In 1649, Charles II granted Carolina, which then included what was to be come North and South Carolina, to eight Lords Proprietors and from 1663 until 1729, the Carolinas were the property of the Proprietors. In 1669, the government of Carolina was adopted based upon John Locke's Fundamental Constitutions. In this plan, the monarchy and aristocratic rule was transplanted to America. The plan divided the land into counties of which each was to be ruled by an earl and two barons, who owned one fifth of the land. Another one fifth was to be held for the proprietors. The remaining three fifths of the land was reserved for the tenants who would work the land. In essence, the people would live on the land as serfs, denied self-government but guaranteed religious liberty. The plan was doomed to failure and the colonists preferred to migrate deeper into the wilderness and be truly free. In 1729, seven of the Proprietors sold their shares to the Crown and North Carolina became the property of the Crown. Shortly thereafter, the original counties were subdivided into precincts and in 1739, all precincts became counties. At that time, the older counties of Albemarle and Bath became extinct.

South Carolina was first settled permanently by English settlers from North Carolina who had come into North Carolina in 1653, from the tidewater region of Virginia. First to be settled was the Albemarle Region in later North Carolina, with another area settled near Charleston, a natural harbor with easy access to the trade of the West Indies. William Sayle, in 1670, sailed up the Ashley River with three shiploads of English immigrants from Brbados and pitching their tents along the river, built a town, later to become Charles Town. An attempt was made by a group from New England on the Cape Fear River but this settlement was abandoned. Sir John Yeamans, in 1665, brought a group of planters from Barbados and joined the New England settlers, which remained behind in the Cape Fear settlement. In 1671, Sir John Yeamans, joined the Charles Town group accompanied by about two hundred African slaves.

The Carolinas found government the same under the Proprietors, as well as the Crown with each offering an appointed governor and council, as well as colonial court officials. The colonial assembly consisted of elected officials from various precincts and from certain towns. These precincts were the forerunners of counties. In South Carolina, popular government was planted from the beginning, forming a popular assembly with the arrival of the first immigrants and began to frame laws, selecting William Sayle as their leader and first governor. Sayle did not live long and was succeeded by Yeamans, who led the colonists for four years before being charged with filling his own coffers at the expense of the colonists. Yeamans was succeeded by John West, who held the post for nine years. Seth Sothel, having been driven from North Carolina, came to South Carolina and usurped the government, beginning his period of plundering the South Carolina settlers. The people soon rose up against him and he was again, forced to flee. Following this, both what would become South Carolina and North Carolina, shared several governors.

William Drummond, a Scottish Presbyterian minister was appointed by Sir William Berkeley, governor of Virginia, to be governor of Albemarle. Berkeley later convicted Drummond as a follower of Nathaniel Bacon and Drummond was executed. Samuel Stephens succeeded Drummond in 1667. Newcomers to the region were exempted from paying any taxes for a year and all debts the settler may have had elsewhere were outlawed. It was also provided that for five years, no one could be sued for any cause that arose outside of the colony. Because these incentives to settlers created a class of many settlers of "worthless class", the Albemarle settlement became known in Virginia as "Rogues Harbor".

In the wake of Bacon's Rebellion, Navigation Laws were instituted that greatly limited the area's lucrative trade with New England. Heavy taxes fell upon the people who, in 1678, led by John Culpepper, rebelled and seized the government, holding it for two years. It should be noted that many of Bacon's followers had escaped to the Albemarle region following Bacon's defeat.

Five years of turbulent misrule, plundering both the proprietors and the people, the Proprietor's appointee, Seth Sothel, who had been sent to govern the colony, was driven into exile. This same year saw the Revolution in England and the exile of James II. By 1693, after years of misrule, the population in Albemarle was half what it had been fifteen years prior and the settlement planted by Yeamans on the Cape Fear River had been totally abandoned. Continued rule by scandalous governors and constant attempts to establish the Church of England upon Dissenters, more than half of which were Quakers, led to turmoil again in 1704. The first decade of the 18ty century saw increased numbers of settlers, with Huguenots coming from France and settling at Bath, Germans from the Rhine to New Berne. Albemarle had now extended many miles into the forest and upon the Indian with a white population of near 15,000. Problems with the Indians broke out in 1711.

