"Capture and Rescue of BenjaminCleveland"
The Old Perkins place where Benjamin Clevelandwas captured
Benjamin Cleveland was capturedon the 22nd day of April, 1781, while on a visit to his tenant, Jesse Duncan,at the lower end of the Old Fields -- probably the very spot at which thelate Nathan Waugh lived and died. Captain William Riddle was the leaderof the gang which captured him, they having stolen his horses from Duncan'sbarn the night before and led them up south fork of New River into a laurelthicket just above te house then occupied by Joseph and Timothy Perkins,about one mile distant.
There were six or eight men with Riddle, and when they reached BenjaminCutbirth's home the day before, four miles above Duncan's home, and failedto get any information from him, they abused him shamefully and left himunder guard. Cleveland ran into theambush and was taken into the Perkins house, which stool on the site ofthe house in which Nathan Waugh's son, Charles, now resides. (1915) Thephoto shows the present house and apple tree in its front under which itis said Cleveland was sitting when captured. Into this house, ZachariahWells followed Cleveland and attemptedto shoot him, but that brave (?) man seized Abigail Walters, who was present,and kept her between him and his would-be assassin.
Cleveland was then taken up New River to the mouth of Elk Creek, andthence to "what has since been known as Riddle's Knob." This is some fourteenfrom Old Fields and in Watauga County. Here they camped for the night.But they had been followed by young Daniel Cutbirth and a youth named Walters,Jesse Duncan, John Shirley, William Calloway, Samuel McQueen and BenjaminGreer, while Joseph Calloway mounted a horse and hastened to notify CaptainRobert Cleveland, Ben's brother, onLewis' Fork of the Yadkin. Five of these in Robert's advance party firedon Riddle's gang at the Wolf's Den early the next morning, and Clevelanddropped behind the log on which he had been sitting slowly writing passesfor the Tories, fearing that when he should finish doing so he would bekilled. Only Wells was wounded, the rest escaping, including Riddle's wife.As it was thought that Wells would die from his wound, he was left on theground to meet his fate alone. But he survived.
The Wolf's Den, where Clevelandwas rescued
There is still a tradition in the neighborhood of the Wolf's Den thatBen Greer killed or wounded Riddle at that place soon after Cleveland'srescue, one version saying that Riddle was only wounded and then takento Wilkes and hanged. Indeed, the place in the gap between Pine Orchardand Huckleberry Knob, through which the wagon road from Todd to Riddle'sFork of Meat Camp Creek now runs, is still pointed out as that at whichGreer and his men camped in the cold and wind, without fire or tent, tillthey saw the campfire on Riddle's Knob flame up, after which they creptup to that lonely spot and either killed or wounded the redoubtable Tory.
Cleveland Hangs Riddle
Soon after Cleveland's rescue Riddleand his men made a night raid into the Yadkin Valley, where, on King'sCreek, they captured two of Cleveland'ssoldiers, David and John Witherspoon, and "spirited them away into themountain region on the Watauga River in what is now Watauga County," wherethey both were sentenced to be shot, when it was proposed that if theywould take the oath of allegiance to the king, repair to their home andspeedily return with the O'Neal mare - a noble animal - and join the Toryband, their lives would be spared. This the Witherspoons agreed to, andreturned with not only the mare, but with Col. Ben Herndon and a partyalso, when they captured Riddle, Reeves and Goss, "killing and dispersingthe others."
These were taken to Wilkesboro, court martialed and executed" on thehill adjoining the village, "on a stately oak, which is yet (1881) standingand pointed out to strangers at Wilkesboro." Well, too, was captured andtaken to Hughes' Bottom, one mile below Cleveland'sRound About home-place, and hanged by plow lines from a tree on the riverbank, without trial and in spite of the protestations of JamesGwyn, a lad of thirteen, whose noble nature revoltedat such barbarity. But Cleveland'scruelty was too well known to need further comment, for it is recordedof him that he once forced an alleged horse-thief to cut off his own earswith a dull case knife to escape death by hanging - all without trial orevidence.
Cleveland moved to South Carolinaat the close of the Revolutionary War, where he died while sitting at thebreakfast table, in October, 1806, in the sixty-ninth year of his age.ClevelandCounty in this State was named in his honor. He was buried in the forksof the Tugalo and Chauga, Oconee County, South Carolina, but his gravewith a stone marking it is in the churchyard of New Hope Baptist Church,near Stauntion, Wilkes County, North Carolina, according to several recentstatements of Col. J. H. Taylor, the father of Mrs. John Stansbury of Boone.However, some claim that this is Robert Cleveland'sgrave stone. So much for two versions of Riddle's death.
But there is yet another version, for Col. W. W. Presnell, for manyyears register of deeds for Watauga County and a brave one-armed Confederatesoldier, still points out at the foot of a ridge north of James Blair'sresidence, on Brushy Fork Creek, two low rock cliffs, between which andthe hollow just east of them stood until recently a large white-thorn treeupon which W. H. Dugger and other reputable citizens of a past day saidClevelandhad hanged Riddle and three of his companions. Certain it is, accordingto Dr. Draper, that "ColonelClevelandwas active at this period in sending our strong scouting parties to scourthe mountain regions, and if possible, utterly break up the Tory bandsstill infesting the frontiers." Other say that two of these men were namedSneed and the third was named Warren.
Historical Sketches of Wilkes County, NC
History of Western NC, Revolutionary Days
Sources: A History of Watauga County, North Carolina,John Preston Arthur, published 1915 - file created by Faye Moran
The following information on Col. Clevelandand Wilkes Co., NC, was taken from the website at this link:
HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF WILKESCOUNTY
Published by John Crouch in 1902
At Kings Mountain the turning point of the Revolution, about one-halfthe American forces were from Wilkes. And gallantly they did their country'sservice until the enemy's commander, who swore he had found a place "whereGod Almighty could not drive him from," lay dead upon the battle fieldand his forces either killed or taken prisoners. And when the Tories andIndians needed attention, "Cleveland'sDevil's, as the Tories called them, were always equal to the occasion,and there always had to be some tamest "cleaning up" on the part of theTories and Indians or some of their party would dangle from a limb.
In the conflict with Mexico Wilkes furnishod a company which did valiantservice in behalf of the American cause, and our illustrious Colonel SidneyStokes was so admired by those under his command that a beautiful swordwas presented him as a token of respect and love.
And when it came to the Civil war our record stands without a paralell.Some men from Wilkes made excellent soldiers in the Union army, but mostof the men of Wilkes took their stand with the Confederacy. Such leaaersas Gordon, Stokes, Barber, Cowles, and others, with their brave subordinates,won the esteem and love of the whole Confederate army; and their achievementson the battle fields show the display of such courage and bravery as hasnever been excelled in the world's history.
In the recent wars with Spain and the Filipinos Wilkes soldiers haveserved with distinction.
It is a lamentable fact that the history of our country has been strangelyneglected. Any of our school teachers and scholars can tell us about thehistory of Rome and Greece but few of them know anything of the historyof their own county, not even the formation data. The fair records of herearly fame are almost forgotten. It is the purpose of this little bookto gather such as can be obtained of those records; and give them to thepeople of the county in a shape that they may be preserved, and that futuregeneration may know of and share in the glory of our ancestors. It is morethan probable that I have made mistakes in recording those sketches, butall available information has been obtained, and every statement, accordingto my view, is as near correct as could as could be ascertained.
The author does not aspire to be an historian. If in collecting andcompiling and composing this little book, I shall succeed in "rescuingfrom the dust of age or the obliterating hand of time" only a few of thenames of old time persons that so charactarized our county in days goneby, my efforts will not be in vain. It is my desire that the people owWilkes County may read the pages of this book and thereby prompted to increasetheir patriotism and take a deeper interest in the history of their owncounty.
Surely the younger people will take an interest in reading this bookIf only the youths of North Carolina and Wilkes County could get a foretasteof our history, our records would not be hidden in darkness but our historywould be given to the world, that not only ourselves, but all people mightknow of our achievements and profits thereby. The young people ought tobe encouraged to emulate the noble record of our worthy ancestors. We aretold by Sallust and Maximus, when looking upon the statues of their illustriouscountrymen became violently agitated. He says, "It could not be the inanimatemarble which possessed this might power. It was the recollection of nobleactions which kindles this generous flame in their bosoms, only to be quenchedwhen they too, by their achievements and virtues, had acquired equal reputation.
"And by their light
Shall every gallant youth with ardor move
To do brave deeds."
Free from. the shackles of parties and sects I have tried to divertmyself of all partialities or prejudices, and present Wilkes County andher sons as Cromwell would have Lely to paint his portrait: "True, as itis." Nothing has been omitted from personal views, nor have I neglectedto express my views and opinions of any man or events sketched; in thisbook because of party affiliations or sectarian principles. Wilkesboro,NC - December 12, 1901.
Wilkes County was formed from Surry county in 1777, and was named inhonor of John Wilkes, a distinguished English statesman and member of Parliament.He was elected by the Ministerial party from Parliament on account of hisleberal political views; and as often was returned by the people. He diedin 1797.
The county is situated in the north-western part of North Carolina,and is bounded on the north by the Blue Ridge, which separates it fromAshe and Alleghany counties; on the east by Surry and Yadkin counties;on the south by Iredell and Alexander counties, and on the west by Caldwelland Watauga counties. The larger portion of the county lies between twogreat mountain ranges and the Yadkin river flows between, thus forminga valley of unexcelled fertility and picturesque beauty. Besides the Yadkinthere are Mitchell's, Roaring and Reddies rivers and numerous large creeksin the county. These rise in the mountains and flow into the Yadkin, runningsometimes through broad and fertile bottom and sometimes leaping over rocksand breaking through ridges, thus affording immense water power and delightfulscenery.
Wilkesboro, the capital, is a beautiful town of about 800 population,situated on the south bank of the Yadkin near the center of the county.It was founded in 1778 by John Parks, John Barton, George Morris and JohnWitherspoon, who were appointed by the General Assembly to select a countyseat for Wilkes County. It is about 175 miles north-west of Raleigh.
The commiittee appointed by the General Assembly to survey the dividingline between Wilkes and Surry made the following report of their work,which is the first paper recorded in the county records:
Wilkes County Line &c.
"A return of the proceedings of the commissioners who were appointedto run the dividing line between the counties of Surry and Wilkess to wit:Beginning on Rowan county line about half a mile below Daniel Rash's ata white oak standing in the head of a branch of Hunting creek thence northcrossing Mulberry Field road about half a mile below Hamlin's old storehouse, thence through Solomon Sparks' plantation, leaving the said Sparks'home in Surry county, thence crossirig the Brushy mountain at the headof the north fork of Swan creek, then crossing the adkin river a littlebelow Capt. Parks (and through the lower end of Carrol's plantation onthe north side of said river thence crossing the south side of said riverthence crossing the Big Elkin at the Long Shoals, thence crossing the southfork of Mitchell's river about half a mile above Bigg's road, thence crossingthe top of the Poiney Knob to the main ridge of mountains about two mileswest of Fisher Peak thence to the Virginia line; being run exactly 26 mileswest of Surry court house, agreeable to act of Assembly by: Robt. Lanier
From the best information the county of Wilkes origionally embracedall the territory included in the following boundary lines: Beginnimg atthe white oak mentioned as the starting point in the above report and runningwest to the Mississippi river, then north with said river to the Virginialine (now the Kentucky line), then east with Virginia line to the north-westcorner of Surry County, then south with the Surry county line--as givenin the above report--to the beginning. When the county was formed it includedall of the counties of Ashe, Alleghany Watauga and Mitchell, and a portionof the counties of Iredell, Alexander, (the line ran a mile or so southof where Taylorsville now stands) Caldwell, Burke and Yancy, and probablyothers, and also a large portion of Tennessee. In what is now Tennesseethere was local governments organized within the borders of Wilkes andlater were admitted as counties to the State of Franklin but until Tennesseewas organized Wilkes County was the legal division of all the territoryincluded in the borders of the county.
Wilkes is not near so large now. She has given up her territory andother counties have grown out of her. Like a venerable mother she now nestlesbetween the Brushies and the Blue Ridge with her d.aughters settled aroundher. We look upon the meadows of her counties beyond at the Blue Ridge,the broad bottoms of the Yadkin in Caidwell, and on beyond the Smokieswe see a section well developed and prosperous. Cities have sprung up;railroads have been built, and mines that produce millions of dollars worthof coal, iron, mica, copper, etc., have been developed. They are all theoffspring of the mother county. We look upon them today and bid them Godspeed in their march of progress.
One hundred and seventy-five years ago Wilkes.: county had never beentrod by the feet of Anglo-Saxons. All this vast country was inhabited onlyby savage Indians and the wild beasts of the forest. How little did theIndian think that in a short time he would be driven from his model huntingground by the whites,. who would clear away the giant trees of the forestand the dense jungles in the swamps along the banks of the Y adkin andother streams and cultivate the lands that were the home of the deer, elk,bear, wildcat, fox and other wild animals.. But the goodly lands of thissection were not intended to be always inhabited by the savages and wildanimals. A nobler race of people needed the territory in which to liveand build homes and churches and schools.
Tradition tells us that the swamps along the Yadkin were the scene ofmany hard fought battles between different tribes of Indians before thewhites made their appearance in this sectione there is good evidence tosustain this tradition. Indian war implements, such as arrow flints, tomahawks,etc., have been found in large numbers since the lands have been cleared.Also many Indian skeletons have been found. The jungles along the streamsfurnishea excellent hiding places for the savages who would conceal themselvesand lay in wait for the whites, and so the swamps were also the scene ofmany fights between the Indian and the whites. The freshets in the springof 1901 unearthed several skeletons; minie balls were also found afterthe freshet.
Just when the first white settlers came to what is now Wi1kes countyis not known. As early as l740 the crack of the white man's rifle had broughtthe timid deer to the ground and frightened the other animals of the forest.Governor Rowan wrote that "In the year of l746, I was in the territoryfrom the Saxaphaw (now Haw river) to the mountains, and there was not aboveone hundred fighting men in all that back country." According to the ColonialRecords there were, in l749, only three hundred taxable men in North Carolinawest of Haw river.
About the year of l750 three streams of imigrants began to pour intothis section of the state - one from south-eastern Pennsylvania, one fromeastern North Carolina and one from South Garolina. But most of the settlerscoming within the present borders of Wilkes county came from eastern NorthCarolina. Among them may be mentioned the Stokes, Greenes, Mitchells, Wellbornes,Browns, and others. Most of these were of English descent.
The Moravians were probably the first whites to explore the upper Yadkinvalley, but few, if any, of them became permanent settlers. They came,surveyed some land, made some exploration and returned to the MoravianSettlements about Salem.
Different motives prompted the first settlers to come here. Some comeseeking relibious freedom which was not accorded them by the provincialgovernment. Others grasped the opPortunity to come and take up lands, whileothers came probable to gratify their desire for a frontier life.
The desire for absolute freedom from British rule was spreading allover the Colony, and in this section, remote from the seat of the provincialgovernment, the inhabitants could exercise more freedom than other settlerswho were in closer proximity to the British agents. Thus it was that suchmen as Col. Cleveland, Gen. Lenoir,and others were ready to make their mark when the struggle came on. Theycherished the thought of independence and ke pt adding fuel to the flame.
The early settlers found certainsections clear of tember. The placeswhore Wilkesboro, and North Wilkesboro now stand were among these sections.The early settlers supposed that the Indians had cleared away the timber,but it is my opinion that the matural state of the land in these sectionsat that time were barren of trees. There are certain sections in the westernpart of the state yet where trees will not grow. Among them may be mentionedthe Elk Gardens on White Top mountain and several places along the BlueRidge. There is a small mountain in Trap hill township called Grassy Knobthat used to be barren of trees. Addison Spencer, in a recent letter, saidthat, "In the year of l854 my-father moved from Randolph to Wilkes countyand settled on the Elkin near the foot of the Blue Ridge, between two knobsknown as Wellsey and Grassy Knobs, in the McCann neighborhood. The oldestman in that section at that time was James McCann, ancestor of the McCanngeneration. He was then about 80 years old and was one of the first settlers.I have heard him say that when he was young Grassy Knob had nothing butgrass on it, from which it derived its name and that he had soon largeherds of deer grazing on it. It is now and was forty-five years ago heavilytimbered.
The Cherokee Indians were ci,uite numerous in those days, and whereNorth Wilkesboro now stands seemed to be their capital village. Here theIndians held their annual corn dance, which was their festival of harvest.There they reeled and frenzied and made merry for days and weeks. In thebottoms along Yadkin and Reddies rivers, which wore then heavily timberedwith stately cedars, were hundreds of Indian wigwams.
On the hill where Gus Finley lived and died was erected by early settlersa kind of fort known as the "Black House." Here the whites were attackedby the Indians, would flee for refuge. They could spy the approaching enemyin every direction and bring him down with their deadly rifles before hecould get close enough to do any injury to the whites. This house, or fort,seems to have been burnt by the Indians, but another was built on the samespot. The last one was called the "Red House." How long the "Red House"stood or how it was destroyed-is not known. But it is probable that beforeit was destroyed the savages had been driven from the Valley of the Yadkinand it was not longer needed as a fort for protection from the attacksof the Indians.
The early settlers had to go nearly two hundred miles to Cross Creekto get salt, sugar, iron and other necessities that they could not producehere. The women of those days were ~iore industrious than the bontons ofthe elite of society that we have with us today pretending to be wivesand mothers. They would work in the fields all day, and at night they hadthe cotton to seed, flax to spin, carding, weaving, knitting and many otherthings to do. The meals had to be prepared too but it required only a shorttime to do that; the principal articles of food were and hominy, and suchother articles as could be produced on the plantation. Coffee and tea wererarities. Tea made from spicewood twigs, sassafrass roots and sage leavesand "coffee" made of parched corn or rye was commonly used.
In the spring of the year all the stock was belled and turned loosein the woods to shift for themselves. Trought were hewn in logs were thestock was salted about twice a week. These troughs were called "salt licks."In those days there was a kind of wild pea vine that grew abundantly inthe woods and the stock would graze upon these pea vines and do well untilcold weather. These wild pea vines ceased to grow about 50 years ago.
There is quite a contrast in society then and now. In other days thedwellings usually consisted of two log houses--the kitchen and the BigHouse, and occasionally the "Big House" had "up stairs." The "Big House"was the parlor, sitting room and bed room combined. There was neither organnor piano, but the fiddle, banjo, flute and fife were the musical instrumentsin those days. Courting was carried on in those days, you bet, but, butthe bon tons of today wouldn't have recognizod the style in those days.There were no drives in costly vehicles nor expenaive bridal tours. Whenthe distance to be traveled was too far to walk they rode on horseback.Bride and groom or beau and sweetheart would both ride the same horse andhie away over the rough roads as merrily as the mated sparrows fly abouttheir nests. The courting at home was done in the "big house" in the cornerby the fire while the old folks were in bed and pretondedly asleep in thebackend of the room. Corn shuckings, quiltings, etc., were gret socialevents. At night after the work was complete, the neighborhood fiddlercame in and the fun began. Until an hour or two before day both old andyoung, male and female, would dance and skip and play keeping step withthe rausic all the while. Every body believed in helping his neighborsdo their work and in turn his neighbors would help him. The whole communitywould engage in shucking corn, etc. and keep moving about until every man'swork was done, keeping up the frolicks every night. When a man killed ahog or a yearling he would divide with his neighbors who would repay whenbutchering day came with them.
The principal sports among the men were hunting and horse racing, andin later years, mustering. In those days, there was no tax on grog as theycalled it, and from all information it was freely used.
It is peculiarly interesting to study the habits and customs of ourfore fathers who first inhabited their country; think of them chasing thedeer, elk, bear and other game; their conflicts with the Indians; the everydayassociation with such pioneers as Daniel Boone and Benjamin Cleveland.But the frontier life is a thing of the past; the pioneers have long sincepassed away, and all that is left is the county which they founded andnurtured in its infancy. Let us honor them by keeping the record of ourcounty spotless and clean.
The Moravians in Wilkes
Lord Granville was one of the eight Lords Proprietors of North Carolina.Ho did not sell his interest in the lands of North Carolina back to theKing of England as did the other seven Lords Proprietors. In l752 he grantedten thousand acres--8773 acres-- within the present border of Wilkes. Twosurveyors were made, known as the upper and lower Moravian surveys. Thelower survey included the site of Wilkesboro and extended down the riverto the Blair's island, and up the river a mile above North Wilkesboro crossingthe river ana running on the north side then again crossing the river betweenthe Hackett and Stokes farm, leavin the latter cut of the survey. The linecrossed the Wilkesboro and Moravian Fall roads near where R.C. Lowe nowlives, and ran out near Oakwoods and back to the beginning. The upper surveyincluded the sections about Morvian Falls and Goshen. The exact lines ofeither survey can not now be located.
It is said that the Moravians intended to include in their survey thebottons on the north side of the Yadkin about where North Wilkesboro nowstands, but when the surveyors came to the heights on the south side ofthe river and looked over and saw so many smokes rising from Indian wigwamsthey concluded it would be best to leave the savages unmolested so theywent a mile further up the river before crossing.
It is said that the Moravians were in search of potter's clay, and failingto find it in desired quanities they failed to pay Lord Granville.for theland.
Lord Granville afterwards sold the lands of the Moravians had surveyedto a man in Ireland named Cassart. His son, Christian Cassart, sold thelands, by power of attorney, to Hugh Montgomery of Salisbury. Montgomerymade a deed of trust to James Kerr, David Nesbit and John Brown, who wereto divide the lands to his daughtors, Rachel and Rebecca. Rachel marriedGov. Montford Stokes and Rebecca married General James Wellborn.
First County Officers
Wilkes county was formed in 1777, but it was not organized until inthe spring of the next yeare Following this is a list of the first countyofficers, who took charge of the affairs of the new county on the 2nd dayof March, 1778:
Sheriff Richard A11en
Treasurer, Richard Allen.
Entry Taker, Benjamin Herndon.
Surveyor, Joe Hendron.
Register, John Brown.
Ranger, John Brown.
Coronor, Charley Gordon.
Clerk County Court, William Lenoir.
Representatives, Benjamin Clevelandand Elisha Isaacs.
