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The Southern States of America
The History of North Carolina - Chapter I


Settlers from Virginia.

GLANCE at the map will show why North Carolina received its first permanent settlers from Virginia. The dangerous character of the coast of North Carolina made the approach too difficult and uncertain to admit of colonization directly from Europe. This became apparent from Sir Walter Raleigh's efforts to plant a colony on Roanoke Island, and Raleigh himself directed John White, in 1587, to seek a site on Chesapeake Bay. His commands, through no fault of White's, were not obeyed, and the colony failed. Twenty-two years later the London Company, guided by Raleigh's experience, directed the Jamestown colony towards the Chesapeake. The first settlers, for obvious reasons, sought lands lying along navigable streams, consequently the water courses, to a large extent, determined the direction of the colony's growth. Many of the streams of southeastern Virginia flow toward Currituck and Albemarle sounds in North Carolina, and the sources of the most important rivers of eastern North Carolina are in Virginia. Furthermore, the soil, the climate, the vegetation and the animal life of the Albemarle region are of the same character as those of southeastern Virginia. Nothing, therefore, was more natural than that the planters of Virginia, searching for good bottom lands, should gradually extend their plantations southward along the shores of Albemarle Sound and the rivers that flow into it.

The Virginians early manifested a lively interest in the Albemarle region. Nansemond county, adjoining North Carolina, was settled as early as 1609, and during the following years many an adventurous hunter, trader and explorer made himself familiar with the waters that pour into Albemarle and Currituck sounds. In 1622 John Pory, secretary of Virginia, after a trip to the Chowan reported that he found it "a very fruitful and pleasant country, yielding two harvests in a year." Seven years later Charles I. granted the region to Sir Robert Heath, and there are reasons for believing that Heath's assigns made an unsuccessful attempt to plant a settlement within the grant. About the year 1646 the governor of Virginia sent two expeditions, one by water, the other overland, against the Indians along the Albemarle and Currituck sounds, and members of these expeditions purchased lands from the Indians. During the next few years other expeditions were made. Roger Green, a clergyman of Nansemond county, became interested in the country to the southward, and in 1653 obtained a grant of 10,000 acres for the first 100 persons who should settle on Roanoke River, south of Chowan, and 1,000 acres for himself "as a reward for his own first discovery and for his encouragement of the settlement." It is not known whether he followed this grant with a settlement, but historians have assumed that he did. The next year Governor Yeardley, of Virginia, sent an expedition to Roanoke Island which led to other explorations into what is now eastern North Carolina, and two years later the Assembly of Virginia commissioned Thomas Dew and Thomas Francis to explore the coast between Cape Hatteras and Cape Fear. The sons of Governor Yeardley, therefore, had good grounds for their boast that the northern country of Carolina had been explored by "Virginians born."

These expeditions were naturally followed by a southward movement of settlers. Just when this movement began cannot be stated with accuracy.

There may have been settlers in Albemarle before 1653. It may be true that Roger Green did lead the first colony there in that year. Certainly before the year 1663 John Battle, Thomas Relfe, Roger Williams, Thomas Jarvis and perhaps others had purchased lands from the Indians who dwelt along the waters of Albemarle Sound and settled them. The grant to George Durant by Kilcocanen, chief of the Yeopim Indians, dated March 1, 1661 [1662], for a tract lying along Perquimans River and Albemarle Sound, is the oldest grant for land in North Carolina now extant. But Durant came into that region two years before he made his purchase, and there were purchases prior to his, for his grant recites a previous one made to Samuel Pricklove and is witnessed by two Englishmen. Besides, in 1662, purchases from the Indians had become so common that the government ordered them to be disregarded and required that patents be taken out for these lands under the laws of Virginia. Three years later the surveyor of Albemarle declared that a county "forty miles square will not comprehend the inhabitants there already settled." These settlers, for the most part, came from Virginia; but others came also, and at the close of the first decade of its history the Albemarle colony contained 1,400 inhabitants between sixteen and sixty years of age, and the settlements extended from Chowan River to Currituck Sound. [In 1660 a party of New Englanders attempted without success to plant a settlement on the Cape Fear. Four years later a party of royalist refugees to the island of Barbadoes established a colony near the mouth of that river. In 1665 they were joined by another party from Barbadoes under the leadership of Sir John Yeamans, who had been appointed governor. The settlement extending several miles up and down the river was erected into a county called Clarendon, and at one time numbered 800, souls. Yeamans, however, soon returned to Barbadoes. The Lords Proprietors took but little interest in the colony, but directed their energies towards building up a rival settlement farther southward. The Clarendon colony, after many hardships and much suffering, was abandoned in 1667. It is of interest merely as an historical fact.]

Growth of Settlements.

