefly by the exertions of its alumni, it once more commended itself to the respect and affections of the public.
Governor Swain died shortly after Governor Holden had deprived him of his office in the summer of 1868. He had been president of the University for thirty-three years. Since the appointment of Hon. K. P. Battle to the presidency (1876) it has gone forward with nobler aims and a better equipment than ever before in its history, and has gained a high reputation.
A State University is an institution of very great importance. It is a part of the government, is under its special protection and shares its dignity; and to allow it to be degraded is to degrade ourselves. Without higher education no State can be great.
The University of North Carolina had no ordinary claims to be cherished. It was a legacy from the men of the Revolution. It had been so conducted as to reflect
the highest credit on the State, having educated not only our own foremost citizens for nearly a century, but many of the foremost in other States, and had bestowed its benefits freely on hundreds of young men who afterward attained distinction in various professions.
When the war opened, its students and faculty exhibited like devotion to the cause. Thirteen of the field-officers in the Confederate service were old students of Chapel Hill. Seven of the faculty died for the cause.
The history of North Carolina cannot be written without frequent and grateful mention of her University.
In 1872 the Free Masons of the State devoted a fine building belonging to the order in the town of Oxford to the education and shelter of orphan children. This was a noble charity, which the State recognized by appropriating an annual sum to aid in its support. An asylum for the insane of our colored citizens, and one for the education of their deaf and dumb, have also been established. An additional asylum for the white insane has since been erected at Morganton.
Free hospitals for the sick have been established in nearly all our large towns. These excellent institutions owe their existence chiefly to the active private benevolence of our North Carolina women. Such work is the most congenial and proper work for women everywhere.
- Honor and shame from no condition rise:
- Act well your part, there all the honor lies.
- Fortune in men has some small difference made;
- One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade;
- But worth makes all the man, the want of it the fellow;
- The rest is merely leather or prunella.
- If by your fathers’ worth your own you rate,
- Count me those only who were good and great.
- Go! if your ancient but ignoble blood
- Has crept through scoundrels ever since the Flood,
- What can ennoble sots or slaves or cowards?
- Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards.
- Who wickedly is wise or madly brave
- Is but the more a fool, the more a knave.
- Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
- Or, failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
- Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
- Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.
CHAPTER XLI. CONTINUED PROGRESS.
1876. The “Canby Constitution” of 1868 was amended in 1875, and still further in 1876. Just one hundred years before this last amendment our first constitution had been adopted at Halifax, with Richard Caswell president of the convention. As it exists now, it is fairly equitable and satisfactory, the repeated amendments having adjusted it to the wants and wishes of the people. The justices of the peace are now the only public officers who are appointed by the legislature. Every other officer, from the governor down to the constables, is elected by the popular vote.
General Grant, who was idolized by the Northern people as the savior of the Union, was President for eight years from the close of Johnson's term.
General Lee had accepted the presidency of a college in Virginia immediately after the war ended, and remained there till his death in 1870. He was an object of the deepest love and veneration to the Southern people. The failure of our cause seemed to invest every man who fought for it with a more tender interest than if we had been victors.
In 1874, Governor Caldwell died, after a short illness, while in office. He was an upright man, of hot temper and stiff and unyielding in his prejudices, but disposed to be fair, and able to command respect. His lieutenant-governor, C. H. Brogden of Wayne county, a plain man of sense, filled out his term of office.
At the next general election Governor Vance was again chosen governor, to the satisfaction of North Carolina in general, his personal popularity lifting him above mere party considerations. The campaign, however, was a very exciting one, Judge Settle, an able man and a fine speaker, being the Republican candidate. Those who opposed the Republican rule took at first the name of Conservatives; then, as the old voters were gradually “reconstructed” and permitted to vote again, Democratic principles once more began to assert themselves, and the name of Democrat was reassumed. But there was a good deal of difference between this and the Democracy of twenty years before.
Whigs and Democrats were now one at the South. Governor Vance, a “Henry Clay Whig,” was elected with enthusiasm by a Democratic party which has ever since supported him as a trusted leader. He remained our governor but two years, being elected in 1878 to the United States Senate, which at last allowed his entrance.