As in North Carolina, South Carolina saw an influx of French Huguenots around 1700. The French Huguenots, protected in the worship of their faith since the Edict of Nantes in 1598, issued by King Henry, had fallen under the persecution of Louis XIV, who revoked the edict in 1685. The Huguenots were forbidden to worship and were also forbidden to leave on pain of death. However some half million escaped, settling in various parts of the world, including America. These were the ancestors of such men as Paul Rever and John Jay. On the shores of South Carolina, these people were at first recieved coldly, however, their numbers continued to increase and Governor Joseph Blake secured them full political rights. Governor Blake died in 1700 and a period of turbulence and strife entered into South Carolina. Sir Nathaniel Johnson became governor in 1703, beginning troubles anew. His first act as governor, was to exclude all Dissenters, or about two thirds of the population, from the assembly. The act was immediately repealed by the next assembly but Johnson refused to sign their act to which the assembly appealed to the Proprietors who yielded when Queen Anne vetoed the governor's act. Shortly thereafter, Charles Town was attacked by a French and Spanish fleet of five ships and 800 men. Charles Town was successfully defended and the fleet was driven away after losing its best ship and about a third of their men.

In 1700, the Church of England grew concerned that the Church did not have a significant presence in North Carolina and sent the Reverend Daniel Brett to become the colony's first Anglican minister. In 1701 the Vestry Act divided North Carolina into Anglican parishes and required all citizens to pay taxes to the Anglican church much to the objection of non-Anglican citizens. In 1703, the Vestry Act was passed and required all members of the General Assembly to be members of the Church of England and take a oath of allegiance to Queen Anne, though these requirements were later ignored by assemblymen.

Between 1705 and 1708, North Carlina received its first schoolteacher, Charles Griffin, who operated a school in Pasquotank County. He later moved to Edenton, where he operated a school for several years.

In 1708, Thomas Cary was appointed governor for North Carolina. His authority was protested by Quakers, who sent John Porter to England to petition his removal and by a series of events, Cary maintained his office until 1711 when Edward Hyde, then deputy governor was appointed governor.

Baron Christoph von Graffenried, leader of Swiss and German protestants, established a colony in Bath County in 1710, establishing New Bern. Surveyor, John Lawson had begun a thousand-mile journey in the Carolina's studying flora and fauna and creating a Carolina map. On 8 Jun 1710, the Tuscarora Indians sent a petition to the government of Pennsylvania protesting the seizure of their lands and enslavement of their people by Carolina settlers. In early September of 1711, the Tuscaroras captured surveyor, John Lawson, Baron von graffenried and two African slaves. Lawson got into an argument with the Tuscarora chief, Cor Tom and was executed, though the Indians spared the lives of Baron von Graffenried and the African slaves.

The Tuscarora War began when Catechna Creek Tuscarora's, led by their Chief Hancock, along with other Indian tribes, attacked colonists in North Carolina along the Neuse and Pamlico rivers, with 130 white casualties. The battle had lasted a mere two hours. Near New Bern, women were slain in their homes with wooden stakes driven through their lifeless bodies. The homes were plundered and burned. Survivors fled to Bath where the war escalated, sending many settlers to surrounding colonies to escape the depredations.

All men between the ages of 16 and 60 were drafted by Governor Edward Hyde to fight the Indian menace. Governor Hyde appealed for help to Virginia, which refused but sent £1000 for assistance and to South Carolina, which sent Col. John Barnwell, member of the South Carolina Assembly, and an army of some five hundred Yamsee Indians to North Carolina 11 Feb 1712. Barnwell attacked the Tuscaroras at Narhantes, a Tuscarora fort on the Neuse. Barnwell's troops are surprised to find that the most fierce of the Tuscarora warriors are women who do not surrender "until most of them are put to the sword". After a month of heavy fighting, the Tuscarora's accepted a peace treaty, which was short-lived. Reinforced by Col.James Moore of South Carolina 23 Mar 1712, along with 250 North Carolina militiamen, a decisive victory was won, after ten days fighting, at Fort Hancock on the Catechna Creek and the war ended.