From Albemarle the population moved slowly southward. The stages of its progress may be marked by the four principal river systems of eastern Carolina-the Roanoke, the Pamlico [Tar], the Neuse and the Cape Fear. The impatience of the Lords Proprietors for the extension of the settlements to the southward outstripped the movement of population. They blamed the colonists for not making greater progress, and assigned this delay as one reason why they themselves took more interest in the colony on the Ashley River than in the one on Albemarle Sound. However, in 1676, they learned that the fault was not with the people but with their rulers, who "had engrossed the Indian trade to themselves and feared that it would be intercepted by those who should plant farther among them." The colonial officials accordingly had prevented settlements to the southward, but now the Lords Proprietors issued peremptory orders commanding the governor to encourage the opening of that section, and settlers began to push their way into it. No record of their progress is found until they reached Pamlico River, where, in 1691, a small party of French Huguenots from Virginia had planted a settlement. A few years later a pestilence among the Indians opened the way for other settlers, who continued to drift southward from Albemarle. By 1696 the settlement was considered of sufficient importance to be erected into a county called Archdale, afterwards Bath, extending from the Albemarle to the Neuse, and to be allowed two representatives in the General Assembly. In 1704 a site for a town was selected, and the next year the town was incorporated under the name of Bath. At the close of its first five years Bath could boast of a library and a dozen houses. Though at times the home of wealth and culture, Bath never became more than a sleepy little village. It derives its chief distinction from the unimportant fact that it was the first town in the province. The settlers on the Pamlico, however, prospered, and their good reports induced others to join them. In December, 1705, the Council, "taking into their serious consideration" the fact that Bath county had "grown populous and [was] daily increasing," divided it into three precincts, with the right to send two representatives each to the Assembly. Two years later another body of Huguenots from Virginia, "considerable in numbers," passed the Pamlico and occupied lands on the Neuse and Trent rivers.

In 1710 came a colony of German Palatines. Driven from their native land on account of their religion, they had sought refuge in England, where they were warmly welcomed by the Queen. They came, however, in such numbers that good Queen Anne found them a burden on her hands, and welcomed an opportunity to provide for some of them in America. This opportunity came through Christopher De Graffenried, a native of the city of Bern, who was in London with a countryman, Louis Mitchell, planning to settle a colony of Swiss in North Carolina. De Graffenried's interest in Carolina had been excited some years before by the Duke of Albemarle, who had discoursed to him on "the beauty, goodness and riches of English America," so that he determined to seek "a more considerable fortune in those far-off countries." He was encouraged in his purpose by the Lords Proprietors, who granted him "very favorable conditions and privileges." The Queen, too, contributed 4,000 sterling to his enterprise in consideration of his settling 100 families of the Palatines in Carolina.

The Palatines sailed in January, 1710, but without De Graffenried, who waited in England for his colony from Bern. During a terrible voyage of thirteen weeks, more than half of the colonists died at sea. The others, after many hardships and cruel suffering, finally arrived in Carolina and were settled on a tongue of land between the Neuse and Trent rivers. De Graffenried followed in June, arriving in Carolina in September. He found the Palatines in a wretched condition, "sickness, want and desperation having reached their climax." They had come at an unfortunate time, and De Graffenried's utmost exertions could do but little to relieve their situation. The province was in the midst of Cary's rebellion, and this trouble was scarcely settled before the most disastrous Indian war in the history of North Carolina broke out. The Palatines and Swiss suffered terribly; their homes were burned, their crops destroyed, and many of their number slaughtered. The settlement, however, survived these disasters and, although De Graffenried returned to Europe broken in fortune, the settlers went to work with a will, cleared away the ashes, rebuilt their cabins, founded the town of New Bern, and started on a prosperous career.

Cape Fear Region.

After the failure of Yeamans' colony in 1667, the Cape Fear region had fallen into disrepute, and more than half a century passed before another attempt was made to plant a settlement there. Four causes contributing to this delay were : the character of the coast at the mouth of the river; the hostility of the Indians ; the pirates who sought refuge there in large numbers, and the closing of the Carolina land office by the Lords Proprietors. The character of the coast, of course, could not be changed, and in spite of all that modern science can do still remains an obstacle to the development of a splendid country. The blow that upset the power of the Cape Fear Indians was struck by Col. Maurice Moore in 1715, and three years later the pirates were driven out. But the orders of the Lords Proprietors still remained. Enterprising men, however, familiar with the advantages of the region refused to recognize the moral right of the Proprietors to prevent their clearing and settling it in the name of civilization, and about the year 1723 they began to lay out their claims, clear their fields and build their cabins without regard to the formalities of law. When Governor Burrington saw that they were determined to take up lands without either acquiring titles or paying rents, he decided that the interests of the Proprietors would be served by his giving the one and receiving the other. He therefore, upon petition from the Assembly, ordered the Carolina land office to be reopened. Good titles thus assured, settlers were not wanting. Governor Burrington, Maurice Moore and his brother, Roger Moore, led the way, followed by the Moseleys, the Howes, the Porters, the Lillingtons, the Ashes, the Harnetts, and others whose names are closely identified with the history of North Carolina. Here on the Cape Fear they were joined by numerous other families from the Albemarle, from South Carolina, from Barbadoes, and other islands of the West Indies, from New England, Pennsylvania, Maryland and from Europe. On the west bank of the Cape Fear Maurice Moore laid off a town, and gave sites for a graveyard, a church, a court-house, a markethouse, and other public buildings, and a commons "for the use of the inhabitants of the town." With an eye to royal favors, he named the place Brunswick in honor of the reigning family.

