PICTORIAL FIELD BOOK OF THE REVOLUTION.
BY BENSON J. LOSSING
Departure from Norfolk. – Misfortunes of an Hostler. – Forts Nelson and Norfolk. – Craney Island. – Voyage up the James River. – City Point. – Petersburg. – Blandford Church. – Founding of Petersburg. – Sudden Storm. – Services of Steuben. – Military Operations between City Point and Williamsburg. – Skirmish near Petersburg. – Retreat of the Americans. – British Occupation of the Town. – Mrs. Bolling. – British Occupation of Bollingbrook. – Skirmish at Osborne’s. – Destruction of the American Flotilla. – Troops of Arnold and Phillips. – Depredations at Manchester and Warwick. – La Fayette at Petersburg. – Death of Phillips. – Entrance of Cornwallis into Virginia. – The State in Danger. – Retirement of Governor Jefferson. – Monticello. – Cornwallis’s unsuccessful Pursuit of La Fayette. – Expeditions Westward. – Jefferson’s Seal and Monument, and Inscription. – Expedition of Simcoe against Steuben. – Attempt to Capture Jefferson and the Legislators. – Destruction of Property. – Cornwallis baffled by La Fayette. – His Retreat toward the Coast. – Detention of the Convention Troops. – Their Parole. – March of the Convention Troops to Virginia. – Their Route to Charlottesville. – Sufferings. – Riedesel and his Family. – Jefferson’s Hospitality. – Erection of Barracks. – Extensive Gardening. – General Condition of the Troops. – Removal of Troops from Charlottesville. – Their Final Dispersion. – The Germans. – Departure from Petersburg. – Capital Punishment. – Husbandry in Lower Virginia. – Fruits of the Social System. – Gee’s Bridge. – Capture of Colonel Gee. – A Yankee Observer. – Passage of the Roanoke into Carolina. – Cotton Fields. – Route of Greene’s Retreat. – Journey toward Hillsborough. – Tobacco Culture. – Williamsburg and Oxford. – Tar River. – Fording Streams. – The Princely Domain of Mr. Cameron. – Night at a Yankee’s Farm-house. – Arrival at Hillsborough. – Early Settlements in North Carolina. – First Charter of North Carolina. – Early Settlements on the Chowan and Cape Fear. – Planters from Barbadoes. – The absurd "Fundamental Constitutions" of Shaftesbury and Locke. – Sketch of the Authors. – Extent of the Province. – Abrogation of the Constitutions. – Government Officers imprisoned. – Governor Sother banished. – John Archdale. – Settlements in the Interior. – Indian Hostilities. – Flight of the Tuscaroras. – Pirates. – First Royal Governor. – First Legislative Assembly. – The Governor and People at Variance. – Removal of the Seat of Government to Wilmington. – Immigration of Scotch Highlanders. – The Rebellion of ’45. – Peril and Flight of The Pretender. – Extinction of his Family.
"With evil omens from the harbor sails
I awoke at four o’clock on Christmas morning, and my first waking thought was of the dawn of a fourth of July in a Northern city. Guns, pistols, and squibs were already heralding the holiday; indeed the revelry commenced at dark the previous evening, notwithstanding it was the night of the Sabbath. Expecting to depart in the steam-boat for City Point at six o’clock in the morning, I had directed the hostler, a funny little negro, who was as full of promises as a bank-teller’s drawer, to feed my horse at half past four. I showed him a bright coin, and promised him its possession if he would be punctual. Of course he would "be up before dat time, rely upon it;" but experience had taught me to be distrustful. At the appointed hour I went to the stable dormitory, and rapped several times before the hostler stirred. "Yes, massa," he exclaimed, "I’se jis turnin’ over as you cum up de stair;" and striking a light with flint and tinder, he went down to the stable with his lantern. I stood in the door watching the breaking of the clouds and the peeping forth of the stars after a stormy night, when a clatter in the stall attracted my attention. Upon looking in, I discovered the little hostler under the manger, with his tin lantern crushed beneath him, but the candle still burning. "Ki!" he exclaimed, scrambling to regain his feet, "Ki! how like de debble he butt! Mos knock my brains out!" I soon perceived the cause of the trouble. A large black goat, with a beard like a Turk, which I had seen in the stable the previous evening, observing the negro’s motions while rubbing Charley’s legs, and interpreting them as a challenge, had played the battering-ram with the hostler, and laid him sprawling under the manger. "Did he hit you?" I inquired, gravely, trying to suppress laughter. "Hit me, massa!" he exclaimed; "why he most ruin me, I reckons. See dar!" and with all the dramatic gravity of Anthony when he held up the robe of Cæsar, and exclaimed, "See what a rent the envious Casca made!" the hostler exhibited a "rent" in his nether garment at least an ell in length. Notwithstanding his mishap, Billy insisted that "de goat is healthy for de hosses, and musn’t be turned out any how;" but he promised to give him a "licken de fus time he ketch him asleep." Charley had his oats in time, and at six o’clock we embarked on the Alice for James River and City Point.
Going out of the harbor at Norfolk we passed the United States Marine Hospital, on the western bank of the river, a spacious building standing upon the site of Fort Nelson of the Revolution. On the opposite side I perceived the ruins of Fort Norfolk, erected in 1812. We passed Craney Island1 before sunrise, and leaving Hampton and its noble harbor on the right entered the broad mouth of the James River. A strong breeze, warm as the breath of May, came from the southwest and dispersed the moving clouds. I have seldom experienced a more delightful voyage than on that genial Christmas day upon the ancient Powhatan, whose shores are so thickly clustered with historical associations. Jamestown, the Chickahominy, Charles City, Westover, and Berkley, were all passed before noon; and at one o’clock we landed at City Point, at the junction of the James and Appomattox Rivers, about forty miles below Richmond. 2 Here the British army, under Phillips and Arnold, debarked on the twenty-fourth of April, 1781, and proceeded to Petersburg.
An intelligent mulatto, enjoying his holiday freedom, took a seat with me for Petersburg. He was a guide on the way, and gave me considerable information respecting localities around that town, where his master resided. We passed through Blandford, an old town separated from Petersburg4 only by a deep ravine and a small stream, and at a little after three o’clock I was dining at the Bollingbrook. At four, accompanied by a young man acquainted with the way, I went up to the old Blandford Church, one of the most picturesque and attractive ruins in Virginia. It stands in the midst of a burial-ground upon an eminence overlooking the ancient village of Blandford and its younger sister at the falls of the Appomattox, with an extensive and diversified landscape for scores of miles around. The edifice is cruciform, and was built of imported bricks about one hundred and fifty years ago. Some of the noblest and wealthiest of Virginia’s aristocracy worshiped within its walls; for Blandford was the focus of fashion and refinement, while Petersburg was rudely struggling for its present pre-eminence. But the glory of the town and its church departed; Blandford is now only a suburban hamlet of Petersburg, and the old temple, dismantled of its interior decorations, is left to the occupancy of the bats and the owls.
"LONE relic of the past, old moldering pile,
While sketching the venerable ruin, a heavy black cloud, like the chariot of a summer tempest, came up from the southwest. I tarried a moment at the reputed grave of General Phillips, and then hurried across the ravine to Petersburg; but I was too late to escape the shower, and was so thoroughly drenched that I was obliged to exchange every garment for a dry one. A cool drizzle continued throughout the evening, and gave a deeper coloring to the disappointment I felt on being denied the privilege of passing an hour with Charles Campbell, Esq., one of Virginia’s best local historians. He was twenty miles away; so I employed that hour in jotting down the incidents of the day, and in turning over the leaves of the old chronicle. Petersburg is a central point of view, and here, before we cross the Roanoke, we will consider the remainder of the Revolutionary annals of the "Old Dominion."
We have already noticed the invasion under Arnold; the destruction of Richmond, and the founderies and magazines at Westham, at the head of the falls of the James River; and at Yorktown observed the concluding scenes of Cornwallis’s operations in Virginia. It was a fortunate circumstance for that state, that the Baron Steuben, the veteran disciplinarian from the armies of Frederick the Great, was detained in Virginia, while on his way southward with General Greene. His services in disciplining the militia, and organizing them in such order as to give them strength to beat back the invaders at various points, were of incalculable value. During Arnold’s invasion, they were led against his disciplined parties on several occasions, and with success. On one occasion, General Smallwood, with three hundred militia, drove the traitor’s boats out of the Appomattox, and sent them in confusion far below City Point; and Steuben himself, with George Rogers Clarke, the hero of the Ohio Valley, led a considerable force to strike the enemy between Westover and the Chickahominy.
It being evident that the entire subjugation of Virginia was a part of the plan of the British for the campaign of 1781,5 Washington early turned his attention to that point, and concerted measures to avert the blow. La Fayette sought and obtained the honor of commanding the Continental forces destined for that theater of action. Washington gave him his instructions on the twentieth of February [1781.], and with about twelve hundred troops, detached from the forces then at New Windsor and Morristown, he marched southward. The first object of this expedition, as we have seen, was to co-operate with the French fleet against Arnold. That portion of the general plan failed, and the marquis, as we have observed, returned to the head of Elk. 6
General Phillips, in command of the united forces under Arnold and himself, landed at City Point on the twenty-fourth of April[1781.], where he remained until the next morning, when they marched directly upon Petersburg. On his way up the James River, he sent Lieutenant-colonel Simcoe, with the Queen’s Rangers, to attack a body of Virginia militia at Williamsburg, and to get possession of Yorktown. The expedition landed near Burwell’s Ferry, a little below Williamsburg, on the nineteenth [April, 1781.], at which place the Americans had thrown up some intrenchments. The Virginians fled at the approach of Simcoe, and General Phillips, with the army, landed. Simcoe marched that night toward Williamsburg. It was a night of tempest and intense darkness, and it was not until the morning of the twentieth that he entered the town. The militia also fled from Williamsburg, and the enemy took possession of the place. It being ascertained that a large garrison would be necessary for Yorktown, if taken, the project of its capture was abandoned, and the troops proceeded up the river. 7
NOTE. – Explanation of the Plan. – 1, Yagers; 2, four pieces of cannon; 3, British Light Infantry; 4, Queen’s Rangers; 5, Riflemen; 6, first position of the Americans; 7, second position; 8, third position, across the Appomattox; 9, second position of the Queen’s Rangers; 10, their third position. This plan is copied from Simcoe’s Journal.