1878. The bitter resentment felt among the Northern people against the South and Southern leaders was now giving way to more reasonable and generous feelings. The soothing influence of time, the renewal of business relations between North and South, the revival of trade,—all
were silently but irresistibly restoring the Union in spite of the fanatics.
One by one the restrictions and humiliations put upon the South were removed. In 1868 we were allowed Representatives in Congress, though they were elected under the inspiration of Federal bayonets. Carpet-baggers and men who were qualified to take such oaths as were required for admittance had not been felt to be the true representatives of our people. But when Judge Merrimon in 1874 and General M. W. Ransom in 1873 entered the Senate and took their seats as members, we felt reinstated. Vance succeeded Merrimon, and he and General Ransom have remained our Senators. Our Representatives in the lower house have of late years been mostly Democratic.
For some of our high-hearted Southern gentlemen this conciliatory policy came too late. Governor Graham, “the noblest Roman of them all,” had been steadily refused admission to his former high place in the nation's councils. What North Carolina in her low estate could then do to show him unabated affection and confidence was done. But his health failed. In 1875, when his noble presence was ardently expected at the reopening of the University, the tidings of his death came, and were felt as a calamity from the mountains to the seashore. For more than forty years William A. Graham had served his native State in every public capacity, and with signal ability in all. He stood a typical North Carolinian, and went to his grave without a blot on his honored name.
The ten years immediately succeeding the war bore hardly
on the gray-haired men who had passed through the storm and now beheld the wreck of so much that was dear and hallowed. In 1866, Governor John M. Morehead of Greensboro, long identified with the railroads and manufacturing interests of the State, passed away, and in him we lost one of our foremost and most useful, most honored and trusted public men. Judge Badger of Raleigh, for many years at the head of the Bar, died the same year.
Governor Swain died in 1868; Governor Clark, Governor Bragg, General D. M. Barringer, Weldon N. Edwards, and many other valuable and venerable men who had been more or less prominent and useful, closed their eyes wearily in dark days when North Carolina's need of their experience, their prudence, their patriotism, and their unblenching courage and integrity was never stronger.
When Chief-justice Thomas Ruffin died in the year 1870 we lost a man whose reputation had long been established as one of the first jurists in America. His decisions while on the bench are recorded among the undisputed authorities of the profession. While he wore it, the purity of the judge's ermine was never sullied by suspicion of partisanship or undue bias. His whole life, public and private, was an honor to the State. We should cherish the memories of these men and believe in the tradition of their virtues.
While Vance was still governor he inaugurated, in conjunction with Mr. K. P. Battle, president of the University, and Mr. Scarborough, superintendent of public education, a very important move in favor of the teachers of the State.
A normal institute, or summer school for the free training and instruction of teachers, was established at the University by their united exertions. Both sexes were invited to attend, the best masters were procured, and all the resources of the University were placed before them. The State paid the running expenses of the school.
This new enterprise proved from the first a very popular measure and very successful. It was continued for seven successive summers, from 1877 to 1884, and meanwhile was imitated at home and abroad: similar schools were formed in other places and in other States, and hundreds of teachers have received untold benefit and encouragement from them. Teaching as a profession has been greatly elevated in the South, and teachers themselves have been taught to raise their own standards higher.
Every school, male and female, and every college in the State, has felt the impulse thus given. Davidson, Wake Forest, and Trinity have all gone forward with fresh zeal and enlarged prosperity. North Carolina has always had good schools for her boys. Bingham's school is one of the oldest, as well as one of the best, in the United States, having been continued from father to son since 1790. There are many others in the State now that equal it in vigor and efficiency.
Our common schools were revived to a much better life, and the introduction of excellent “graded schools” in all our large towns marked the advance of the new era.
To elevate and dignify the teachers is to elevate and improve
the schools, and good schools are a large factor in the prosperity of every state.
Our colored citizens have shown a praiseworthy desire for education. They have a number of excellent schools founded by the liberality of Northern people, besides sharing in the benefits of the common and normal schools of the State.