Benjamin Cleveland Ancestry
A story has it that a beauty in the time of Charles the First namedElizabeth Cleveland, a daughter ofan officer of ithe palace of Hampton Court, attracted the attention ofher soverign, and an amount was the result. When Oliver Cromwell becamethe rising star of the empire the same charms won his sympathies, and ason was born unto them. The mother retired from public gaze and subsequentlymarried a man named Bridges. When this illigitimate son grew up he tookhis mother's name and was the reputed author of a book "The Life and Adventuresof Mr. Cromwell, Natural Son of Oliver Cromwell," published after his deathby consent of his son, first in 1731, a second edition, with a French translationin l74l, and yet another edition in 1760.
Whether or not Benjamin Clevelanddescended from this man and from Oliver Cromwell is a matter of conjecture.But whether or not the story is a romance or records a series of factsit is nevertheless true that Colonel Clevelandhad a copy of the book and claimed in this way to have descenddd from theIllustrious Oliver Cromwell. Others of the Clevelandfamily made the same claim.
The Clevelands derive their namefrom a tract of country in the north Riding of Yorkshire England, stillcalled Cleveland.
John Cleveland was one of the earlymigrants to Virginia. He settled on the since famous Bull Run, and hisoccupation was that of horse joiner. His son, Benjamin Cleveland,the subject of this sketch was born there on the 26th day of May, 1738;and while yet very young his father moved some sixty miles to the south-west,located in a border settlement on Blue Run, some six or eight miles aboveits junction with the Rapidan near the line of Albemarle.
When little Benjamin was about twelve years old, some drunken rowdiecame to Cleveland's home one day whenboth parents were away from home. The rowdies commenced throwing the steelsin the fire when little Ben snatched his father's rifle from the racksand simply said, "gentlemen -do not you see this?" They saw the gun andthe determined attitude of the youth, which led them to think discretionthe better part of valor, when one of the party said to his follows: "we'dbetter be off; we don't know what this excited child might do." So littleBen's conduct caused the rowdies to leave.
Young Cleveland did not "fancy"farm life, but like Daniel Boone, he preferred a dog and gun and the forest.He spent much of his time from early youth in the wilderness, securingpelts and furs which found a market. Firehunting at that day was a verycommon and popular mode of entrapping the deer in warm weather, when theyrepaired to certain localities at night in shallow streams, where theycould find food suiting their taste. The torch lights of the hunters wouldso dazzle the attetion of the deer that he would stand in amazement watchingthe strange light, while the hunter had only to blaze away at its glaringeyes and bring it down.
There was an old Dutchman in that region who had a good stand for firehunting, and young Cleveland wantedit himself, One day he peeled some bark off a tree and placed it in thewater to resemble a deer. At night he concealed himself nearby where hecould watch operations. In due time the Dutchman made his appearance--firedupon the supposed deer without bringing him down; he repeated his shot-but still the deer remained unmoved, The Dutchman became alarmed and exclaimed,"It's do duv-vil," and at once abandoned that hunting ground. Young Clevelandchuckled not a little over the success of his stratagem.
At length young Cleveland marriedMiss Mary Graves, in Orange county whose father was quite wealthy. Buthis marriage did not reform his wild and reckless habits. He still lovedgaming, horse-racing, and the wild frolicking common in frontier life.In company with Joseph Martin afterwoods General Martin--he put in a fieldof wheat on Pig river, about the year 1767, where he settled some fouryears before; but they were to indolent to fence it properly. When harvesttime came there was something of a crop. As was the custom of that timethey invited their friends to join them in cutting the grain; for whichoccasion some liquor and a fiddler were proveded, and a good time was necessarybefore entering upon the work, which ended in a debauch, and the grainwas never harvested.
Tradition tells us that Cleveland tookan active part in the French and Indian wars, but the facts are lost tohistory. No doubt he was initiated into the military service in that borderconflict which proved a training school for his Revolutionary career.
Cleveland Moves To Wilkes
In order to break away from reckless habits and old associates, Cleveland,about 1769, removed, with his father-in-law and family, to North Carolinaand settled on the waters of Roaring River, then in Rowan, later in Surry,and a few years later Wilkes county. Here Clevelandraisedstock and devoted much of his time to hunting, Some time later he locatedor the noted tract on the north bank of the Yadkin, near Ronda, where Dr.James Hickerson now resides, known as the "Round About," taking its namefrom the horse-shoe shape of the land, nearly surrounded by the river.
Cleveland's Kentucky Experience
Daniel Boone, on one of his visits from Kentucky, have such charmingdescription of the "Dark and Bloody Ground" - that land of cane and peavines, abounding with deer and buffaloes - its wild charm, its rich soiland its teeming game--that Cleveland couldnot resist the temptation. In the summer of about 1772, in company withJesse Walton, Jesse Bond, Edward Rice and William Hightower, he set outto visit the hunting grounds of Kentucky. When they had safely passed CumberlandGap, and entered upon the borders of the famous Kentucky, with cheerfulhopes and glowing prospects, they were unexpectedly met and plundered bya band of Cherokees, who relieved them of their guns, horses, peltry, andall that they possessed even to their hats and shoes. An old sorry shotgun was given in turn; with two loads of powder and shot, when they werethreateningly ordered to leave the Indian hunting grounds. There was nothingelse they could do. On their way home they kept their ammunition as longas possible; with one load they killed a small deer - the other was spentwith effect. They were so fortunate as to catch a broken-winged wild goose,and at last had to kill their faithful little hunting dog. In after yearsClevelandsaid that this dog, owing to the circumstances, was the sweetest meat heever ate. With this scanty supply, and a few berries, they managed to holdout till they reached the settlements, but in a nearly famished condition.
Several months afterwards Cleveland,with a party of chosen men wended his way to the Cherokee towns, determinedto recover the horses that had been taken from him and his associates.Cleveland applied to a noted Cherokee chief, known as Big Bear, who toldhim that the Indians who had his horsos would be likely to kill him assoon as they should learn the object of his visit. Big Bear sent an escortwith Cleveland to several towns toaid him in recovering his property. He succeeded without much difficultyexcept in the last place. The Indian having the horse showed fight, raisedhis tomahawk and Cleveland cocked hisrifle, when his friendly escort interrepted, and saved his red brotherfrom a fatal shot by throwing him to the ground, but not before he hadhurled his battle-axe at his antagnoist, which did no harm than cuttingaway the bosom of Cleveland's huntingshirt. Then Cleveland, at the instanceof the Indian guide, mounted the horse which was a hand and was ridingaway when the enraged Indian fired at him wounding the horse in triumph.
Some Hunting Experiences
Reuben Stringer was a noted woodsman of the upper Yadkin Valley, andwas often Cleveland's associate inhis hunting adventures. They took an elk hunt together in the month ofAugust, when these animals were in their prime. The elks were large andvery wild, and gradually retired before the advancing settlements. A fewyears before the Revolutionary war they were yet to be found at the footof the Mountain ranges on the head waters of New river. Pursuing a woundedelk, Cleveland attempting to intercept him at a rocky point of the river,where he expected the elk to cross the stream, found himself surroundedby a large number of rattlesnakes, coiled, hissing, and fearfully soundingtheir alarm rattles on every hand. From this dangerous dilemma his onlydeliverance seemed to be an instaneous plunge into the river, which hemade without a moment's hesitation, snd thus probably escaped a horribledeath.
One day while Stringer was busy in preparing a fire to cook some oftheir wild meat for a repast, Clevelandspread his blanket on the grourd under a large oak and lay down to resthimself and soon fell asleep. In a few moments he suddenly awoke in a startledcondition--why, he couldn't tell--and casting his eyes into the treetopsabove, he saw a large limb directly over him, nearly broken off, hangingonly by a slight splinter to the parent tree. He said to his companion,pointing at the limb, "Look Reubin, and see what an ugly thing we havecamped under"
"It has, indeed, an ugly appearance," replied Reubin, "but since ithas apparently hung a great while in that condition, it may likely do soa good while longer.
"Ah," said Cleveland, "Aas it hashung there there ia a time for it to come down, and I will not be in theway of danger," and gathered up his blanket to spread it in a safer place.As he was passing the fire he heard a crack above the splinter had brokenand the limb came tumbling down directly upon the ground where Clevelandbut a few moments before had lain. They pulled the limb and found thatits prongs had penetrated into the earth to the depth of fourteen inches.Stringer congratulated his comrade on his fortunate awaking and removal,he added, "in one minute. more, you would have been inevitably killed."
"Ah Reubin" said Cleveland, "I always told you that no man would dietill his appointed time; and when it comes there can be no possible escape."
His War Record Begins
In l775, when Cleveland's neighbors and friends had occasion to go toCross Creek to sell their surplus products and buy salt, iron, sugar andother necessaries, they wore compelled, before they were permitted to buyor sell, to take the oath of allegiance to the King. When Cleveland heardof those tyrannical acts, and attempts to forestall the politics of thepeople, he swore roundly that he would like nothing better than to dislodgethose Scotch scoundrels at Cross creek. Soon an opportunity was given him.In February 1776, the Highland Tories of that locality raised the Britishstandard, when Capitan Cleveland marched down from the mountains with aparty of volunteer rif lemen; and traditition has it that he reached thefront in time to share in the fight and in the suppression of the revolt.He scoured the country in the region of Wake Forest, captured several outlaws,some of whom he hung to trees in the woods, one of whom was Capt. Jackson,who was executed within half a mile of Ransom Southerland's homestead,whose house and merchandise Jackson had caused to be laid in ashes a fewdays after the battle of Moore's Crook Bridge. "I don't recollect," saidColonel Southerland in the University Magazine for September 1854, "after Cleveland had done with them, to have heard much more of those wretchesduring the war."
First Senator From Wilkes
When the British invaded Georgia in 1778 Colonel Cleveland and his regimentfrom Western N.C. served with distinction under General Rutherford. Returningfrom this service, in 1779, he was chosen to represent Wilkes county intho State Senate, being the first senator from the county. The year previoushe and Elisha Issacs were chosen to represent the county in the House ofRepresentatives, or House of Commons,. as it was then called, as the firstrepresentatives of the county. In 1780 Col. Clevelandmarched with his regiment against the Tories assembled at Ramsour's Mill,but reached that place too late for service as Colonel Bryan's band waschasing them from the state. He also scoured the New River settloments,checking the Tory uprising in that section, capturing and hanging someof their notorious leaders and outlaws.
Cleveland at King's Mountain
Then his King's mountain campaign-the crowning achievement of his life-thewounding of his Brother Larkin Cleveland,while on the way near Lovelady Shoals, near the Catawba river; and thenhurrying to "grapple with. the indomitable Ferguson." The great serviceof Cleveland at this fight will begiven in another chapter under the heading, "Battle of King's Mountain."Col. Cleveland had assigned to himone of Ferguson's war horses which lived to an uncommon old age; he alsocarried home with him a snare-drum which he kept as long as he lived, pointingto it with pride as a trophy of King's Mountain.
Trouble for the Tories
James Coyle and John Brown, two notorious Tory plunderers, passed throughLincoln county and robbed the house of Major George Wilfong of everythingthey could carry away and then made ofi' with a couple of his horses, usingthe clothesline for halters. Major Wilfong with a party following the culprits,overtaking them near Wilkesboro, recovering the horses, but the ruffiansmade good their escape. Major Wilfong left the halters made of his clotheslinewith Cleveland, with which to hangthe rescals, should they ever be captured. Not long after, as they werereturning to Ninety Six, they were captured by some of Cleveland'sscouts and brought to Wilkesboro and Col. Clevelandhad them hung with Wilfong's clothes line on the oak tree that is yet standingjust north of the court house in Wi1kesboro.
Captured by Tories~ His Timely Rescue
On the south fork of New river in the extreme southwestern portion ofAshe county (formerly a part of Wilkes) with a large boundary of land thatwas clear of timber and heavily set in grass. These lands-called the "OldFields," and known by that name to this day-belonged to Col. Cleveland,and served as a grazing place for his stock in peaceful days.
In 1781, having occasion to visit his New River plantation, ColonelClevelandrode there accompanied only by a negro servant, arriving at Jesse Duncan's,his tenant, on Saturday the l4th day of April. Unfortunately for the Colonel,Captain William Riddle, a noted Tory leader, son of Loyalist Riddle, ofSurry county, was approaching from the Virginia border with Captain Ross,a Whig captive., together with his servant, now enroute for Ninety Six,where, it sems, the British paid a reward for Whig prisoners. Riddle, withhis party of six or eight men, old Whig and an associate of Daniel Boone,who was just recovering from a spell of fever. The Tory Captain, probablyfrom Curbirth's residence regarding solicited information, shamefully abusedhim and placed him under guard.
Descending the river to the upper end of the Old Fields where Josephand Timothy Perkins lived-about a mile above Duncan's-both of whom wereabsent in Tory service, Riddle learned from their women that Clevelandwas but a short distance away, at Duncan's with only his servant. Duncanand one or two or three of Callaway family there. Every Tory in the countryknew full well that Cleveland was probably their worse enemy; how prominentlyhe had figured at King's Mountain, and had given his influences for theTory executions at Bickerstaff's and caused the summary hnanging of Coyleand Brown at Wilkesboro, Riddle thought that such a prisoner would be avaluable prize to offer to his British at Ninety Six, or it weeld be acrowning honor to the Tory cause to rid the county of probably their worstenemy.
The prospect was too tempting and he at once set about to capture Cleveland.His force was too small to run any great risk, so he concluded to resortto strategy. He resolved to steal Cleveland'shorse in the quite of the night, judging that the Colonel would followtheir trail the next morning, supposing they had strayed off, when he wouldambush him at some suitable place, and thus take "Old Round About," ashe was called, unawares and at a disadvantage. The horses were taken atnight and a laurel thicket, just above Perkins' house, selected as a fittingplace to waylay their expected pursuers. During Saturday, Richard Callawayand his brother-in-law, John Shirley, went down from the neighboring residenceof Thomas Callaway to Duncan's to see Col. Cleveland,and appear to have remained there over night.
Discovering that the horses were missing on Sunday morning, immediatelypursuit was made. Having a pair of pistols, Colonel Clevelandretained one of them, handing the other to Duncan, while Callaway and Shirleywere unarmed. Reaching the Perkins place, one of the Perkins women, knowingof the ambush, secretly desired to save the Colonel from his impendingfate; so she detained him as long as she could by conversation evidentlyfearing personal consequences should she divulge the scheme of his enemiesto entrap him. His three associates kept on with Clevelandsome little distance behind, Mrs. Perkins still following and retardinghim by her inquiries. As those in advance crossed the fence which adjoinedthe thicket, the Tories fired from their place of concealment, one aimingat Cleveland, who, though some distancein the rear, was yet within range of their guns. But they generally shotwild only one shot, that of Zachariah Wells, who aimed at Callaway, provingeffectual, breaking his thigh, when he fell helpless by the fence, andwas left for dead. Duncan and Shirley, escaped. Clevelandfrom his great weight--fully three hundred pounds--knew ho could not runany great distance, and would only be too prominent a mark for Tory bulletsdodged into the house with several Tories at his heels. Now flourishinghis pistol rapidly from one to another, they pledged to spare his lifeand accord his good treatment if he would quietly surrender, which he did.
Wells by this time having reloaded his rifle, made his appearance onthe scene, swearing that he would kill Cleveland;and aiming his gun, the Colonel instantly seized Abigail Walters, who waspresent, and by dint of his great strength, and under a high state of exicitementdextrously handled her as a puppet, keeping her between him and his would-beassassin. Wells seemed vexed at this turn in the affair, and hurled hisimprecations on the poor woman, threatening if she did not get out of theway that he would blow her through as well. Cleveland got his eye on CaptainRiddle, whom he knew, or judged by his appearance to be the leader, appealedto him if such treatment was not contrary to the stipulations of his surrender.Riddle promptly replied that it was and ordered Wells to desist from hismurderous intent, saying they would take Clevelandto Ninety-Six and make money out of his capture. The terrified woman, whohad been made an unwilling battery, was now released from Cleveland'sgrasp from a vice; and the whole party with their prisoners and his servantwore speedily mounted and hurried up New River. This stream, so near itssource, was quite shallow, and the Tories traveled mostly in its bed toavoid being tracked, in case of pursuit.
After Riddle and his party had called at Curbirth's on their way downthe river, young Daniel Curbirth and a youth named Walters, who were absentat the time returned, and encouraged by Mrs. Curbirth, they resolved totake their guns, select a good spot, and Ambuscade Riddle on his return,and perhaps rescue whatever prisoners he might have. But on the returnof the Tory party the next day, they made so much noise and gave so manymilitary commands, that led the youthful ambuscaders to conclude that theTories had received reinforcbments, and that it would be rashness for twosingle-handed youths to undertake to cope with numbers so unequal. So Riddleand his party reached undistrubed and ordered dinner for himself, men,and prisoners. Riddle abused and even kicked one of the Curbirth's girlswho did not willfully aid in preparing the dinner. After dinner they proceededup New River, mostly along its bed, until they came to the mouth of Elkcreek, up which they made their way in the same manner, Col. Clevelandmanaged to break offoverhanging twigs and drop them in the water to floatdown as a guide to his friends, who he knew would make early pursuit. Fromthe head of the south fork of Elk they ascended up the mountain to whathas since been known as Riddle Knob, in what is now Watauga and about 14miles from Old Fields where he was captured; here they camped for the nights.Early on the morning of Cleveland'scapture Joseph Calloway and his brother-in-law, Berry Toney, wanting tosee Cleveland on business, called at Duncan's and learned of the missinghorses and the search for them; and at that moment they heard the reportof the firing at the upper end of the plantation and hastened in that direction,soon meeting Duncan and Shirley in rapid flight, who could only tell thatRichard Callaway had fallen and that Clevelandwas either killed or taken. It was at once agreed that Duncan, Shirleyand Toney should notify the people of the scattered settlements to meetthat afternoon at Old Field while Joseph Callaway should go to his father'sclose by, mount his horse and hasten to Captain Robert Cleveland'son Lewis Fork, a dozen miles distance. His brother, William Callaway startedup the river and soon came across Samuel McQueen and Benjamin Greer, whoreadily joined him and all being good wooksmen, they fellowe-d the Torytrail as best they could, till night overtook them some distance abovethe mouth of Elk Creek and about ten miles from Old Fields, William Callawaysuggested that he and McQueen would remain there while Greer should returnto pilot up whatever men may have gathered to engage in the pursuit ofthe Tories.
By night-fall Captain RobertCleveland andtwenty or thirty others, good and tried men, who had served under Col.Cleveland,had gathered at Old Fields, determined to rescue their old commander atevery hazzard- even though they had to follow the Tory party to the gatesof Ninety-Six. Greer made his appearance in good time and at once theywere on the trail of the enemy. They reached William Callaway and McQueena while before day; and as soon as light began to appear John Baker joinedCallaway and McQueen to lead the advance as spies. A little after sunrise,having proceeded four miles, they discovered indications of the enemy'scamp on the mountain, but little arrangement was made for the attack; ninemen only were in readiness-the others seem to have been some distance behind.Only four or five of these wore ordered to fire on the enemy, the othersreserving their shots for a second volley, or any emergency that mighthappen of these was William Callaway.
Part of the Tories had already breakfast, while others were engagedpreparing their morning meal, Clevelandwas seated on a large log while Riddle had Cleveland'sown pistol at him, also Zachariah Wells had his pistol pointed at Cleveland,forcing him to write out passes for the several members of Riddle's partycertifying that each was a good Whig, to be used when in tight places,to help out of difficulty by asserting that they were patriots of the truesttypes.Cleveland's commendations passedunquestioned along the borders of Virginia and the Carolinas. But the Colonelhad a strong suspicion that, since his captors were in such haste for thepassports, as soon as they were out of his hands, his days would be numbered;and thus, naturally but a poor penman, he purposely retarded his task asmuch as possible, hoping to gain time for the expected relief, apologizingfor his blunders and renewing his unwilling efforts. Several of the Toryparty were now saddling their horses for an early start, and Clevelandwas receiving threats if he did not hurry up the last passport.
Just at this moment the relief party was silently creeping up, and thenext moment several guns were fired and the Whigs rushed up, uttering theirloudest yells. Col. Cleveland, comprehendingthe situation, tumbled off behind the log, lest his friends might accidentlyshoot him, and exclaiming at the top of his thundering voice, "Hurrah forBrother Bob! That's right, give 'em hell." Wells alone was shot as he wasscampering away by William Callaway in hot pursuit, and supposed to bemortally wounded; he was left to his fate. The rest fled with the aid oftheir fresh horses, or such as the could secure at the moment, Riddle andhis wife among the number. Cleveland'sservant, a pack-horse for Tory plunder, was overjoyed at his sudden liberation.Clevelandand Ross were thus fortunately rescued, and having gained their purpose,the happy whigs returned to their several homes. William Callaway was especiallyelated that he had shot Wells who had so badly wounded his brother, RichardCallaway, at the skirmish at Old Fields the morning before.
Riddle Captured and Hung
A short time after this occurance, Captain Riddle ventured to make anight raid into the Yadkin Valley, where, on King's Creek, several milesabove Wilkesboro, they surrounded the house where two of Cleveland'snoted soldiers, David and John Witherspoon, resided with their parents.The two were taken prisoners and carried to the Tory camp on Watauga river,where both were sentenced to be shot blindfolded, and men detailed to dothe fatal work. It was then proposed, if they would take the oath of allegianceto the King, return to their home and speedily return with a certain nobleanimal belonging to David Witherspoon, known as the O'Neal mare, and jointhe Tory band, their lives would be spared. They gladly accepted the propositionwith such hesitation as they thought best to make. As soon as they reachedhome, David Witherspoon mounted his fleet-footed mare and hastened to Col.Ben Herndon's several miles down the river, who quickly raised a partyand piloted by the Witherspoons; they soon reached the Tory camp, takingit by surprise, capturing three and killing and dispersing others. Theyoung Witherspoons fulfilled their promise of speedily returning to theTory camp bringing the O'Neal mare, but under somewhat different circumstancesfrom what the Tories expected. The prisioners were Captain Riddle and twoof his associates named Reeves and Goss. They were brought to Wilkesboroand tried by court martial and sentenced to be hung. But in order to gainfavor with the Whigs or get them in a condition so that they might escape,Riddle treated them freely to whiskey. Col. Clevelandinformed him that it was useless to be wasting his whiskey as he wouldbe hung directly after breakfast. The three Tories were accordingly hungon the notorious oak that is yet standing in Wilkesboro. Mrs Riddle, wifeof the Tory leader, was present, and witnessed the execution of her husbandand his comrades.