Baron Steuben, with one thousand militia, had taken post near Blandford Church, and was ready to receive the British. Notwithstanding his force consisted of less than one third of the number of the enemy, he determined to dispute the ground. The British came in sight toward noon, and formed, with their line extended to the left, upon the plain near Blandford. Phillips and Simcoe reconnoitered, and having satisfied themselves that Steuben’s force was not very large, prepared to attack him. The ground was broken where the Americans were posted. A party of yagers passing through a gully behind an orchard, got upon the flank of the patrols, and fired with such effect as to cause their retreat to an eminence in their rear. Phillips now ordered his artillery to be secretly drawn up. As soon as it opened upon the Virginians, Lieutenant-colonel Abercrombie advanced in front, while Simcoe with his rangers, and Captain Boyd with light infantry, passed through the wood to turn their left flank. Steuben perceived this movement, and ordered his troops to fall back. It was now between three and four o’clock in the afternoon. Inch by inch the British made their way, the Virginians disputing their progress with pertinacity. The enemy were two hours advancing one mile, and when they reached the heights near Blandford Church, the Americans opened a fire upon them from their cannon on Archer’s Hill, on the north side of the Appomattox. Overmatched both by skill and numbers, Steuben retreated across the Appomattox, destroyed the bridge, and took post on Baker’s Hill, from whence he soon retired with his arms, baggage, and stores, to Chesterfield Court House, ten miles distant. The bridge was soon repaired, and the next day Abercrombie, with the light infantry and rangers, crossed over and occupied the heights where Steuben had been posted. Four hundred hogsheads of tobacco and the vessels in the river were burned, and other property was destroyed. The loss of the Americans in killed, wounded, and taken in this skirmish of nearly three hours, was between sixty and seventy; that of the enemy was probably about the same.8
The British now prepared for offensive operations in the vicinity. Phillips and Arnold quartered at the spacious mansion of Mrs. Bolling, known as Bollingbrook, and yet standing upon East Hill, in the south part of the town.9 Other officers also occupied the two mansions; and Mrs. Bolling was allowed the use of only the room in the rear of the east building. The soldiery often set fire to the fences which surrounded Bollingbrook, and the amiable lady was kept in a state of continual alarm, notwithstanding the efforts of the usually discourteous Phillips to soothe her. Arnold had apprised her of the irritability of that officer’s temper, and by her mildness she secured his esteem and favor. 10
NOTE. – Explanation of the Plan. – A, B, the Queen’s Rangers; C, the eightieth and seventy-sixth regiments; D, E, the British artillery, two six and two three pounders; F, Yagers; G, the American vessels; H, the American militia.
On the morning of the twenty-seventh[April, 1781.], Arnold, with one division of the army, consisting of the eightieth and seventy-sixth regiments and the Rangers, proceeded to a place called Osborne’s, a short distance from Petersburg, where, rumor asserted, the Americans had considerable stores, and near which was anchored a marine force to oppose the further progress of vessels coming up the James River. At the same time, General Phillips, with the other division, marched to Chesterfield Court House. The patriots at Osborne’s were not advised of the approach of the enemy until they appeared in force. Arnold sent a flag to treat with the commander of the fleet for a surrender, but he boldly refused a conference for such a purpose, saying, "I am determined and ready to defend the fleet, and will sink in the vessels rather than surrender them." He then caused the drum to beat to arms, and the militia on the opposite side of the river drew up in battle order. Arnold immediately advanced with some artillery, routed the patriots, and drove the seamen to their shipping. The latter scuttled several of the vessels and set fire to others to prevent their falling into the traitor’s hands. One of the vessels returned the fire from the enemy’s artillery with much spirit, but was finally disabled. The militia were driven from the opposite shore, and the whole fleet was either captured or destroyed. Two ships and ten smaller craft were captured, and four ships, five brigantines, and a number of small vessels, were either burned or sunk. 11 The quantity of tobacco taken or destroyed, exceeded two thousand hogsheads.
Phillips and Arnold joined their divisions on the thirtieth, after having burned the barracks and a quantity of flour at Chesterfield Court House, and then pushed forward toward Richmond, where a large quantity of military stores were collected. At Manchester, opposite Richmond, they burned twelve hundred hogsheads of tobacco and other property, and were preparing to cross the river, when information reached them that La Fayette, with a body of Continental troops, had arrived the evening previous. The marquis had received orders at the head of Elk to go to Virginia and oppose Phillips and Arnold, and had made a forced march of two hundred miles in order to save the stores at Richmond. The depredators knew too well the spirit of the marquis to venture another marauding visit to Richmond while he was there, and, wheeling their columns, they proceeded down the river to Bermuda Hundred, at the mouth of the Appomattox, opposite City Point, and embarked. On their way, they passed through Warwick, a town on the James River, then larger than Richmond, where they destroyed ships on the stocks, a range of rope-walks, a magazine of flour, warehouses filled with tobacco and other merchandise, tan-houses filled with hides, and some flouring mills belonging to Colonel Carey, whose splendid mansion was near.12 In one general conflagration, the thriving town, with all its industrial appurtenances, was destroyed. 13
The British fleet with the land forces then sailed down the James River, when, a little below Burwell’s Ferry, they were met[May 6.] by a boat from Portsmouth, bearing a messenger with intelligence for General Phillips that Cornwallis was on his way north, and wished to form a junction with him at Petersburg. The whole fleet was immediately ordered to return up the James River, and late at night, on the ninth [May, 1781.], the British army again entered Petersburg. So secret was their entrance, that ten American officers who were there to prepare boats for La Fayette to cross the river, were captured. Phillips was very sick of a fever on his arrival, and was carried to the house of Mrs. Bolling, where he died four days afterward. 14
The presence of La Fayette inspired the militia of Virginia with high hopes, and they flocked to his standard in considerable numbers. When informed of the return of the British fleet, he suspected the object to be a junction with Cornwallis at Petersburg. It was known that the earl had left Wilmington, and was on his way to Virginia. The marquis immediately pressed forward to take possession of the town before the arrival of Phillips and Arnold. He was too late, and after cannonading the British quarters, particularly Bollingbrook,15 from Archer’s Hill, and thoroughly reconnoitering the place, he returned to Osborne’s, and there crossed the James River to the easterly side. Arnold took the chief command, on the death of General Phillips, and just one week after that event [May 20, 1781.], Cornwallis, with a large force, entered Petersburg. That officer, after fighting the battle with General Greene at Guilford Court House, had retired to Wilmington, on the Cape Fear River. Perceiving the advantages to be derived by invading Virginia at separate points, he ordered General Phillips, as we have seen, to return up the James River, while he hastened to enter the state from the south and form a junction with him at Petersburg. He marched directly north, nearly on a line with the present rail-road from Wilmington, and reached the Roanoke at Halifax, seven miles below the Great Falls, where he crossed, and entered Virginia. Lieutenant-colonel Tarleton, with a corps of one hundred and eighty cavalry and sixty mounted infantry, was sent forward as an advance guard to disperse the militia and overawe the inhabitants. The outrages committed by some of these marauding troops were pronounced by Stedman, an officer of Cornwallis’s army, "a disgrace to the name of man." 16 Simcoe had been sent by Arnold to take possession of the fords on the Nottaway and Meherrin Rivers, the only considerable streams that intervened, and the two armies, unopposed, effected a junction at Petersburg, where Cornwallis assumed the command of the whole.
Virginia now seemed doomed to the alternative of submission or desolation. On the seventh of May, the Legislature, uneasy at the proximity of General Phillips and his army, adjourned to meet at Charlottesville, in Albemarle county, on the twenty-fourth. There, eighty-five miles from Richmond, in the bosom of a fertile and sheltered valley, on the banks of the Rivanna, they hoped to legislate undisturbed. Mr. Jefferson, the governor, feeling his incompetency, on account of his lack of military knowledge, to administer the affairs of the state with energy, declined a re-election on the first of June, and indicated General Nelson, of Yorktown, as a proper successor. At his elegant seat, called Monticello (Little Mountain), situated three miles southeast of Charlottesville, far from the din of actual hostilities, Jefferson sought repose for a season in the bosom of his family. His dream of quiet was soon broken,as we shall presently perceive.
Cornwallis, unlike most of the other British generals, was seldom inert. Although, from the western part of the Carolinas to Wilmington, and from thence to Petersburg, he had journeyed nearly fifteen hundred miles in his marches and counter-marches, he did not halt long. Four days after his arrival, he marched down the James River to Westover, where he was joined by a regiment from New York.18 He crossed [May 24, 1781.], and pushed on toward Richmond. La Fayette, with nearly three thousand troops, continental and militia, lay about half way between Richmond and Wilton. Cornwallis knew the inferiority of the marquis’s force to his own, and felt so sure of success that he wrote to the British secretary, from Petersburg, saying, "The boy can not escape me." La Fayette had wisdom as well as zeal, and instead of risking a battle at that time, he cautiously retreated northward, pursued by the earl. A retreat to avoid the engagement was not the only object to be obtained by La Fayette. Wayne was on his march through Maryland with a re-enforcement of eight hundred men, and a junction was important. Cornwallis was advised of the approach of these troops, and sought, by rapid marches, to outstrip La Fayette and prevent the union. But the marquis was too agile; and after pursuing him to the North Anna, beyond Hanover Court House, plundering and destroying a vast amount of property on the way, the earl halted and encamped. La Fayette passed through Spottsylvania county to the Raccoon Ford, on the Rappahannock, in Culpepper, where he was joined by General Wayne [June 10.].
Unsuccessful in his pursuit, Cornwallis now directed his attention to other points. In the southern part of Fluvanna county, at a place called Point of Fork,19 on the James River, the Americans had an arsenal and a large quantity of military stores. Baron Steuben, with six hundred raw militia, had charge of this post. The dispersion of the Americans and the capture of the stores were objects of importance to Cornwallis, and for that purpose he sent Lieutenant-colonel Simcoe with his rangers, and other troops under Captain Hutchinson, to surprise the baron. At the same time, the earl dispatched Tarleton, with one hundred and eighty cavalry, and seventy mounted infantry under Captain Champagne, 20 to attempt the capture of Jefferson and the members of the Legislature at Charlottesville. Steuben was advised of the approach of Tarleton, and believing his post to be the object of the expedition, he conveyed his stores to the south side of the Fluvanna and prepared to withdraw his troops thither. Simcoe’s march was unknown, but when he arrived at the Point of Fork, he had nothing to surprise or capture, except about thirty Americans who were waiting the return of boats to cross the river. Simcoe, by an advantageous display of his force, and lighting numerous fires at night upon the hills along the Rivanna, deceived Steuben with the belief that the main army of Cornwallis was close upon him. Influenced by this idea, the baron hastily retreated during the night, leaving such stores behind as could not readily be removed. In the morning, Simcoe sent Captain Stephenson to destroy them, and also ordered Captain Wolsey to make a feigned pursuit upon the track of the retreating Americans.
In the mean while, Tarleton and his legion pushed forward with their accustomed speed, to catch the Virginia law-makers at Charlottesville. On their way toward the Rivanna, they destroyed twelve wagon-loads of clothing, destined for Green’s army in North Carolina. On reaching that stream, they dashed into its current, and before seven o’clock in the morning[June 4, 1781.] they were within ten miles of Charlottesville. There Tarleton detached Captain M‘Leod, with a party of horsemen, to capture Governor Jefferson, at Monticello, while himself and the remainder of his forces pushed on to the residence of two brothers, named Walker, where he understood many influential Virginians were assembled. Several of these were captured, among whom was Colonel John Simms, a member of the Legislature, and William and Robert, brothers of General Nelson. After partaking of a tardily prepared breakfast at Dr. Walker’s, 21 Tarleton pursued his rapid march, and rode up the hill into the village of Charlotte, under full gallop, expecting to take the legislators by surprise. He was disappointed. While passing through Louisa county, a Mr. Jouitte, suspecting Tarleton’s design, mounted a fleet horse, and reached Charlottesville in time to give the alarm. The delay for breakfast at Dr. Walker’s was sufficient to allow most of the members to mount fresh horses and escape. Only seven fell into the hands of the British.