1878-79. When Governor Vance was transferred to the United States Senate, his lieutenant-governor, Thomas J. Jarvis 1888. of Pitt county, filled out his term, and was afterward re-elected governor, serving till 1885, when he was succeeded by Alfred Scales of Rockingham county. Governor Jarvis's reputation was greatly increased by his prudent and energetic administration of affairs. In 1885 he was appointed United States minister to Brazil. In 1888, Hon. Daniel G. Fowle was elected to succeed Governor Scales, and his administration promises to be both useful and progressive in a very high degree and a credit to his distinguished statesmanship.
Chief-justice Pearson died suddenly in 1878. W.N.H. Smith was appointed by Governor Vance to succeed him, and this appointment was confirmed by the people at the next election, J. H. Dillard and Thomas S. Ashe being elected associate judges. Upon Judge Dillard's resignation within two years, Thomas Ruffin, son of the old judge, took his place.
THE NEW YEAR.
- Ring out the old, ring in the new;
- Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
- The year is going, let him go;
- Ring out the false, ring in the true.
- Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
- For those that here we see no more;
- Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
- Ring in redress to all mankind.
- Ring out a slowly-dying cause,
- And ancient forms of party strife;
- Ring in the nobler forms of life,
- With sweeter manners, purer laws.
- Ring out false pride in place and blood,
- The civic slander and the spite;
- Ring in the love of truth and right,
- Ring in the common love of good.
CHAPTER XLII. NORTH CAROLINA'S RESOURCES.
In the last ten or fifteen years North Carolina has taken many steps far in advance of any former progress. Old railroad lines have been extended and many new ones have been built and are projected, opening up new sections, uniting their towns, and developing the resources of counties hitherto hardly known. We have now thirty-nine lines of railroad in operation. Manufactures have sprung up; mines have been opened; new industries have been introduced; new towns have arisen, and old ones have so grown and improved as to be scarcely recognizable.
All this has been effected by the aroused spirit and the steady industry of our own people, unaided by outside influence. Capital has not come here to be invested; no schemes for attracting immigration to our shores have as yet been successful. We move slowly as a people, and do not take kindly to changes. We like to cultivate the fields held by our fathers, and there are ploughs running to-day on many plantations whose owners hold them by direct inheritance from Revolutionary ancestors. There is less foreign blood among us than in any other State in the Union.
We have received from the hand of the Almighty a climate
so unequalled, so temperate, balmy, and healthful, a soil so full of mineral wealth and adapted to such a variety of products and industries, that it needs only a strict attention to our own resources to raise our fortunes.
The high price of cotton for years after the war closed greatly increased its production in our State. Its cultivation had been confined heretofore chiefly to our southern and eastern counties, and the entire crop was only 145,000 bales. It is now nearly 400,000 bales, and occupies 2,305,419 acres—more than one-third of the improved area of the State. With the increase of the cotton crop cotton manufactories have more than doubled. We have now eighty cotton-mills at work in twenty-seven counties, with a capital of nearly $300,000, a very small part of which belongs to any but our own citizens.
Our climate and soil were specially adapted in certain counties to the raising of the finest grades of tobacco, but only within twenty years has the culture been of any importance. It now ranks next to cotton in value. The State produces near 27,000,000 pounds annually, requiring 57,208 acres for its cultivation. The increase in its manufacture has been very striking. There are 220 tobacco- and cigar-factories in thirty counties, and the business has built a city and has created towns and villages since 1870. It has brought millions of money into the State, and has given employment to thousands of men, women, and children.
For nearly two hundred years North Carolina has been the commercial world's chief source of supply for tar,
pitch, and turpentine. She sends out 6,300,000 gallons of spirits of turpentine, 664,000 barrels of rosin, 80,000 barrels of tar. The total value of her crop of naval stores is about $8,000,000. Fayetteville, New Bern, and Wilmington are the chief markets for this supply.
Of Indian corn we raise about 28,000,000 bushels, which require 2,300,000 acres, while our 4,000,000 bushels of wheat occupy about 650,000 acres. These grains, whenever we have taken the trouble to send them for exhibition in other States, have been pronounced the best exhibited. The wheat proves heavier than the average, and its flour richer. Our corn-meal is found to be heavier, sweeter, and better colored than that grown on the great prairie-lands of the West, so that it is used out there to mix with their own to improve it. In our early history we were slow to introduce mills at all, and now in these later days we are slow about introducing steam into these mills. We have a prejudice against meal that is ground by steam, and think the water-ground is better. This prejudice will give way before improved machinery.