How The Tories Hated Him
Col. Cleveland was the Tories' worstenemy in this section. He was determined to break up the Tory bands thatinfested the frontier. Cleveland andhis regiment. were known far and near for their courage. They were knownamong the Whigs as Cleveland's Heroes,or Cleveland's Bull Dogs, while theTories demominated them "Cleveland'sDevils." Cleveland himself rated eachof his well-tried followers as equal to five soldiers.
It was not long until one of Cleveland'smen captured Zachariah Wel1s, who had not yet recovered from the woundsreceived at Riddle Knob. He was taken to High's bottom about a mile belowCleveland'sRound About residence. Here James Gwyn, a youth of thirteen, with a coloredboy, was at work in the field, when Cleveland, who had joined those havingthe prisoner in charge, took the plow-lines from the horse with which tohang Wells, to a tree on the river bank. Young Gwyn, who knew nothing ofthe stern realities of war, was shocked at the thought of so summary anexecution. Being well acquainted with Col. Cleveland he begged him notto hang the poor fellow, who looked so pitiful and was suffering from hisformer wound. This excited the Colonel's sympaties, and he said, "Jimmie,my son, he is a bad man; we must hang all such dangerous Tories, and getthem out of their misery." Captain Robert Cleveland who at present wascursing the wincing Tory at a vigorous rate. With tears coming down hischeeks, the Colonel adjusted the rope, regretting the necessity for hangingthe trembling culprit-remembering very well the rough treatment he hadreceived at the hands of Wells at the Perkins place at the Old Fields;and firmly C nvined that the lives of the patriots of the Yadkin Valleywould be safer,.and their slumber all the more peaceful, when their sufferingcountry was rid of all such vile desperadoes. Wells soon dangled from aconvenient tree and his remains were buried in the sand on the bank ofthe river.
Other Tories See Trouble
Many other Tories fell into the hands of Cleveland's brave troopersand summary punishment was meted out to them in Cleveland's usual way.Once a Tory leader named Tate and eight others were captured and Clevelandand his men had them near old Richmond, in Surry county. When Clevelandwas about to execute the leader, Colonel William Shepherd protested againstsuch summary justice. "Why" said Cleveland, "Tate confessed that he hasfrequently laid in wait to kill you." "Is that so?" inquired Shepherd,turning to the Tory captain. Tate confessed, and Shepherd yielded to Cleveland'splan and soon Tatc dangled from a limb. Tate's associates suffered onlyimprisonment ~s other prisonors of war.
On another occasion Col. Cleveland visited Col. Shepherd at Richmondwhere ho had two notorious horse-thieves in prison. Cleveland insistedon swinging them to the nearest tree lest they should make their escapeand yet further endanger the community-at least one of them, whose crimesrendored him particularly obnoxious to the people. One end of a rope wasfastened to his neck when he was mounted on a log and the other end tiedto a limb; t:i'en the log rolled from under him and he dangled from a limbin plain view of the prison. The other culprits was shown his comrade swingingfrom the limb and he was given his choice,to take his place beside himor cut off both his own ears and leave the country forever. The Tory knewit would not do to meddle with old Round About, so he called for a knife.He was handed a case knife, and after whetting it on a brick he grittedhis teeth and sawed off both his ears. He was then liberated and he loftwith the blood streaming down both cheeks and was never heard of afterwards.
"I'll Show You Prepetual Motion"
John Doss was the Fa.i.;hful overseer of Col. Cleveland's plantationwhile the Colonel was absent from home during the Tory troubles in 1780-81,Bill Harrison, a noted 1eader in this region, with the aid of his followers,not only stole Cleveland's stock and destroyed his property, but arrestedhis his overseer, took him to a hill-side, placed him on a log, fastenedone end of a grape vine around his neck and the other end was fastenedto the prong of a drooping dogwood; then one of the party went up the hillso as to gain sufficient propelling power, then rushed down headlong, buttingDoss off the log into eternity. It was not long until Harrison was caughtand brought to Cleveland's home. Accompanied by his servant Bill and oneor two others Cleveland led Harrison to the same dogwood on which he hadhung poor Doss. "I hope you are not going to hang me, Colonel," mutteredthe trembling wretch. "Why no?" "Because," said the Tory, "you know I ama useful man in the neighborhood-am a good mechanic-have worked for youin peaceful days, and cannot well be spared; besides I have invented prepetualmotion and if I am now suddenly cut off, the world will loose the benefitof my discovery. I, too, have heard you curse Fanning and other Loyalistsleaders for putting prisoners to death-where are your principles--whereis your conscience?" "Where is my conscience," retorted C1eveland; "whereare my horses and cattle you have stolen; my barn fences you have. wantonlyburned-and where is poor Jack Doss?" "Fore God I will do this deed andjustify myself boœore high Heaven and my country'. Run up the hill, Billand but him off the log-I'll show him perpetual motion."
The Boys Hang A Tory
On one occasion when Col. Cleveland was away from home, a Tory horsethief was captured and brought and turned ovbr to Cleveland's sons, toawait their father's return. The Colonel, not returning as soon as expected,and fearing if they sheuld undertake to keep the prisoner over night hemight escape or give them trouble, they appealed to their mother what wasbest to do under the circumstances. Mrs. C1eveland said to the boys, "What.wouldyour father do in such a case?" The boy. promptly replied, "Hang him.""Well then,"said the old lady, "You must hang him," and the thief was accordinglyhung at the gate.
The reader must not suppose that Col. Cleveland always deemed it bestpolicy to resort to the severest treatment of Tory thieves brought beforehim. He was a keen judge of human nature and lost no opportunity nor sparedno pains in reforming those who would reform. Once he had a pretty hardcase to deal with, "Waste no time, swing him off quick,"said Cleveland."You need'nt be in such a D--d hurry about it." cooly retorted the condemnedman. Cleveland, who was toddling along behind was so pleased with the coolretort that he told the boys to let him go. The Tory, touched with suddengenerosity, turned to Cleveland and said: "Well old fellow, you've conqueredme; I'll ever fight on your side," and proved it and himself one of Cleveland'ssturdy followers.
On another occasion he met an old whig who had been led astray by theTories and addressed him in this style: "Well Bob, I reckon you are returningfrom a Tory trip, are you not?" "Yes, Colonel, I am." "Well. continuedthe Colonel, "I expect when you become rested you will take another jauntwith them, eh?" "No, Colonel, if I ever go with them again I'll give youleave to make a button of my head for a haltor." "Well, Bob, that shallbe the bargain." So he gave Bob a stiff drink of grog, in accordance withthe fashion of the tines, and a hearty dinner, and started him off homerejoicing on his way and declaring that, after all, old Round About hada warmer heart and a kindlier way with him than any Tory leader he hadever met, and ever.after Bob proved himself as true a Whig almost as theColonel himself.
Besides trying to put down Tory influence the Colonel endeavored tomake good citizens as well. Eleven miles above Wilkesboro on the southbank of the Yadkin lived one Bishop, one of a class who tried to shirkthe responsibilitios of the war, and was wanting in patriotism and energyof character. At heart he was thought to be a Tory. Passing Bishop's onone of his excursions, Cleveland observed that his corn, from neglect,presented a very sorry appearance. He called Bishop out and asked if hehad been sick. He. said that he had not. "Have you been fighting for yourcountry then?" "No," said the neutral, "I have not been fighting en eitherside." "In times like these," remarked Cleveland, "men who are not fighting,and are able to work, must not be allowed to have their crops as fouldas yours." The indolent man had to "Thumb the Notch" and receive the lashesas a penalty for his negligence. It is not necessary to say that Bishop'scorn was, from that time on, in as good condition as any man's in. thecountry.
His Last Military Service
Cleveland was "all things to all people." His love for the Americancause was unbounded. His numerous friends loved and admired him for hisbold and fearless simplicity, while his ~nemies hated him for the samereason that his friends loved him.
But the war was now rapidly drawing to a close. In the autumn of 1781,Col. Cleveland performed his last militaryservice--a three month tour of duty on the waters of the Little Peedee,in the south-eastern part of the State, under General Rutherford. At thistime the British Colonel Craig was confined to Wilmington, while Fanningand other Tory leaders were yet scouring the country, and needed such aforce as the mountaineers to successfully cope with them, Cleveland'smen routed several of these scattered Tory detachments before returninghome.
Moves To South Carolina
At the close of the war Col. Cleveland lost his fine Round About plantationon the Yadkin by a better title, when he turned his attenion to the regionof the Tugalo, on the western boarder of South Carolina. In 1784 he selecteda plantation in the Tugalo valley and moved there the following year. Quitea number of his kinsmen followed him and became came his neighbors in thenewly settled valley of Tugalo.
In l785 the Cherokee Indians were. yet trouble some. They stole someof Cleveland's stock and carried it to the Indian village. Cleveland buck1edon his hunting knife and went in person to the Indian town and told themthat unless his stock was promply returned they would pay the penalty--thelast one of them--with their lives. The Indians were greatly surprisedat his enormous size, and judged that it would take a hundrad warriorsto cope with him single-handed. The stock was promptly restored.
Hangs Another Horse Thief
Col. Cleveland did not lose his hatred for the Tories in his new home.Henry Dinkins, a Tory of the Revolution, who had taken refuge among theCherokees, became a notorious horse-thief. Cleveland learned of their approachin the Tugalo valley and he snatched up his rifle and waylaid their trailand captured Dinkins and two negroes associated with him. Dinkins was promptlyhung on the spot. So notorious was Dinkins' reputation for evil that thewhole country was overjoyed at his sudden execution without waiting toconsider whether or not the mode of his exit was in accordance with theniceties of the law.
His Last Days and Death
Col. Cleveland held positions of trust and honor in his new home, buthe loved quiet home.life best and spent most of his time about his plantation.He continued to increase in weight until he weighed the enormous sum offour hundred snd fifty pounds.
For several summers preceding his death ho suffered with dropsy in hislower limbs, and during the last year of his life his excessive fat considorablydecreased,. and he, at last died while sitting at breakfast, in October,1806, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. His wife died about six yearsprevious. Ho loft two sons and a daughtor, whose descendants are numerousand resspectable. Our county man, Esq. R. M. Staley is a great-grand-sonof Col. Cloveland. Wilkes county has no better citizon and no man a betterneighbor than Esq. Staley.
With hardly an education and little improvemnts in later life, Col.Cleveland, with a vigorous intellect, exerted a commanding influence amongthe frontier people; and though despotic in his nature and severe on theTories, his patriotic activitity did much to preserve the western portionof North Carolina from British and Tory ascondency. North Carolina deservedlycommorated his services by naming Cleveland county for him.
The remains of this noble hero sleep in the family burial groun in thevalley of the Tugalo. No monument-no tombstone-no inscription marks hissilent resting place. The spot is marked by several pines that have grownup since his interment-one of thorn, it is said, shoots its tall spirefrom his grave. There he lies in a sister State with not even a gravestoneto mark his resting place, where scattered bands of Chorokeos may lookupon the pine that rises out of his grave and wonder among themselves,"Is this the goal of ambition-this the climax of glory?"
How strange are the ways of men!
THE FIRST WILL PROBATED
The first will probated in Wilkes county was probated and recorded inthe year l778, at the December term of the county court. In the early historyof the county wills wore only probated during the session of the CountyCourt and not before the Clerk at any time convenient as in now the case.
This will, first on record in the county, starts off like this:
"The Last Will and Testament of John Witherspoon, Dec'd. Dec. Term,1778.
"Novomber the first in the year of our Lord Christ, 1778. In the nameof God, Ame, I John Witherspoon, and of Wilkes County, being weak in bodybut sound of memory, blessed be God, do this day and in the year of ourLord make and publish this my last will and testament in the followingmanner, that is to say, first I appoint, _____", etc.
The subscribing witnesses are Thomas Harbin, Alexander Holton and Jno,Robinson.
GENERAL WILLIAM LENOIR
The subject of this sketch was one of the early pioneers of this section.He did much in building the county of Wilkes and the establishment of lawand government in this section of the State . The name of William Lenoirappears oftonor in early records of our country than the name of any otherperson. His life, character and services are recorded in such an able andfamiliar manner in an extract from the "Raleigh Register:" of June 22,1839, that we give the article here:
This veneraele patriot and soldier died at his residence at Fort Defiance,in Wilkes county, on Monday, the 6th of May, 1839, aged eighty-eight years.Perhaps no individual new remains in the state of North Carolina who borea more distinguished part during our Revolutionary struggle, or who wasmore closely identified with the early history of our government than thevenerable nam whose history and public services it is our purpose to sketch.
General Lenoir was born in Brunswick county, Va., on the 20th of Mayl75l, and was descended from poor but respectable French ancestry. He wasthe youngest of ten children. When about eight years old his father removedto Tar River, near Tarboro, where he resided until his death which happenedshortly after. The opportunities of obtaining even an ordinary Englisheducation that day were extremely limited, and General Lenoir receivedno other than such as his own personal exerperince permitted him to acquireafter his father's death. When about 20 years of age he was married toAnn Ballard of Halifax, N.C., a lady poessessing in an eminent degree thosedomestic and heroic virtues which qualified her for sustaining the privationsand hardships of a frontier life, which it was her destiny afterwards toencounter.
In March, l775 General Lonior removed with his family to the countyof Wilkes (then a portion of surry), and settled near the place where thevillage of Wilkesboro now stands. Previous to his leaving Halifax, however,he signed what was then familiarly called, "The Association Paper," whichcontained a declaration of thd sentiments of the people of the coloniesin r.gard to the relations existing between them and the crown of GreatBritain, and which their scattared condition ren dered it necessary tocirculate for signatures in order to ascertain the wishes and determinationof the people. Soon after his removal to Surry he was appointed a memberof the Committee of Safety for that county and continued to discharge hisduties as such, and as clerk to the Committee until their authority wassuperseded by the adoption of the Constitution of the State. On the commencementof hostilities with Great Britain, General Lenoir very early took a decidedand active part. It is well known to all those acquainted with the historyof the times that about the beginning of the war of the Revolution theCherokee Indians were exceedingly annoying and troublesome to the whitesettlements in the Western part of North Carolina. The Whigs thereforein that section of the country were obliged at the very outset to be constantlyon the alert-they were frequently called en to march at a rnoments warning,in small detachments, in pursuit of marauding bands of Indians, in thehope of chastising them for depredations committed on the settlements-theywere also compelled to keep up scouting and ranging parties, and to stationguards at the most accessible passes in the mountains. In this serviceGeneral Lonior bore a conspicuous part, which was continued until the celebratedexpedition of Gen. Rutherford and Gem. Williamson in 1776, put an end tothe difficulties with the Cherokees. In this expedition General Lenoirserved as a lieutenant under the distinguished Ccl. Cleveland, who as thena captain, and frequently has he been heard to recount the many hardshipsand suffering which they had to undergo. They were of ton entirely destituteof provisions-there was not a tent of any kind in the whole army-very fewblankets and these only such as could be spared from their houses for theoccasion, and their clothing consisted principally of rude cloth made fromhemp, tow, and wild nettle bark-and as a sample of the uniform worn bythe General officers, it may be mentioned that General Rutherford's consistedof a tow hunting shirt dyed black and trimmed with white fringe. From thetermination of this campaign until the one projected against the Britishand Tories under Major Ferguson, Gen. Lenoir was almost constantly engagedin capturing and suppressing the. Tories, who, at that time, were assuminggreat confidence and exhibiting much boldness. Indeed, such was the characterof the times that the Whigs considered themselves, their families and propertyin continual and imminent danger. No man ventured from his housr witheuthis rifle, and no one unless his character was well known, was permittedto travel without undergoing the strictest examination. Gen. Lenoir hasfrequently been heard to say that owing to this perilous situation he hasoften been compelled on retiring at night, to place his rifle on one sideof him in bed while his wife occupied the other.
In the expedition to King's Mountain he hold the position of captainCol. Cleveland's regiment, but on ascertaining that it would be impossiblefer the footmen to reach the desired point in time, it was determined bya council of officers that all who had horses or could procure them shouldadvance forthwith.
Accordingly Gem. Lenoir and his company officers volunteered their servicesas privates, and proceeded with the horsemen by a severe forced march tothe scene of action. In the brilliant achievement on King's Mountain hewas wounded severely-in the arm, and also in the side-and a third ballpassed throught his hair just above where it was tied. He was also at thedefeat of the celebrated Tory, Col. Pyles near Haw River, and in this engagementhad his horse shot and his sword broken, He also raised a company and marchedtoward the Dan River, with the hope of joining Gen. Greene, previous tothe battle of Guilford, but was unable to effect a junction in time. Manyother services of a minor character were performed by him, which it wouldbe tedious to enumerate.
In the militia of the State he was also an active and efficient officer,having passed through different grades from that of an Orderly Sergeantto a Major-General in which latter of office he served for about eighteenyears.
In a civil capacity also General Lenoir discharged many high and responsibleduties. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace by the convention whichmet to form the State Constitution, and was appointed by the first GeneralAssembly which met under its authority. He continued to discharge the dutiesof this office until he died with the exception of a temporary suspensionof about two years, whilst he acted as Clerk of County Court of Wilkes.It is therefore more than probable that at the time he died he was theoldest magistrate in the State, or perhaps in the United States. He alsofilled at different periods the various offices of Register, Surveyor,Commissioner of Affidavits, Chairman of County Court, and Clerk of SuperiorCourt for the county of Wilkes. He was one of the original trustee of theUniversity of NC., and was the first president of the Board. He servedmany years in both branches of the State Legislature, embracing nearlythe whole period of our early legislative history, and during the lastfive years of his service in the Senate was unamimously chosen Speakerof that body. It was also remarked that he p rformed the duties of thatimportant station with as much general satisfaction, probably, as was evergiven by the presiding officer of any deliberate assembly. He was for severalyears elected a member of the council of State, and when convened, waschosen President of the Board. He was also a member of both the State Conventionwhich met for the purpose of considering the Constitution of the UnitedStates; and in the discussions of those bodies he took an jealousy therights of the States. Owing to the difficulties which existed among theStates in the adoption of the Federal Constitution, as opinion prevailedthat another General Convention would be called to revised and amend it.The Convention of North Carolina, acting upon this supposition, proceededto elect five delegates to represent the State in the proposed GeneralConvention, of which number General Lenoir was one. It is also in honorof him that the respectable county of Lenoir bears its name.
These, together with many other services of a minor character, thoughimportant in themselves, or in futherance of the due execution of the law,constitute the sum of that portion of the public burdens which have beenborne by this venerable man, for many of which he declined to receive anycompensation. Those who knew Gen. Lenoir will readily concur in the opinionthat it is questionable whether any man ever performed a public duty witha more punctilious regard to the promotion of the public welfare or inmore strict accordance with the requirements of the authority under whichhe acted.
For the last several years of his life ho devoted much of his time toreading and reflection on public affairs, and manifested great concernand expressed much apprehension lost from the signs of the times, our inestimablegovernment, which cost so much blood and treasure, hardship and suffering,was destined, at no distant period, to share the fate of the republicsof other days. Indeed, so great were his fears on this subject that itwas a source of real disquietude and unhappiness to him.
In private life Gen. Lenoir was no less distinguished for his moralworth and generous hospitality than in public life for his unbending integrity,firmness and patriotism. His mansion was open at all times, not only toa large and extensive circle of friends and acquaintances, but to the strangerand traveler. Although he lived for many years upon a public highway andreceived and entertained all persons who chose to call upon him, he wasnever known in a single instance to make a charge or receive compensationfor accomodations thus furnished.
In his manners aid habits of life he was plain and unostentatious. Steadilyacting himself upon principles of temperance and frugality in all thingshe endeavored both by example and precept to inculcate similar principlesupon others. To the poor he was kind and charitable and by his will madeliberal provisions for those of his own neighborhood. He had long enjoyedalmost uninterrupted health while he was careful to preserve by moderatebut almost constant exercise either on horseback or in his workshop, ofwhich he was very fond. As evidence of his physical ability, it may bementioned that he attended the Superior Court of Ashe county, a distanceof more than 100 miles from his residence, traveling the whole distanceon horseback, and crossing the Blue Ridge, and also attended the courtof his own county, a distance of 214 miles not more than three weeks beforehis death. During his last illness he suffered much pain, and often expresseda desire that the Supreme Disposer of all things would terminate his sufferings.He often said "Death had no terrors for him-he did not fear to die." Hisremains were interred in the family burying-ground, which occupies thespot where Fort Defiance was erected during the Revolutionary war.
ZEBULON BAIRD Grandfather of Zebulon B. Vance
Zebulon Baird Vance's grandfather, Zebulon Baird, was a native of WilkesCounty. It was after this Wilkes county ancestor that the noted General,Governor, Senator and Statesman was named. Notwithstanding the fact thathe lived nearly a century ago and is very little known at his day, ZebulonBaird would be counted as one of the great men of Wilkes County for thereason that he was the grandfather of the most beloved man that ever livedin North Carolina.
FIRST CHURCH IN COUNTY
Surry county was formed in 1770 from Rowan county, which, until thisdate, comprehended a large portion of Western North Carolina from beyondthe Yadkin to the Mississippi river, including all the upper valley ofthe Yadkin to the Virginia line. In l770 Surry was a frontier county. TheMulberry Field Meeting House was the only church in the entire county.This church, or meeting house as it was called, was situated where thetown of Wilkesboro now.stands. Some of our oldest citizens think this churchstood about where the Chronicle building now stands, or probably a fewyards further south. It was a Baptist church and the first to be builtin the county.
It required no little zeal and Christian energy to prompt our earlysettlers to expose themselves to great danger and hardship to come to thischurch, traveling scores of miles through dense forests and jungles andover the rudest kinds of roads, knowing that an attack of the treacherousIndians to the take their lives was probable at any moment. But is wasa gracious privilege to those sturdy Christians to be permitted to worshipGod according to their own will and as their own conscience directed, eventhough they did so at the peril of their lives. They knew what it was tobe deprived of that previlege by tyrannical rules and laws, and from suchoppressions they had fled to this country, and erected Mulberry FieldsMeeting House, where they might worship when and in whatever manner theysaw fit. The Holy Spirit of Almighty God must have directed them and stayedthe tomahawk and arrow in the hands of the treacherous enemy. I admiresuch faith and zeal, and it is no wonder that these faithful, sturdy, reignand tyrannts can not live. We cannot too much appreciate the perseveranceand patriotism of our ancestors who came to Wilkes to build homes and plantcivilization for us.