But Brunswick, like Bath, did not flourish, and in the course of a few years yielded with no good grace to a younger and more vigorous rival, sixteen miles farther up the river, which was named in honor of Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington. The settlement prospered, and at the close of its first decade Governor Johnston declared that its inhabitants were "a sober and industrious set of people," that they had made "an amazing progress in their improvement," and that the Cape Fear had become the "place of the greatest trade in the whole province."

Settlements extended no further during the proprietary period. In 1728, when the interests of the Proprietors passed to the Crown, the population of North Carolina numbered 30,000, and extended along the coast from the Virginia line to the Cape Fear.

The Proprietary.

The name "Carolana" or "Carolina" was applied to this territory by Charles I. in his grant to Sir Robert Heath in 1629, and was retained by Charles II. in his grant to the Lords Proprietors thirty-four years later. The latter grant, issued March 24, 1663, was made to Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, High Chancellor of England; George Monk, Duke of Albemarle, Master of the King's Horse and Captain-General of all his forces; William, Lord Craven; John, Lord Berkely; Anthony Cooper, Lord Ashley, Chancellor of the Exchequer, afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury; Sir George Carteret, Vice-Chamberlain of the King's Household ; Sir William Berkely, Governor of Virginia, and Sir John Colleton. The names of these grantees are still to be found on the map of the Carolinas. In North Carolina are Albemarle Sound, Craven and Carteret counties ; in South Carolina, Clarendon and Colleton counties, Berkely Parish, and the Ashley and Cooper rivers, while in Charleston we have the name of the King. The object of the grantees was to plant colonies in America ; the motives were declared to be "a laudable and pious zeal for the propagation of the Christian faith" and the enlargement of the King's empire and dominions. The grant included all the territory lying between 31 and 36 N. Lat., westward from the Atlantic Ocean to the "South Seas." Afterwards when it was ascertained that these boundaries did not include the settlements already planted on the Albemarle, a second charter was issued, June 30, 1665, extending the limits 30 minutes northward and two degrees southward. This region was erected into the "Province of Carolina," over which the grantees were constituted "the true and absolute Lords Proprietors."


The Lords Proprietors derived from their charters ample powers of government, but the uncertainty with which they exercised these powers resulted in weakness and confusion. Plan after plan was promulgated and declared to be permanent, only to be soon cast aside for some new scheme. The instructions of 1663 to Sir William Berkely outlining a plan of government for Albemarle county gave way two years later to a more elaborate constitution called the Concessions of 1665. The Concessions in their turn were supplanted in 1670 by the Fundamental Constitutions of John Locke ; but accompanying the command to put these into operation came instructions modifying their provisions. The Lords Proprietors continued this sort of tinkering with their constitution for some years, so that, as Dr. Bassett says: "For the first fifty years of the life of the colony the inhabitants could not be sure that their government was stable."

The constitution of the proprietary period presents a theoretical as well as a practical side. The former found expression in the Fundamental Constitutions. Adopted and signed by the Proprietors, July 21, 1669, and declared to be unalterable and perpetual, the Fundamental Constitutions speedily ran through five distinct editions and were shortly abandoned altogether. They outlined an elaborate and complicated scheme of government designed to secure the interests of the Lords Proprietors, to "prevent the growth of a numerous democracy," and to establish a government in harmony with monarchy. [The Fundamental Constitutions have been analyzed so often that, with the brief space at command, it has not been deemed advisable to do so here. Consult Bassett's Constitutional Beginnings of North Carolina, in Johns Hopkins University Studies, XII.; also Davis's Locke's Fundamental Constitutions, North Carolina Booklet VII., No. 1. In this analysis Bassett's Constitutional Beginnings has been followed, his citations being carefully verified.] Realizing the impossibility of putting this scheme into full operation, the Lords Proprietors contented themselves with instructing the governors "to come as nigh it" as they could.

The practical side of the constitution was the plan of government actually established. The executive was composed of a governor and a council. The Lords Proprietors appointed the governor until 1691. Then they united the northern and southern provinces under one governor, whom they authorized to appoint a deputy in the former. In 1710 they decided to separate the two provinces and appoint a governor of North Carolina "independent of the governor of South Carolina," but this plan was not carried into effect until 1712. The council at first consisted of not less than six nor more than twelve members appointed by the governor. In 1670 its composition was changed to consist of five deputies selected by the Proprietors, and five members chosen by the Assembly. Another change was effected in 1691 when the governor was instructed that the deputies alone were to compose the council. This arrangement was continued until 1718, when the Proprietors decided to abolish the deputies and to select a council of not more than twelve ; but this plan was not made effective until 1724. In the event of the death or absence of the governor, the council chose a president to administer the affairs of the government until the vacancy could be filled. The powers and duties of the governor and council were ample for all executive purposes, but it is impracticable to enumerate them here.