That summer, the Tuscarora rose against the Yamassee, who, after accompanying Barnwell into North Carolina, remain in Tuscarora territory, looting and plundering. Once again, the Tuscarora fight against the continued expansion of white settlers into their territory. In March of 1713, another force from South Carolina including nine hundred Indians began a three day siege on the Tuscarora stronghold of Fort Neoheroka in which some nine hundred fifty Tuscarora were killed, captured or sold into slavery, effectively defeating the Tuscaroras and opening their territory for settlement. A few renegades lingered until 1715 but most of the remaining tribe moved north, joining the Iroquois League. The ancestors of the Tuscaroras had orinally come to North Carolina from New Yark and had long ties with the Iroquois. In North Carolina, a treaty with a few remaining Tuscarora was signed and the Tuscarora were placed on a reservation near the Pamlico River. Allies of the Tuscarora, the Coree and Machapunga Indians, settled in Hyde County near Lake Mattamuskeet on land to be later granted to them in 1727. The few Tuscaroras remaining in North Carolina, led by Tom Blount, were granted lands on the Roanoke River in Bertie County after several raids upon them by tribes from the south.

On 8 September 1712, Governor Hyde died during an epidemic of yellow fever, along with many other settlers.

The settlers of North Carolina were primarily Dissenters and included a great number of Quakers. George Fox himself had visited North Carolina and won a large group of converts to the Quaker beliefs.

The Proprietors sent Charles Eden to North Carolina as governor and though he was the best and most able governor of the colony, his leadership only lasted eight years until his death, when again, unscrupulous leadership fell into place. Again, turbulence prevailed and by 1729, the colony was sold to the Crown. North and South Carolina were then separated and each became a royal colony.

In future South Carolina, the Yamassee tribe arose in 1715, joining with other tribes and beginning a disastrous war. An intrigue with the Spaniards of St.Augustine, in spite of the Treaty of Utrecht, was at the heart of the war along with the fact that many of the Indians were indebted to English traders and sought to avoid repayment. The Indians fell upon unsuspecting farmers, killing nearly one hundred the first day. The survivors of the attack fled to Charles Town, which the Indians continued to attack through 1715. The settlers armed themselves and fought against the Indians. The war lasted ten months with four hundred settlers killed before the Indians were defeated and fled to Florida. Diplomatic negotiations with the Cherokees ended the war in 1716.

In 1715, North Carolina adopted its first slave code in which an attempt was made to define the social, economic and physical place of those enslaved. The laws denied blacks and Indians the right to vote. This law was later repealed by the king in 1737 and freed blacks and Indians maintained the right to vote until they were disenfranchised in 1835.

In 1717, having been driven from the Bahamas, pirates transferred their base of operations to the coast of the Carolinas including Stede Bonnet and Edward Teach (Blackbeard). Teach located his headquarters in Bath and was socially touted there by the local Carolinians. From his base, "Blackbeard" harrassed English and colonial ships along the coast. A pardon, offered by the king to pirates for all pirate activities, was eagerly accepted by Teach, though he quickly returned to his pirate activities. Bonnet operated off the mouth of the Cape Fear River. In November of 1718, a battle between British sailors and pirates near Ocracoke Inlet occurred in which Lt.Robert Maynard killed Blackbeard. In December of that year, Stede Bonnet, along with 29 of his fellow pirates were captured off the North Carolina coast and are hanged in Charlestown, SC.

In January of 1717, England, France and Holland formed an alliance against Spain, leading to Spanish raids upon English colonists in North Carolina.

On Sunday, 9 Sep 1739, the Stono slave revolt was the largest slave revolt in the colonies prior to the Revolution. The revolt began with a band of slaves who marched down the road with banners declaring "Liberty!". Jemmy, an Angolan, led the procession, which grew to number near one hundred by nightfall. Spain, in hopes of causing unrest, had issued a proclamation promising liberty and land to any slave who deserted to St.Augustine, Florida.

The rebellion began with about twenty slaves who gathered near the Stono River, about twenty miles from Charles Town and, going into a shop selling fire arms, armed themselves and killed the two shopkeepers. They then walked to the home of Mr.Godfrey, who they killed along with his son and daughter and then burned their home, heading southward. About dawn they reached Wallace's Tavern, sparing his life upon hearing that the owner was kind to his slaves. The band of slaves then killed all the inhabitants of the next six homes they encountered. When they reached the home of Thomas Elliot, the slaves of Thomas Elliot successfully hid their master but they were forced to join the rebellion. As the group travelled, they were joined by other slaves and by the next morning numbered near 50. All whites they encountered were chased and killed, however, Lt.Governor Bull, managed to escape and spread the word of alarm.