Until 1839 there were no public schools in North Carolina; and for severalyears after that date the system of public schools did not reach all thepeople in all sections of the State. In the early history of the countythe opportunity of obtaining an education was scant. There were only twoor more private schools, with school houses made of logs, sticks and mud,scattered about over the county. The following account of some of our earlyschools is taken from the report on Education by the State Superintendnetof Public Instruction for 1898:
"Incorporated Schools--Philomathian Academy, chartered 1804; WilkesboroAcademy, chartered 1810, and again in 1819.
"At a very early period in this centruy there was a notable 'GrammarSchool' with John Harrison as principal. It was described as 'ten milesbelow the court house.' Latin and Greek were offered. The tuition was $10for ten months, and board could be had at $25 per year.
"The only teacher of the Wilkesboro Academy whose name I have been ableto discover is that of Rev. Peter McMillan, whose tuition was fifty percenthigher than Mr. Harrison's and the board from 75 to 100 percent higher."
"TO THUMB THE NOTCH"
Revolutionary times wore indeed trying to the settlers along the frontier.Both Indians and Tories gave much trouble. The way in which punishmentwas inflictod in those days was severe and effective. The following accountof the punishment of Shade laws will give the reader some idea of the characterof those times:
"The depredations of the Tories were so frequent and their conduct sosavage that summary punishment was demanded by the exigencies of the times.This Cleveland inflicted without ceremony. General Lenoir relates a circumstancesthat ocourred at the Mulberry Meeting House. While there an some publicoccasion, the rumor that mischief was going on by the Tories. Lenoir wentto his horse tied at some distance from the house, and as he approacheda man ran off from the opposite side of the horse. Lenoir hailed him buthe did net stop; he pursued him and found that he had stolem one of thestirrups off his saddle carried the pilferer to Col. Cleveland, who orderedhim to place his two thumbs in a notch for that prupose in an arbor forkand hold them there while he ordered him to receivo fifteen lashes. Thiswas his peculiar manner of inflicting the law and gave origin to the phrase"to thumb to notch." The punishment on the offender above named was wellinflicted by Captain John Beverly whose ardor did not stop at the orderednumber. After the fifteen had been given, Col. Herndon drew his sword andstruck Beverly. Captain Beverly drew also and they had a tilt which, butfor friends, would have terminated fatally."
The tree in which the notches were cut was still standing in 1850. Wheelerin his history of North Carolina, says, "There is a tree in Wilkes countywhich bears the name of "Shade Laws Oak" on which the notched thumbed bysaid Laws under the sentence of Cleveland, are distinctly visible." Thetree stood about half a mile west of the Village of Moravian Falls on thetop of the hill just above the Old Shiloh church. The tree was cut downseveral years ago by some one who, probably from personal reasons, wantedthe tree destroyed. The stump is still visible.
Daniel Boone was not a native of Wilkes, but it was here he spent aportion of his life, and here it was that he was trained in our forestsfor the life, he afterwards lived. His name is loved and cherished allover the country but nowhere more than in Wilkes county. His history isa part of the county's and it would be an injustice. not to give a sketchof this pioneer in this book. The sketch following is from the pen of JohnH. Wheeler and is the best short sketch of Boone I have ever seen:
Daniel Boone was born in l746 in Burcks county, Pennsylvania, near Bristol,about twenty miles from Philadelphia. When he was but a child,. his fatheremigrated to North Carolina, and settled in one of the valleys of the Yadkin.Here Boone was reared and here he married Miss Bryan.
In May, 1769, Boone informs us himself, "accompanied by John Findley,John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Nonay and William Cool," left his homeand quiet joys for the"dark and bloody ground" of Kentucky. Then inhabitedonly by wild animals and savages. But in the boundless forests he seemedto be in his appropriate sphere. Here he pursued the deer, buffalo andwild beasts. After a hard day's hunt, as Boone and Stuart were returningto their camp, they were seized by a horde of savages who made them prisoners;that night they escaped, but what was their surprise when they came totheir camp and found their comrades were gone, either prisoners or murdered,for the camp was deserted. But the spirit of Boone knew no despair. Hecalled all the resources into action, husbanded his game and ammunition,and prepared to return to North Carolina. At this time Boone's brother,fired by the same ardor for wild excitement, came out to their camp withone companion. This infused fresh joys and new hopes. But soon after Stuartfell in a foray with the Indians, no persuasions could induce their companionto remain, and he left Boone and his brother alone in the vast wilderness.They erected a house to protect them, and supplied plentifully with game,they passed the winter in comfort. But their ammunition and salt becomingscant, the brother of Boone return for a supply, and Daniel Boone was leftalone in the wild forests of Kentucky. This voluntary exile was not unpleasantto his temper. In his journal he assures us that his mind was filled withadmiration of the boundless beauties of nature. The magnificent forestwas clothing itself in the rich attire of spring, the gergeous flowerswore unfolding their glories to his eye alone, the wild deer and buffalowere not fearful of his presence.
He continued in these solitary quarters until the 27th of July whenhis brother returned loaded with ammunition and salt, to them more preciousthan the mines of California. They made an expedition to the Cumberlandriver, naming the rivers they passed, and making such observations as mightbe of future use.
In March, 1771 they returned to North Carolina. He was so charmed withthe rich soil, the bountiful productions of nature, and the abundant gamethat he sold his farm on the Yadkin, and by his representation, five familiesand his own set out for their return to Kentucky, on the 25th day of September,1773. As they passed Powell's valley then one hundred and fifty miles fromthe settled parts of Virginia, forty hardy sons of the forest joined them.They pursued their journey until the 10th day of October, when they werefuriously attacked by a large body of Indians. By their skill, unflinchingcourage and resoultion, the superior force of the savages was beaten off,but Boone's party lost six men killed and one wounded. Among the killedwas Boone's oldest son, a youth of much promise and daring.
This repulse forced them to retreat to the settlement on Clinch river.Hero he remanod with his family until the 6th of June, l774 when the Governorof Virginia (Dunmore) engaged him and an adventured by the name of Starerto conduct a party of surveyors to the falls of the Ohio, near eight hundredmiles; this he performed on foot in sixty-two days. On his return Dunmoregave him the command of the garrisons on the frontier, which he maintainedduring the war at this period against the Shawnee Indians.
In March, l775, he attended at the request of Judge Richard Henderson,a council of the Cherokees, by which they ceded their lands south of theKentucky river.
In April he erected a fort a the spot where the town of Boonsboro nowstands. The Indians wore very much dissatisfied at the erection of thisfort. After it was finished he returned in June for his family on Clinchriver. Mrs. Boone and her daughter were the first white women that everstood on the banks of the Kentucky river.
In December the Indians made a funious assault on this fort by whichBoone lost one man killed and another wounded; but the Indians were repulsedwith great sluughter. This defeat was so severe that the Indians treacherouslyappeared reconciled and seemed to give up all ideas of assaulting the fortor molesting the whites. This caused the inhabitants of the fort to beless guarded, and they made visits and excursions into the forests around.On the 14th day of July 1776-just seven from their last attack-as threeyoung ladies, two daughters of Col. Caloway and the third of Col. Boonewere leisurely strolling in the woods they were pursued by the Indiansand caught before they could reach the gates of the fort. At this momentBoone was off hunting, but when he returned, without any aid he followedalone the tracks of the Indians. He knew that if he waited to collect aforce the cunning robbers would be entirely beyond pursuit. With a sagacictypeculiar to hunters, he followed their trai1 without the least deviation,while the girls had the presence of mind to snap off twigs from time totime as they passed through the shrubbery in their route. At last he camein sight of them, and by the aid of his unerring rifle, killed two of theIndians and recovered the young ladies, and reached the fort in safety.
The crafty foe now made open war. On the l5th of April, 1777, the unitedtribes made an attack on the fort, but it was unsuccessful.
In July twenty-five men arrived from North Carolina, and in August CaptainBowman, with one hundred men, arrived from Virginia. By this powerful reinforcementthey no longer dreaded the savages, but rallied and made attacks on theIndians and drove them from the vicinity.
On the first of January, 1778, Col. Boone with thirty men commencedmaking salt for the first time in that region at the Blue Licks, or Lickingriver, and he made enough of this essential of life for a civilized inhabitantsof the infant community.
On the 7th of February as Col. Boone was hunting alone, he was surprisedby one hundred Indians and two Frenchmen. They took him prisoner. He learnedthen that a famous attack was to be made by a strong force on Boonesboro.He captitulated for the fort, knowing its weak state, as it had only twenty-sevenmen, the rest had gone with salt into the settlements of Virginia.
The Indians, according to their treaty, carried their prisoners tooldChilli Cothe, the principal town of the Miami, where they arrived on the18th of Feb. and according to their terms, the Indians him kindly.
In March they carried Boone to Detroit to offer him for ransom to theGovernor; but on the route the Indians became so much attached to him thatthey refused to part with him; and after leaving at Detroit the other prisoners,they returned with Boone to Chili Cothe. He was adopted as one of the tribeand pretended to be very fond of his new father and mother, and take greatinterest in their sports and his plan of escape was hurried by an alarmingcircumstances; while mediatating upon it he was astonished to see an assemblageof four hundred warriors at Chili Cothe. An attack on Boonesboro was planned.
On the 16th of June he escaped and reached Boonesboro on the 20th adistance of one hundred and sixty miles, during which he ate but one meal.He found the fort in bad condition and set all hands a repair it. The Indians,finding that he had escaped, postponed the attack.
On the 1st of August with nineteen men, Boone set out to attack an Indiantown called Paint Creek, on the Sciota. Within four miles of the fort theymet forty Indians on their way to attack them. A desperate fight ensues,in which Boone conquered, without the loss of a man.
On the 8th of August the largest force that they ever had appear beforeBoonosboro orders it to surrender. The assailants were four hundred andforty-four Indians and eleven Frenchmen, command by Capt. Duquesne. Boonerequested a parley of three days during which he made every preparationfor an active and vigorous defense.
On the 9th Boone informs the French commander that "he would defendthe fort as long as a man could raise a rifle."
The wily Frenchman, knowing the prowess of his oppoent, seeks to effectby stratagem what he dares not attempt by arms. A treaty is agreed to.Boone with the required number go forth to sign the document. He is informed,after signing, that it was an Indian custom from time immemorial for twoIndians to shake the hands of one white man. This he reluctantly consentedto, and the moment the savages took hold of each white man they endeavoredto hold him fast. Boone feels the sinewy grasp of two athletic Indians,and his companions are betrayed into a like perilous condition. Now arosethe mighty struggle for liberty and for life.
"Now gallant Boone now hold thy own,
No Maiden arm is round thee thrown;
That desperate grasp thy frame would feel
Through bars of brass and triple steel."
Fortunate favors at this moment of peril her gallant son; the knifeof of Boone finds a bloody sheath in one of his opponents; the other isthrown down, and Boone and his men escape to the fort.
His name can never die. The memory of this chilairic exploit, and thename of Boone will live as long as the Kentucky river rolls its troubledtribute to the "Great Father Waters;" and when the marble in our NationalCapitol, which corimemorates this deed, shall have crumbled to its originalelements.
The Indians, after an unsuccessful attack, raise the seige, after aloss of several killed and wounded.
During the absence of Col. Boone in captivity among the Shawnees, hiswife, thinking her husband was killed, returnbd with her family to herfather's on the Yadkin North Carolina. Boone came to North Carolina afterthem.
He returned with them in about two years to Boonesboro, during whichtime many battles had been lost and won.
As he and his brother were returning from the Salt Licks, they wereattacked by the Indians, his brother w~s killed by a shot from the Indians.Boone was not hurt and only escaped by rapid flight, killing the dog theIndians had sent on his trail.
Such was the life Boone led until the defeat of the Indians by Wayne(1792) introduced peace and quiet in this dark and country.
Between this time and the time (1792) the now territory came into theUnion, Virginia had enacted so many laws, which Boone in the simplicityof his nature had failed to comply with, or his business was done so loosely,that the very land he had bought and paid for, in the sacrifices of himselfand the blood of his son and his brother was wrested from him. How sada commentary upon human nature. How mournfully true the Latin adage, "homehom mi lupus" (man is a wolf to man). In 1798 he shoulders his rifle andgoes to the wilds of Missouri. Here was a country as wild and unclaimedas his heart desired. The republic was that of the forest, and the rifleand the hunter; and Boone was commander-in-chief. He never sighed for whatwas lost. He said Kentucky was too crowded, he wanted more elbow-room.Here he lived until 1813, when he lost his wife; the faithful companionof all his trials and troubles exchanged this for a brighter world. Thiswas the severest blow Boone received. He left Missouri and come his son,Major Nathan Boone, where he lived, employing his leisure with his favoriterifle and trapping beavers until 1818 when he calmly and resignedly breathedhis last, in the eighty-fourth year of his age surrounded by affectionand love. It was stated in the papers at the time of his death that hewas found dead at a stand, watching for a deer with his rifle sprung andraised ready to fire. In the Indian idea he had gone to hunting groundof the warrior alone, where his spirit would be happy when the stars wouldcease to give their light.
The Character of Boone is so peculiar that it marks the age in whichhe lived; and his name has been celebrated in the verses of the immortalByron:
OF ALL MENWho pass for in life and death most lucky,
Of the great names which~in our faces stare.
Is Daniel Boone, backswoodsman of Kentucky.
Crime came not near him--she is not the child
Of solitude. Health shrank not from him, for
Her home is in the rarely trodden wild.
And tall and strong and swift on foot were they,
Beyond the dwarfing city's pale abortions,
Because their thoughts had never been the prey
Of care or gain: the green woods were their portion;
No sinking spirits told them they grew gray,
No fashions made them apes of her distortions;
Simple they were, not savage; and their rifles,
Though very true, were not yet used for trifles.
Motion was their days, rest in their slumbers,
And cheerfulness the handmaid of their toils;
Nor yet too many, nor too few their numbers;
Corruption could not make their hearts her soil;
The last which stings, the splendor which encumbers,
With the tree foresters divide no spoil;
Serene, not sullen, even the solitudes
Of this unsighing people of the weeds.Don Juan, Canto VII,LVI
In North Carolina was Boone reared. Here his youthful days werespent; and here that bold spirit was trained, which so fearlessly encounteredthe perils through which he passed in after life. His fame is a part ofher property, and she has inscribed his name on a town (Boone) in the regionwhere his youth was spent.
I am indebted to a sketch in the National Portrait Gallery, by W.A.C.,for the leading facts and dates in the life of Boone.
It was on a farm near Holman's ford that Boone's early life was spent.There are objects still existing in that locality which were associatedwith him in his hunting expeditions and travels. There are trees standingto this day bearing marks which indicate that at or near the spot DanielBoone killed a bear. Boone's Gap in the Brushy mountains, near Boomer,is so called because it was in Boone's route across the mountain on hishunting expeditions. A short distance from this gap, on a tributary ofWarrior creek, is a beautiful water--fall which owes its name-Boone's Falls-tothis great hunter.
The battle of King's Mountain is very closely connected with the historyof Wilkes County. Nearly or probably mere than, half the American soldiers,engaged in this famous battle for freedom of the American people were fromWilkes county, as her boundary lines were at that time. Wilkes furnishedthree distinguished leaders for this battle-Col. Benjamin J. Cleveland,Col. John Sevier and General Isaac Shelby. The forces - assembled at Watauga,in Wilkes county (now in Carter county, Tenn.) and decided to attack theBritish forces under Major Ferguson.
At that time the Western part of North Carolina was a strong-hold forthe Tories and many of the men in the British ranks at King's Mountainwere Tories.
Following is a circular letter issued by Major Ferguson to the Toriesjust seven days before the battle of King's Mountain:
Donard's Ford, Tryon Co.
Oct. 1, 1780
Gentlemen: Unless you wish to be sut up by an inundation of barbarian,who have begun by murdering the unarmed son before the aged father, andafterwards lopped off his arms, and who by their shocking cruelty and irregularities,give the best proof of their cowardice and want of discip1ine; I say ifyou wish to be pinioned, robbed and murdered, and to see your wives anddaughters, in four days, abused by the dregs of mankind--in short, if youwish desire to live and bear the name of men, grasp your arms in a momentand run to camp.
The backwater men have crossed the mountains; McDowel1, Hampton, Shelbyand Cleveland are at their head, so that you will have to depend upon.If you choose to be p--d upon for ever and ever by a set of mongrels, sayso at once, and let your women turn their backs upon you and look out forreal men to protect them.
. Pat Ferguson
Maj. 71st Regiment
Ferguson was expecting an attack from the Americans and directed a letterto Lord Cornwall at Charlotte, soliciting aid. At this time Ferguson andhis divison of the army were at Gilbert town, from place he began his marchto King's Mountain. He camped the first night at Cowpens (soon to becomefamous for the success of our aims over Tarleton, Jan, 17, 1781). On the5th of Oct. he crossed Broad river at Deep Ferry and marched sixteen miles;on the 6th he marched up the ridge road, until he came to a right handfork across King's creek and through a gap towards Yorkville, about l4miles; and on the summit of King's Mountain he encamped. Here he declaredwas "a place where God Almighty could not drive him from."
About 3 o'clock on tha 7th of Oct. 1789, after being in the saddle for30 hours, without rest, and drenched by a heavy rain, the fearless Americansapproached King's Mountain.
This mountain is in Cleveland county, on the borders of North and SouthCarolina; it extends East and West and on the summit is a plateau aboutfive hundred yards long and sixty or seventy broad. On the sumit was Fergusonposted. The Americans divided into three wings, The right wing under thecommand of McDowell, Sevier, and Winston; Campbell and Shelby commandedthe center, while the left wing was under the command of Cleveland andWilliams. The plan of battle was to surround the mountain and attack eachside simultaneously. The center commenced the attack and marched boldlyup the mountain. The battle here was fierce, furious and bloody. The centergave way, but rallied and rinferced by Campbell's regiment, returned tothe charge. Towards the latter part of the action the enemy made a furiousonset from the eastern summit and drove the Americans to the foot; therethey rallied and in close column returned to the attack and in turn drovethe enemy before them to the western end, where Cleveland and Williamshad been contending with another part of their line, Campbell now reachedthe summit and poured in on the on my a deadly fire. The brave Ferguson,like a lion at bay, turned on these new adversaries and advanced with fixedbayonet. They gave way for the moment, and rallied under their gallantleaders to the attack. "The whole mountain was vocered with smoke and seemedto thunder." Attacked on all sides, the circle becoming less and less,Ferguson in a desperate move endeavored to break through the American linesand was shot dead in the attempt. This decided the day. The British flagwas lowered, and a white flag raised for quarters.
One hundred and fifty of the enemy, including their commander, lay deadon the field, 810 wounded and prisoners. 1500 stands of arms and the Americanauthority restored, were the fruits of this victory.
This was the turning point of the fortunes of America. This decisiveblow prostrated the British power for the time, vanquished the Tory influence,and encouraged the hopes of the patriots.
Lord Corwallis left Charlotte and fell back to Winnsboro, desiring anyproximity to such fearless men unsafe for the main army, nor did he advanceuntil reinforced by General Leslie with troops from north.
The total loss on the American side was 28 killed and 60 wounded.
THE SIAMESE TWINS
The ce1ebrated Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng after traveling all theworld and seeing the advantages and disadvantages of every country, choseethe quiet of glens of Wilkes as the loveliest spot retirement and repose.
They were born in May, 1811, at Maklong, Siam, and died in Wilkes county,near Hays postoffice, about the year 1880.
In 1829 they left their country for America, and since they have traveledover the whole of this continent, England, France, and other countries,exciting the admiration of the crowd, and the investigations of the scientificSir Ashley Cooper, of London, Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell of New York, and others,who have reported upon this singular phenomemon in the natural world.
They were united together as one by an ensiform cartilage from the side.The blood vessels and nerves of each communicated. There seemed to be aperfect sympathy, for when one was sick so was the other. They went tosleep At the same moment, and woke at the same. Both died the same day,only a few moments intervening between their deaths.
A time or two was appointed to seperate the twins but the scientificdoctors decided that such an operation would terminate their lives.
They were wealthy, well settled, and both happily married and had interestingfamilies around them. They married twin sisters named Yates, late of thiscounty. Ex-County Commissioner, Robert Yates, who lives near Boomer isa nephew of the wives of the Siamese Twins. Several of their descendantsyet live in Surry county and they have adopted the name Bunker as theirsurname. The house now owned and occupied by Ambros Wiles was built bythe Siamese Twins, and they lived and died there.
They differed widely in appearance, character and strength. One wassober and patient; the other intemperate and irritable. It is said thatthey frequently fell out--generally about their movements- when they shouldor should not go somewhere-and sometimes fought like dogs. In 1870 Changwas stricken with paralysis from which he died a few years later. In ashort time-probably about 30 minutes-Eng followed him to the great beyond.They were the most interesting persons that ever lived in the county. Inthe natrual history of the world there is not another case like them.
THE SHOW FIGHT
Between the years of 1855 and 1860, in Wilkesboro, occurred one of themost remarkable fights in the history of the county. Robinson's show hadpitched their tents in the vale on the north side opposite the place wherethe new Methodist. church now stands. The show people had a stand wherethey sold candy, lemenade, etc. It was at this stand that the trouble arose.George Johnson went up to the stand to buy seme candy; the showmen wantedto charge him about three times the usual price in the stores at that time,when finally Johnson told him to take the candy and go to h--l with it.This insulted the showman who in turn insulted Johnson, who was somethingof a fighter he at once began to fight. The showman's partner came to hisaid armed with sticks, single trees and such other weapons as they gettheir hands on. Johnson' s friends came to his aid about as fast as theshowmen to the aid of their comrade. A desperate battle followed.
Among Johnson's friends who engaged in the fight may be mentioned thefollowing: Ellis Anderson, Andy Porter, "Bill" Transou, Wesley Nicolls,Peter Johnson, Jones Transou, and others.
Such weapons were used as were most convenient and several on each sidewere badly hurt, but no one killed.
Sheriff Staley was informed of the fight and he soon had the participatorsunder arrest and under guard. After the showmen who had engaged in thefight had been released, a party who were absent with the horses duringthe fight, came up. They were attacked by the Wilkes party, who by thistime had procured sticks, axes, and other deadly weapons, and were preparedto do some fatal execution. The showmen told them they knew nothing ofthe trouble and were not concerned with it, but the enraged citizens werenot disposed to hear them. About that time Sheriff Staley appeared on thescene and informed the citizens that the showmen who had engaged in thefight were under under arrest; then the citizens calmed down and anotherbloody fight was averted.