Before 1691 the Assembly was unicameral; after that date bicameral. During the first period it was composed of the governor, council and representatives elected by the people; during the second period the council and the representatives separated into an upper and a lower house. Under the Concessions of 1665 the people were authorized to elect twelve representatives, but this number was increased to twenty in 1670, when Albemarle county was divided into four precincts and five members were allotted to each. Other precincts were created as the population increased, until the number of representatives during the proprietary period reached twenty-eight. The regular sessions of the Assembly were biennial, but the governor and council could convene, prorogue or dissolve sessions at will. The lower house elected its own officers, decided contests involving the election of its members, and had the right to expel members. The Lords Proprietors exercised the right of veto on the Assembly's measures, but all bills levying a tax or carrying an appropriation had to originate in the lower house. Through a process of gradual evolution the Assembly, from a position of weakness, came to be the chief factor in the government, and the lower house acquired such ascendancy as to become practically the entire Assembly.

The judicial system embraced the general court, the precinct courts, a court of chancery, an admiralty court, and in some instances the council. The first was an appellate court held for many years by the governor and deputies. In 1691 the Proprietors directed the governor to appoint a "chief judge" and four justices to hold this court, though several years elapsed before this was done. In 1713 a chief justice was appointed with a commission issuing directly from the Lords Proprietors. He presided over the court which thereafter was composed of a variable number of associates. The court met three times a year, sitting both as a court of the King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, and as a court of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery. From its decisions in cases involving 500 or over, an -appeal lay to the King. The precinct courts were held by justices appointed by the governor and council. They had jurisdiction over civil suits involving less than 50, and also exercised such non-judicial duties as caring for public highways, creating road districts, appointing constables, granting franchises for mill sites, and other similar functions. The court of chancery was held by the governor and council. The council also probated wills, received and examined accounts of executors, divided land, and tried public officials for misconduct in office. The admiralty court had jurisdiction over cases involving violations of the navigation acts.

In the fall of 1663 the Lords Proprietors instructed Sir William Berkely to appoint a governor and six councillors for Albemarle county. The governor and council were authorized to appoint all other officers, and together with representatives elected by the people, or perhaps with the whole body of people in general meeting, to constitute a Grand Assembly. William Drummond became the first governor. History has assigned to him a character which subsequent governors might have imitated with profit. During his administration the first Assembly held in North Carolina met, probably in the spring of 1665. One of its earliest acts was to petition the Lords Proprietors that lands in Albemarle, then held at a rent of a half-penny per acre payable in specie, might be held, as in Virginia, at one farthing per acre payable in commodities. After a delay of three years the Proprietors granted the prayer, issuing what is known as the Great Deed of Grant. Efforts were afterwards made to revoke the Great Deed, but the Assembly, regarding it as a document of the first importance, clung to it tenaciously, and sixty-three years after its date ordered its text spread on the journal and the original placed in the special custody of the speaker.

Character of the Governors.

The Proprietors were not always fortunate in their selection of governors for Carolina. Some were weak, some bad men, and but few cared anything for the people whom they were sent to rule. In fact the system itself was ill-calculated to produce harmony and good-will between the governors and the people. They were not the people's governors; they were the Proprietors' vicegerents, and their first duty was to care for the interests of their masters, rather than for the welfare of the people. The result of course was continual clashings between the people and their governors. Jenkins, Miller, Eastchurch, Sothel, Cary and Glover were each in turn either driven out or kept out of the governorship by a dominant faction of the people. Indeed, in 1711 Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, declared that the people of North Carolina were so used to turning out their governors that they had come to think they had a right to do so.

The People.

Historians have condemned these early Carolinians as a lawless and contentious people, but those who pronounce this judgment little understand the spirit that prompted them. When governed according to the terms of its charter, no colony on the continent was more orderly or more law-abiding; on the other hand, no people were ever more jealous of their constitutional rights or quicker to resent the encroachments of power. What if their resentments did sometimes run them into excesses; shall we not pardon something to the spirit of liberty? Their charters guaranteed to them "all liberties, franchises and privileges" possessed and enjoyed by their fellow subjects in the realm of England, Adherence to these charters and resistance to their perversion were cardinal principles with North Carolinians throughout their colonial history, and their records of that period are full of assertions of the principles upon which the American Revolution was fought. As early as 1678, "when a few families were struggling into a consciousness of statehood along the wide waters of our eastern sounds," they declared that "the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish and destructive to the good and happiness of mankind." In 1716, when the colony was but fifty years old and the population, all told, was less than 10,000 souls, the Assembly entered on its journal the declaration "that the impressing of the inhabitants, or their property, under pretense of its being for the public service, without authority from the Assembly, was unwarrantable and a great infringement upon the liberty of the subject." Governor Burrington, who spoke with the authority of ten years of residence among them, wrote that the early Carolinians were "subtle and crafty to admiration," adding: "The people are neither to be cajoled or outwitted; whenever a governor attempts to effect anything by these means, he will lose his labor and show his ignorance. * * * They insist that no public money can or ought to be paid but by a claim given to and allowed by the house of burgesses." And John Urmstone, a missionary among them, declared that the people respected no authority that did not emanate from themselves. In a word, as Dr. Alderman, in his Life o f William Hooper, has said: "The key to North Carolina character in this inchoate period is the subordination of everything-material prosperity, personal ease, financial development-to the remorseless assertion of the sacredness of chartered rights," against the encroachments of the proprietary government.