M‘Leod’s expedition to Monticello was quite as unsuccessful. The governor was entertaining several members of the Legislature, including the speakers of both Houses, and was not aware of the proximity of an enemy, until the invaders were seen coming up the winding road leading to his mansion. His wife and children were hurried off to Colonel Carter’s, six miles southward, whither Mr. Jefferson followed on horseback, making his way among the dark recesses of Carter’s Mountain. The speaker hurried to Charlottesville to adjourn the Legislature, to meet at Staunton on the seventh,22 and then, with several others, mounted fleet horses and escaped. Mr. Jefferson had not been gone ten minutes when M‘Leod and his party rode up and found the mansion deserted. Books, papers, and furniture were untouched by the enemy, and not a particle of the governor’s property was destroyed, except a large quantity of wine in his cellar, drunk and wasted by a few soldiers, without the knowledge of their commander.
After destroying one thousand new muskets, four hundred barrels of powder, several hogsheads of tobacco, and a quantity of soldier’s clothing, Tarleton, with his prisoners, rejoined Cornwallis, who had advanced to Elk Hill, a plantation belonging to Governor Jefferson, near the Point of Fork. There the most wanton destruction of property occurred. They cut the throats of the young horses, carried off the older ones fit for service, slaughtered the cattle, burned the barns with the crops of the previous year, with all the fences on the plantations near, and captured many negroes.23
One more prize attracted the attention of Cornwallis. At Albemarle Old Court House, above the Point of Fork, the Virginians had collected a large quantity of valuable stores, most of which had been sent from Richmond. The earl determined to capture or destroy them; La Fayette, who, after his junction with Wayne, had moved cautiously through Orange and the upper part of Louisa to Boswell’s tavern, near the Albemarle line, resolved to protect them. Tarleton was sent to force La Fayette either to hazard a battle with the whole British army, or abandon the stores. The marquis did neither. He had discovered a rough, unused road, leading directly to the Court House. Early in the evening he set his pioneers at work, and before morning his whole force had traversed the opened way, and, to the astonishment of Cornwallis, were strongly posted upon high ground, between the British forces and the American stores. Again baffled, the earl wheeled his army, and moved toward the eastern coast, closely watched and followed by the vigilant marquis. He entered Richmond on the seventeenth, and evacuated it on the twentieth. Steuben had now joined La Fayette, and Cornwallis, believing the strength of the Americans to be much greater than it really was, hastened to Williamsburg, where, under the protection of his shipping, and re-enforced by troops from Portsmouth, he encamped.24 His subsequent movements, until his surrender at Yorktown, have been noticed in preceding chapters.
Before leaving Virginia, let us consider that important event in the history of the Revolution, the residence of the "Convention Troops" (as Burgoyne’s captured army were called), in the vicinity of Charlottesville.
In anote on page 82 of the first volume of this work, I have given briefly the principal reasons why the captive army of Burgoyne was not allowed to go to England on parole. The action of Congress on the subject was technically dishonorable, and not in accordance with the letter and spirit of the convention signed by Gates and Burgoyne. So General Washington evidently thought when he wrote to General Heath respecting the detention of that body, and said, "By this step General Burgoyne will, it is more than probable, look upon himself as released from all former ties, and consequently at liberty to make use of any means to effect an escape." 25 The suspected perfidy of the British commander, the fact that the enemy often acted upon the principle that "faith was not to be kept with rebels," and the consideration that these troops, though they might not again "serve against America," would supply the places of soldiers at home who would, partially justified the bad faith of Congress. Having resolved to keep them here, the next consideration was their maintenance. The difficulty of procuring an ample supply of food in New England, and the facilities of a sea-coast for their escape, induced Congress to order them to be sent into the interior of Virginia. Sir Henry Clinton had been applied to [Sept., 1778.] for passports for American vessels to transport fuel and provisions to Boston for the use of the prisoners, but refused. Congress, therefore, directed [Oct. 15.] them to be removed to Charlottesville, in Albemarle county, Virginia. Pursuant to this direction, the whole body of captives, English and Germans, after the officers had signed a parole of honor 26 respecting their conduct on the way, took up their line of march from Cambridge and Rutland 27 on the tenth of November. Burgoyne having been permitted to return to England in May, the command of the convention troops devolved upon Major-general Phillips. Colonel Theodorick Bland, of the first regiment of light dragoons, was appointed by Washington to superintend the march of the captives; and Colonel James Wood was appointed to command at Charlottesville. It was a dreary winter’s journey of seven hundred miles, and occupied about three months in its accomplishment. 28 The Baroness Riedesel, in her charming Letters and Memoirs, gives graphic pictures of events on the way, and of her residence in and departure from Virginia. Anburey, a captive officer, also records many incidents of interest connected with the journey; and in his Travels, publishes a map of the Eastern and Middle States, on which is denoted, by colored lines, the direction of the march, and the extent of the paroles of the English and German prisoners after their arrival in Virginia. 29
The troops were, at first, all stationed at Charlottesville. That town then contained only a court-house, one tavern, and about a dozen houses. These were crowded with the English officers, and many sought quarters on neighboring plantations. The soldiers suffered dreadfully. Not expecting the captives before spring, barracks were not erected, and the only shelter that was vouchsafed them, after their fatiguing march through mud and snow, were a few half-finished huts in the woods. These, not half covered, were full of snow, and it was three days before they were made habitable. No provisions had arrived for the troops, and for a week they subsisted upon corn meal made into cakes. The officers, by signing a parole, were allowed to go as far as Richmond for quarters, and in a short time both officers and soldiers were rendered quite comfortable. General Phillips made his quarters at the plantation of Colonel Carter,30 and General Riedesel and his family resided upon the estate of Mr. Mazzei, an Italian gentleman at Colle, a few miles distant from Charlottesville. 31 Mr. Jefferson, who was then at Monticello, did every thing in his power to render the situation of the officers and troops as pleasant as possible. To the former, the hospitalities of his mansion and the use of his choice library were freely proffered; and when, in the spring of 1779, it was proposed to remove the troops to some other locality, he pleaded earnestly, and argued forcibly, in a letter to Governor Henry [March 27.] against the measure, on the grounds of its inhumanity, expense, and general inexpediency. For these attentions, the officers and troops often expressed their warmest gratitude toward Mr. Jefferson. The kindness of Colonel Bland, on their march, also excited their affection, and made him a favorite.
VIEW OF THE ENCAMPMENT OF THE CONVENTION TROOPS.
(From a picture in Anburey’s Travels.)
Early in the spring, comfortable barracks for the troops were erected, under the direction of Colonel Harvey. They were upon the brow and slopes of a high hill, on Colonel Harvey’s estate, five miles from Charlottesville. They cost the government about twenty-five thousand dollars. A large portion of the land was laid out into gardens, fenced in and planted. General Riedesel spent more than five hundred dollars for garden seeds for the German troops, and when autumn advanced there was no scarcity of provisions. According to Mr. Jefferson, the location was extremely healthy.32 It being the universal opinion that they would remain prisoners there until the close of the war, the officers spent a great deal of money in the erection of more suitable dwellings, and in preparing rough land for cultivation. They settled their families there, built a theatre, a coffee-house, and a cold bath; and in general intercourse with the families of neighboring gentlemen, and the pursuits of music and literature, their captivity was made agreeable to them, and profitable to the province. 33 Notwithstanding this apparent quiet on the surface, there was turbulence below. Captivity under the most favorable circumstances is galling. A large number deserted, and made their way to British posts at the North. On one occasion nearly four hundred eluded the vigilance of their guards, and escaped. When, in October, 1780, General Leslie with a strong force took possession of Portsmouth, great uneasiness was observed among the British troops, and just fears were entertained that they might rise upon and overpower their guard, and join their countrymen on the Elizabeth River. The Germans were less impatient, for they were enjoying life better than at home; 34 yet it was thought expedient to remove the whole body of prisoners to a place of greater security. Accordingly, the British were marched across the Blue Ridge [Nov. 20, 1780.], at Wood’s Gap, and through the Great Valley to Fort Frederick, in Maryland; 35 the Germans followed soon afterward, and were quartered at Winchester (then containing between three and four hundred houses), in the northern part of Virginia. Deaths, desertion, and partial exchanges had now reduced their numbers to about twenty-one hundred. Afterward they were removed to Lancaster, and some to East Windsor, in Connecticut. In the course of 1782, they were all dispersed, either by exchange or desertion. A large number of the Germans, remembering the perfidy of their rulers at home, and pleased with their national brethren who were residents here, remained at the close of the war, and many became useful citizens.
Let us resume our journey.
I arose at daybreak, on the morning after my arrival in Petersburg[Dec. 26, 1848.]. The clouds were broken, and a keen breeze from the north reminded me of the presence of winter. Accompanied by one of the early risers of the town, I crossed the fine bridge over the Appomattox, and strolled over Archer’s Hill, whereon the Americans planted their cannon and disturbed the inmates of Bollingbrook. The little village on that side retains its original name of Pocahunta or Pocahontas, and presents a natural curiosity which tradition has connected with the memory of that princess. It is a large stone, hollowed like a bowl by the hand of Nature, and is never without water in it, except in times of extreme drought. It is called Pocahontas’s Wash-basin; and the vulgar believe that the "dearest daughter" of Powhatan actually laved her limbs in its concavity. It was formerly several rods from its present position at the northwest corner of the bridge, and was broken in its removal. Strong cement keeps it whole, and it is regarded with considerable interest by the curious visitor.
Returning to Petersburg, we ascended to Bollingbrook, and just as the sun came up from the distant hills, I sketchedthe view on page 339. At nine o’clock, after receiving minute directions respecting my future route for a hundred miles, I took the reins and started for the Roanoke. For the first sixteen miles, to the banks of Stony Brook, the country is sandy and quite level, and the roads were fine. I crossed that stream at Dinwiddie Court House, the capitol of the county of that name, where, a few days before, Society, by the use of a sheriff and strong cord, had strangled William Dandridge Eppes, for the murder of a young man. The first murder was sufficiently horrid; the second was doubly so, because Christian men and women and innocent children saw it done in cool blood, and uttered not a word of remonstrance or reprobation! It had evidently been a holiday for the people; and all the way from Petersburg to the Meherrin, it was a stock subject for conversation. A dozen times I was asked if I saw "the hanging;" and a dozen times I shuddered at the evidence of the prevailing savagism in the nineteenth century, even in the heart of our republic. But the gallows is toppling, and another generation will be amazed at the cruelty of their fathers.