The showmen under arrest were marched to the court house and a preliminarytrial was held before Dr. R.F.Hackett, who was a Justice of the Peace atthat time. The trial lasted until about midnight when the whole party wasbound to court. The showmen did not want to go to jail and the jail wasnot sufficient to hold them, so they were kept in the courthouse, underguard, until morning when, after the showmen had paid him $500, Gen. JamesB. Gordon stood surety for their apperarance at court, They never appearedand finally the case was dismissed upon payment of the cost by Gordon.The cost in the amounted to about $130, so Gordon cleared about $370 inthe transaction.
After the ones engaged in the fight were arrested the the show proceededand a large crowd witnessed the exhibit.
JAMES HENRY SPAINHOUR - By Frank B. Hendron
James Henry Spainhour was born in Burke county in 1835 and came to Wilkescounty in 1858. New Hope Academy in Lewis Fork township, had just beencompleted and was in quest of a principal. Maj. Jas. H. Foote recommendedMr. Spainhour to the position and he was e1ected. He remained in this positionuntil the outbreaking of the war, when he enlisted in Company B, Capt.Stokes., which company was attached to First Regiment N.C. Volunteers.Mr. Spainhour being a licensed minister of the Baptist church, was appointedChaplin of this Regiment in which capacity he served until his death atFredericksburg, on the 17th day of October, 1861.
It was under Prof. Spainhour's principalship, that New Hope Academyenjoyed its brief period of ascendency among the schools of this countyand had its. career not been cut short by the war it would doubtless becomeone of the 1eading instituations in the western part of the state. It waslocated in what was justly considered at that time the most progressivecommunity in the county. The Academy was burned during the war and afterthat unhappy struggle still-houses took its place and the community longsuffered from their blighting influence. Recently, however, the Acadamyhas been rebuilt and the community, which contained some of the best peoplein the county, is regaining some of its old time activity and progress.
The late Maj. H. Bingham, as well as many of the leading citizens ofthis county, of the older class received their education of New Hope Academy.
COL. W. H. H. COWLES
(For the loading facts in this sketch the author is indebted to JeromeDowd1s sketch of Col. Cowles in "Sketches of Prominent Living North Carolinians,"and to the sketch by W. W. Barber, which in "The Wilkesboro Chronicle"Jan. 8, 1902.)
Colonel Cowles, subject of this sketch, was born Hamptonville, Yadkincounty, April 22, l840 and spent his youth in his father's store and onhis farm. He attended the common schools and academies of his county. Hewas fond of outdoor exercise and delighted in hunting.
In 1861 he volunteered as a private in a cavalry company formed by T.N. Crumpler, but upon the organization of the company he was elected FirstLieutenant. Much caution was used in se the company; every member was strongand soldierly.
In the latter part of 1861 Col. Cowles company marched to Centerville,then the seat of the war, where the First N. C. Cava1ry became a part ofthe First Cavalry Regiment of the Confederate army, and was connected withthe Armyof Northern Virginia until the surrennder. Cowles was promotedto Major and later to Colonel of his Regiment. His dashing bravery andcourage won the admiration of his superior officer so much that in theFirst Maryland raid he was put in command of the extreme advance guardof the cavalry by stewart. On return he was placed in command of the extremerear guard.
At Auburn, where Col. Thomas Ruffin fell, Cowles rallied the the menand continued the charge. At Brandy Station he led the charge that drovethe 10th New York Cavalry out of line and to the rear. Hefollowed themup for several miles toward Kelly's Ford, capturing Maj. Forbes, Maj. Gregg'scommissary and Wm. Buckly, private correspondent though at the' end ofthe charge he was entirely within the enemy's lines. In the beginning ofthe charge, Preston Hampton, son of Wade Hampton, joined Cowles for a shortdistance but his horse was shot from under him and when he had obtainedanother horse he found that his squadron had passed ahead and that Gregg'sentire column was moving down the road in the direction that Cowles hadjust gone. As Hampton could not rejoin the squadron, he returned to theConfederate lines and reported that Cowles was surely captured.
When Cowles attempted to retrace his steps he was met by a Confederatecoming at full speed with the news that a large body of Federal Cavalrywere in the road a short distance off, coming in that direction. Cowlespassed with his men and prisoners through the field and across a deep streamwhere there was no ford; he crossed safely and just in time to witnessthe advance of General Gregg's column at the point in the road where Cowleshad left.
At the beginning on the battle Mine Run General Ewell was in need ofa competent officer to take command of the skirmish line in his front andrequested General Stuart to suggest the man. General Stuart detailed CaptainCowlos for the duty and directed him to take in addition cavalry he wouldfind with General Ewell one hundred picked men, which he did, quickly joiningGeneral Early. He went to the front and established his skirmish line andnext morning met the enemy's adv~ gallantly checking its movements everyinch of the way to the Confederate main lines, In this engagenemt he redeivedhis first wound by a mine ball through the body. His wound was thoughtto be fata1but the following spring he rejoined his command in time totake part in the first of that memorable campaign of l864, and was in commandof the right wing of General Gordon's forces at Brook church near Richmond,where Gordon fell. He continued in active service until the 31st of March,1865, when, in leading a desperate assault on the right of the enemy nearPetersburg, andafter his horse was shot leaving him on foot and knee deepin water he was shot in the head. Those who saw him thought he was killedand he was left unconscious to fall into the hand of the enemy. He wastaken to.the hospital where he heard the news of the surrender of Lee.It happened that he met there an officer of his own name and probably hiskinsman, Maj. Cowles, of Federal army, who promised him the best treatmentand who allowed number of his friends to go home on parole. Colonel Cowelstook the boat for Norfolk under guard. At Norfolk he was imprisoned fora day then he left for New Bern. He was badly treated on the vessal andhe came near being thrown overboard. At New Bern, by the aid of a friend,he managed to get across the Federal lines. He went to Raleigh, then toSa1isbury with Thad Coleman. They reached Third creek in private conveyanceand attempted to walk the rest of the way to Statesville, but it was toomuch for men who apparently wore nearer their graves than their homes.When within three miles of Statesville, Col. Cowles offered a farmer $3.00in greenback and $20.00 in Confederate money to take them to Statesville,and aftor much persuasion prevailed upon the farmer to comply. Cowles finallyreached Wilkosboro.
At the close of the war he came home poor, and in suffering intenselyfrom the wounds received March 31st, 1865. As soon as health would permitho began the study of law under Judge Pearson, his roommate being Hon.Charles Price of Salisbury.
After obtaining license in 1868 he located in Wilkesboro and immediatelyentered into a lucrative and successful law practice. This was during thedark days of North Carolina, and he had stood by his State in time of periland war so in the great political battles in 1868 and 1870 he did not shrinkduty or responsibility, but entered actively into tho campaign and didgood work for his party. In 1872 he was elected Reading Clerk of the StateSenate. In 1874 he was elected Solicitor of the 10th Judicial district,which office he held till 1879, and was an able and fearless prosecutingofficer.
In 1882, he was nominated by the Democrats for the Legislaure, and althoughhe was defeated, he made a campaign that won a great reputation for him.
In 1884 Colonel Cowles was nominated for Congress and was elected byan handsome majority. He entered his duties as Congressman March 4, 1885,the same day President Cleveland was first inducted into office. He wasre-elected in 1886, 1888 and 1890, and voluntarily withdrew in 1892 beforeany county conventions were held.
He represented his district with fidelity and credit during the 8 yearsin Congress, always glad to attend to any business for any of his constituents,and was noted in Washington for his interest in and fidelity to his constituents.
As a commander he ranked among the best in the state, and during thefour canvasses he made for Congress he made many able and interesting speeches.
After his retirement from Congress he devoted himself to farming andwas one of the best farmers in the county.
Colonel Cowles was twice married, first in 1870 to Miss Cora Worth ofAshe county. She died in 1877. By that marriage two children survive-CarrieLizzie who married T. B. Fineloy and Cora who married J. A. Gaither ofNewton. In 1883 Col. Cowles married Miss Lura Best of Newton, who surviveshim with six children.
On the 30th day of Dec. 1901, with scarcely any warning, death claimedhim as a victim. He was taken with pneumonia on Saturday and died on thefollowing Monday. He was buried in the Wilkesboro cemetery.
REV. GEORGE W. GREENE - By Frank B. Hendren
The subject of this sketch was born in Watauga county. He come to Wilkesand took charge of Moravian Falls Academy upon its completion about theyear of 1877, and remained there for about 15 years. Under his principalshipthe school enjoyed a high degree of popularity, becoming the leading schoolin all this section. Many of the officials and leading business men ofthe county received their education under the tuition of Prof. Greene.It is to be doubted if any other man ever gave a greater impetus to theeducational progress of the county. He is a ripe scholar and a man of unsulliedhonor. He is at present a missionary of the Baptist church to China.
DR. TYRE YORK
Dr. Tyre York, son of Mike York, was born at Rockford, Surry county,in 1836. He was educated in the common schools of his county. He studiedmedicine at the Charleston Medical College, from which institution he isa graduate.
He was married to Eliza Crumpler, of Surry county, daughter of ThomasCrumpler and sister of the famous T. N. Crumpler. By this union was bornthree children-all girls. The oldest married Hilliary Cockerham; the nextmarried H. F. Bryan, and the third married Benjamin Taylor, of Alleghanycounty.
About 1859 Dr. York located in the Traphill section where he practicedhis profession and tended his farm. When the Civil War broke out, he beinga physician, was exempt from military service. He was very friendly tothose who chose to conceal themselves in the mountains and caves ratherthan enter the army, and he would go to their dens to give them medicalattention in the time of affliction. Many a poor soul was kept out of thearmy by his certificates of unsound health.
Immediately after the war Dr. York sold his property at Traphill andstarted for the State of Arkansas to make his future home. He and his wifeand children started on the long journey many days of weary traveling theyreached the Mississippi river. There they camped on the bank of the "Fatherof Waters." In the morning after their arrival Mrs. York began washingsome clothes that had been soiled during the journey and the Doctor statedfor a day's tour in Arkansas where they intended to make their future home.In the evening the Doctor returned; Mrs. York had finished her washingand the clothes were hanging out to dry. The Doctor had seen enough ofArkansas and was satisfied that Wilkes was the best place to live, andwithout waiting for the clothes to dry, he pulled up his tent and startedback to Wilkes.
After he returned from his Arkansas trip he purchased a farm a mileand a half from Traphill and here he lived since, except what time he wasin the Legislature and Congress.
York has always taken a lively interest in politics, and in 1870 hewas elected to the Legislature. He was again elected to the same positionin 1887. He was elected to the State Senate in 1879 and Republican candidatefor governor and made a brilliant campaign but was defeated by Alferd L.Scales, the Democratic candidate. In 1882 he was elected to Congress anindependent. In 1896 he was elected as Presidential Elector for the 6thNC district.
Dr. York is remarkable for his wit and he did not withhold his jokesin his campaign speeches. He always attracted the crowd and his jokes toldin his own original and familiar way, always brought "side-splitting laughter."Public speakers, and especially politicians often reiterate his jokes,and it is only necessary to say that they are Doctor York's to assure closestattention.
After Dr. York was elected to Congress and was making arrangements tostart to the National capital he included among his vesture a pair of hipboots made by a first class country boot and shoe maker. This is told toshow the Doctor in his simplicity, representing his constituents as theywere.
Dr. York was the owner of a mule that was alnost as celebrated as theDoctor himself. The mule was known as "General Jackson." York rode "GeneralJackson" on his campaign tours, and they were the subjects of much commentboth among the people and in the newspaper. The newspapers sometimes hadcartoons of Dr. York riding "General Jackson. It has been told that Yorkrode "General Jackson" all the way to Washington to attend as a memberof Congress, but I am informed that the statement is untrue. "General Jackson"died a few years ago and York has quit politics and is content to livequietly on his farm under the shadow of the towering mountains round abouthis country home.
He is surroundud by multitudes of friends who love him for his effortsin their behalf while a public official and for his professional servicesin time of affliction.
The subject of this sketch, and the first of the Stokes family thatwas afterwards to play an important part in the affairs of Wilkes county,was born on the 12th of March, 1762. He entered the American army during,the Revolutionary war and was taken prisoner near Norfolk in 1776, beingthen only fourteen years of age, and was confined as a prisoner of warfor sevon months on a British warship.
Montford Stokes was Clerk of the County Court of Rowan county for severalyears when that county embraced the territory of Wilkes and other countiesin this section.
He was also Clerk of the State Senate for a number of years, where hewas very popular.
Montford Stokes was the first and only man to refuse a seat in the UnitedStates Senate. He was elected to that position while he was Clerk of theState Senate but refused to accept. In 1816 he was again elected to fillthe important position of United States Senator; this time he acceptedand served in that branch of the National Legislature until l825, whenhe voluntarily retired.
After his retirement from the United States Senate Stokes wanted tolead the life of a private citizen on his Morne Rouge plantation (now knownas the Gray farm), but the people again called him into public serviceand in 1826 elected him to the States Senate. In 1829, he was elected tothe House of Commons, and also in 1830.
In 1830 he was elected Governor of North Carolina, but resigned in 1831to accept the appointment from President Jackson as Indian Agent in Arkansas,where he lived until his death in l842 at Port Gibson.
On Dec. 17th, l842, Hon. D. M. Barringer introduced the following resolutionsin the House of Commons:
"Whereas the House of Commons have heard with regret of the death ofEx-Governor Montford Stokes, whose life has been connected with, for morethan half a century, the history of North Carolina, and has occupied manydistinguished stations in her gift, therefore resolved unanimously.
"That as a mark of respect to the memory of Montford Stokes, this Housedo now adjourn until Monday morning, ten o'clock."
I am sorry that I am unable te give more information of the public lifeof this man, but it has been iripossible to obtain further data.
Governor Stokes was one of the great men of his time. From the accountof his public sarvices given in this short skatch, it will be seen thathe felt the responsibility of his position as representative of people.Governor Stokes was one of the early settlers of Wilkes. He married Rachel,daughter of Hugh Montgomory, one of the two heirs who inherited the Moravianlands in Wilkes, embracing nearly ten thousand acres. By this union wasborn Montford Sidney Stokes on Oct. 6, 1810.
Gov. Stokes was very fond of card-playing, and while he was at FortGibson, after being absent from home for several years, his only son Sidneypaid him a visit. Sidney called at the house where was staying and wasinformed he was upstairs playing cards. Sidney went up to the room andfound his father seated at the card table. Gov. Stokes at once recognizedhis son but was so deeply absorbed in the game that he only said, "Hellow,Sid, is that you? Have a seat, I'll be through here in a few minutes."After the game was ended he gave Sidney a royal welcome.
C. C. PETTY (Col.)
One of the smartest negroes of the 19th century was a native of Wilkescounty. That negro was Charles Calvin Patty. He was born in the year ofl850, about four miles east of Wilkesboro, and was the son of Jordan andFannie Petty. He was educated at Biddle University and was a graduate ofthat institution.
Early in life he associated himself with the M.E.Zion chuch. He beganhis career as a local preacher at Charlotte, and displayed such talentand ability that his denomination soon promoted him to Presiding Elder.About 1890, at Newborn, N.C., he was elected Bishop, in which capacityhe served his church and race until his death in 1899.
He was emigrant agent to California for about a year, before he waselected Bishop; with this exception his life was spent in the service ofhis church.
THE CLEVELAND OAK
The old oak tree that stands north of the court house and in front ofthe old I. T. Prevette residence is a relic of Revolutionary times whenColonel Cleveland was engaged in suppressing the Tories. Several Torieswere hung to this tree by Cleveland and his associates. Among the numberwas Captain Riddle and two other Tories who had previously captured Clevelandat Old Field and would have killed him doubtless, had it not been for thetimely rescue by his brother Captain Cleveland. There was several otherTories hung to this tree. Coyle and Brown, two notorious horse thieveswere hung there with the clothesline they had stolen from Maj. Wilfongand converted into halters to lead away Wilfong's horses.
It is not known whore nor in what manner the remains of the Tories wereexecuted here were buried; but is reasonable to suppose that they werenot taken very far away and that no great pains were taken to inter themvary securely. Dr. F.H. Gilreath recently found a joint of the spinal columnof a human being in the lot back of I.S. Call & Co.'s store. It isthought that, that was a part of the remains of some one of the Toriesexecuted by Cleveland, and doubtless the remains of all those Tories arescattered in the same locality.
RUFUS A. SPAINHOUR - By Frank B. Hendron
Rufus A. Spainhour was born in Burke county in 1839 and came to thiscounty first in l859 and entered New Hope Academy. He remained here partof the time as pupil and part of the time as an assistant to his brother,who was principal of the academy, until the commencement of the war whenhe together with his brother and several of the pupils of the school enlistedin company B, First Regiment N.C. Troops. He served throughout the war.He was made quartermaster of his regiment.
Returning to his native county, Burke, after the war he engaged in teachingschool for about two years, and again returned to Wilkes county and taughtschool at Oak Forest for about two years. He then bought out the late W.H. Reese's mercantile business at that place and conducted it two years.He has been in the mercantile business ever since either at Moravian Fallsor at Wilkesboro and is one of the most successful merchants and businessmen in the county. Being one of the most public- -spirited and liberalmen in the county he has done as much for the material and educationalupbuilding of the county as any man who has ever lived in it. It was largelythrough his energy and influence that Moravian Falls Academy was builtand maintained through so many yeers of conspicuous usefulness to thisand many surrounding counties. He represented this county in the lowerhouse of the General Assembly in 1880 and has held several other positionsof trust and usefulness, being at present chairman of the County Boardof Education.
About a mile west of Wilkesboro there is a precipice that overhangsthe south side of the Yadkin river which is known as Lovers' Leap. Traditionhas it that many years ago when there were but few white people in thiscountry, a young Indian fell in love with a native Squaw and were engagedto be married. The father of the Indian girl refused to give her up, andshe and her lover consented to end their 1ives by 1eaping from the cliffinto the rover, which they did. Ever since the place has been known asLovers' Leap.
COURT HOUSES AND JAILS
Although it we's decided -- by the committee appointed by the GeneralAssembly in 1777 that the courthouse should be located where the MulberryField Yecting House stood it was not until about 1799 that the questionwas finally decided and a wooden courthouse built. From the formation ofthe county to that time, embracing a period of about 22 years, the regularcourts were held at various places, some-times in houses and sometimesout in the open air under the trees. It is said that many times the courtswere held near Brown's Ford and at other, times over near Fairplains andon the hill where the late John Finley lived.
There was strong opposition to building the courthouse at the MulberryFields notwithstanding the State's committee had decided that it shouldbe built there and Rachel Stokes and Rebecca Wellborn had deeded to thecounty fifty acres for the site. The people across the Blue Ridge contendedthat the county seat should be located nearer the center of the county.Hamilton Horton had secured a charter for a turnpike from Holman's Fordto New River and the road was built; a stage line was them put into operationfrom Guilford Courthouse to Knoxville, Tenn. Emigrants from the east camethis way and many of them settled across the Blue Ridge about the Old Fieldson New River, along the Watauga river and Beaver Dam creek. A considerablesettlement had sprung up across the mountains which was protesting againstbuilding the courthouse at Mulberry Fields. The settlements across themountains continued to grew and the agitation about the location of thecourthouse was not ended until Ashe county was formed and all the territoryacross the Blue Ridge was given to the now county, embracing all of thepresent counties of Alleghany, Ashe, and Watauga, and probably more.
There is some dispute as to when the first courthouse was built andwhere it was located, but I think it safe to say that it was built aboutthe year 1799 and was located near where the Chronicle building now stands.The fifty acres of land-including the Mulberry Fields given to the countyfor a courthouse site by Rachel Stokes and Rebecca Wellborn was dividedinto lots and sold, with the exception of the courthouse plot and two publiclots, one at the old North spring and the other at the old bouth spring.The money accruing from the sale of the lots was usod to erect the courthouse.The house was made was of logs and fastened together with wooden pins.Part of the logs of the old courthouse wore used in constructing Dr. W.C. Greens' residence which is still standing.
Between the years of 1820 and 1830, in order to accomodate the rapidlyincreasing population, it was necessary to build a larger courthouse. Thenwas the old brick building-35 x 45 feet-with the stone foundation was built.Frank D. Hackett tells me that his father was appointed to superintendthe construction of that house and he was placed under a bond of $l0,000for the faithful performance of his duty. It was one of the best courthousein the State at the time of its construction. This building was torn downthis year, 1902, and the new house now being. constructed by L. W. Cooper& Co., of Chaarlotte will be completed by Nov. 1st, of this year.
There is much pathetic remembrance connected with the old court-housethat has just been torn down. Within its walls wives and mothers have heardthe sentence of death passed their husbands and sons. Within its wallshave been tried those who had taken the lives of father and child. Theablest jurists in the State-such as Col. Polk, Armfield, Linney, Pearson,Glenn, Bower and others-have made the old temple ring, with their pleadingsfor mercy and justice. And the politicians and statesmen-such as Settle,Linney, Pritchard, Ransome and Vance-have cheered the multitudes and firedthe patriotism and ambition of thousands by their oratory. This volumeis too small to give the history of this old building. Its walls have beenpulled down but it will be many a day before it is forgotten.
Wilkes county's first jail was built immediately after the county wasformed and was located on the southwest corner of the present courthouselot. The stocks, whipping post and pillory were near the jail. The firstjail was a wooden structure and it is said that Col. Cleveland kept Toryprisoners in it during the Revolutionary war. About the year 1828 thisjail was sold and torn down and a part of the timber used in the buildingof the old Noah hotel. A new jail was built on the hill where Esq. R. M.Staley lives, and that jail remained until about 1860, when the presentjail was completed.
Who has not read the story of the Indian in the hogskin during the Revolutionarywar? An Indian had been disguised in this way and had been deceiving thepickets of the patriots army and when they got within range of the ficticioushog he would shoot them down. Harry Holland being a soldier in the patriotarmy, was on picket duty and discovered what he thought was a large hog.After watching the supposed hog for a short time he noticed that it hadactions peculiar for a hog, and instead of being frightened away was comingnearer him. Holland suspicioned that it might be a false hog and he shotand killed it, and no, it proved to be an Indian in a hog skin with riflecocked ready shot the patriot soldier.