During this period occurred two popular uprisings serious enough to be dignified in history as rebellions. The first, known as Culpepper's Rebellion, was occasioned by England's commercial policy. Other causes accentuated the difficulties, but the primary cause was the Navigation Act "that mischievous statute with which the mother country was rapidly weaning the affections of its colonies all along the American seaboard." Designed at first to secure the foreign trade of the colonies for British merchants, the act was extended in 1672 to cover intercolonial commerce also. Duties were levied on certain enumerated articles exported from one colony to another which, if strictly enforced, would seriously cripple if they did not destroy the trade of Albemarle with New England. This was Albemarle's principal trade; the act, therefore, together with some other grievances, created so much discontent that Governor Carteret, finding himself powerless to preserve order, resigned the government and sailed for England, leaving the colony "in ill-order and in worse hands." The Lords Proprietors appointed Thomas Eastchurch to succeed him, and at the same time they procured the appointment of Thomas Miller as collector of the customs. Both were colonists and both were at that time in London. Eastchurch had been speaker of the Assembly, and Miller was the bearer of an important document from the Assembly to the Lords Proprietors. The latter naturally thought these appointments would please the people of Albemarle. Perhaps they would have pleased them had the Proprietors not sent the bitter with the sweet; they instructed Eastchurch and Miller to enforce strictly the Navigation Act.

Eastchurch sailed for his colony by way of the West Indies. There, on the island of Nevis, he became enamored of a lady and, stopping to pay his court, deputized Miller to proceed to Albemarle and act as governor until his arrival. Miller was received quietly, but his honors seemed to have turned his head. Not only did he arouse opposition by his vigor in enforcing the Navigation Act, but in other respects his conduct was so outrageous that it aroused the indignation of sensible, law-abiding people. A leader and an overt act were alone needed to produce an explosion. Both came soon enough. In December, 1677, the Carolina, a heavily armed schooner commanded by Capt. Zachary Gillam, a well-known and popular Yankee skipper, arrived in the Pasquotank River from London. When Gillam came ashore Miller arrested him, arbitrarily it appears, for alleged violations of the Navigation Act. Then learning that George Durant, a wealthy and popular planter of Perquimans county against whom he had grievance, was on board, Miller rushed on board, presented cocked pistols at Durant's breast, and attempted to arrest him on an absurd charge of treason. Here was the overt act ; the leader quickly appeared in the person of John Culpepper, Surveyor-General. Followed by an armed mob, Culpepper arrested Miller and other officials, threw them into prison and seized the government. When Eastchurch appeared and demanded the government his demands were disputed by the Culpepper party, and Eastchurch appealed to Virginia for aid. It was promised, but he died before assistance could be given. The rebels in the meantime had convened an Assembly, elected officers, and for two years administered public affairs "by their own authority and according to their own model." They denied the authority neither of the Proprietors nor of the King, and did not regard their conduct as rebellion. In this light, too, the Lords Proprietors appear to have viewed it, for when Culpepper went to London to explain the situation in Albemarle, they not only declined to punish him, but when he was arrested on a charge of treason, Shaftesbury successfully defended him on the ground that at the time of the insurrection Miller was not governor, and there was no legal government in Albemarle, The next experience of this kind which the people of Albemarle had with a governor was with one of the Lords Proprietors. The Earl of Clarendon had sold his share of Carolina to Seth Sothel, and Sothel was sent to Albemarle with the expectation that the presence of a Lord Proprietor would awe the people into order. But, as John Urmstone observed, in Albemarle a Lord Proprietor was "no more regarded than a ballad-singer." He might have added, too, that some of them were less worthy of respect than ballad-singers. Sothel "proved himself to be one of the dirtiest knaves that ever held office in America." His misrule quickly drove the people into revolt. Accusing him of drunkenness, robbery and tyranny, they arrested him, tried and convicted him, and drove him from the province, declaring him incapable of holding office in Albemarle forever.

Church of England Established.

The banishment of Sothel was followed by a period of comparative peace and order during which the colony grew and prospered. During this period Philip Ludwell and John Archdale, the best governors sent to Carolina by the Lords Proprietors, administered the affairs of the colony, at times in person, but generally through deputies. Under Ludwell, in 1691, the Lords Proprietors united the office of governor of the two Carolinas. Archdale, like Sothel, was a Lord Proprietor, but was like him in nothing else. A Quaker, he was especially acceptable to the Quakers of Albemarle, who, since the visits of Edmundson and Fox in 1672, had grown strong in the colony. Under the encouragement of Archdale they became the most influential religious body in North Carolina. The Church of England, on the contrary, was weak; yet, in 1701, Gov. Henderson Walker induced the Assembly to pass an act establishing the Church of England as the state church, and providing for its support by taxation. The act at once aroused opposition, but it was quieted two years later when the Lords Proprietors disapproved the act because of its inadequacy.