From Stony Brook to the Nottaway River, a distance of fifteen miles, the country is broken, and patches of sandy soil with pine forests, alternated with red clay, bearing oaks, chestnuts, and gum-trees. Worse roads I never expect to travel, for they would be impassable. Oftentimes Charley would sink to his knees in the soft earth, which was almost as adhesive as tar. The country is sparsely populated, and the plantations generally bore evidences of unskillful culture. Although most of the soil is fertile, and might be made very productive, yet so wretchedly is it frequently managed that twenty bushels of wheat is considered a good yield for an acre, and corn in like proportion. A large number of negroes are raised in that section, and constitute the chief wealth of the inhabitants; for the land, within thirty miles of the fine markets of Petersburg and City Point, averages in value only about five dollars an acre. Good roads would increase its value, but the spirit of internal improvement is very weak there. I was informed by a gentleman with whom I passed the night within a mile of the Nottaway, that several plantations in his neighborhood did not yield corn and bacon sufficient for the negroes, and that one or two men or women were sold annually from each to buy food for the others. "Thus," as he expressively observed, "they eat each other up!" Tobacco is the staple product, yielding from five hundred to one thousand pounds per acre; but, in the absence of manure, it destroys the vitality of the soil. During a ride of seventy or eighty miles toward the Roanoke, I saw hundreds of acres thus deadened and yellow with "poverty grass," or green with shrub pines. Many proprietors are careless or indolent, and leave the management of their estates to overseers. These in turn, lacking the stimulus of interest, seem to leave affairs in the hands of the negroes, and the negroes are always willing to trust to Providence. The consequence is, fitful labor, unskillfully applied; and the fertile acres remain half barren from year to year. To a Northern man accustomed to pictures of industry and thrift, directed and enjoyed by enlightened workers, these things appear big with evil consequences. They are the fruits of the social system in the Southern States, which has grown reverend with years; a system deprecated by all sound thinkers there, particularly in the agricultural districts, as a barrier to progress, and inimical to genuine prosperity. This subject involves questions proper for the statesman, the political economist, and the moralist to discuss. They are irrelevant to my theme, and I pass them by with this brief allusion, while resting firmly upon the hope that, through equity and wisdom, a brighter day is about to dawn upon the rich valleys and fertile uplands of Virginia and the Carolinas.
I crossed the Nottaway into Brunswick county, at Jones’s Bridge. The river is narrow, and lying in a deep bed, its current is often made swift by rains. Such was its condition when I passed over; for rain had been falling since midnight, and when I resumed my journey, it was mingled with snow and hail, accompanied by a strong northwest wind. All day the storm continued, but happily for me I was riding with the wind, and kept dry beneath my spacious wagon top. The red clay roads prevailed, occasionally relieved by a sandy district covered with pines, beautified by an undergrowth of holly and laurel.36 My goal was Gee’s Bridge over the Meherrin River, which I expected to reach by three o’clock in the afternoon, but a divergence into a wrong road for the space of three or four miles, delayed my arrival there until sunset. Nor was delay the only vexation, for, to regain the right road, I had to wheel and face the driving storm until I was thoroughly drenched. In this condition I was obliged to travel a red clay road four miles after crossing the Meherrin, to obtain lodging for the night.
Gee’s Bridge was a rickety affair, and was used only when the Meherrin, which is similar in volume and current to the Nottaway, was too much swollen to allow travelers to ford it. On its southern side, the road ascends at an angle of forty-five degrees, and, to make it passable, is filled with small bowlders near the bridge, and logs laid transversely up the steeper portion. For the use of this bridge, the stones and logs, the traveler is taxed a "levy" at the top of the hill by the overseer of Gee’s plantation.37 At dark I reached the house of Dr. Gregory, who entertains strangers, and under his comfortable roof I rested, after a most wearisome day’s travel for man and horse. The doctor was absent, and I passed an hour after supper with his overseer, an intelligent young man from New London, Connecticut. He had peddled wooden clocks through that region, and having sold many on credit, he settled there eight years before to collect his dues. He hired himself as an overseer, and there he yet remained, full of faith that he would ultimately collect all that was due to him. From him I obtained a good deal of information respecting the husbandry of Lower Virginia; the sum of his testimony was, "The people seem to try how soon they can wear out the soil, and then abandon it."
The storm was over in the morning[Dec. 28, 1848.], and a cold, bracing air came from the north. Ice skimmed the surface of the pools by the road side, and all over the red earth the exhalations were congealed into the most beautiful creations of frost-work I ever beheld. There were tiny columns an inch in height, with gorgeous capitals like tree-tops, their branches closely intertwined. These gave the surface the appearance of a crust of snow. Art, in its most delicate operations, never wrought any thing half so wonderful as that little forest, created within the space of an hour, and covering tens of thousands of acres. The road was wretched, and it was almost two hours past meridian when I reached St. Tammany, on the Roanoke, a small post station in Mecklenburg county, about eighty miles from Petersburg, and about thirty below the confluence of the Dan and Staunton. The Roanoke is here almost four hundred yards wide, with an average depth of about thirteen feet, and a strong current. 38 I crossed upon a bateau, propelled by means of a pole worked by a single stout negro. When the stream is much swollen, three or four men are necessary to manage the craft, and even then there is danger. After ascending the southern bank, the road passes over a marsh of nearly half a mile, and then traverses among gentle hills. Two miles from the river I passed some fields of cotton not yet garnered, and the wool, escaped from the bolls, looked like patches of snow upon the shrubs. These were the first cotton plantations I had seen. I was surprised to learn that the cotton harvest may begin in September, and yet, at the close of December, much, here and elsewhere at the South, was in the fields, and injured by exposure to the taints produced by rains. Better husbandry seemed to prevail on this side of the Roanoke, and neat farm-houses gave the country a pleasing appearance of thrift. I was now on one of the great routes of travel from Central Virginia to Hillsborough, the seat of the Provincial Congress at the opening of the war of the Revolution. It was also the great route of emigration from Virginia when the wilderness upon the Yadkin was first peopled by white men. I had intended to follow the track of Greene and his army while retreating before Cornwallis in the spring of 1781, but in so doing I should omit other places of paramount interest. That track lay between forty and fifty miles northwest of my route to Hillsborough.
The pine forests now became rare, and the broken country was diversified by well-cultivated plantations, and forests of oaks, chestnuts, gum, and a few catalpas. Toward evening I arrived at Nut Bush Post Office, in Warren county (formerly a part of Granville), a locality famous in the annals of that state as the first place in the interior where a revolutionary document was put forth to arouse the people to resist the government.39 The postmaster (John H. Bullock, Esq.) owned a store and an extensive tobacco plantation there. Under his roof I passed the night, in the enjoyment of the most cordial hospitality, and was warmly pressed to spend several days with him, and join in the seasonable sports of turkey and deer hunting in the neighboring forests. But, eager to complete my journey, I declined, and the next morning, notwithstanding another strong northeast gale was driving a chilling sleet over the land, I left Nut Bush, and pushed on toward Oxford. The staple production of this region appears to be tobacco; and drying-houses and presses composed the principal portion of the outbuildings of the plantations. 40
I passed through the little village of Williamsborough, at two o’clock in the afternoon, and arrived at Oxford at dark. The latter is a pleasant village of some five hundred inhabitants, situated near the center of Granville county, and its seat of justice. It is a place of considerable business for an inland town; but my favorable impressions, after an hour’s inspection before breakfast on the morning after my arrival, were marred by the discovery of relics of a more barbarous age, standing upon the green near the jail. They were a pillory and a whipping-post, the first and only ones I ever saw. I was told by a resident that the more enlightened people of the town were determined to have them removed, and it is to be hoped that those instruments for degradation no longer disfigure the pretty little village of Oxford.
The morning of the thirtieth[Dec., 1848.] was clear and warm, after a night of heavy rain. I left Oxford early, resolved to reach Hillsborough, thirty-six miles distant, at evening. But the red clay roads, made doubly bad by the rain, impeded my progress, and I was obliged to stop at the house of a Yankee planter, four miles short of Hillsborough. In the course of the day, I forded several considerable streams, all of them much swollen, and difficult of passage, for a stranger. The Flat Creek, near Oxford, a broad and shallow stream, was hub-deep, and gave me the first unpleasant experience of fording. A few miles further on, I crossed the Tar River, over a long and substantial bridge. This is a rapid stream, and now its muddy and turbulent waters came rushing like a mountain-torrent, bearing large quantities of drift-wood in the midst of its foam. 41 Soon after crossing the Tar, I forded a small tributary called the Cat Tail Creek. It was not more than two rods wide, but was so deep that the water dashed into my wagon, and the current lifted it from the ground, for a moment. The Knapp-of-Reeds was broader, and but a little less rapid and dangerous; and when, at three o’clock, I crossed the Flat River, I came very near being "swamped." A bridge spanned the stream, but the ground on either side is so flat that, during floods, the river overflows its banks and expands into a lake. I reached the bridge without difficulty, but, when leaving it, found the way much impeded by drift-wood and other substances that came flowing over the banks. Charley was not at all pleased with these frequent fordings, and the masses of drift alarmed him. While my wagon-hubs were under water, and he was picking his way carefully over the submerged stones, a dark mass of weeds and bushes came floating toward him. He sheered suddenly, and for a moment the wagon was poised upon two wheels. I was saved from a cold bath by springing to the opposite side, where my weight prevented its overturning, and we were soon safe upon firm land. This was the last contest with the waters for the day, for the next stream (the Little River) was crossed by a bridge, a good distance above the less rapid current. Between the Flat and the Little Rivers, and filling the whole extent of four miles, was the immense plantation of Mr. Cameron, a Scotch gentleman. This plantation extends parallel with the rivers, a distance of fifteen miles, and covers an area of about sixty square miles. It is well managed, and yields abundant crops of wheat, corn, oats, cotton, tobacco, potatoes, and other products of the Northern and Middle States. One thousand negroes were upon it, under the direction of several overseers. Its hills are crowned with fine timber, and I observed several large flocks of sheep and herds of cattle upon the slopes. It is probably the largest landed estate in the Carolinas, perhaps in the Union.
It was very dark when I reached the dwelling of Mr. Bacon (a farmer from Connecticut), four miles from Hillsborough, a small, neat, and comfortable log-house. Furniture and food were of the most humble kind, but cheerful contentment made the inmates rich. The thankful grace at table, and the prayer and praise of family worship afterward, gave light to that dwelling, where deep affliction was coming on apace. A daughter of fourteen years (one of nine children), who sat wrapped in a blanket in the corner of the huge fire-place, was wasting with consumption. She was a beautiful child, and her mother spoke of her piety, her tenderness, and sweet affection, until emotion pressed her lips into silence. She was the picture of patient suffering.
"Around her brow, as snow drop fair,
Ere this her body doubtless reposes in the orchard, by the side of that of her little brother who had gone before.