Stopping short of the Edisto River, the slaves stopped in a large field. They had killed 20-25 whites that day in a 10 mile march. Late that afternoon 20-100 whites had joined together and set out in armed pursuit. The rebel slaves fired two shots at the approaching whites, who immediately returned fire, bringing down fourteen of the rebel slaves. By nightfall, thirty slaves had been killed and at least thirty had escaped. Most of these were captured over the next month and executed. The remaining were captured over the next six months. Only one remained a fugitive for three years.

Restrictive laws were then passed to further control the black slaves. These laws forbid slaves to grow their own food, assemble in groups, earn their own money or learn to read. By mid-August, a Security Act was passed requiring all white men to carry guns on Sundays.

The slaves belonging to Thomas Elliot, that had managed to protect and hide their master, were rewarded. The slave given as the leader of the Elliot slaves, was a man named July. It was said that July had fought against the rebels, killing one of them. The reward July received was his freedom and a present of a suit of clothes, shirt, hat and a pair of stockings and shoes. Other slaves belonging to Thomas Elliot: Ralph, Prince, Joe, Larush and Pompey, as well as Sampon and four other slaves belonging to Thomas Rose, two slaves belonging to John Haynes, and one slave belonging to Christopher Wilkinson, a slave belonging to Mrs. Wilkson were also cited for their lack of participation in the rebellion and for opposing the rebel slaves. These then were rewarded with new clothes and a sum of £20 each.

It was also noted that neighboring Indians had aided in hunting for, overtaking and destroying the rebel slaves. These Indians were rewarded with clothes, powder and bullets.

In spite of tyrannical and worthless governors, the Carolinas continued to grow with a steady inflow of Germans from the Rhine entering the Carolinas from Pennsylvania and beginning in 1719, a large number of Scot-Irish from Ulster. In the first 65 years of Carolinian history, the people had clung along the shoreline but thereafter, the eastern slope of the Alleghanies was rapidly settled, chiefly by the Scot-Irish and Germans along with numerous "poor whites" from Virginia. The two areas of settlement were separated by a vast, empty forest, which lay between them and therefore two different societies grew. The back country was non-slaveholders with conditions similar to those in the north, while the coastal settlements were slaveholding and marked by large plantations and typical ante-bellum life. The people were employed in the production of tobacco along the Virginia border, the cultivation of Rice along the Cape Fear River, as well as grain, cattle and swine in both sections; however, these were soon overtaken by the production of tar, turpentine and lumber.

The people of North Carolina found themselves in a colony that was composed entirely of frontier and the people, averse to legal restraints and taxes valued their freedom above all else other than their religious convictions. There were no cities and scarcely any villages. The people were woodsmen and farmers and lived in scattered homes throughout the wilderness using the rivers and bays as their highways and narrow trails that wound among the trees in a happy and yet lonely isolation.

12 April 1776 marks the date of the Halifax Resolves in which North Carolina authorized delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence. With eighty-three delegates in Halifax, the Halifax Resolves were unanimously adopted.

The Carolinas were strong patriot supporters during the Revolution. On 29 May 1780, a Revolutionary skirmish occurred near Waxhaws Creek in South Carolina resulting the the legend of "Bloody Tarleton". The skirmish is known as "Waxhaws Massacre" or "Buford's Bloody Battleground". Following the surrender of Charlestown to the British, Col. Abraham Buford, leading a force of 400 Virginia Continentals was retreating to North Carolina. Cornwallis sent Tarleton in pursuit of the patriots. Tarleton managed to move some 300 men more than 100 hours in 54 hours, an amazing accomplishment. Buford made several large military blunders and the patriot line was cut at the first charge. There is great confusion about what then happened but the end result was a massacre of Buford's men, some say in spite of an attempt by Buford to surrender. A percentage of Buford's force survived the massacre, including the first division, which continued marching and never took part in the battle. Some one hundred fifty men were paroled on the field and were sent to the nearby Waxhaw Presbyterian Church for medical care. Those men who were not injured were taken to Camden where they were imprisoned, while as many as seventy men escaped during the battle. Buford managed to escape during the battle and though he was courtmartialed for losing command, he was acquitted.