Harry Holland was a native of Wilkes county; was born and raised nearMillers Creek, and was buried on the W. B. Owings plantation. After thewar was over and our independence was won, and the soldiers had returnedhome, Holland would take great delight in telling this story, and probablythere are people yet alive who have heard him it.
At this time agriculture is not regarded as a very profitable industryin Wilkes, but the fault is in the people and not in the natural resources.There is not a section in the world of equal area that surpasses Wilkescounty in a~ricultural possibilities. And in a few years when the peopleshall have learned the truth of this statement Wilkes will be one of thefinest agricultural counties in the State. Our climate is so diversifiedthat we can grow the sugar beet in one end the county and cotton in theother. In fact almost anything grown in a temperate climate may be foundin Wilkes.
The red clay soil so abundant in.the county is the richest land to befound. There are thousands of acres of this kind of land that have beenturned out as worthless. This land will all be reclaimed and make old Wilkescounty rich. It is not the purpose of this book to tell how that can bedone, but the State Department of Agriculture will cheerfully give anyinformation you may desire along this line, other item discussed in thischapter.
Several years ago stock raising was an important industry in this countybut it has been neglected until there is not a thousand dollars worth ofstock exported in a whole year. Before the Civil War the stock raisersof Wilkes drove their cattle on foot to Philadephia and other northernmarkets. How a market is at the door, but the cattle are not here. Thiscondition will not always exist. The broad valley of the Yadkin will oneof these clays be the best stock regions in the world. This is rather prematurehistory but I varily believe it is true, nevertheless.
One of the most important branches of agricultural industry is thatof' fruit raising. Wilkes county is situated in what is known as the isothermalbelt and is the best fruit-growing section in the world. The Blue Ridgeon the north-west rising to the height of about 4,500 feet above sea levelforms a wall to protect us from the cold north-west winds. On the southside are the Brushy Mountains about 2,000 feet above sea level. Many yearsago it was discovered that orchards planted in the elevated coves and onthe mountain sides along the Blue Ridge and Brushies were very seldom damagedby frost in the spring, and that the fruit was not subject to the attacksof harmful insects abounding in the valleys and that the fruit attaineda perfection in shape, color and flavor not known in other localities.For the the quality of f'ruit raised in this section has attracted of thewhole country, and parties from New York and other markets have come tobuy our fruit and investigate the orchards, and they have pronounced thisthe finest fruit growing section in the world.
It is not my purpose to establish a "scientific theory" in regard tothis state of things but it is a fact, proven by scientific investigationand established by abundant testimony that, by reason of the nocturnalradiation of heat absorbed during the day, the stratum of air in the bottomof a valley after nightfall is colder than the air some distance abovethe surface. Here this condition is intensified by the greater amount ofheated air and being surrounded by mountain walls leaving no avenue bywhich the heated air may escape, thus it gradually rises and escapes throughthe gaps of mountains. I quote the following paragraph from the Handbookof North Carolina, issued by the Department of Agriculture:
"The fact renains that within the limits of these frost belts fruitnever fails, and at the height of l500 to 2000 feet (hoar) frosts neverfalls. Such localities are found... along the face of the Brushy Mountainsin Caldwell, Alexander, and Wilkes. In the future this phenominal sectionmust become of inestimable value, for nowhere is there such certain assuranceof the security and maturity of peaches and other tender fruit crops, orof the grape; to the successful cultivation of the grape the soil and thegeneral conditions of the climate offer numerous inducements."
There is a large portion of soil in the county that is especially adaptedto tobacco. At the World's Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia severalyears ago tobacco raised near Boomer, this county, was awarded the firstprize. Tobacco raising could be made an important industry, and is an excellentcrop to put in rotation with wheat, corn and clover.
Another industry that might be mentioned at this time is the cultivationof Genseng or Sang. The roots of' this plant sell for fabulous prices,as the plant has been almost extinguished. Wilkes is the natural home ofthis plant and it will grow luxuriantly if it can be protected f'rom thieves.The United States Department of Agriculture has sent out a bulletin onSang culture, and anyone contemplating trying to raise this plant shouldwrite to the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D. C., and ask for acopy. It's free.
Sheep raising could be made a profitable branch of agriculture Industrey.Before the stock law was enacted nearly every farmer had a herd of scrubsheep running "outside" on mountains and hills. These herds of scrub sheeppaid better than anything else the farmer raised considering the cost andlabor. The wool furnished the whole family in winter clothing and lotsof wool to sell to the factory besides, and the sheep still left for muttonor market. When the stock law was enacted the people thought that sincetheir sheep could not run at large their sheep raising industry was destroyed,so they sold their sheep and quit the business. That was a very foolishstep indeed. Nearly every farm in the county has some land that is toorough to plow that would make excellent pasturage for a herd of' sheep.Suppose you fence in such a scope of land, say 25 acres, and put in it25 the best improved stock of sheep. Each year you can clip $75 worth ofwool and you will have the increase of the herd besides. This is simplelogic and the people won't be long in catching the idea.
When all the agricultural advantages of Wilkes county are consideredit is hard to find a county that will compare with it. We can raise almostanything that is grown in a temperate climate, live "under our own vineand fig tree," and live sumptuously from the products of the plantation,and besides sell a surplus each year. We have the the purest free-stonewater and the purest air in the world and the healthfulness of our climateis not surpassed. After considering the blessings the Creator has so lavishlyspread over our county why will our young man leave the old "State of Wilkes"and seek better chances elsewhere? They can be but one answer to that question:they lack information about the resources of their own county.
In the spring of l865 about the time of the surrender of General Leeand immediately following, there was a band of desperadoes under the leadershipof a man named Wade a deserter of the Yankee army who made headquartersat Fort Hamby. Fort Hamby was an old fashioned residence built of logs;there were two buildings, the larger one was two stories high and was theone used as the fort. The other building was about thirty feet from themain building, only one story high and was used as the kitchen.. Thosebuildings. were on the north side of the Yadkin river near the mouth ofLewis Fork, about eight miles west of Wilkesboro. They were. situated ontop of a hill looking the bottoms of the Yadkin river and Lewis Fork creek,and from the fort windows was an excellent view on either side. It wasan ideal location for a fort and no doubt Wade and his gang of robbersfelt secure inside the heavy log walls.
The gang consisted of Wade and Lockwood, two renegade Yankee deserters,and about 85 men from this and adjoining counties. They were a terror tothe people round and committed many depredations, robbing dwellings, smoke-houses,stores and anything else they could plunder and destroy, killing innocentwomen and men as well.
On one occasion a woman (the wife of Frank Triplett) was passing alongthe road on the opposite side of the creek several hundred yards away ina covered wagon when one of the robbers decided to try his rifle. He firedupon the wagon and the ball struck the woman and killed her.
The last raid of Wade and his gang of robbers was a raid into Alexanercounty. John Greene, father of Dr. W.C. Greene, was one of the most prosperousplanters in Alexander county. He had learned that the robbers were marchin&in the direction of his home, and supposing that they would attempt torob him ho set about making preparations to resist them. He supplied allhis negroes and laborer with arms and stationed them in the house. Thenegros were stationed in the dining house and the old man Greene and sonW.C. Greene, whom Wade's men had threatened to kill, took position in thefront part of the house. About bed-time Wade's men surrounded the houseand Wade and two others went to the front door and tried to deceive Mr.Greene by pretending to be Confederate soldiers returning from the war.Their story was not believed and while Wade and Greene were talking therobbers tried to force an entrance at a back window. Young Greene rushedto the window and began firing on the robbers who at once retreated. Therobbers went up on the Brushies and stayed until about daylight and thenmade their way back to Fort Hamby. W.C.Greene at once set about to raisea company to pursue the robbers and capture them before they could reachFort. Hamby, but they soon found that they could not overtake them.
The people wore enraged at the conduct of these robbers and determinedto drivo them out of the country.or capture them and destroy them. A companywas soon made up-mostly of men from Alexander county which was preparedto make an attempt on Fort Hamby. The company came across the Brushy Mountainby Solomon Davis' who had been robbed by Wade's gang. Davis told the menthat he was too old to attack, but he wanted to encourage them all he could.He had some four year old peach brandy to which he told the men to helpthemselves. They drank what they wanted and some of them filled their bottlesand carried them with them. Jones Brown who had just returned from thearmy was in the company, and was riding a mule beside Parks Gwaltney. Whenthey were riding along the bank of the Yadkin river Brown was in a verysolemn mood. Suddenly he drew his bottle of brandy from his pocket andtossed it over the river bank and said:"Parks, I never intend to touchthat again." Gwaltney, in relating the incident several years later saidthat "coming events seem to cast a shadow before them." But they marchedon, and when they were near the fort a consultation was held and a planof attack was agreed upon.
The company, which was composed of about 26 men, was divided into twosquads-one under the command of Captain Evan Ellis, of Wilkes, the otherunder the command of Colonel Sharp of Alexander. One squad was to dashby and be ready to commence the attack on all sides simultaneously. Whenthis was done the fort was surrounded and firing began. The robbers withinthe fort returned the fire and the battle was hotly contested. James Linneywas shot and killed during the engagement. The robbers had all the advantagesof the fight, as they were protected from the fire of the citizens by thethick log walls of the fort, the citizens were in open view of the robbers.After seeing that the attack could only result in disaster to the citizensthey retreated under a heavy fire from the robbers. Parks Gwaltney saidthat he was marching back and forth firing into one of the windows of thefort where the robbers wore constantly passing when he discovered thattheir comrades were retreating. He followed them and again happened toget with Jones Brown. They were riding side by side when they came to theford of Lewis Fork creek. While they were in the ford the mule which Brownwas riding became stubborn and would not go along. The balls from the fortwore flying thick and fast all around them. Gwaltney was aiding Brown intrying to get the stubborn mule along. While they were yet in the forda ball struck Brown on the thigh and the blood spouted and the clear mountainstream flowed on toward the sea crimsoned with the blood of a Southernhero. When the ball struck Brown, he said, "Parks, take care of yourself,I'm killed." The blood was flowing in a stream from the wound and the bulletsfrom the fort coming thicker and faster. By this time the mule had becomemanagable and the two comrades were riding along the road on the bank ofthe stream whilo the balls knockod up the sand all around them. Gwaltneywas trying to hold his wounded comrade on the mule, but Brown was gettingweaker every sccond from the loss of blood, and he again told Gwaltneyto take care of himself as he was already killed. Brown fell from his muleupon the sand and died, and Gwaltney hurried on to get beyond the dangerline.
A company of men from Caldwoll county had previously attacked Fort Hamby,and has succeeded in gotting to the fort but were unable to capture it.In the engagement the Caldwell crowd lost two men--Clarkand Hensely-whowere shot and killed by the robbers.
Although defeated in the first engagement, the people were more determinedthan over to burst up the gang of robbcrs congregated at Fort Hamby, andimmediate preparation was made for a second attack. The first company wasreinforced by men from Wilkes, Alexander and Caldwell counties, and about3 days later they went more determined than ever to capture the robbers.The intention was to camp on the south side of the Yadkin and wait untiljust bofore day to surround the fort. When the citizens approached theplaced where they intended they saw several lights and they supposed thatWade and his gang had started out on anothor raid and Sharp's men thoughtthey would intercept them and give battle. They charged down on the menbut to their surprise and delight instead of finding Wade's band founda company of about 75 men from Caldwell awaiting to attack Wade's gang.
The Ca1dwell men and the Alexander, Iredell and Wilkes men joined forcesand awhile before day they surrounded the fort and began the attack. Allthat day and all that next night the firing was kept up but no man on eitherside was killed. Awhile before daylight the second night Wall Sharp slippedup to the kitchen under the cover of darkness of night and set it on fire.Then Wade and his men discovered that the kitchen was burning they thoughtthe fort would be certain to catch on fire and that they would either haveto surrender or be cremated in the fort, so Wade asked what quarters wouldbe given if they would come out and surrender. One of the men replied:"We'll give you a passport to h*l1."' But Wade thought it better to surrenderthan to remain and be burned up in the fort; so he announced that theywould come out and surrender. But by some means resumably by jumping froma window, Wade got out of the fort without being detected and instead ofsurrendering made a break for the river. He dashed through the citizens'line and was fired upon a number of times but without effect. Wade reachedthe river in safety. The others came out and surrendered.
The robbers under the leadership on Wade numbered 86, but during theseige all had escaped but four-Bill Leck, Bill Wood, Enock Wood and Lockwood.After these had surrendered the fort was searched and all the articlesthat had been stolen by the robbers that could be identified were returnedto the proper owners. Then the fort itself was fired and the people whohad been robbed and their friends a watched Fort Hamby by dessolve to ashesand smoke.
After the fort had burned to the ground a court martial was organizedand the four robbers were tried and condemned to be shot at the stake.They were taken a few paces east of the burned fort and tied to stakes.Revs. William R. Gwaltney and Isaac Oxford, two Baptist ministers, werein the company of citizens, and they both offered prayer for the robbersabout to be shot at the stake. Wells Linney asked to be allowed to shootBeck, who confesed that he had shot James Linney in the engagement on theprevious Sunday. The signal was given and the detailed men fired upon thefour robbers tied to the stakes; their bodies riddled with bullets theirsouls went back to the God who gave them.
The citizens then searched along the river for Wade but failed to findhim. Then they dispersed loading the four robbers hanging to the stakes,and returned to their homes. Wade told some of his friends in the communitythat he sank himself under the water and got breath through a reed andstayed concealed that way until late in the evening he went up and lookedat his comrades hanging to the stakes dead; immediately left this country;and has not been heard of since.
The bodies of the robbers were probably cut down in the evening afterthey were shot, then they lay about the ruins of Fort Hamby for three daysand nights; finally the people of the community put in boxes and hauledthem away and buried them.
SIMMONS GANG ROBBERS
There was another gang of robbers under the leadership of another renegadeYanke deserter named Simmons. They made headquarters out on the BrushyMountains. They were as mean and daring in their deviltry as the Fort Hambygang, and sometimes the two gangs would raid together. A number of innocentpeople wore wantonly murdered by this gang for no purpose what ever exceptto satisfy their hellish desire to kill. On one occasion a young man whowas rather idiotic was captured by one of the gang who thought they wouldtake him to camp and have all the fun they wanted out of him and then killhim. The young man was put in the road before the robber and made to marchat his command. As they were marching through a dark hollow the robberwas sighting at the back of the boy's5 head and the opportunity to commitmurder was so tempting that he pulled the trigger and the innocent manfell dead.
About 20 years before the outbreak of the Civil war one morning therewas a boy baby found lying on the courthouse steps. The child's parentcould not be found so a Presbyterian Minister named Pervis, who lived onthe lot east of the courthouse known as the Cowles place, adopted the childinto his home and raised it. Since the boy was found at the courthousehe was named John Wilkes after the county. He grow up manhood and was abright young man. He was watonly killed by a member of the Simmons gang.
When the Stoneman's division of the Federal army marched through Wilkesthe people hid their horses in the woods and mountains for fear they wouldbe stolen, and it was several clays that the people were afraid to ventureout. About three days after the raid William Transou ventured up to Wilkesboroto hear the news. Simmons captured him on his way home and intended tokill him. He told him if he wanted to pray he would give him a moment.Transou fell to his knees and he too begging Simmons not to kill him. Oneof the Simmons' associates was touched by Transou's plading and he toobegge'd Simmons to spare him. Simmons finally consented to spare Transouif he would toll where his horses were at.
The Simmons gang committed some daring robberies mostly in Alexanderand Iredell. After the Fort Hamby gang was broke up the bank dissolvedand Simmons left the country.
In April, l865, a detachment of the Federal army numbering about 25thousand men marched through Wilkes county burning houses, barns, etc.,robbing and plundering everything in sight leaving their trail a howlingwilderness. They came to Wilkes by way of Boone where the burned the courthouse as well as much private property, thence by Patterson's Factory wherethey burned the woolen mills located there thence down the Yadkin intoWilkes.
They crossed the Yadkin at Holman's ford, and the river being swollen,it was with difficulty that they succeeded in crossing; but they crossedin safety to the men and horses but a wagon of ammunition and a cannonwore overturned and lost in the river. The cannon and a lot of the arnmunitionwas found after the war was over. Here the army was divided into two sections;one section was put under the of General Palmer while General Stonemancommanded the other section. Palmer and his detachment wont on the northside of the Yadkin, Stoneman's section on the South side.
When the wing of the army under Stoneman's command reached Cub Creek,it was too high to ford so he pitched his tent on the hill this side, justeast of where W.N, Barber now lives, and camped there several days, duringwhich time his soldiers were plundering and burning. One morning one ofhis men had entered and was preparing to set fire to the tithes the Confederateshad collected here, which were stored in the old Hall store house justnorth of the courthouse. Just at that moment Calvin J. Cowles stepped inand persuaded the soldier not to burn the building. He argued that theprovisions ought to be distributed among the poor womenn and children ofthe Union men in this county. The soldier told him he would wait untilhe could run to Stoneman's camp end see him. This Cowles did at the perilof his life and succeeded in saving the stores and the court house andjail and buildings as well.
Stoneman sent Cowles with a number of soldiers with a message to GeneralPalmer who was encamped on the opposite side of the rive with the otherwing of the army. Cowles urged Palmer not to burn the factory at Elkin;this request was compiled with and the army soon left the county. Theywent down the river to Elkin, then to Mount Airy and then to Salisbury.
The people wore left in a desolate condition. Many families were leftentirely without provisions with their houses and barns burned; the menwere nearly all in the army, robbers abundant in the county and it waswith difficulty that starvation was averted.
MONTFORD SIDNEY STOKES
The subject of this sketch was born at "Morne Rouge," in Wilkes countyon October the 6th, 1810. He was the son of Montford Stokes who was a U.S.Senator and later Governor of North Carolina. Stokes was appointed a cadetto the United States Navel Academy at Annapolis, where he graduated. Uponhis graduation at Annapolis he entered the Navy and served for ton yearsor more when he resigned and returned to his plantation to engage in farming.
Stokes was appointed Major of the N. C. Volunteers in the war with Mexico.As an officer in the Mexican war he displayed his ability to command troopsand proved himself a man of superior courage. He was the soldiers' favoriteofficer, and as mark of their love and admiration for him they presentedhim a beautiful sword. The sword is now in the possession of his daughter,Mrs. C.N. Hunt. It is mounted in gold and silver and furnishes a handsomeapperance. On it are the following inscriptions:
"Presented to Maj, H.S. Stokes, of the N.C. Col. by the non-commissionedofficers and privates under his command in Mexico"
"Major H.S. Stokes, the Soldier's Friend."
After terms of peace were made with Mexico Stokes returned to his farmin Wilkes and was one of the most successful farmers in this section. Heraised many fine cattle and often drove them on foot to Philadelphia tomarket them. On one occasion as he was returning from Philadelphia, wherehe had been with a drove of cattle, he stopped for a few days with friendsin Washington. It was during Andrew Jackson's administration as Presidentand Jackson and Stokes had been schoolmates at Annapolis. While in WashingtonStokes was invited to attend a banquet where the President was to be the-guest of honor. Stokes was tall athletic with long limbs and large hands.He rented a conventional suit for the occasion but it was impossible tofind a suit that would fit the athletic figure. But he went to the b~nquetand when the reception was being given Stokes went up to shake the handof the President. "Is that you, Sid Stokes?" exclaimed the President, andold schoolmates embraced and gave a singular coincidence to Washingtonsociety.
Sidney Stokes was a perfect gentleman and tried to regard everybodyelse as such. The writer asked one of his old slaves--Sam--what kind ofa man Stokes was. The old darkey replied that he was one of the best menthat ever lived. He said that the worst fault he had was that he put toomuch confidence in everybody.
When the Civil War came on Major Stokes formed the first company thatleft this county to join the Confederate army. He was elected captain ofthe company, and when the First North Carolina Regiment was organized onMay 11th, 1861, at Warrenton, Stokes was put in that Regiment and was knownas Company B, and he was elected Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment.
Stokes was highly regarded by his superior officers as well as by theprivates under his command and he had been recommended for promotion inrecognition of his able services and daring courage. But unhappily on the26th day of June, 1862, he was mortally wounded at Chicahominy during theSeven Days fight around Richmond. On July 3rd 1862, this gallant hero diedfrom the wound he had received a few days before. His remains were broughthome and buried in front of the old Stokes residence.
GENERAL JOHN SEVIER
General John Sevier was not a native of Wilkes county but in that sectionof the country west of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains that was in thetime of Sevier a portion of Wilkes county he was the most conspicuous man.In 1790, he was member of Congress from North Carolina, living at thattime in Wilkes county, the portion now Tennessee. This year Tennesse wasorganized and admitted into the Union State and General Sevier was madethe first Governor.
John Sevier was born in Virginia about l740. He came to the Holstonriver with an exploring party about 1769. He directed and aided in theconstruction of the first fort on the Watauga river. While in defense ofWatauga Fort he discovered a young lady of tall and erect stature comingwith fleetnsss of the doe towards the Fort closely pursued by Indians;but turning suddenly she eluded her pursuers and leaped the palisades atanother point and fell into the arms of Captain John Sevier. This resolutewoman was Miss Catherine Sherill who in a few years became the devotedwife of the Colonel and the bosom companion of the General, the Governor,the Congressman, the Senator, the man and the patriot, John Sevier.
Sevier a contemporary of Daniel Boone, and devoted much of his timeto hunting. He was constantly engaged in defending the fort the attacksof the Indians and from the beginning the people of the settlement regardedhim as their leader. During the Revoltionary war he and his associateswent into the Indian territory, scatter the hostile bands, burnt the Indiantowns and returned to their homes in better security and some more confidenceof peace.
At the of King's Mountain Sevier commanded a sedtion of the Americanarmy and shared in the victory at that battle. The North Carolina Legislaturepassed a resolution thanking Sevier for his br work at King's Mountain.
In l784 came the scenes of the State of Franklin. The people beyondthe Smokies organized a government of their own under the name of the Stateof Franklin. Sevier was made Governor of Franklin, and received his salaryin coon skins which was the currency of the State. The measures adoptedby Nerth Carolina to cede the territory to the general government causedSevier and the supporters of the State of Franklin to come into the suresof adjustment. Franklin ceded her claims to the territory to the UnitedStates and the territory south of the Ohio river was organized. The Stateof Franklin quietly died; the stage of territorial government was passed;the State of Tennessee was established and admitted to the Union, and GeneralSevier was chosen Governor.