These four great staples—corn, wheat, cotton, and tobacco—are our chief crops. We raise many others not so important, for there are few or no crops grown in any State in the Union which will not flourish in some part of North Carolina. Oats, rye, rice, sugar-cane, buckwheat, peanuts, potatoes,—we produce them all, and all of excellent quality.
The fruits of North Carolina have only of late begun to attract attention. This is the special native home of the
grape, of which we have given the world four of the finest varieties known. The apples of our mountain-counties, the peaches, figs, pears, and plums of the middle section, and the berries of every quarter, yield to none in size, color, and flavor. In our production of herbs we lead all the States. No State sends such a quantity or such a variety of medicinal herbs to market. We supply China with ginseng. In the town of Statesville one firm alone sends out yearly 400,000 pounds of dried herbs.
Of fruits, grapes especially, of grasses, and of fine stock we raise far too little. More of these things, and less of cotton and of tobacco, would make us a richer people. We are especially poor in dairy products. If some of our counties, now the poorest and least important, would take to the raising of grass and clover, and to the breeding of good cattle and fine horses and mules, they would soon be the richest.
No part of the United States has a more splendid and valuable forest growth. There are twenty kinds of timber used in shipbuilding in the shipyards of the great cities of the world, and they all are found in great abundance here. We have 40,000 square miles of forests yet untouched by the woodman's axe. We have nineteen varieties of oak. These belong chiefly to the middle section and mountains. Hickory, black walnut, wild-cherry, and different kinds of maple abound, all valuable for cabinet-work. In the east are extensive forests of holly used in making wooden ware. It would take a large book to describe all the valuable trees of North Carolina.
Our mines are as yet but little developed. Our minerals are as varied as the vegetable growth, but the variety is more remarkable than the quantity of each. We supply the markets of the world with most of the mica they call for. We have coal, gold, copper, corundum, and many other useful minerals, but not enough of any one as yet has been marketed to add very largely to our wealth.
Of building-stones we have the greatest abundance of the finest granite, marble, sandstone, limestone, etc. Seventy-nine specimens of these stones have been sent from this State to the National Museum at Washington.
Of precious stones, many are found in our western counties. The diamond, the garnet, the opal, the ruby, the emerald, are all here, and Alexander county has the honor of having given the world a very beautiful and heretofore unknown species of emerald which we call the “hiddenite,” and which is as valuable as the diamond.
Our fisheries are the most important on the South Atlantic coast. Vast shoals of shad and herring visit our great sounds every year, and as they come earlier than they do farther north, their value in the markets is increased. The introduction of steam in the management of the seines, the use of ice and of rapid transportation, have given a great impulse to the business. These beautiful waters teem with fish of every description, and the mildness of the climate allows of fishing all through the winter. Innumerable wild-fowl resort thither. The whole region is a paradise for sportsmen.
Roanoke Island, so lately marred by bloody strife between
North and South, has regained its tranquillity, still points to the traces that remain of Sir Walter Raleigh's ill-fated colonists, and in the name of Manteo still welcomes all comers to its best hospitality.
We have eleven hundred miles of inland steamboat navigation on these sunny bays and inlets and their broad affluents, and on the Cape Fear and its branches.
The magnificent mountain-region of the State, long locked up and unknown to our own people, is now pierced by lines of railroad. The highest peaks on this side of the Mississippi, the fairest and most fruitful valleys, their forests and mines and unequalled scenery, now attract the attention and admiration of the world. The city of Asheville has become a fashionable place of resort, and has grown and been beautified beyond recognition under the inspiration of wealth and enterprise. Not a village in all that noble region but has felt the thrill and impulse of a new life.
Our State has hitherto been almost exclusively agricultural. One natural gift points out that our greatest prosperity is yet perhaps to come from manufactures, and that is the enormous water-power distributed over our whole territory except on the seaboard. Our rivers and creeks, though we have none very large, are innumerable, unfailing, and rapid in their course. This is especially the case in the middle and mountain regions, where the descent of the streams from higher ground gives not only to the main rivers, but to every one of their branches, an immense amount of force. We probably have not the coal necessary to great manufacturing enterprises, but we have a
water-power in our streams equal to the labor of three million horses or the force derived from four million tons of coal. On the Roanoke just above Weldon, on the Deep in Chatham county, on the Yadkin in Montgomery county, on the Catawba at Mountain Island and at High Shoals, are sites incomparable for manufacturing purposes, yet some of them have never yet turned a spindle.