The next day was the Sabbath. Leaving Mr. Bacon’s at dawn, I rode into Hillsborough42 in time for breakfast and comfortable quarters at the Union Hotel, where I spent the day before a glowing wood fire. On Monday morning I called upon the Reverend James Wilson, D. D., with a letter of introduction, and to his kind courtesy I am much indebted. He accompanied me to places of interest in the town, and gave me all the information I desired concerning the history of the vicinity. Before noticing these strictly local matters, let us open the records of North Carolina, and take a brief general view of the history of the state, from its settlement until the war of the Revolution commenced.
The principal discoveries on the coast of the Carolinas have already been noticed in the introduction to this work and in the account of the first efforts at settlement in Virginia, by which it appears that to North Carolina belongs the honor of having had the first English settlement in America, within its domain. We will now consider, briefly, the progress of settlement below the Nansemond and Roanoke.
We have seen the difficulties which attended the first explorations of the Roanoke, and the abandonment of the Carolina coast after the failure of Raleigh’s expeditions. Notwithstanding a fertile region was here open for the labor and enterprise of the English, who were rapidly populating Virginia along the banks of the Powhatan and other large streams, yet no permanent settlement appears to have been attempted south of the Dismal Swamp, until nearly fifty years after the building of Jamestown. As early as 1609, the country on Nansemond River, on the southern frontier of Virginia, had been settled; and in 1622, Porey, then Secretary of Virginia, and a man of great courage and perseverance, penetrated the country southward to the Chowan River.43 The kindness of the natives, and the fertility and beauty of the country, were highly extolled by Porey, and new desires for extending settlements southward were awakened. The vigilance with which the Spaniards watched the coast below Cape Fear, and the remembrance of their cruelty in exercising their power at an earlier day against the French in Florida, doubtless caused hesitation on the part of the English. But persecution during the administration of Berkeley, at length drove some of Virginia’s best children from her household, and they, with others who were influenced by lower motives than a desire for religious liberty, began the work of founding a new state. New England, also, where persecution was not a stranger, contributed essential aid in the work.
In 1630, a patent was granted to Sir Robert Heath for the whole of the country extending from Virginia, southward, over six degrees of latitude, to the rather indefinite boundary of Florida, then in possession of the Spaniards. The region was named Carolina in honor of the sister of Charles the First, of that name. Heath was unable to fulfill the conditions of his charter, and it was forfeited before any settlements were made. In 1663[March 24.], Charles the Second granted a charter to a company, among whom were General George Monk (the Duke of Albemarle), Lord Clarendon, Sir George Carteret, Lord Ashley Cooper (afterward Earl of Shaftesbury), Lord Berkeley, and his brother Sir William, the governor of Virginia. The region under this grant extended from the thirty-sixth degree to the River San Matheo in Florida, now the St. John’s. Ten years earlier than this, a permanent settlement had been formed upon the northern banks of the Chowan. Roger Green, an energetic man, led a company across the wilderness from the Nansemond to the Chowan, and settled near the present village of Edenton [1653.]. There they flourished; and in the same year, when the charter was granted to Clarendon and his associates, a government, under William Drummond, a Scotch Presbyterian, was established over that little territory. In honor of the Duke of Albemarle, it was called Albemarle County Colony. In 1662, George Durant purchased from the Indians the Neck, which still bears his name; 44 and the following year George Cathmaid received a large grant of land, for having settled sixty-seven persons south of the Roanoke. Two years later, it being discovered that the settlement on the Chowan was not within the limits of the charter, Charles extended the boundaries of that instrument, so as to include northward the region to the present Virginia line, southward the whole of the present Carolinas and Georgia, and extending westward, like all of that monarch’s charters, to the Pacific Ocean. These charters were liberal in the concession of civil privileges, and the proprietors were permitted to exercise toleration toward non-conformists to the Church of England, if it should be thought expedient. Great encouragement was offered to immigrants, from home, or from the other colonies, and settlements steadily increased.
In 1661 some New England adventurers entered Cape Fear River,45 purchased a tract of land from the Indians on Old Town Creek, about half way between Wilmington and Brunswick, and planted a settlement there. The Virginians looked upon them as rivals, for the latter claimed a right to the soil, having settled prior to the grant to Clarendon and his associates. Difficulties arose. A compromise was proposed, but the New Englanders were dissatisfied. The colony did not prosper; the Indians lifted the hatchet against them, and in less than three years the settlement was abandoned. Two years later [1665.], several planters from Barbadoes purchased of the Indians a tract of land, thirty-two miles square, near the abandoned settlement. They asked of the proprietaries a confirmation of their purchase, and a separate charter-of government. All was not granted, yet liberal concessions were made. Sir John Yeamans, the son of a cavalier, and then a Barbadoes planter, was, at the solicitation of the purchasers, appointed their governor. His jurisdiction was from Cape Fear to the San Matheo (the territory now included in South Carolina and Georgia), and was called Clarendon county. The same year the Barbadoes people laid the foundation of a town on the south bank of the Cape Fear River. It did not flourish, and its site is now a subject for dispute.
Settlements now began to increase south of the Roanoke; and as the proprietors of Albemarle county saw, in anticipation, a powerful state within the limits of their fertile territory, and dreamed of a grand American empire, they took measures to establish a government with adequate functions, and to transport into the New World the varied ranks and aristocratic establishments of Europe.
The Earl of Shaftesbury, 46 the ablest statesman of his time, and John Locke, 47 the illustrious philosopher, were employed to frame a Constitution. 48 They completed their labor in the spring of 1669 [March.], after exercising great care. The instrument was composed of one hundred and twenty articles, and was called the Fundamental Constitutions. These were in the highest degree monarchical in character and design. Indeed, the proprietors avowed their design to "avoid making too numerous a Democracy." Two orders of nobility were to be instituted; the higher to consist of landgraves or earls, the lower of caciques or barons. The territory 49 was to be divided into counties, each county containing four hundred and eighty thousand acres, with one landgrave and two caciques, a number never to be increased or diminished. There were also to be lords of manors, who like the nobles were entitled to hold courts and exercise judicial functions. Persons holding fifty acres were to be freeholders; the tenants held no political franchise, and could never attain any higher rank. The four Estates of Proprietors, Earls, Barons, and Commons were to sit in one legislative chamber. The proprietors were always to be eight in number; to possess the whole judicial power, and have the supreme direction of all tribunals. None but large property holders were eligible for a seat in the Legislature, where the commons were to have four members for every three of the nobility. An aristocratic majority was thus always secured. In trials by jury, the oppressed had but little hope, for the majority were to decide. Every religion was professedly tolerated, 50 yet the Church of England only was declared to be orthodox, and the national religion of Carolina. 51 Such is an outline of the principal features of the Constitution by which the proprietaries proposed to govern free colonists in America. It seems very strange that minds like those of Locke and Shaftesbury should have committed such an egregious blunder; that men so wise and sagacious should have attempted such a solemn farce. Albemarle, the chief settlement, had only about fourteen hundred "working hands," and the habitations in Carolina were chiefly log huts. The whole population was hardly four thousand in number. Where were the landgraves, and caciques, and lords of manors to be found among them? and where were mansions for the nobility and aristocracy? The error was soon perceived, yet the proprietaries insisted upon commencing the system with a view to its further accomplishment. But the spirit of the whole thing was adverse to the feelings of the people; and, after a contest of twenty years, these Constitutions were abrogated, and the people were allowed to be governed by their earlier and more simple and appropriate code under Stevens, the successor of Drummond – a governor with his council of twelve, six appointed by the proprietaries, and six chosen by the Assembly; and a House of Delegates chosen by the freeholders.
While the contest was going on between the proprietaries and the people, temporary laws were established. The harmony which prevailed before the magnificent scheme of government was proposed, was disturbed, and both counties were shaken by internal commotions. Disorders prevailed most extensively in the Albemarle or Northern colony, the population of which was far more numerous than the Clarendon or Southern colony. Excessive taxation and commercial restrictions occasioned discontent, while the influence of refugees from Virginia, the participators in Bacon’s rebellion there, who were sheltered in Carolina, ripened the people for resistance to monarchical schemes to enslave or oppress them. A year after the death of Bacon, a revolt occurred in Albemarle. Miller, the secretary of the colony, acting governor before Eastchurch arrived, and the collector of customs, attempted to enforce the revenue laws against a vessel from New England. Led by John Culpepper, a refugee from Clarendon, the people seized Miller and the public funds, imprisoned him and six of his council, appointed new magistrates and judges, called a Parliament, and took all the functions of government into their own hands. Thus matters remained for two years. 52 Culpepper went to England to plead the cause of the people. He was arrested for treason [1680.], but, through Shaftesbury, he was acquitted, that statesman justly pleading that in Albemarle there had been no regular government; that the disorders were but feuds among the people. Thus early, that feeble colony of North Carolina asserted the same political rights for which our fathers so successfully contended a hundred years later.
Seth Sothel, one of the corporators, an avaricious and dishonest man, arrived in the Albemarle province in 1683, as governor. He plundered the people, and prostituted his office to purposes of private gain. According to Chalmers, "the annals of delegated authority include no name so infamous" as Sothel. The people, after enduring him for six years, seized him, and were about sending him to England [1689.] to answer their accusations before the proprietors, when he asked to be tried by the Colonial Assembly. Such trial was granted, and he was sentenced to banishment for one year, and was forever deprived of the privilege of holding the office of governor. He withdrew to South Carolina, where we shall meet him again. 52a The proprietors acquiesced in the proceedings of the colonists, and sent over Philip Ludwell as their representative [1690.], who, by wisdom and justice, soon restored order. He was succeeded by Thomas Harvey in 1692, and, two years later, Henderson Walker succeeded Harvey.
In 1695, two years after the splendid Fundamental Constitutions of Locke and Shaftesbury were abrogated, and landgraves and caciques, and lords of manors, were scattered to the winds, John Archdale, a Quaker, and one of the proprietors, arrived as governor of both Carolinas. From that period until the partition of the provinces in 1729, it is difficult to separate their histories, although governed by distinct magistrates. In 1698 the first settlement was made on the Pamlico or Tar River, the Pamlico Indians having been nearly all destroyed two years previously by a pestilence. Population rapidly increased under the liberal administration of Archdale. The first church in Carolina was built in Chowan county in 1705, and religion began to be respected.