Haywood County in North Carolina, rests in the heart of the Smokies. The Smokies are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. Here, in certain hollers, one may still hear the Old English of the settlers, even the Scot-Irish brogue, a harken to Chaucer's day. Protected by the surrounding mountains, language has never changed since the earliest white settlers. The first settlers, west of the Blue Ridge, was in 1775. This is a land of forests so thick that you have to lie down and look up to see out. Thick pines and tall deciduous trees, brush and thick, garbled brush, including the wild rhododendron, the flaming azaleas; ferns that rest gracefully upon the rich, decayed soil; moss that creeps along the forest floor; waterfalls that ooze out of the mountain rocks. It was an inpenatrable forest that faced the settler, a land rich in blackberries, herbs and nuts; a land wealthy in wild life including the black bear, the deer, the wolf, buffalo and wild cats such as the panther. The rivers teemed with fish. Such was the land the settler found.

General Griffith Rutherford arrived in Haywood County in 1776 with 2,400 men to control the Indian raids. Burning 36 Indian towns, they made the land safer for settlers to come. Many of these men would return to Haywood County after the Revolutionary War to make their homes. After the war, settlers trickled into the region, their numbers ever increasing and between 1806 and 1842 more than 2,000 had made claims for land. Predominantly Scot-Irish and German, these were men of faith and indomitable spirit and a determination to conquer the land, tame it and make it produce for them. This was true of Haywood County; it was true of all of western North Carolina, northwest South Carolina and notheast Georgia. This was the home of the Bryson's, the Moore's, the Cook's, the White's who all brought their faith to the mountains.

Here the men and boys wore moccasins, short pantaloons and lether leggings, deerskin hunting shirts tied with a belt along with caps of mink or coon skin. Long, muzzle-loading rifles with flint-locks were carried at their side. Sun bonnets protected the heads of the women and girls and plain dresses were devoid of ruffles. Moving on foot and on horse back followed by pack horses loaded with family belongings, they moved into the wilderness. Quickly built log houses, often with dirt floors at first, were built to provide speedy shelter. Later, a proper home would be built and the old home became a barn or outbuilding.

North Carolina Colonists



Benjamin Paniel
bef 1778
James Muse
by 1777








The Halifax Resolves

12 April 1776

The Select Committee taking into Consideration the usurpations
and violences attempted and committed by the King and Parlia-
ment of Britain against America, and the further Measures to be
taken for frustrating the same, and for the better defence of this
province reported as follows, to wit,
It appears to your Committee that pursuant to the Plan con-
certed by the British Ministry for subjugating America, the King
and Parliament of Great Britain have usurped a Power over the
Persons and Properties of the People unlimited and uncontrouled
and disregarding their humble Petitions for Peace, Liberty and
safety, have made divers Legislative Acts, denouncing War
Famine and every Species of Calamity daily employed in destroying
the People and committing the most horrid devastations on
the Country. That Governors in different Colonies have declared
Protection to Slaves who should imbrue their Hands in the Blood
of their Masters. That the Ships belonging to America are declared
prizes of War and many of them have been violently seized and
confiscated in consequence of which multitudes of the people
have been destroyed or from easy Circumstances reduced to the
most Lamentable distress.
And whereas the moderation hitherto manifested by the United
Colonies and their sincere desire to be reconciled to the mother
Country on Constitutional Principles, have procured no mitigation
of the aforesaid Wrongs and usurpations and no hopes remain of
obtaining redress by those Means alone which have been hitherto
tried, Your Committee are of Opinion that the house should enter
into the following Resolve, to wit

Resolved that the delegates for this Colony in the Continental
Congress be impowered to concur with the other delegates of the
other Colonies in declaring Independency, and forming foreign
Alliances, resolving to this Colony the Sole, and Exclusive right
of forming a Constitution and Laws for this Colony, and of
appointing delegates from time to time (under the direction of a
general Representation thereof to meet the delegates of the other
Colonies for such purposes as shall be hereafter pointed out.


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