All these magnificent resources and means of power and prosperity lie yet in a great measure undeveloped, unthought of. North Carolina is never in a hurry even when she is pursuing her own advantage. Our people have always been slow in co-operation. The different sections stand too much aloof from each other, not considering that the prosperity of one aids the prosperity of all.
We have seen in times past the western members of our legislature refusing to vote for appropriations that would assist to develop the eastern region, or the northern counties showing a jealousy of the southern. All this is childish and short-sighted. Ashe county cannot prosper without New Hanover feeling the benefit, and if Currituck were to be deserted, Transylvania would be the poorer.
We take a great pride in our State: we love to sing her songs, to recount her brave deeds. We glory in being “native here and to the manner born.” This is well. Let us carry this enthusiasm farther, and cultivate more public spirit and demand less narrow and selfish legislation. The old saying is too much lost sight of among us, but it will always remain a true saying, that “he that watereth shall be watered.”
- There is a land, of every land the pride,
- Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside,
- Where brighter suns dispense serener light,
- And milder moons emparadise the night;
- A land of beauty, virtue, valor, truth,
- Time-tutored age and love-exalted youth.
- The wandering mariner whose eye explores
- The wealthiest isles, the most enchanting shores,
- Views not a realm so bountiful and fair,
- Nor breathes the spirit of a purer air.
- In every clime, the magnet of his soul,
- Touched by remembrance, trembles to that pole;
- For in this land of Heaven's peculiar race,
- The heritage of Nature's noblest grace,
- There is a spot of earth supremely blest,
- A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest,
- Where man, creation's tyrant, casts aside
- His sword and sceptre, pageantry and pride,
- While in his softened looks benignly blend
- The sire, the son, the husband, and the friend.
- Here woman reigns; the mother, daughter, wife,
- Strew with fresh flowers the narrow way of life:
- In the clear heaven of her delightful eye
- An angel-guard of love and graces lie;
- Around her knee domestic duties meet,
- And fireside pleasures gambol at her feet.
- “Where shall that land, that spot of earth be found?”
- Art thou a man? a patriot?—look around;
- Oh thou shalt find, howe'er thy footsteps roam,
- That land thy country, and that spot thy home!
CHAPTER XLIII. OUR PROSPECTS.
In the year 1861 fifty-seven newspapers were published in our State. Of these, twenty-six ceased to exist during the war. There are now at least one hundred and fifty, dailies, weeklies, and monthlies, some being of a higher literary and scientific character than have ever before been encouraged to exist among us. Newspapers indicate very clearly the condition of society. Ours show that public taste has improved, that our wants are more refined, that our charities are enlarged, and that business and commerce are prospering.
Our colored citizens have a respectable weekly paper edited and supported by themselves. They have also established an annual industrial fair which shows them to advantage as ambitious and successful farmers. They have, as a whole, done well since their freedom. They have had every assistance from the white people North and South. Northerners have given money lavishly to establish high schools for them in Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Wilmington. Southerners have framed their constitutions to protect them in their rights as freemen, and have cheerfully paid the taxes that support their normal
and common schools. All parties are ready to aid them in Church and State.
As usual with North Carolina, her move forward has embraced all classes rather than any privileged one. It may still be said of us that here are few very rich and few very poor, but that all have enough, and that our doors still fly open at the “knock of the stranger or the tale of disaster.”
North Carolinians, white and colored alike, are a religious people. They like the services of the Church, are interested in Church operations at home and abroad, and would prefer a good rousing camp-meeting to any other public gathering. But camp-meetings are no longer held, though our country churches still enjoy protracted meetings and lengthened revivals. The colored people especially make a point of these: they have organized their churches separate and independent of the whites.
The Methodist and Baptist churches are by far the most numerous of all; the Presbyterians are next; the Episcopalians have the fewest members of the four principal denominations. The influence and power that a Church may possess cannot always be measured merely by the numbers of its followers. The Quakers and Moravians are still found deep-rooted where their settlements were first made in our colonial days, and are now, as then, excellent citizens. They do not spread as other denominations have done, but they are strong and steadfast, and their influence is felt.