The colonists now began to turn their attention to the interior. In 1707, a company of French Protestants came from Virginia and settled in Carolina; and in 1709, one hundred German families, driven from their home on the Rhine by fierce persecutions and devastating war, sought a refuge in the free, tolerant, and peaceful soil of North Carolina. Already the Huguenots were settling in South Carolina, and were planting the principles of civil liberty there. The French immigrants were not favorably received by the English, and disputes occurred. Archdale managed with prudence for a year, and then left affairs in the hands of Joseph Blake, afterward governor of South Carolina. The difficulties between the English and French were settled, and the latter were admitted to all the rights of citizenship. The Indians along the sea-coast were melting away like frost in the sunbeams. The powerful tribe of the Hatteras, which numbered three thousand warriors in Raleigh’s time, were reduced to fifteen bowmen; another tribe had entirely disappeared; and of all the aborigines, but a small remnant remained. They had sold their lands, or had been cheated out of them, and were driven back to the deep wilderness. Strong drink and other vices of civilization had decimated them, and their beautiful land, all the way to the Yadkin and Catawba, was speedily opened to the almost unopposed encroachments of the white man. Yet, before their power was utterly broken, the Indians made an effort to redeem their losses. The Tuscaroras of the inland region, and the Corees southward, upon whom their countrymen of the coast had retreated, resolved to strike a blow that should exterminate the intruders. Upon the scattered German settlements along the Roanoke and Pamlico Sound, they fell like lightning from the clouds. In one night one hundred and thirty persons perished by the hatchet [October 2, 1711.]. The savages also scoured the country on Albemarle Sound, burning dwellings and massacring the inhabitants for three days, until disabled by drunkenness and fatigue. To the Southern colony the people of Albemarle looked for aid. Nor was it withheld. Captain Barnwell, with six hundred white men, and three hundred and sixty Indians of the tribes of the Cherokees, Creeks, Catawbas, and Yamasees, 53 as allies, marched against the Tuscaroras [1712.], and, driving them back to their fortified town near the Neuse, a little above Edenton, in the upper part of Craven county, forced them to make a treaty of peace. Both parties soon violated this treaty, and the Indians commenced hostilities. Colonel Moore, of South Carolina, with forty white men, and eight hundred friendly Indians, arrived in December, 1713, besieged the savages in their fort, and took eight hundred of them prisoners. The hostile Tuscaroras soon afterward migrated northward, and joining the Five Nations on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, formed a part of the powerful confederacy of the Six Nations in New York. In 1715 peace was concluded with the Corees, and Indian wars ceased.
From this period until 1729, when the two provinces were surrendered to the crown, and were permanently separated, the colonists enjoyed comparative prosperity. The people had some difficulties with the Indians; were troubled with a swarm of pirates on the coast, under Teach, the famous "Black Beard;" and disputed, with the vehemence of men determined to remain free, with all unwise and aristocratic governors sent to rule them. Perceiving that the expenses which had attended the settlement of the Carolinas were hardly productive of any advantage, the lords proprietors offered to surrender the provinces to the crown. This was effected [1729.], and each proprietor received twelve thousand five hundred dollars, as the consideration of the surrender. Their charter had been in existence sixty-six years. The population of both provinces, including negroes, did not exceed twenty-five thousand persons, ten thousand in North Carolina, and fifteen thousand in South Carolina. The last proprietary governor was Sir Richard Everard, successor to Charles Eden.
George Burrington was the first royal governor of North Carolina, and took his seat without difficulty, in February, 1730. 54 His first important act was to announce a remission of arrears of quit-rent. This was highly satisfactory. His second, under instructions, was to send a deputation into the interior to conciliate the Indians, particularly the Cherokees. The first Legislative Assembly was convened at Edenton in April, 1731 [April 13.], where the future policy of the royal government was unfolded by Burrington. The representatives of the people were dissatisfied with its aspect, and when, in the king’s name, the governor demanded of them a sufficient revenue for defraying the expenses of the local government, and a sufficient salary for the governor, his council, and the officers employed in the administration of justice, they murmured. In these requisitions they could not recognize the promised advantages of a change in ownership, and they early showed a disposition to pay very little attention to these demands of the chief magistrate. Three years afterward, commercial restrictions, hitherto unknown, increased the discontents of the people, 55 and the seeds of revolution were planted in a generous soil. The Assembly uttered the old complaint of exorbitant fees on the part of public officers; the governor rejected their remonstrance with contempt. The former refused to vote a revenue or to pass any acts, and sent a complaint to England of Burrington’s "violence and tyranny in the administration of government." The Board of Trade reprimanded and deposed him, and then appointed in his place Gabriel Johnston [Nov., 1734.] late steward of Lord Wilmington, a prudent and cunning Scotchman.
The new governor encountered quite as much trouble as his predecessor. The Assembly were refractory, and Johnston attempted to collect the rents 56 on his own authority. Payment was resisted, and the Assembly not only denied the legality of the governor’s proceedings [March, 1737.], but imprisoned the officers who had distrained for quit-rents. Johnston made concessions to the people, but his arrangements were rejected by the home government, as yielding too much to the popular will. For nearly ten years the quarrel concerning rents continued between the governor and the Assembly, and, in the mean while, the salaries of government officials remained in arrears, for the rents, which produced the sole fund for the payment of the royal officers, were inadequate. The governor now resorted to cunning management as a last effort to sustain his authority. The province had been divided into several counties. The southern counties, lately settled, were more tractable than the northern ones, but they had only two members each in the Assembly, while the others had five. The governor, at a time when several of the northern members were absent, procured the passage of an act, placing all the counties upon an equal footing as to representation, and also for the removal of the seat of government from Edenton to Wilmington, a new town, lately established at the head of ship navigation, on the Cape Fear River, and named in honor of Lord Wilmington, Johnston’s patron. The six northern counties refused to acknowledge the newly-organized Assembly as legal, and carried their complaint to England. They were obliged to submit, and at last the governor procured the passage of an act [1748.], by which the expenses of government were provided for.
It was during the administration of Governor Johnston that two important occurrences took place, which, though separate and dissimilar, tended, in a remarkable degree, toward a union of the provinces in political and social interest, and in fostering that spirit of civil and religious freedom which prevailed in the South, and particularly in North Carolina, where the oppressive measures of the first ten years of the reign of George the Third produced rebellion in America. I allude to the commencement of hostilities between France and England in 1745; and the immigration hither of a large number of Presbyterians from Scotland and the north of Ireland, the former on account of their participation in the famous rebellion of that year. 57
1 Craney Island is at the mouth of the Elizabeth River. The Americans erected fortifications there in 1812, which commanded the entrance to Norfolk harbor. On the twenty-second of June, 1813, a powerful British fleet made an attack upon these works. A part of the hostile force landed on Nansemond Point, and a part attempted to reach the island in barges. The former were driven off by the Virginia militia, and the latter were so galled by the guns of a battery, that those who were not destroyed retreated to the ships. The repulse was decisive. More than two hundred of the enemy were killed and wounded. Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Gosport were saved.
2 City Point is in Prince George county. It is a post village and a port of entry. A rail-way connects it with Petersburg.
3 This view is from the outside of the old inclosure, looking south.
4 Fort Henry, erected for a defense of the people south of the James River, was built on the site of Petersburg in 1646. Colonel Bolling, a gentleman of taste and fortune, settled there early in the last century. Colonel Byrd, of Westover, mentions him as living in fine style there in 1728. Peter Jones was the first settler, having established a trading-house there soon after the erection of Fort Henry. The locality was first called Peter’s Point, and afterward Petersburg. Jones was a friend of Colonel Byrd, and accompanied that gentleman to the Roanoke in 1733. He says in his journal, "When we got home we laid the foundation of two large cities; one at Shacco’s, to be called Richmond; and the other at the point of Appomattox, to be called Petersburg. The latter and Blandford were established towns in 1748. Blandford was then the most flourishing settlement of the two.
5 Cornwallis had overrun the Carolinas, and the security of his conquests depended, in a measure, upon the subjugation of Virginia, and the establishment of royal power upon the shores of the Chesapeake from the Capes to the Elk. Cornwallis expressed to Sir Henry Clinton a hope that the Chesapeake might become the seat of war for that campaign, even at the expense of abandoning New York, if necessary. "Until Virginia is in a manner subdued," be said, "our hold upon the Carolinas must be difficult, if not precarious."
6See page 334.
7 Simcoe’s Journal, 189-192.
8 Jefferson’s letter to Washington.
9 There are here three eminences which overlook the town, East Hill, Center Hill, and West Hill. Mrs. Bolling was a widow, and one of the largest land-holders in Virginia. She owned the tobacco warehouses at Petersburg, and nearly one half of the town. These were probably spared because Mrs. Bolling treated Phillips and Arnold courteously. De Chastellux, who afterward visited Petersburg, has the following notice ofthe building seen in the engraving upon the next page. "Her house, or rather houses – for she has two on the same line resembling each other, which she proposes to join together – are situated on the summit of a considerable slope which rises from the level of the town of Petersburg, and corresponds so exactly with the course of the river, that there is no doubt of its having formerly formed one of its banks. This slope and the vast platform on which the house is built are covered with grass, which affords excellent pasturage, and are also her property." Speaking of the family, he continues: "On our arrival, we were saluted by Miss Bowling [Bolling], a young lady of fifteen, possessing all the freshness of her age; she was followed by her mother, brother, and sister-in-law. The mother, a lady of fifty, has but little resemblance to her countrywomen; she is lively, active, and intelligent; knows perfectly well how to manage her immense fortune, and what is yet more rare, knows how to make good use of it. Her son and daughter-in-law I had already seen at Williamsburg. The young gentleman appears mild and polite; but his wife, of only seventeen years of age, is a most interesting acquaintance, not only from the face and form, which are exquisitely delicate, and quite European, but from her being also descended from Pocahunta [Pocahontas], daughter of King Powhatan." The engraving presents a view of Mrs. Bolling’s houses, looking southwest.
10 Campbell’s Reminiscences of Bollingbrook, in the Southern Literary Messenger, January, 1840.
11 It was to one of the prisoners, taken at this time, that Arnold put the question, "If the Americans should catch me, what would they do with me?" The soldier promptly replied, "They would bury with military honors the leg which was wounded at Saratoga, and hang the remainder of you upon a gibbet."
12 Anburey, one of the officers who surrendered to Gates at Saratoga, in his Travels in America (ii., 312), speaks highly of Colonel Carey’s hospitality.
13 Gordon, iii., 205; Girardin, 460; Jefferson, i., 420.
14 William Phillips, it will be remembered, was one of Burgoyne’s general officers, who was made prisoner at Saratoga. He commanded the "Convention Troops," as those captives were called, while on their march to Virginia. On being exchanged, he was actively engaged at the South until his death. He was possessed of an exceedingly irritable temper, which often led him into difficulty. He was very haughty in his demeanor, especially toward the Americans, whom he affected to hold in great contempt. While lying sick at Petersburg, he dictated a letter to Governor Jefferson, and addressed it to "Thomas Jefferson, Esq., American governor of Virginia;" and when speaking of the American commander-in-chief, he called him "Mr. Washington." General Phillips was buried in the old Blandford church-yard, where his remains yet repose. His disease was bilious fever.