The authorities in North Carolina had Sevier arrested and he was takento Morganton and put in prison on the charge of rebelling against the Statebut was released because of his services at King's Mountain.
In l8ll he was elected to Congress; he was re-elected in 1813. He wasa member of the Hilitary Committee during the war of 1812.
In l8l5 President Madison appointed him on a commission to adjust somedifficulties with the Creek Indians. He engaged in the duties of a commissioner,was taken sick and died at an encampment on the east side of the Tallapoosariver, near Fort Decatur, Ga., on the 24th of September, l8l5, and wasburied with honors of war.
Charley Gordon was a native of Wilkes county and was a Captain underCol. Cleveland during the Revolutionary war. He was at the battle of King'sMountain and distinguished himself by seizing a British soldier by the"Q" of hair on the back of his head and dragging him down the side of themountain. Finally the soldier was enabled to draw his sword and immediatelyGordon drew his revolver and killed him. The subject of this sketch wasthe great-grandfather of General John G. Gordon, late Governor of the Stateof Georgia, and a cousin of our illustrious Gen. James B. Gordon.
GENERAL JAMES B. GORDON
Among the great men of Wilkes county the name General James B. Gordonstands in the front. He was born in Wilkesboro on the 2nd of November 1822,and was a descendant of a respectable Scotch ancestry. He was educatedin the common schools and academies of this section and at Emory and Henrycollege. He engaged in the mercantile business and was probably the mostsuccessful business man in the county in his day. Gordon always took alively interest in politics and he became the leader of his party in thecounty. In l850 he was elected to represent the county in the lower houseof the General Assembly.
At the outbreak of the Civil war he was one of the first to answer thecall for volunteers. He enlisted in Company B, formed by Sidney Stokes,and was elected Lieutenant of the company. This company was attached tothe First North Carolina Regiment upon its organization at Warrenton.
When the Ninth Regiment (afterwards known as the First Cavalry) wasorganized Governor Ellis appointed him Major of the regiment. The regimentwas composed of picked men and only men of courage and bravery were chosenfor this regiment. In a few days Gordon was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.On the 25th day of July, 1862, the cavalry was reorganized and the NinthRegiment was placed in the Hampton Brigade. Gordon's regiment was sooncalled to the retreat at the second Manassas where he showed his skillas a cavalry commander, checking the enemy and giving. time for the Confederatesto successfully retreat with their men and artillery.
At the Gettysburg the fighting was mostly by infantry and artilleryand the cavalry was not so extensively engaged. However, Hampton's Brigadebore the brunt of a severe fight. Gordon commanded the First N.C. Cavalryand bravely held his ground. After the fall of Colonel Evans he was putin command of the 63rd Regiment and he commanded that regiment during theremainder of the Gettysburg campaign.
At the battle of Culpepper, Jack's Shop and Brandy Station, Gordon didsuch brilliant work as to receive the commendation of General Stuart andwhich led to his promotion to Brigadier General.
In March l864, the Fifth N.C. Cavalry returned to their several homesfor new horses and recuperation. On May 2nd, they returned to the armyand were ordered to report to General R. E. Lee for assignment in Gordon'sCavalry Brigade. At that time Gordon's brigade consisted of the First,Second, Fourth and Fifth N.C.Cavalry Regiments.
On April 30th, l864, a special order was issued taking, Gordon's Brigadeout of Hampton's divisions and placing it in the division of General W.H. F. Lee. Hampton regretted to have this done, and his order in executingthis transfer is here given in full, as it shows the high esteem in whichGordon and his men were held:
Headquarters Hampton's Division Cavalry,
Cavalry Camp, Army of Northern, Va., Milford, May 5, l864
Brigadier General J. B. Gordon, Commanding Cavalry Brigade:
General: In pursuance of Special Orders No. 118, Department of NorthernVirginia, of April 30th, and of instructions from Major General J. E.B.Stuart, commanding cavalry, you are directed to proceed without delay withyour command to the vicinity of Shady Grove, where you will concentrateyour brigade and report for further orders to Major General Stuart. I amdirected by Major General Hampton, in communicating the above orders, toexpress to you, and through you to your whole brigade, the surprise withwhich he has received the orders and the pain it causes him to executethem. He indulges the hope that his wishes may be consulted, and that anew assignment may be made as soon as the present emergency shall havepassed, which will return your brigade to his division and ,give him backthe troops to whom he has become so attached and whom he has learned totrust in times of danger and trial.
Indulging this hope, he refrains from saying fareweell, but will watchthe performance of affairs and men in the approaching contest, with thesame anxious interest as if they were under his own command, confidentthat if your regiment should be eventually returned to him they will bringback unsullied banners and a record of glory increased and illustratedby new achievements in the coming campaign.. I am, General, very respectfully
Your obedient servant,
Theo. G. Barker,
Major and Assistant Adjt. Gen."
At the battle of the Wilderness Gordon's Brigade did valiant service.He was continually riding and walking along the lines of his dismountedregiments.
On the return of the Confederate forces from Mine Run to SpotsylvaniaC. H. Gordon's Brigade made the whole distance of 66 miles in 23 hours,without rest or sleep, reaching Spottsylvania about sunset. Immediatelyhe was ordered to attack the enemy's right. He responded and succeededin driving the enemy back before he or his men slept.
In the famous retreat from Petersburg to Appomattox when the Confederatescame to Sailor's creek they found the bridge burned. The enemy was closebehind and the Confederates were in a perilous situation. The enemy washeld in check by Gordon's regiments until the bridge was rebuilt and theretreat continued.
At Hagerstown Gordon repulsed an attack that General Stuart had saidsaved the trains of the Confederates.
On May 9, l864, Sheridan bogan his raid on Richmond. He had with himhis who1e corps, thre divisions of cavalry, at least 12,000 mounted menand one brigade, and six batteries of artillery. To contend with this greatinvading force Stuart could command but three brigades--Lomax and Wickham's, Fitz Lee's division, and Gordon's brigade, and of artillery Johnson'sbattery and a section of Hart's. All told not over 4,000. By forced marchesthe two brigades of Fitz Lee succeeded in getting in Sheridan's front atYellow Tavern on the Brook turnpike early in the morning of the 11th, andbegan the battle of Yellow Tavern. About the same time ferociously, theFederals burned the bridge. Gordon's forces attacked his rear, the GroundSquirrel bridge over the South Anna river but Gordon found an old ford,almost impossible to pass on where he and his men crossed, rushed up thehill and drove the enemy back in confusion. While Sheridan claimed thevictory at Yellow Tavern it was about such a victory as Cornwallis wonat Guilford Court House. It was Sheridan's aim to march into Richmond onthe llth and had it not been for Gordon and his gallant men the capitalof the Confederacy would have fallen into the hands of the Yankees thatday.
On the 12th came the fight at Brook Church. Gordon was in Sheridan'srear. He had ordered some artillery from Richmond which in due time andfired upon the enmy. Immediately one or more Sheridan's guns wore turnedupon it. Gordon was furious. He raved and begged, and called it "band boxartillery" but his men stayed in the trenches. He became disgusted andwent in a gallop the fire down that military road, and there he receivedhis death wound. He was taken to the hospital but six days later he died.
General Stuart also received his death wound at Brook Church when atlast he was sorely pressed and his squadron broken, just before his death,his last words were: "Would to God, Gordon was here." But Gordon, too,had received his death wound.
Gordon's remains wore brought home and buried in the Episcopal cemeteryin Wilkesboro. His last resting place is marked by a beautiful monument,and the evergreens and flowers that grow about his grave show the lastingadmiration of his comrades, friends and relations. Wilkes is glad thatthe whole country glories in the achievements of her noble son, but hisfame, his glory, and his tomb are. all her own.
In his history of the 5th NC Cavalry, Col. Paul B. Means has this tosay: "Our great loss at Brook church was the gallant and glorious JamesB. Gordon. The Fifth loved him as its commander the Gettysburg campaignand as his entire brigade did for his splendid courage and merit in allrespects. He was the the Murat of the army of Northern Virginia, and hadhe lived he would have added increased lustre to our North Carolina Cavalry.
Of him Gen. Julian S. Carr said:
"On the 28th of Sept., 1863, James B. Gordon, Col. of the 9th, was commissionedBrigadier General and took command of the Brigade. Under Gen. Gordon itmade its famous name "The North Carolina Cavalry Brigade," and was thusto the end of the war widely known throughout the army of Northern Virginiaand by a very great many in the army of the Potomac. Of course, it wasoften spoken and written of as Gordon's and afterwards Barringer's Brigade.
"Gordon was a genius of war, 'veritable god of battle,' He did morethan any other one man to maky; his brigade what it was, and had livedhis brigade would have place his name as high on North Carolina roll ofhonor as that of any Confederate, if not higher. At Brook Church on the12th of May, 1864, he received wound which proved mortal within a week."
THE BUZZARD ROOST
In the early days of Wilkes county the bottoms along the Yadkin andReddies River at the junction of the rivers was heavily timbered with tallcedars. The buzzards of all the adjacent country would gather there toroost in those cedars. The bottoms were cleared by the late John Finleyand were so productive that the name ~buzzard roost," was very appropriately,and as long as Mr. Finley lived the bottoms were known as "John's buzzardroost."
GENERAL JAMES WELLBORN
In his day General James Wellborn was probably the most prominent manin the county. He married Rebecca Montgomery, one of the two heirs to thelarge tracts of land known as the Moravian surveys.
James Wellborn was appointed General of the militia about the closeof the Revolutionary War. From the year 1796 to 1835 General We1lborn servedin the State Senate thirty years. He served in succession from 1796 to1811, from 1817 to 1821, in 1823 and l824, in 1828 to 1829, in 1832 andin l834 and 1835. Prior to 1835 members of the General Assembly wore electedeach year, so Wellborn was elected thirty times in 39 years. The fact thata men can stand so popular for 39 years is honor enough for one man. Idoubt if the world can furnish a like example.
During his terms in the Senate General Wel1born made streneous effortsto have the State build a turnpike road from the nountains to the sea,but he failed. That was before any railroads were built in North Carolinaand the turnpike would have been a great thing for the; people of the west,but cast had the majority and they knew that the people of the west hadto coire to them for their necessities turnpike or no turnpike, and theywere not willing to be taxed to build the road for accomodation of thepeople of the west.
It was largely through the efforts of General Wellborn that his brother-in-lawMontford Stokes, was twice elected to the United States Senate and onceelected to Governor of the State.
He was buried on his plantation about 3 miles west of Wilkesboro.
HON. ANDERSON MITCHELLL
Anderson Mitchell was at one time a distinguished citizen of he wasborn in Caswell county in the yer 1800; was educated at Bingham Schooland at the State University at Chapel Hill where he graduated in 1821.He read law under George Henderson and admitted to the bar in 1823.
Mitchell located in Jefferson, Ashe county, to practice his profession.In 1827, and 28 and 29 he represented Ashe county in the lower branch ofthe Legislature and in 1838 he was elected to the State Senate. In l840he moved to Wilkesboro and the same year was elected to the State Senatefrom Wilkes. In l842 he was elected to Congress but resigned in l843 todevote his entire time to the practice of law.
In 1859 he removed to Statesville. In 1866, he was appointed Judge ofSuperoir Court, and in 1872 was elected, without opposition, to succeedhimself as Judge and he served until his death in 1876 when Governor Brogdenappointed D. M. Furches to succeed him.
On Dec. 24th, 1876, he died and was buried in the cemetery in Statesville.
Judge Mitchel1's conduct during the Ku Klux era in North Carolina haswon for him lasting fame. In his district there was no such thing as KuKlux allowed; neither was there any necessity for such, for all the vio1atorsof the law were punished without fear of favor. Our distinguished countyman Anderson Mitchell Vannoy was named after him and was a close companionof the Judge until his death. Mitchell was an able lawyer, an excellentJudge, and a great and noble man.
COL. WM. M. BARBER
The subject of this sketch was born Jan. 24th, 1834. He enlisted inthe 37th N. C. Regiment and on its organization at High Point, Nov. 20th,1861, he was elected Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment.
At Fuzzell's Mill Lane's Brigade, led by Ccl. Barber, recaptured theConfederate entrenchments, which had been lest by other Confederate troops,on the Darbytown road in the presence of General R. E. Lee. At GravelyHill helped the regiment in a hot fight and was wounded in the engagement.
The officers of Lane's brigade presented their leader with a sword anda General's sash at Moss Neck and Col. Barber was chosen to present thepresents which he did in a neat and graceful speech.
Col. Barber was engaged in the battle of Fredericksburg and performedhis duty bravely. At Chancellorville he grappled with the enemy bravelyand drove them back but he described the fight by his regiment as the bloodiestbattle he ever saw.
He was wounded in the fight at Jones' farm near Petersburg on Sept.30th, l864, and died from the wounds on the 3rd of the following October.His remains wore brought to Wilkesboro and buried in the Episcopal cemetery.
Lee Carmichael was a prominent man in Wilkes before the Civil War. Hewas a fine lawyer and was a candidate for Congress against General ThomasL. Clingman. He represented the county in the Legislature a number of times.He died about the close of the war.
COL. THOMAS C. LAND
Thomas C. Land is one of the landmarks of the county. He was born March18, 1828, and was raised on a farm, attending the old field schools a fewweeks for a part of the winters. He attended old Beaver Creek Academy fora short time while High Stokes was principal.
At the outbreak of the war he joined Col. Sidney Stokes company as aprivate and served during the war. He was appointed commissary and latercorporal. In the Seven Days Fight around Richmond he was wounded and wasallowed to come home on furlough. During his absence from army he was appointedLieutenant-Colonel of the 53rd Regiment, which position he assumed on hisreturn to the army. He was wounded at the battle of Winchester and a numberof other times but not, seriously.
After the war Col. Land returned to Wilkes and engaged in teaching schooland farming. In 1870 he went to Oregon and took up land and lived thereuntil 1884 when he returned to Wilkes. In 1891 he again went to Oregonand lived there until 1898 when he returned to Wilkes and where ho haslived since. While in the West he engaged in farming, teaching and mining.
Col. Land has considered literary talent and is the author of the popularballad, "The Death of Laura Foster, It and a number of poems.
Col. Land has been fond of hunting and while in the West he had a littleexperience in hunting deer, bear, and elk. He has the horns a large elkthat he killed which he prizes very highly. Col. Land is at present a memberof the county Board of Education the only office he over held.
REV. W. R. BRADSHAW - By F. B. Hendren
Rev. W.R. Bradshaw, the pastor of the Baptist church in Wilkesboro andNorth Wilkesboro respectively, was born in Burke county, N.C. on the 14thday of July, 1866. His father was a farmer and young Bradshaw worked onhis father's farm until he was 18 yers old. He attended district schoola few months in the winter, and at 18 years of age he entered Amherst Academy,situated near his father's farm, under tuition of Rev. R.L. Patton, oneof the ablest ministers and educators in the State. Here he was fittedfor college and, having decided to enter the ministry, matriculated atWake Forest College in the fall of 1888 and graduated in the class of '92.The following fall he assumed the principalship Moravian Falls Academyand also took charge of the Baptist church at Moravian Falls, and duringthe year had charge of other churches in this county. Soon after his remova1to his county he took charge of the Baptist churchs at Wilkesboro and NorthWi1kesboro respectively. These pastorates he has most acceptably and successfullyfilled up to the present time. He has received several calls to good churchesin other towns in this State but has uniformly declined them. Under hiseloquent sermons and wise ministry the churches in the two Wilkesboroshave enjoyed a most gratifying and steady growth. Nor does his influencecease at the borders of the two towns, but reaches out all over the county,throughout which he is well known. He is also a prominent personage onthe floor of the Baptist State Convention and occasionally electrifiesit with his bursts of eloquence. He is often referred to as the "Boy Oratorof the Mountains."
Pure in life and chaste in demeanor, he is yet the stern and uncompromisingenemy of evil in every form, especially of the liquor evil. He is prominentlyconnected with the educational interests of the county.
The Hustler, North Wilkesboro
The Hustler was established in July, 1896, by T. J. Robertson, the presentowner and editor. It was a three column, 8 page paper. On Jan. 2, 1898,the entire outfit was destroyed by fire and not a cent of insurance onthe plant. Mr. Robertson assumed the proportions of the name of his paperand in two weeks a new outfit was put in and re-appeared in an enlargedform--a 5 column, 8 page paper. The Hustler has made steady advancementand now has a firm hold on the people of North Wilkesboro and the county.
The editor and owner, T.J. Robertson, was born in Pittsylvania county,Va. Feb.27,1865. In 1877 his parents moved to Kernersville, NC., wherehe received an academical education. He came to North Wilkesboro in 1895and was editor of the North Wilkesboro News until 1896 when he estab1ishedThe Hustler.
The Chronicle, Wilkesboro
The Chronicle was established at Lenoir by H. S. Blair in 1887, buta month or so later was moved to Wilkesboro, and has been published continuouslyever since. Soon after the paper-moved to Wilkesboro, R. A. Deal boughtit and has owned and conducted it ever since. In 1899 he bought the MountainBreeze and the two offices were consolidated.
Robert Avery Deal, editor and owner of The Chronicle, was born in Caldwellcounty Dec. 6, 1863, and was raised on the farm, attending the public schoolsa part of the sessions. He attend Rutherford College under Prof. R. L.Abernathy for about two years, going in debt for his tuition. After leavingRutherford he taught school, and and when The Chronicle was establishedhe worked with it until he bought the paper, paying the last of his RugherfordCollege tuition after coming to Wilkesboro. On Feb. 7, 1900, he was marriedto Miss Mamie Wa1lace, by which union two children have been born. Mr.Deal is a man of deep thought, and by close application has made a reputationfor thoroughness in whatever he undertakes. He is an ardent democrat andan earnest worker for his party, having served for a number of years aschairman of the county executive committee. He was postmaster at Wilkesboroduring Cleveland's last administration.
The Yellow Jacket, Moravian Falls
The Yellow Jacket was established by R. Done Laws in June, 1895, asa three column, four page, monthly paper. When the paper was started outin the country, away from any public road and two miles from the postoffice,many people predicted the thing a failure. As the name implies, the YellowJacket was from the beginning a "warm baby." It discusses politics almostexclusively from a republican standpoint. The paper has been enlarged fromtime to time until now it is a five column folio and is issued twice amonth. The circulation has built up wonderfully. The paper now has about20,000 subscribers in every State in the Union. In order to issue the paperin such quantities it was necessary to install now machinory from timeto time. Now the Yellow Jacket outfit is the best printing plant in thissection of the State. The paper is about to outgrow its present equipmentand Mr. Laws is making arrangements to put in a perfecting press.
R. Don Laws, the editor and proprietor of the Yellow Jacket was bornin Wilkes county in 1868, and worked on the farm till he was 21 years old.Mr. Laws printed the following account of himself in his paper sometimeago:
"We were born in Wilkes county, North Carolina, in 1868, lived on afarm, ate corn broad and fat meat and plowed a steer until we were 21 yearsold. We were blessed with the opportunity of get school for about eighteenmonths, all told. At the age of thirteen we made the first printing presswe ever saw, carving the the type from ivy wood. When we obtained moneyenough a small hand press of type were purchased. Printing seemed to beour fort so we stuck to it. Somehow we get the idea in our noggin thatwe wanted to be a one hoss editor, so in June, 1895, without any money,and with a printing outfit that was not worth twenty-five dollars, we foundedthe Yellow Jacket. For a long. time it looked like the game was not worththe candle, but we worked the harder, hoping that a brighter day will comeby and by. At last our hopes are partly realized. Today we have a largerpaid-up circulation than any other paper published in North Carolina, andhave at last succeeded in replacing the little old printing outfit withan up to date plant and have that paid for."
Mr. Laws is a man of more than ordinary talents with and seems to bespecially suited to the work he has adopted. He married Miss Dora Wallaceand they have three children.
The Patriot, Moravian Falls
The Patriot is a three column four page paper established a few monthsago by James Larkin Pearson. Mr. Pearson is a 23 years old. He is widelyknown throughout this county as a poet, having been writing verse sincehis youth. He made his first printing press out of wood.
The Blue Ridge Baptist, North Wilkesboro
The Blue Ridge Baptist was established in Wilkesboro in 1900 with Rev.W. R. Bradshaw and F. B. Hendren editors. The next year the paper changedhands and A. C. Hamby became editor and D. W. Lee manager, and the paperwas moved to North Wilkesboro. The Baptist is a clean religious paper andspeaks well for its young editor and manager.
A. C. Hamby, editor, was born in Wilkes county Aug. 28, 1876, and workedon his father's farm until ho was 17 years old. He attended Bethel HillInstitute, Traphill Institute, Whitehead Academy, and he also spent ninemonths at Wake Forest College. He paid his tuition and board by teachingand wrking as a farm hand. He also attended the Blue Ridge Institute forone session. He was licensed to preach by his church, but has not yet beenordained.
D. W. Lee, manager of the Baptist, was bern June 23, 1875, was raisedon the farm and attended school at Bethel Hill, Traphill and Whitehead.At the last named place he taught a commercial department for one session,He was principal of New Hope Academy in l898 an 1899. In 1900 he, in copartnershipwith his brother, established the Baptist Instructor which was consolidatedwith the Blue Ridge Baptist in 1901.
The Curfew, Brewers
The Curfew was established in 1898 by W. L. Brewer and J. J. Spicerat first it was a 3 column, 4 page paper but it has been enlarged to a6 column, 4 page paper. Mr. Brewer, the present editor is a man of characterand ability. (Further particulars about the Curfew have not reached theauthor.)
John S. Cranor
John Samuel Cranor was born at Rockford, in Surry county, April 26,l847. When he was about ten years old his father moved to Wilkesboro andengaged in running a hotel. In l864 he entered the Confederate army, beingthen only 17 years. Ho enlisted in Company B, and was tended to be assignedto the First Battalion North Carolina Reserves and was stationed at CampVance for instructions. Here he was captured by Col. Kirk of the Federalarmy and was carried as a prisoner of war to a prison camp at Chicago,where he was kept for twelve months. While in prison he endured many hardshipsand witnessed the death of many comrades from exposure and hardships. Afterbeing paroled after peace was proc1aimed he returned to Wilkesboro, studiedlaw and was admitted to the bar in l868.