War is not an unmixed evil. One of its good effects
was the bringing of all the churches together as in the days of the Revolution. All men seemed moved by a common feeling in those days of trouble, and when people pray and weep together they are sure to be more brotherly.
Another good result of such a general uprooting of old things is the awakened thought, the greater activity of intellect apparent. More books have been bought and read in North Carolina in the last fifteen or twenty years than in any fifty years previously. As a natural consequence of this, more books have been written; another twenty years will no doubt see many by North Carolina authors worthy to take their place in any first-class library.
Our historians have been few, and the efforts of these few have been incomplete. Dr. Francis L. Hawks, a native of New Bern, but for the best years of his life a popular minister of the Episcopal Church in New York City, retained to the day of his death (1866) that enthusiastic love for North Carolina which distinguishes her exiled children. Wherever they roam they turn their eyes with unabated fondness and interest to this good land. He wrote a history of the State thirty-five years ago, the only one yet written which in accuracy, and in force and elegance of style can compare with the higher models in this kind of composition. But his delightful narrative goes not beyond the colonial days, and further researches since he wrote have thrown a light on many points that were to him obscure.
Williamson, Martin, and Jones were our chief historians before Hawks wrote, but their works are fragmentary and inaccurate. Colonel Wheeler's history was but a sketch as a history, but as a county record is invaluable, and has preserved a great amount of important material that would have long since been lost. His nephew, J. Wheeler Moore, has followed in the same good work within a few years, and, besides other literary essays, has the distinguished honor of being the first man who has given us a continued history of the State from Sir Walter Raleigh's time down to the election of Governor Jarvis.
We have many admirable essays, sketches, addresses on special points, and a few books by local annalists which the future historian will find inestimable. But the most important work by far, on the history of North Carolina, has been done within the last few years by our Secretary of State, Colonel W. L. Saunders, who has devoted himself to the editing of our Colonial Records, now first obtained in full by the State government from the state papers of the British government. These folio volumes present a vast amount of interesting matter carefully edited and arranged, each volume prefaced by an admirable commentary. Nothing so good had yet appeared among us, and nothing so likely to stimulate the building up of our history. Colonel Saunders has laid the corner-stone well and truly, and of the best material.
The best proof given that the South is once more heartily joined with the North was in the universal
sympathy and indignation felt and expressed at the assassination of President James A. Garfield in 1881. Succeeding R. B. Hayes in March, he was shot in July by a disappointed office-seeker of his own party. He lingered a few months in prolonged suffering, and the whole united country mourned over the tragical story.
Garfield was succeeded by the Vice-President, C. A. Arthur. When his term ended the Democrats had succeeded for the first time in twenty-five years in electing a Democratic President. In 1885, Grover Cleveland of New York was inaugurated at Washington City. This year, 1889, Cleveland will be succeeded by a Republican, Benjamin Harrison of Indiana.
Whether Republicans or Democrats hold the reins of government, we believe that our country will go on safely, all good men having now but one aim; and that is its continued prosperity. United in that, we will see in the future, as we have in the past, all political disputes gradually adjusted or gradually disappearing: and, though new ones must continually arise, yet all things will work together finally for the good of the whole. And North Carolina may ever be depended upon to do her share toward the maintenance of truth, justice, and religion.RECITATION.NORTH CAROLINA.
- Our Fatherland! Blest be the star
- That heralds thee to peace or war;
- Wake while our flag in splendor floats
- Thy poet's dream, thy minstrel's notes.
- Where Freedom, Truth, and Peace abound,
- Such, men may well call hallowed ground;
- No dearer boon from Heaven we crave
- Than here our home and here our grave.
- O Carolina! well we love
- The murmur of thy dark pine grove,
- Thy yellow sands beside the sea,
- Thy lake beneath the cypress tree.
- We love thy stately groves of oak,
- Thy vines that hang o'er broad Roanoke;
- Thy mountains from whose rugged steep
- Catawba's rushing fountains leap;
- Bright, bright, thy beacon-fires shall burn,
- A sacred charge from sire to son,
- And here for aye we swear to crown
- With laurels fresh thy old renown.