15 La Fayette was probably not aware that General Phillips was dying at Bollingbrook, or he would not have cannonaded it. British writers have charged La Fayette with inhumanity. Anburey (ii., 446) says, "A circumstance attended Phillip’s death, similar to the inhumanity that the Americans displayed at the interment of General Frazer." He further asserts, that a flag was sent to the marquis, acquainting him with the condition of Phillips, but that he paid no attention to it, and continued the firing. He said a ball went through the house, just as Phillips was expiring, when the dying man exclaimed, "My God! ’tis cruel they will not let me die in peace." This assertion proves its own inconsistency. The cannonade occurred on the tenth, and General Phillips did not die until the thirteenth. *
* Campbell says that, according to tradition, Arnold was crossing the yard when the cannonade commenced. He hastened into the house, and directed the inmates to go to the cellar for safety. General Phillips was taken there, followed by Mrs. Bolling and her family. An old negro woman, who was standing in the kitchen door, was killed by one of the balls.
16 American War, ii., 385. It is just to the memory of Cornwallis to say, that the enormities committed were without his sanction. Near the Roanoke, a sergeant and private of Tarleton’s legion violated the person of a young girl, and robbed the house where she lived. The next morning Cornwallis ordered Tarleton to draw up his men in line. Some country people pointed out the miscreants. They were tried by a court-martial, found guilty, and hung on the spot. This example had a good effect.
17 This venerated mansion is yet standing, though somewhat dilapidated and deprived of its former beauty by neglect. The furniture of its distinguished owner is nearly all gone, except a few pictures and mirrors, otherwise the interior of the house is the same as when Jefferson died. It is upon an eminence, with many aspen-trees around it, and commands a view of the Blue Ridge for one hundred and fifty miles on one side, and on the other one of the most beautiful and extensive landscapes in the world. Wirt, writing of the interior arrangements of the house during Mr. Jefferson’s life time, records that, in the spacious and lofty hall which opens to the visitor on entering, "he marks no tawdry and unmeaning ornaments; but before, on the right, on the left, all around, the eye is struck and gratified by objects of science and taste, so classed and arranged as to produce their finest effect. On one side, specimens of sculpture, set out in such order as to exhibit at a coup d’œil the historic progress of that art, from the first rude attempts of the aborigines of our country, up to that exquisite and finished bust of the great patriot himself, from the master-hand of Cerracchi. On the other side, the visitor sees displayed a vast collection of specimens of the Indian art, their paintings, weapons, ornaments, and manufactures; on another, an array of fossil productions of our country, mineral and animal; the polished remains of those colossal monsters that once trod our forests, and are no more; and a variegated display of the branching honors of ‘those monarchs of the waste’ that still people the wilds of the American Continent." In a large saloon were exquisite productions of the painter’s art, and from its windows opened a view of the surrounding country, such as no painter could imitate. There, too, were medallions and engravings in great profusion. Among Mr. Jefferson’s papers was found, after his death, a very perfect impression in wax, of his famous seal, bearing his monogram and the motto, Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. That impression is in the present possession of Mr. Bancroft, the historian, to whose courtesy I am indebted for the privilege of making the annexed representation. I have endeavored to produce a perfect fac simile, so far as the pictorial art will allow, even to the fractures in the wax.
Monticello was a point of great attraction to the learned of all lands, when traveling in this country, while Jefferson lived. His writings made him favorably known as a scholar, and his public position made him honored by the nations.
The remains of Mr. Jefferson lie in a small family cemetery, by the side of the winding road leading to Monticello. Over them is a granite obelisk eight feet high, and on a tablet of marble inserted in its southern face is the following inscription, which was found among Mr. Jefferson’s papers after his death:
"HERE LIES BURIED
AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE;
OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM;
AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA."
18 This was the forty-third regiment. The convoy also brought another regiment, and two battalions of Anspachers, to strengthen the garrison at Portsmouth. Arnold, despised by Cornwallis, who no longer needed his services, was sent to New York on the first of June.
19 This locality is at the confluence of the Fluvanna and Rivanna rivers, two great branches of the James River.
20 From the stables of the planters Cornwallis procured excellent horses, on which these and other troops were mounted.
21 Observing a delay in the preparation of breakfast, Tarleton impatiently demanded the reason. He was informed by the cook that his subalterns had already devoured two breakfasts. A guard was placed at the kitchen door, and it was not until a third breakfast was cooked that Tarleton was able to obtain his meal.
22 The members of the Legislature were terribly frightened, and were not at ease even at Staunton. On the morning when they convened, Lieutenant Brooke, with a small company of mounted Virginians, rode into Staunton at a rapid pace, bearing a message from Baron Steuben. The members, believing them to be a part of Tarleton’s legion, took to their heels, and it was some time before they could be coaxed back to their duties. On the twelfth they elected General Nelson governor of the state.
23 It is estimated that, during the invasion of the state which we have been considering, thirty thousand slaves were carried off, of whom twenty-seven thousand are supposed to have died of small-pox or camp-fever in the course of six months. – Howison, ii., 270.
24 Gordon, Ramsay, Jefferson’s Letters, Tucker’s Life of Jefferson, Girardin, Howison, &c.
25 Sparks’s Washington, v., 221.
26 The following is the form of the parole: "We whose names are hereunto subscribed being under the restrictions of the convention of Saratoga, and ordered, by a resolution of Congress of the fifteenth ultimo, to remove from the State of Massachusetts Bay, to Charlottesville, in the State of Virginia, do severally promise and engage on our word and honor, and on the faith of gentlemen, that on our march from this place to Charlottesville, we, or either of us, will not say or do any thing injurious to the United States of America, or either of them, nor at any time exceed such limits or distances from the troops as may be assigned us by the commanding officer who may have the charge and escort of the troops of convention to Virginia, or on any other part of the route.
Given under our hands in the State of Massachusetts Bay, this _____ day of November, A. D. 1778."
I have before me the original parole of the Germans, with the autographs of the ninety-five officers who signed it. It is headed by the names of Baron Riedesel, the commander of the Brunswick forces, and those of his military family, Gerlach, Edmonstone, and Cleve. The first was deputy quarter-master general; the last two were aids-de-camp. Edmonstone, who was a Scotchman, was General Riedesel’s secretary, and wrote all his English letters.
27 During the summer and autumn of 1778, the English captives were quartered at Rutland, in Worcester county, fifty-five miles northwest of Boston. A portion of them were marched thither on the fifteenth of April.
28 Anburey expressed his belief that the chief advantage which the Congress sought to obtain by this journey in the winter, was the desertion of troops, believing that the privations on the march would drive hundreds to that step. There were a great many desertions during the march.
29 The principal places through which the troops passed, were as follows: Weston, Marlborough, Worcester, Leicester, and Enfield, in Massachusetts; Suffield, Sunbury, New Hartford, Norfolk, and Sharon, in Connecticut; Nine Partners, Hopewell, Fishkill, Newburgh, Little Britain, and Goshen, in New York; Wallins, Sussex Court House, Hacketstown, and Sherwood’s Ferry, in New Jersey; Tinicum, Hilltown, North Wales, Valley Forge, Lancaster, and York, in Pennsylvania; Hanover, Tawneytown, and Frederickstown, in Maryland; Little London, Neville Plantation, Farquier Court House, Carter’s Plantation, Orange, Walker’s Plantation to Charlottesville, in Virginia.
30 Anburey says, "the house and plantation where General Phillips resides is called Blenheim. The house was erected shortly after that memorable battle in Germany, by a Mr. Carter, who was secretary to the colony." He mentions the fact that Colonel Carter possessed fifteen hundred slaves. – Travels, ii., 327.
31 Madame Riedesel says, "the house where we were lodged, and indeed the whole estate, belonged to an Italian, who hired it to us, as he was about setting out on a journey. We looked impatiently forward to the time of his departure, and that of his wife and daughter, on account of the smallness of the house and the scarcity of provisions. In respect to the latter, our landlord voluntarily assumed a kind of tutorship over us. Thus, when he killed a calf, he gave us on the first day only the head and the tripe, though we represented that this was not enough for twenty persons. He replied that we could make a very good soup of it. He then added to the meat two cabbages and some stale ham; and this was all we could obtain from him.
32 "Of four thousand people (the number of the captives) it should be expected, according to ordinary calculations, that one should die everyday; yet in the space of near three months there have been but four deaths among them; two infants under three weeks old, and two others by apoplexy. The officers tell me the troops were never before so healthy since they were imbodied." – Letter to Governor Patrick Henry.
33 It can not be wondered at, that Mr. Jefferson and other agriculturists should have been opposed to their removal, when it was estimated that forty-five thousand bushels of grain from the harvest fields of Virginia were consumed by them in a year, and that thirty thousand dollars were circulated weekly in consequence of their presence – See Jefferson’s Letter to Governor Henry. Anburey, noticing their departure from the barracks, says, "I am apt to think that Colonel Harvey, the proprietor of the estate, will reap great advantage, if the province should not, as the army entirely cleared a space of six miles in circumference round the barracks." – Travels, ii., 414.
34 I have mentioned, on page 589, vol. i., the bargain entered into by the British ministry and some German princes for the furnishing of troops by the latter to fight the Americans. That bargain was rendered more heinous by the methods used to obtain the requisite number of men. Laborers were seized in the fields and work-shops, and large numbers were taken from the churches while engaged in their devotions, and hurried to the barracks without being allowed a parting embrace with their families. That this was the method to be employed was evidently known to the British government several months before the bargain was consummated; for on the fourteenth of November, 1775, the honest-hearted king wrote as follows to Lord North: "The giving commissions to German officers to get men I can by no means consent to, for it in plain English amounts to making me a kidnapper, which I can not think a very honorable occupation." * Throughout Europe the whole transaction was viewed with horror as a great crime against humanity. Frederick the Great took every occasion to express his contempt for the "scandalous man-traffic of his neighbors." It is said that whenever any of those hired Brunswickers and Hessians had to pass through any portion of his territory, he claimed to levy on them the usual toll for so many head of cattle, since, he said, they had been sold as such! †
* Lord Mahon’s History of England, Appendix, vol. vi., page xxxi. London, 1851.
† Mahon, vi., 131.
35 Fort Frederick is yet a well-preserved relic of colonial times. It is upon the north bank of the Potomac, in Washington county, Maryland, about fifty miles below Cumberland. It was built in 1755-6, under the direction of Governor Sharpe. The material is stone, and cost about thirty thousand dollars. The fort is quadrangular, and contained barracks sufficient for seven hundred men. This was one of the six forts built as frontier defenses against the encroachments of the French and Indians.
36 In many places between Petersburg and Hillsborough, in North Carolina, I observed dead trees covering several acres in patches throughout the pine forests. From one eminence I counted six of these patches in different directions, made visible by their yellow foliage in the midst of the surrounding dark green forest. I was told that they were killed by a worm, which perforates and traverses the bark in every direction. I observed these perforations, appearing like the wounds of buck shot in the bark four or five inches apart. From these, turpentine often oozed in profusion. These worms are very fatal to the trees. A tree that has been girdled, though its leaves fall, is good timber for three or four years; but a tree attacked by these worms loses all vitality at once, and in twelve or fourteen months is useless for timber purposes. It rapidly decays, and falls to the ground. I was informed that in some instances, where pines constituted the chief value of plantations, this blight had caused the owners to abandon them.