But the attempt to establish a church caused an unfortunate division in the colony that was to lead to trouble for many years to come. Heretofore the religious scruples of the Quakers against taking oaths had been observed and their affirmation accepted. But the recent act of Parliament prescribing the oath of allegiance to Queen Anne made no such exception in their favor, and Gov. Robert Daniel, who was appointed in 1704, insisted that Quakers must take the oath before entering upon any official duties or sitting as members of the Assembly. The Quakers refused, and demanded that the custom of the province be followed. Their seats were accordingly refused them, and the Assembly thus reduced in membership immediately passed an act establishing the Church of England in the colony, and an act requiring such an oath of office as no Quaker could take. Thereupon the Quakers threw their influence against Daniel and secured his removal. Thomas Cary succeeded him, but Cary disappointed the Quakers, for he insisted on following the requirements of the law, and even went further than Daniel had gone. The Quakers then sent John Porter to London to appeal directly to the Lords Proprietors. Porter returned in 1707 with an order recognizing the affirmation of Quakers in place of the oath, removing Cary, appointing new deputies and authorizing the council to elect a president to act as governor. When Porter arrived Cary was absent and William Glover was acting as governor as president of the council. This arrangement appeared satisfactory to all factions, and Porter and the Quakers acquiesced in it. But when the new appointees offered to qualify as councillors, Glover would not admit them until they had taken the prescribed oath. Porter and his party thereupon formed an alliance with Cary, who had returned, against Glover. But Glover refused to yield and the colony was brought to the verge of civil war.
However, better counsels prevailed and an agreement was reached to submit the rival claims to an Assembly. But new complications then arose. Both Glover and Cary issued writs for the election of representatives, and when the Assembly met in October, 1708, there were two rival sets of delegates. Glover refused to recognize the legality of any action taken by delegates who would not subscribe the oaths which had brought on the trouble, but the Cary faction was in control and brushing aside Glover's claims decided everything in Cary's favor. Glover, still claiming to be the lawful governor, withdrew into Virginia, leaving Cary in possession of the government and the colony in confusion. This condition continued for nearly two years, when the Lords Proprietors again took a hand. They selected Edward Hyde, a relative of the Queen, as deputy-governor of North Carolina. Hyde arrived in Virginia in August, 1710. He expected to receive his commission from Governor Tynte at Charleston, but just before his arrival Governor Tynte died, and without his commission Hyde was powerless to enforce his authority in Albemarle. Both factions, however, were tired of strife and both joined in an invitation to Hyde to assume the government as president of the council. Hyde accepted, but displayed a lack of tact in dealing with the situation, and again the colony was thrown into disorder. Cary withdrew his adherence, took up arms and defied the government. His party held Hyde's forces at bay until Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, came to the latter's assistance. Cary was then defeated, captured and sent to England to be tried for treason. However, he was never tried, probably for the lack of evidence. His defeat put an end to the rebellion in Carolina.

North Carolina and South Carolina Separate.

In 1710 the Lords Proprietors decided to appoint Edward Hyde governor of North Carolina "independent of the governor of South Carolina," but his commission was not issued until January 24, 1712. He opened it and qualified before the council May 9. Henceforth the careers of the two provinces were separate.

Trouble with Indians.

Worse days were yet in store for North Carolina. As the white man pushed his settlements towards the southward, he necessarily drove the red man before him and seized upon his hunting ground. Powerless to stay the white man's march the Indian retreated in sullen anger, ever on the lookout for a chance to strike a blow at his advancing foe. The dissensions occasioned by Cary's Rebellion seemed to one watchful chief of the Tuscaroras, whom the white man called Hancock, to offer the desired chance and he determined to seize it. Instigated by him 500 warriors assembled at his principal town on Contentnea Creek, near the present village of Snow Hill, and appointed September 22, 1711, the time for a wholesale massacre. Everything was arranged with such profound secrecy that the white settlers continued to receive the Indians into their cabins without suspicion almost to the very morning of the outbreak, and slept peacefully through the preceding night. The war-whoops of the savages, arousing them from sleep at daybreak, gave them their first intimation of danger. Painted warriors poured out of the woods on all sides. Within two hours they butchered 130 settlers on the Pamlico and eighty on the Neuse. Men, women and children, as usual, fell indiscriminately beneath their bloody tomahawks. The dead lay unburied in the hot September sun, food for vultures and wolves. For three days the awful work went on with every circumstance of horror and outrage. Those who escaped fled to Bath and other places of refuge, leaving the whole southern frontier along the Pamlico and the Neuse a scene of blood and ashes and desolation.

Fortunately, Tom Blunt, a powerful chief of the Tuscaroras, had refused to join in the conspiracy, and Albemarle county escaped. But the recent dissensions in the province, the refusal of the Quakers to bear arms, and the apprehensions of attack on the western frontier of Albemarle made Governor Hyde's task an exceedingly difficult one. Alone the colony could hardly have sustained itself, and Hyde appealed to Virginia and South Carolina for help. Virginia sent none, but South Carolina responded generously. Col. John Barnwell marched a force of white men and Indians through 300 miles of forests, struck the enemy in two hard battles near New Bern, and defeated them. Though reinforced by a force of North Carolinians he was less successful in his attack on Hancock's fort on the Contentnea. But he returned again to the attack in the following spring. In the fort, however, Hancock held a large number of white women and children prisoners, and in order to save these, Barnwell agreed to a treaty of peace, and soon afterwards returned to South Carolina. He was subjected to severe criticism for his course, but probably none of it proceeded from those whose wives and children he had thus snatched from the jaws of death.