- Dear old North State! We greet thee here
- From wild Watauga to Cape Fear;
- On thousand hills like brothers we will stand,
- And keep our watch for thee, our own dear land.
Mrs. C. P. Spencer.
NAMES OF OUR COUNTIES.
A child, when studying the history and geography of North Carolina, will naturally desire to know the origin of the names of our counties. This list is prepared to aid teachers in giving this information, and it will be very interesting to have pupils trace out the causes why these names were chosen. There has never before been in the State such a universal desire to know more of North Carolina history, as is now seen in our schools, and even on the part of many who have long been out of the school-room, and it ought to be the pride of every teacher in the State to encourage and aid such pleasant and important study.
In the following list the counties are classified in accordance with the nationality of the persons from whom their names were taken or the circumstance governing their being so named. The dates of formation are also given, and the children in the schools should be taught at least the dates of their own counties.NAMED FOR LORDS PROPRIETORS.
The following counties were so named in honor of Lords Proprietors:
Beaufort (1741)—Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort.
Bertie (1722)—James John Bertie, who succeeded the Earl of Clarendon as Lord Proprietor.
Bladen (1734)—Martin Bladen.
Carteret*—Sir George Carteret.
Craven*—William, Earl of Craven.
Granville (1746)—John (son of Sir George Carteret), who was Earl of Granville. This nobleman's land extended from 35° 34′ south to the Virginia line on the north, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
Tyrrell (1729)—Sir John Tyrrell.NAMED FOR ENGLISH STATESMEN, Etc.
Anson (1749)—Admiral Anson of the British Navy.
Brunswick (1764)—Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick.
Burke (1777)—Thomas Burke.
Camden (1777)—Earl of Camden, a distinguished English statesman who in Parliament opposed taxing the American Colonies.
Chatham (1770)—William Pitt, Earl of Chatham.
Cumberland (1754)—Duke of Cumberland.
Duplin (1749)—Lord Dupplin.
Edgecombe (1733)—Earl of Mount Edgecombe.
Guilford (1770)—Lord North, Earl of Guilford.
Halifax (1758)—George, Earl of Halifax, who was in the year of its formation first Lord of the Board of Trade.
Hertford (1759)—The Marquis of Hertford, who in 1766 moved in the House of Lords the repeal of the Stamp Act.
Hyde (1729)—Edward Hyde, who was Governor of the Colony.
Johnston (1746)—Gabriel Johnston, one of the Royal Governors.
Martin (1774)—Josiah Martin, last of the Royal Governors.
Mecklenburg (1762)—Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg.[note]
New Hanover (1728)—The House of Hanover.
Northampton (1741)—George, Earl of Northampton.
Onslow (1743)—Arthur Onslow, who was in the year of its formation Speaker of the British House of Commons.
Orange (1751)—The House of Orange.
Pitt (1760)—William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, the distinguished friend of America in the English Parliament.
Richmond (1779)—The Duke of Richmond, an able advocate of the American cause in the House of Lords.
Rockingham (1758)—Charles Watson Wentworth, Marquis of Rockingham, who was Premier of England in 1782. He endeared himself to the American people by his course in the British Parliament.
Rowan (1753)—Matthew Rowan, one of the Royal Governors.
Surry (1770)—From the county of Surrey in England. Its name is Saxon, and signifies “the South River.”
Wake (1770)—Miss Esther Wake, a relative of Governor Tryon.
Wilkes (1777)—John Wilkes, a distinguished English statesman and member of Parliament.NAMED FOR AMERICAN STATESMEN, Etc.
Clay (1861)—Henry Clay, a distinguished United States Senator from Kentucky. He was the unsuccessful Whig candidate for the Presidency in 1844.
Franklin (1779)—Benjamin Franklin, the philosopher, and member of Congress during the Revolutionary period.
Gates (1779)—General Horatio Gates, a distinguished officer of the American army during the Revolutionary War.
Greene (1791)—General Nathaniel Greene, one of the heroes of the Revolutionary War.
Jackson (1850)—General Andrew Jackson, hero of the battle of New Orleans and President of the United States.
Lincoln (1779)—General Benjamin Lincoln, of the United States Army.