37 Mr. Gee, I was informed, is a descendant of Colonel Gee, who commanded a militia regiment when the British invaded Virginia. He resided further down, between the Meherrin and the Nottaway, and was captured by Colonel Simcoe’s cavalry while that officer was securing the fords of the river for the passage of Cornwallis’s army. "We proceeded," says Simcoe, "with the utmost expedition, to the Nottaway River, twenty-seven miles from Petersburg, where we arrived early the next morning. The bridge had been destroyed, which was easily repaired, and Major Armstrong was left with the infantry. The cavalry went on to Colonel Gee’s, a rebel militia officer. He attempted to escape, but was secured, and, refusing to give his parole, was sent prisoner to Major Armstrong." – Journal, page 207.
38 The Roanoke is formed by the junction of the Dan and Staunton Rivers, near the south boundary of Virginia, and flows into the head of Albemarle Sound. It is navigable to the falls, at Halifax, seventy-five miles, for small vessels.
39 On the sixth of June, 1765, when the news of the passage of the Stamp Act reached the interior of the province, a paper was circulated at Nut Bush, entitled, "A Serious Address to the Inhabitants of the County of Granville, containing a brief Narrative of our Deplorable Situation and the Wrongs we suffer, and some necessary Hints with respect to a Reformation." This paper had for its epigraph the following line:
"Save my country, heavans, shall be my last."
The paper was prepared by an illiterate man, but it was so forcibly and clearly expressed that it had a powerful effect on the people. – Martin, ii., 197; Caruthers’s Life of Caldwell, 107.
40 To the Northern reader a brief general description of the tobacco culture may not be uninteresting. The ground for germinating the seed is prepared by first burning a quantity of wood over the space to be sown. This process is to destroy all the roots of plants that may be in the soil. The ashes are then removed, and the earth is thoroughly digged and raked until it is like a bed in a garden prepared for seed. The tobacco-seed (which appears like mustard-seed) is then mixed with wood-ashes and strown in drills a few inches apart. This is generally done in February. When the plants are grown two or three inches in height, they are taken up and transplanted into little hillocks in the fields. This is done at about the first of May. From that time the crop demands unceasing attention. These plants will grow about a foot high within a month after the transplanting. They are then topped; the suckers and lower leaves are pruned off, and about twice a week they are cleaned from weeds and the large and destructive worms which infest them. They attain their full growth in about six weeks after the first pruning, and begin to turn brown – an evidence of ripening. As fast as they ripen they are cut and gathered into the barns or drying-houses. This operation commences about the first of September. The plants, after being out, are left upon the ground to sweat for a night, and then taken to cover. There they are hung up separately to dry for four or five weeks. The tobacco-houses are made as open as possible, for the circulation of air, but so as to avoid the rain. When sufficiently dry, the plants are taken down and dampened with water, to prevent, their crumbling. They are then laid upon sticks, and covered up close to sweat for a week or two longer. The top part of the plant is the best, the bottom the poorest for commerce. When thus prepared, the leaves are stripped from the stalk, and pressed hard into boxes or hogsheads for market.
The presses used in the tobacco districts are of two kinds; one is a lever, the fulcrum being two rude upright posts. The hogshead or box is placed near the posts. The smaller end of the lever is forked, or has a slot, through which passes another upright stick with a series of holes. Weights are attached to that end, and as it is gradually brought down it is secured by a strong pin to the upright post. The other and more efficient presses have a wooden or iron screw for leverage, like the cider presses of the North, or the common standing presses in manufactories. These are more expensive, and are used only on plantations of considerable extent.
The tobacco plant, when full grown, is four or five feet in height. The stalk is straight, hairy, and very clumsy. The leaves grow alternately, are of a faded yellowish green, and are very large toward the lower part of the plant. There is scarcely a vegetable on the face of the earth more really nauseous and filthy in taste and the effects of use, than tobacco, and yet hundreds and thousands of the most fertile acres of our country are devoted to the cultivation of this noxious weed, which is good for none, but injurious to many, where millions of bushels of nutritive grain might be raised.
41 The Tar is about one hundred and eighty miles long. At the town of Washington, toward the coast, it expands, and is called Pamlico River, and flows into Pamlico Sound.
42 Hillsborough was laid out in 1759 by W. Childs, and was first called Childsburg, in honor of the then Attorney General of the province. Its name was afterward changed to Hillsborough, in compliment, according to Martin (ii., 104), to the Earl of Hillsborough, the Secretary of State for the colonies.
43 The Chowan is formed by the union of Nottaway, Meherrin, and Blackwater Rivers, which flow from Virginia into Albemarle Sound, a little north of the mouth of the Roanoke.
44 It is said that Durant’s Neck has the honor of having furnished the first seed for the Timothy Grass which is in such high repute among farmers. Among the first settlers was a Quaker named Timothy somebody, who observed the grass growing wild, and supposed it would be good for cultivation. He sent some of the seed to his friends in England, who, having found the grass to be valuable, called it Timothy Grass, in honor of their friend in Carolina. – Caruthers’s Life of Caldwell, page 52. A Bible brought from England by Durant (and probably the first brought into North Carolina) is now in the library of the Historical Society of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill.
45 The Cape Fear is formed by a union of the Haw and Deep Rivers, about one hundred and twenty-five miles northwest from Wilmington, and enters the Atlantic a little more than twenty miles below that city.
46 Anthony Ashley Cooper was born at Winborne, in Dorsetshire, in 1621. He was educated at Oxford, studied law, and when in his nineteenth year, he was chosen representative for Tewksbury. He was hostile to Cromwell, and took an active part in the restoration of Charles the Second. For his services Charles made him Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord of the Treasury, and created him Lord Ashley. In 1672 he was made Earl of Shaftesbury, and appointed Lord Chancellor. He resigned his office within a year, but held it again in 1679. During that year he conferred on his country the benefit of the Habeas Corpus Act. He afterward opposed the unconstitutional measures of the king, and was twice committed to the Tower. He finally withdrew to Holland, where he died, January 22, 1683.
47 John Locke was born at Wrington, near Bristol, England, in 1632. He was educated at Westminster school. He studied the science of medicine and became eminent, but he was more noted for his proficiency in polite literature. His health would not allow him to practice the medical art, and in 1664 he accepted the secretaryship to Sir William Swan, who was sent envoy to the Elector of Brandenburg. He turned his attention to politics and jurisprudence, and because of his skill and knowledge on such subjects, Shaftesbury employed him to assist him in drawing up a charter for North Carolina. While at Montpelier, for the benefit of his health, he commenced his celebrated Essay on the Human Understanding. When Shaftesbury went to Holland, Locke accompanied him. There, on the death of the earl, envy and malice persecuted him. He was accused of treason, and for twelve months he kept himself concealed. He returned to England after the Revolution in 1688, and was honored by government appointments. He was a Commissioner of Trade and Plantations for five years, when declining health made him resign the office in 1700. He died on the twenty-eighth of October, 1704, in the seventy-third year of his age.
48 This document is supposed to be chiefly the work of Shaftesbury.
49 The territory comprising more than seven degrees of latitude from the Nansemond, south, included the whole of the present North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, a good portion of Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, a large portion of Mexico, and the whole of Upper and Lower California.
50 There were some Quakers in the Albemarle colony, and when, in 1672, William Edmunson and George Fox visited that settlement, many were added to that persuasion. Near the Roanoke, in that region, and in the counties of Orange, Guilford, and Randolph, are the only settlements of that sect in North Carolina. The Quakers were the first to organize a religious government in that state.
51 Bancroft, ii., 136-150. Chalmers, 517-526. Locke’s Works, x., 194. Martin, i., 148-150. This instrument is published at length in the Appendix to the first volume of Martin’s History of North Carolina.
52 Williamson, i., 132.
52a TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: Lossing does not mention Sothel again; other sources indicate that he was named Governor of South Carolina (and deposed and banished) afterGovernor Colleton was impeached and banished.
53 These tribes, and others from Cape Fear to the Gulf of Mexico, numbering about six thousand warriors, soon afterward confederated, with the design of exterminating the white people on the Atlantic coast.This event is noticed on page 437.
54 The general form of the Colonial government was not materially changed. The governor could do nothing legally without the assent of his council. With them, he was authorized to establish courts of justice, and to hold a Court of Error. The governor, members of the council, commander of the king’s ships in the province, chief-justices, judges of the Vice-admiralty, secretary, and receiver-general, were constituted a court for the trial of pirates.
55 The settlers procured furs from the Indians with great facility, and the manufacture of hats from this material was becoming a source of considerable revenue to several of the colonists. They exported hats to the West India Islands, Spain, and Portugal. The jealousy of England was awakened, and to secure those markets for her home manufactures, Parliament forbade the exportation of hats from the American colonies. They were not allowed to send them from one colony to another. None but persons who had served seven years apprenticeship to the trade were allowed to make hats, and no master was permitted to have more than two apprentices at a time. The business was soon confined within narrow limits, for severe penalties accompanied these enactments. Obstacles were also thrown in the way of the manufacture of ropes and cordage in America, and other kinds of business soon felt the checks of a narrow and unjust commercial policy.
56 The whole soil belonged to the crown. The people were required, by the governor, to pay the expenses of the government, in addition to the stipulated rents.
57 The Scotch insurrection, known as The Rebellion of ’45, was in favor of Charles Edward, the grandson of James II., who had been an exile in France. Claiming the throne of England as his right, and regarding George of Hanover as a usurper, he determined to make an effort for the crown. In June, 1745, he embarked in an eighteen-gun frigate, and landed at Borodale, in the southwest part of Scotland, with a few Scotch and Irish followers. His arms were chiefly on board another vessel, which had been obliged to put back to France. The Highlanders in the vicinity arose in his favor, and in a few days fifteen hundred strong men surrounded his standard – a piece of taffeta which he brought from France. The Pretender (as he was called) marched to Perth, where he was joined by some Scotch lords and their retainers. With his increasing army, he entered Edinburgh in triumph, though the castle held out for King George. All England trembled with alarm. The premier (the king was in Hanover) offered a reward of $750,000 for the person of the PRETENDER. From Edinburgh the insurgents marched toward the border, and were every where successful, until encountered by the Duke of Cumberland, at Culloden, where, on the sixteenth of April, 1745, they were defeated and dispersed. The jails of England were soon filled with the prisoners. Lords Balmerino and Lovat, and Mr. Radcliffe, a brother of the Earl of Derwentwater, were beheaded, the last who suffered death, in that way, in England. Many others were executed, and a large number of the Highlanders were transported to America, and became settlers in North Carolina. The PRETENDER was the last to leave the field at Culloden. For almost five months he was a fugitive among the Highlands, closely scented by the officers of government. After various concealments by the people,he escaped to the Isle of Skye, in the character and disguise of Betty Bourke, an Irish servant to Miss Flora M‘Donald, daughter of a Highlander. After several perilous adventures, he reached the Continent in September, 1746. He died at Rome in 1784. His brother, Cardinal York, the last representative of the house of Stuart, died in 1807, and the family became extinct.
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