Neither side, however, observed the treaty, and before the summer of 1712 was gone the war was renewed. Yellow fever added its horrors to those of war, and claimed perhaps as many victims. Among them was Governor Hyde. Col. Thomas Pollock, a man of ability and character, became president of the council, and during the summer and winter pushed the war vigorously. In September he negotiated a treaty with Tom Blunt by which the latter secured a truce with Hancock until the following January. Before this truce expired Col. James Moore arrived from South Carolina with a small force of white men and 1,000 Indians. Cooperating with President Pollock he speedily drove the Indians to the cover of their forts, stormed the strongest, captured it, and inflicted on them a loss of 800 warriors. Crushed by this blow, the remnant of the defeated Tuscaroras emigrated to New York where, joining their kinsmen, the Iroquois of the Long House, they changed the celebrated Five Nations to the Six Nations.

Two years later North Carolina had an opportunity to return the kindness of South Carolina. In 1715 the Yemassee Indians, by whose aid the Tuscaroras had been defeated, allied all the tribes from the Cape Fear to Florida in hostilities against the white settlers. North Carolina sent Col. Maurice Moore, a brother of Col. James Moore, to the aid of the southern colony, and Moore struck the blow that finally crushed the power of the Cape Fear Indians and opened that section to white settlers.


Three years later the Cape Fear was rid of another pest. The dangerous coast that repelled legitimate traders from the Cape Fear made that river a favorite resort for those whose trade was plunder and rapine. Behind the sand bars that stretch across the mouth of the river hundreds of pirates rested secure from interference while they leisurely repaired damages and kept a sharp lookout for prey. The period from 1650 to half a century after the departure of Yeamans' colony, John Fiske has aptly called "the golden age of pirates." As late as 1717 it was estimated that as many as 1,500 pirates made headquarters at New Providence and at Cape Fear. But next year New Providence was captured and the freebooters driven away. "One of its immediate results, however," as Fiske observes, "was to turn the whole remnant of the scoundrels over to the North Carolina coast where they took their last stand." The names of Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet became household words all along the Carolina coast. The former made his headquarters at Bath, the latter at Cape Fear, and their wild deeds in those waters furnished material for stories that are still poured into the ears of credulous listeners. Finally, through the exertions of Governor Johnston, of South Carolina, Capt. William Rhett sailed for the Cape Fear, captured Bonnet after a desperate struggle, and carried him to Charleston where he paid the penalty for his crimes "at the tail of a 'tow." A few weeks later Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, fitted out an expedition against Blackbeard under the command of Lieut. Robert Maynard. Maynard caught the pirate off Ocracoke Inlet, defeated and killed him, and carried his infamous crew to Virginia to be executed. These were decisive blows to piracy along the North Carolina coast, and after a few more years the black flags of the buccaneers disappeared from our seas.

Boundary between North Carolina and Virginia.

After these victories for good government and civilization, the colony settled down during the last decade of proprietary rule to a period of comparative repose. There were, it is true, a few internal dissensions, occasioned, as such dissensions are still occasioned, by the ambitions of rival politicians, but they affected the welfare of the colony but little, and were small affairs in comparison with the great struggles through which the colony had already passed. During this period occurred two events of more than passing interest. In 1728 the longstanding boundary line dispute with Virginia was finally settled. Commissioners appointed by the two provinces ran the line, with great difficulty, skill and heroism, through tangled forests and unexplored swamps. As they ran it, so it remains to this day.

Proprietary Abolished.

The same year saw the rule of the Lords Proprietors brought to a close. Nine years before the people of South Carolina had thrown off the proprietary government and sought admission into the class of Crown colonies. Neither the people nor the Proprietors had been satisfied with the latter's experiment. The King, too, regretted the grant which had conveyed such vast possessions and such extensive political power to subjects. The action of South Carolina, therefore, set in motion a train of thoughts and negotiations that resulted, in 1728, in the purchase by the Crown of seven-eighths of the territorial interests of the Proprietors and the resumption of all their political authority. Both provinces then passed under the direct authority of the Crown and the rule of the Lords Proprietors came to an end. In North Carolina the change was celebrated with great public rejoicings.