Madison (1850)—James Madison, President of the United States.
Montgomery (1779)—General Richard Montgomery, of the American army, who fell at Quebec, 1775.
Randolph (1779)—The Virginia family of that name.
Robeson (1786)—Colonel Thomas Robeson, who distinguished himself at the battle of Elizabethtown, Bladen county, 1781.
Warren (1779)—General Joseph Warren, who fell at the battle of Bunker Hill.
Washington (1779)—The commander-in-chief of the American armies during the Revolutionary War, and first President of the United States.
Wayne (1779)—General Anthony Wayne of Pennsylvania, a distinguished Revolutionary officer.NAMED FOR INDIAN TRIBES.
The following were named for the Indian tribes who owned the land embraced in the several counties:
Alamance (1848), Catawba (1842), Cherokee (1839), Chowan,* Currituck (1729), Pasquotank (1719), Perquimans,*Pamlico (1872).
NAMED FOR DISTINGUISHED NORTH CAROLINIANS.
Alexander (1846)—A distinguished family of Mecklenburg county.
Ashe (1799)—Governor Samuel Ashe.
Buncombe (1791)—Colonel Edward Buncombe.
Cabarrus (1792)—Stephen Cabarrus.
Caldwell (1841)—Doctor Joseph Caldwell, first President of the University of North Carolina.[note]
Caswell (1777)—Governor Richard Caswell.
Cleveland (1841)—Colonel Benj. Cleveland of Wilkes county, one of the heroes of the battle of King's Mountain.
Dare (1870)—Virginia Dare, the first white child born in America.
Davidson (1822)—General William Davidson, who fell at the passage of the Catawba River at Cowan's Ford, 1781.
Davie (1836)—Governor William R. Davie.
Durham (1881)—Doctor B. L. Durham, who formerly owned the land where the county-seat is located.
Forsyth (1848)—Colonel Benj. Forsyth of Stokes county.
Gaston (1846)—Judge William Gaston, Supreme Court Judge and author of the song “Old North State.”
Graham (1872)—Hon. William A. Graham, Governor of the State, United States Senator, and Secretary of the United States Navy.
Harnett (1855)—Cornelius Harnett, a Revolutionary statesman.
Haywood (1808)—Hon. John Haywood, State Treasurer, etc.
Henderson (1838)—Hon. Leonard Henderson, Chief-justice of Supreme Court of North Carolina.
Iredell (1788)—James Iredell, Sr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Jones (1779)—General Willie Jones, a Revolutionary patriot.
Lenoir (1791)—General William Lenoir of Wilkes county.
McDowell (1842)—Colonel Joseph McDowell.
Macon (1828)—Nathaniel Macon, United States Senator.
Mitchell (1861)—Rev. Doctor Elisha Mitchell, a professor in the University of North Carolina, who lost his life in this county.
Moore (1784)—Hon. Alfred Moore, one of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Nash (1777)—General Francis Nash of Orange county, who fell at Germantown, 1777.
Pender (1875)—General William D. Pender, a distinguished Confederate general.
Person (1791)—General Thomas Person of Granville county.
Polk (1855)—General William Polk, a Revolutionary officer.
Rutherford (1779)—General Griffith Rutherford.
Sampson (1784)—Colonel John Sampson.
Stanly (1841)—Hon. John Stanly.
Stokes (1789)—Hon. John Stokes.
Swain (1871)—David L. Swain, Judge, Governor, and President of the University.
Vance (1881)—Zebulon B. Vance, Governor of the State and United States Senator.
Wilson (1855)—General Louis D. Wilson, a brave officer who died in Mexico in the service of his country.
Yancey (1833)—Hon. Bartlett Yancey of Caswell county.NAMED FOR RIVERS, MOUNTAINS, Etc.
Alleghany (1859)—A range of mountains.
Transylvania (1861)—Signifies “Beyond the Woods.”
Union (1841)—It being formed from parts of Anson and Mecklenburg.
Watauga (1849)—A river of that name, signifying “A River of Islands.”
Yadkin (1737)—A river of that name.
Columbus (1808)—Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of America.
J. B. N.
NORTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL SERIES
NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY.
Alfred Williams &Co. Raleigh, N.C.