The people had cause for their joy. Neglected by the Proprietors and antagonized by the commercial policy of their powerful northern neighbor, what those early Carolinians had obtained they got through their own unassisted exertions and without favor from anybody. None of the English colonies had passed through a more desperate struggle for existence. The geographical position of North Carolina was such as placed its commerce at the mercy of Virginia, and there was then, as Saunders observes, no Federal Constitution to prevent unneighborly legislation. The inefficient government of the Proprietors was unable to preserve either order or safety in the province, and was just strong enough to be a source of constant irritation. The Culpepper Rebellion, the Cary Rebellion, the Indian wars and the struggle with piracy severely tested the character and the capabilities of the people. Their situation, for instance, at the close of the Indian wars was almost desperate. Most of the people have "scarcely corn to last them until wheat time, many not having any at all"; "the country miserably reduced by Indian cruelty," and "the inhabitants brought to so low an ebb" that large numbers fled the province; "our intestine broils and contentions, to which all the misfortunes which have since attended us are owing"; "a country preserved which everybody that was but the least acquainted with our circumstances gave over for lost"; these are typical expressions with which the correspondence of the period abounds. That the colony survived these conditions is better evidence of the character and spirit of the people than the sneers and jibes of hostile critics, either contemporary or modern. Had the greater part of the population of North Carolina, or even -a -considerable minority, of it, been composed of "the shiftless people who could not make a place for themselves in Virginia society," as William Byrd and John Fiske would have us believe, all the aristocracy of Virginia and South Carolina combined could not have saved the colony from anarchy and ruin. Yet between the years 1663 and 1728 somebody laid here in North Carolina the foundations of a great state. The foundation upon which great states are built is the character of their people, and the "mean whites" of Virginia are not now, nor were they then, the sort of people who found and build states. No colony composed to any extent of such a people could have rallied from such disasters as those from which North Carolina rallied between 1718 and 1728. Those years were years of growth and expansion. The population increased threefold, the Cape Fear was opened to settlers, new plantations were cleared, better methods of husbandry introduced, mills erected, roads surveyed, ferries established, trade was increased, towns were incorporated, better houses built, better furniture installed, parishes created, churches erected, ministers supplied, the schoolmaster found his way thither, and the colony was fairly started on that course of development which brought it, by the outbreak of the Revolution, to the rank of fourth in population and importance among the thirteen English-speaking colonies in America.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.-The great source and the only absolutely reliable source of information relative to the history of North Carolina is the Colonial Records of North Carolina. This following list makes no pretence to completeness, and only a few titles are given which for their accessibility may be easily consulted, or for other reasons are of especial interest or importance.-Alderman, E. A.: William Hooper; Ashe, Samuel A.: History o f North Carolina (2 vols., in press, Greensboro); Bassett, John S.: Constitutional Beginnings of North Carolina, 1663-1729 in Johns Hopkins University Studies, Series XII., No. 3 (Baltimore), The Writings of Colonel William Byrd of Westover in Virginia Esqr. (New York, 1901); Bancroft, George: History of the United States (6 vols., New York, 1888); Fiske, John: Old Virginia and Her Neighbours (2 vols., Boston and New York, 1897); Hawks, Francis L.: History of North Carolina, with maps and illustrations (2 vols., Fayetteville, 1857-58); Lawson, John: The History o f Carolina (London, 1718); Martin, Francis X.: History of North Carolina (2 vols., New Orleans, 1829); Moore, John W.: History of North Carolina (2 vols., Raleigh, 1880); Raper, Charles Lee: North Carolina: A Study in English Colonial Government (New York, 1904); Saunders, William L., and Clark, Walter: The Colonial Records of North Carolina (26 vols., 1886-1917); Weeks, Stephen B.: The Religious Development in the Province of North Carolina in Johns Hopkins University Studies, Series X., Nos. 5-6 (Baltimore, 1892), Church and State in North Carolina in Johns Hopkins University Studies, Series XI., Nos. 4-6 (Baltimore, 1893), Libraries and Literature in North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century, from the Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1895, pages 171-267 (Washington, 1896), Southern Quakers and Slavery in Johns Hopkins University Studies, Series XV. (Baltimore, 1896); Wheeler, John H.: Historical Sketches of North Carolina (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1851); Williamson, Hugh: The History of North Carolina (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1812); Winsor, Justin: Narrative and Critical History o f America (8 vols., Boston and New York, 1889); North Carolina Booklet, published quarterly by the North Carolina Society Daughters of the Revolution, Raleigh, and including: Ashe, Samuel A.: Our Own Pirates (Vol. II., No. 2); Bassett, John S.: The County of Clarendon (Vol. II., No. 10); Battle, Kemp P.: The Lords Proprietors of Carolina (Vol. IV., No. 1); Cheshire, Joseph Blount: First Settlers in North Carolina, Not Religious Refugees (Vol. V., No. 4); Clark, Walter: Indian Massacre and Tuscarora War, 1711-13 (Vol. II., No. 3); Davis, Junius: Locke's Fundamental Constitutions (Vol. VII., No. 1); Grimes, J. Bryan: Some Notes on Colonial North Carolina, 1700-1750, (Vol. V., No. 2); Haywood, Marshall DeL.: Governor Charles Eden (Vol. III., No. 8), John Lawson (Vol. VI., No. 4); Hinsdale, Mrs. John W.: Governor Thomas Pollock (Vol. V., No. 4); Holladay, Alexander Q.: Social Conditions in Colonial North Carolina (Vol. III., No. 10); Kennedy, Sara B.: Colonial New Bern (Vol. I., No. 2); Raper, Charles L.: Social Life in Colonial North Carolina (Vol. III., No. 5).

Secretary of North Carolina Historical Commission, Raleigh, N. C.

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