On Nov. 27, 1872, he was married to Miss Sarah Taylor and to them wereborn nine children. Mrs. Cranor died in May, 1902.
Mr. Cranor was Register of Deeds from l884 to (blank). In 1893 he representedthe district in the State Senate; he was elected by 745 majority when themajority was usually about that much for the opposition party. Mr. Cranoris at present mayor of the town of Wilkesboro.
Frank B. Hendren
The subject of this sketch was born Feb. 24, 1860, and worked on thefarm until he was 21 years old attending the public schools about two monthsduring the winter for a part of the winters. He entered Moravian FallsAcademy and was prepared for college by Rev. Geo. W Greene principal ofthe academy. Before entering college he taught school in Ashe county oneyear and at Vashti academy, in Alexander county, one year. In l884 he enteredWake Forest College and graduated in l888. After his graduation he taughtschool for ten years, teaching in Montgmery county, in High Point FemaleCollege, in the Winston Graded Schools, in Jackson county, and finallyfor four years was principal Moravian Falls academy. In 1895, he was admittedto the bar, but taught school two years after. In 1898 he moved to Morgantonand formed a partnership with J. F. Spainhour for the practice of law.He returned to Wilkesboro in 1900 where he has since resided practicinghis profession. While he was at Morganton he was elected County Superintendentof Schools of Burke county. Mr. Hendron is a ripe scholar and an able jurist.He is an enthusiastic member of the Baptist church.
William W. Barber
The subject of this sketch was born in Wilkesboro Oct. 14, 1855 andwas educated by his father, Rev. R. W. Barber; he read law at Lenoir underCol. Geo. N. Folk and was admitted to the bar in 1879. In 1882 he formeda copartnership with Col. W.H.H. Cowles and the practice law; the partnershipexisted until l887, several years after Col. Cowles had been elected forCongress and was mutually dissolved; since that time he has practiced lawalone in Wilkes and adjoining counties.
In early life he showed a fondness for politics and since l876 he hasbeen an active worker for his party. He has several times been chairmanof the County Executive Committee of the Democratic party; he served eightyears as a member of the executive comnuttee for the judicial district,four years as chairman; for ten years he has been a member of the CongressionalExecutive Comirittee, two years as chairman, and is still a member of thecommittee; he also served six years as a member of the State ExecutiveCommittee. He was clerk to the committee in Washington of which Col. Cowleswas chairman, but he resigned in 1889 after serving nearly two years, totake his seat in the State Senate to which he was elected the previousyear.
In 1890 he was the Democratic candidate for Solicitor in this district;he canvassed the district against Hon. Thomas Settle, the Republican candidate..As the district was largely Republican Barber was defeated but he ran aheadof the ticket. Mr. Settle resigned in 1893 and Gov. Thos. M. Holt appointedMr. Barber to succeed him and he served till 1895. In l894 he was againnominated by his party for Solicitor but with his party he went down indefeat in that memorable campaign of l894, again running ahead of his ticket.
In 1891 he was married to Miss Wilcox, daughter of Dr. J.O. Wilcox ofAshe county, and four children bless their home. Mr. Barber stands in thefore front in his. profession.
Frank D. Hackett
Mr. Hackett was born near Wilkesboro June 14, 1857. His father was adistinguished educator and his mother was a Miss Sturgis, daughter of JudgeSturgis of the Georgia Supreme Court. He studied law under Maj. Binghamof Statesville, and was admitted to the bar in 1890. He was DistillerySurveyor during Cleveland's second administration. In the Legislature of1899 he was assistant to the Principal Clerk of the House; in 1901 he wasagain selected for the same position. In 1900 he was a candidate beforethe Democratic convention for the nomination for State Auditor, but retiredin favor of Maj. Dixon.
Lytle W. Hickerson
The subject of this sketch was born in Boone county, Arkansas, Aug.20, l874. When he was about seven years old his parents moved to this county.Lytle worked on the farm and attended to the academic school at Ronda;he also went to Moravian Falls Academy two years and finally took the fouryears course at the State University at Chapel Hill, after which he studiedlaw at Statesville. under Judge R.F. Armfield and was admitted to the bar.He located at North Wilkesboro where he has since lived. He married MissJarvis, daughter of L.A. Jarvis, of North Wilkesboro.
Richard N. Hackett
The subject of this sketch was born in Wilkesboro on the 4th of Dec.1866. He was educated at the State University at Chapel Hill where he graduatedin June, 1887. Then he took up the study of law under Col. Geo. N. Folk,and in September, 1888, was admitted to the bar. He located in his nativetown and has become one of the ablest jurists and advocates in this sectionof the State.
Mr. Hackett has always taken a lively interest in politics, and whenhe was only 21 years old he was chosen as chairman of the county DemocraticExecutive Committee and he served continuously for six years. While hewas chairman his party made steady gains until in the election followingthe last campaign under his direction a part of the Democratic nomineeswere elected. For more than ten years he has been a member of the StateDemocratic Executive Committee. At all times he had taken an active personalinterest in the advancement and campaigns of his party, and he is one ofthe most forceful orators in the West.
In 1889 he was Commissioner of State to represent North Carolina inNew York at the centennial anniversary of Washington's Inaugeration.
In 1896 he was a candidate for the Legislature but was defeated thoughhe led the Democratic ticket by 300 votes. In 1898 he was a candidate forthe nomination for Congress from the eighth district and was defeated byonly four votes. In 1900 his name was again brought before the convention,but he was defeated by J. C. Buxton, after which he gracefully took thestump and canvased his district for Buxton.
In the campaign preceeding the August election of 1900, Mr. Hackettcanvassed the northwest portion of the State in behalf of the State ticketand the constitutional amendment.
In 1901 he was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for the purposeof annotating and indexing the laws of the General Assemby for the sessionof 1901.
He is an officer of the Grand Lodge of Masons of North Carolina, andis an earnest worker for the order, especially for the orphanage of theorder. He is a distinguished looking gentleman of pleasant and agreeablmanner, a man of unsul1ied honor, a lawyer of much ability, and one ofthe coming statesmen of North Carolina.
Herbert L. Greene
Mr. Greene was born in Wilkesboro Nay 28, 1866, and was educated atthe Wi1kesboro Academy and at the State University. He read law under Co1.Geo. N. Folk and was admitted to the bar in 1887. Instead of becoming acandidate for office he stuck to the practice of law and, in partnershipwith T. B. Finley, has built up a large practice. Although against hiswishes, he was nominated for the Legislature in 1900 by the Democraticparty, and he reprsented the county in the next General Assembly. Mr. Greenehas been chairman of the County and also the Congressional Executive Committesof his party.
Mr. Greene is the author of the bill enacted by the Legislature of 1901commanding the commissioners of Wi1kes county to build a new court house.He also helped to secure the passage of the bill to build the Wilkesboroand Jefferson turnpike by the penitentiary convicts.
He was married in 1898 to Miss Davie Wellborn.
Hugh A. Cranor
Mr. Cranor is a son of John S. Cranor and was born in Wilkesboro Nov.20, 1875. He attended Wilkesboro Academy and the State University; studiedlaw at the law department of Wake Forest College and was admitted to thebar in 1902. He is a bright young lawyer and has a promising; future.
Col. Thomas J. Dula
The subject of this sketch was born in Caldwell county and was raisedon the farm; he attended the common schools and Emory and Henry college.He studied law under Judge Anderson Mitchell and was admitted to the barabout 1855 and located at Lenoir; in 1858 he was elected to the Legislaturefrom Caldwell. When the Civil war broke out he entered the Confederatearmy as a private in company I, 26th NC regiment. He was detailed to returnhome and form a new company; he was elected Major and later was promotedto Lieutenant Colonel [of the 58th North Carolina Infantry]. During thewar he was twice wounded. In 1871 he moved to Wilkesboro and the next yearwas elected to the Legislature, and also in 1875 he was elected a delegateto the Constitutional Convention. In 1876 he was the Republican nomineefor Congress but was defeated by Maj. Robbins. In 1900 he was elected tothe State Senate.
L. C. Carter
Littleton Calhoun Carter was born May l4, 1871, and was raised on thefarm. He was educated in the common schools and at Fair View College, Traphill.For a number of years he engaged in teaching schoo1. At the age of 22 hebegan the study of law under Maj. Bingham of Statesvil1e, and seven monthslater was admitted to the bar.
Thomas B. Finley
The subject of this sketch is the son of the late Augustus W. Finley,one of the wealthiest and most influential men that ever lived in the county.His mother's maiden name was Miss Martha Gordon. On his farm--where NorthWilkesboro now stands--in the year l862 was Thomas B. Finley born, Duringhis boyhood he worked hard on the farm, keeping his work apace with thatof the negroes hired by his father. He was educated at Wilkesboro Academy,Finley High School at Lenior and at Davidson Col1ege he won a gold medalfor declaiming. He read law under Col. Geo. N. Folk and was admitted tothe bar in 1885. After receiving his license he located at Wilkesboro topractice his profession. He formed a partnership with H.L. Greene whichexists up to this time.
Mr. Finley has been the promoter of many of the business institutionsof this county. He was one of the men who planned and founded the townof Nurth Wilkesboro; he was the first man to advocate the establishmentof the Bank of North Wilkesbero and it was largely through his effortsthat the bank was established. At present he is a director of the bank.In 1888 he canvassed the county in favor of the county issuing, $100,000bonds for the construction of a railroad to Wilkesboro. He had helped topromote several other business institions.
Although streneously urged by his friends Mr. Finley has never beena candidate for office. In 1902 he was specially urged to become a candidatefor Judge of the Superior Court; although as assured of the nominationhe declined to abandon his practice. He has appeared in a majority of thecivil cases tried in the county since he was admitted to the bar.
In 1893 he was married to Miss Carrie Lizzie Cowles, and five childrenbless their home.
James W. McNeill
The subject of this sketch was born in Beaver Creek township Feb. 3,1872. Until he was ten years old he lived on a farm and attended the publicschools; in 1882 his father, Rev. Milton McNeill, was elected Sheriff ofthe county and moved his family to Wilkesboro where they have since resided.The subject of this sketch attended Wilkesboro Academy, and in 1892 enteredWake Forest College and took a special course preparatory to the studyof law, He studied law at the State University and was admitted to thebar in 1895. Before entering college he was Deputy Clerk of the SuperiorCourt under his father. After obtaining license to practice law he locatedat Winston for six months. In 1896 he located in Wilkesboro and becamethe law partner of Solicitor Mott. During this partnership and since hehas done much work for Mr. Mott, acting as Solicitor pro tem. In 1899 heformed a partnership with his brother R.H. McNeill and they now have officesin Wilkesboro and Jefferson, and at each place they have a large practice.
In 1900 Mr. McNeill was nominated for the Legislature by the Republicanparty and was elected by 259 majority, but by means of the trickery ofpolitical machines four largely Republican precincts were thrown out bythe Canvassing Board, thus giving the place to another man by 4l majority.
In 1900 he was married to Miss Anna Gertude Johnson of Raleigh.
At the present time Mr. McNeill is the chosen candidate of his partyfor Solicitor in this district; his chances of election are good. The experiencehe has had as Solicitor pro tem, makes him specially qualified for theoffice, while his services as Solicitor have distinguished him as an ableprosecuting officer.
Mr. McNeill is a distinguished looking gentleman and is one of the mostgifted orators in this section. He had made a marked success as a lawyer--seldom equaled in so short a time- -and a bright future is before him.
Luther N. Lyon
Mr. Lyon was born in Wilkes county Jan. 24 1871, was raised on a farmand was educated in the common schools and academies of his section. Hetaught school for a number of years, and then read law at the State Unviersityand under Chas. H. Armfield and was admitted to the bar in l899. He islocated at Wilkesboro. His great-grandfather Jacoblyon, was a soldier inthe revolutionary war and was in the battles of Brandy Wine and Kings Mountain.
Dr. J. W. White
Dr. White was born near Hamptonville in Yadkin county March.9, 186_and was raised on the farm. When he was only six years old his father diedleaving three children, two younger than the subject of this sketch. Uponhe became old enough the duty fell upon him to take the lead in caringfor his mother and plantation. He received his literary education in thepublic schools academies of his community, and he attended Jefferson MedicalCollege, Philadelphia, where he graduated in 1889. He practiced Medicineat Osbornville four years and then moved to Wilkesboro where he has sinceresided. He has also taken two post graduate courses. He is a member ofthe North Carolina Medical Society and in 1898 was elected Vice Presidentof that body. He was county physician for about four years. In 1898 h wasmarried to Miss Pearl Sydnor (?) and one child blesses their home.
Dr. Geo. Doughton
The subject of this sketch was born in Alloghany county in 1860 andwas raised on the farm; was educated in the prblic schools and academiesof the community, and is a graduated of the Baltimore college of Physiciansand Surgeons and a post graduate of the New York Polyclinic in the classof 1891. He has also attended sevoral other shot courses--at John Hopkinsand e1sewhere. At present he is local surgeon for the Southern Railway,surgeon for the Penitentiary convict camp. In 1888 he was married to MissNannie B. Edwards and they now; have four children.
Dr. Wm. P. Horton.
The subject of this sketch was born in Wataug county in 1867, was raisedon the farm and was educated in the public schools and academies. He studiedmedicine under Dr. Council and at the Baltimore Co1lege of Physicians andSurgeons. At first he located at Southerlands, and in 1892 he moved toNorth Wilkesboro. He has been physican for the Southern Railway and heis now physician for the county. He was married to Miss Emma Wynn and theyhave four children.
Dr. James M. Turner
Dr. Turner was born in Iredell county on the30th of April, 1858 wasraised on the farm and was educated at Cool Springs Academy. For a shorttime he taught school in this State and Tennessee. He studied medicineunder Dr. John Anderson and at Louisville University where he graduatedin 1881. He first located in Davie county and remained there for more thanfive years, then moved to Wilkesboro in 1886 where he has since lived.He has been Co. Supt. of Health at least half of the time since he hasbeen in the county. He is half owner of one of the first roller flouringmills established in the county. Dr. Turner has taken much interest inthe material development of the town and county and owns considerable property.He has been married twice, first to Miss Nollie F. Howell who died in 1887;in 1889 he was married to Miss Sallie Ble&soe. He has had eight children,three his first wife (two of whom are dead), and five by his last wife.
Dr.Comodore L. Hamby
Dr. Comodore L. Hamby was born in Rowan county June 23, 1857 was educatedin the common school and academies of his section. He graduated at LouisvilleMedical College in 1886. He first located at Traphill where he remainedten years and then moved to Myers where he now lives. For the last sixyears he has been a member of the U.S. Examining Board of Surgeons forpensioners. In 1878 he was married to Miss Evaline Darnell and they havesix children.
Dr. F. H. Gilreath
Dr. F. H. Gilreath was born in Wilkes county March 15th, 1869, was educatedat Moravian Falls Academy and at Vanderbilt University and at the MedicalUniversity at Nashville where he graduated in 1898. He served for morethan three years as stewart in the U.S. Army at Fort Myer. In 1901 he wasappointed by the Superintendent of the Peniteniary as physician for theconvict camp in Mitchell county.
Drs. R. W. S. Pegram and L. P. Somers are among our county physiciansbut the author is unable to give sketches of them. Both are members ofthe U. S. Board of Examining Surgeons.
SCHOOLS OF WILKES COUNTY - By C. C. Wright, Co. Supt. of Schools
Wilkes county had had and now has a number of excellent schools of highgrade. Among these are Moravian Falls, one of the oldest higher institutionsof learning in the county. It flourished for a number of years under thewise and prudent manaGement of Rev. G. W. Greene and in later years ofRev. W. R. Bradshaw, F. B. Hendron, Rev. J. J. Beach, Profs. Patton, Surrattand others. Another one worthy of mention is Boomer High School, whichfor a number of years was a prosperous under the care of Profs. A. E. Boothand W. S. Surratt. The school is now in the hands of Prof. J. A. Boldinand bids fair to be one of our best schools. The college at Traphill andthe Institute for quite a while did great good unuer the management ofProf. Wagoner, Smith, and others sending out many teachers for the publicschools of this and adjoining counties. The schools in the towna, Wilkesboroand North Wilkesboro, have usually been under the care of competent andable instructors and in the main have been successful. The Blue Ridge Institutenow under the care of Rev. W. R. Bradshaw bids fair to be the leading preparatoryschool in western N.C. There are academies at Beaver Creek, Sulphur Springs,Poach Orchard, New Hope, Cross Roads, Bugaboo and Ronda but for some timeno school has boon taught in these save the public school.
James Gordon Hackett
James Gordon Hackett is one of the prominent citizens of the county.He was appointed by Gov. Aycock as one of the Penitentiary Directors. Hewas one of the promoters of the Jefferson turnpike. He is the brother ofRichard N. Hackett.
Calvin J. Cowles
Mr. Cowles, the subject of this sketch is one of the pioneer citizensof this county. Probably he knows more of the histsory of the county thanany other man now living. The author of this work is largely indebted tohim for his assistance in getting up this volume.
He was born at Hamptonville in old Surry county Jan. 6th, 1821. When13 years old he entered his father's store as a clerk where he spent mostof his time until he was 21 years old. In his school days there were nofree schools and he got his education at the old field subscription schooland by studying his books at home. At the age l2 he was afflicted withwhite swelling from which he has suffered more or less ever since. He wasappointed by Congressman Lewis Williams as a cadet to the Naval academyat Annapolis but declined in favor of his step brother.
In l846 he moved to Wilkes and put up a store at the mouth of Elk haulinghis goods in wagons from Fayettevil1e, NC and Co1umbia, SC., the nearestrailroad points at that time. He was the first man in the county to dealin roots and herbs. In 1858 he moved to Wilkesboro.
During the war Cowles was an avowod Union man but would have been conscriptedinto the Confederate service had it not been for his physical disability.After the war he took a prominent part in reconstruction. In 1866 he wasa candidate for a seat in the Constitution Convention but was defeated.In 1867 he was again a candidate for the same position and was electedand was made President of the Convention receiving 101 of the 109 votescast. The convention was composed of 87 Carolinians, 18 carpet baggersand 15 negroes all elected by the people under martial law. To this conventionwe are indebted for our present constitution (with a few changes), includingour splendid court system. (Hon. J.Q.A. Bryan was a member of this Convention.)
During the Ku Klux regime Mr. Cowles went to Gen. Grant for aid in protectinglife and property in the State.
In '67 Cowles was a candidate for the State Senate but was defeatedby one vote.
In '68 he was a cadidate for Congress but was defeated by NathanielBoyden.
Cowles was a director of the W.N.C.R.R. and only lacked one vote ofbeing elected president.
In '68 he was appointed by President Johnson as Assayor in charge ofthe mint at Charlotte, which position he held for 16 years. In '75 Congressfailed to make any appropriation for the mint, and the Collector of InternalRevenue sold the property for $7,000. Cowles was successful in gettingthe sale canceled.
Mr. Cowles has been married twice; first to Martha T. Devaul by whomhe had eight children, three of whom died in infancy; in 1868 he was marriedto Ida A. Holden, daughter of ex-Governor Holdon; by his second wife hehas eight children--five living and three dead.
For the last few years he has lived the life of a private citizen inWilkesboro. He is the largest real estate owner in the county and amongthe largest in the State.
Return to New River Notes
The following information on Col. Clevelandand Wilkes Co., NC, was taken from the website at this link:
History of Western North Carolina- Chapter V Revolutionary Days
By John Preston Arthur, 1914
HTML by Jeffrey C. Weaver, October 1998
OUR PART IN THE RevOLUTION. In the summer of 1780 "the British weremaking a supreme effort to dismember the colonies by the conquest of theSouthern States." "They thought," says Holmes, "that important advantagesmight be expected from shifting the war to the rich Southern colonies,which chiefly upheld the financial credit of the Confederacy in Europe,and through which the Americans received most of their military and othersupplies.," "The militiaman of Western North Carolina was unique in hisway. Regarded by his government, in the words of Governor Graham, as 'aself-supporting institution,' he went forth to service generally withoutthought of drawing uniform, rations, arms or pay. A piece of white paperpinned to his hunting cap was his uniform; a wallet of parched flour ora sack of meal was his commissariat; a tin-cup, a frying-pan and a pairof sad- dle-bags, his only impedimenta; his domestic nfle-a Deckard ora Kutter-and sometimes a sword, made in his own black-smith shop, constitutedhis martial weapons; a horse capable of long subsisting on nature's bountywas his means of rapid mobilization or 'hasty change of base'; a senseof manly duty performed, his quarter's pay. Indeed, his sense of proprietywould have been rudely shocked by any suggestion of reward for servinghis endangered country. . . An expert rider and an unerring shot, he wasyet disdainful of the discipline that must mechanaze a man into a soldieror convert a mob into an army . . . he was so tenacious of personal freedomas to be jealous of the authority of officers chosen by his vote."
THE MECKLENBURG RESOLCES. Alamance was but the forerunner of the declarationof independence at Mecklenburg, the proof of which follows:
Hon. George Bancroft, the historian, and at the time Minister to England,wrote to David L. Swain, at Chapel Hill, July 4, 1848, as follows "Thefirst account of the Resolves by the people in Charlotte Town, MecklenburgCounty, was sent over by Sir James Wright, then Governor of Georgia, ina letter of the 20th of June, 1775. The newspaper thus transmitted is stillpreserved, and is in number 498 of the South Carolina Gazette and CountryJournal. Tuesday, June 13, 1775. I read the Resolves, you may be sure,with reverence, and immediately obtained a copy of them, thinking myselfthe sole discoverer. I do not send you the copy, as it is identically thesame with the paper you enclosed to me, but I forward to you a transcriptof the entire letter of Sir James Wright. The newspapers seem to have reachedhim after he had finished his dispatch, for the paragraph relating to itis added in his own handwriting, tee former part being written by a secretary.. . . It is a mistake if any have supposed that the Regulators were coweddown by their defeat at Alamance."
THE MEN OF ASHE AND BUNCOMBE. As many of those who had taken part inthe Mecklenburg Resolves bore their part in the Revolutionary War whichfollowed, and then moved into Ashe and Buncombe counties, wert of the BlueRidge, the interest of their descendants in the reality of heroic stepis intense. As, also, many of these men were with Sevier and McDowell inthe expedition to and battle of Kings Mountain, the folIo ving accountof their experiences through the mountains Western North Carolina and ofthe landmarks which still mark their old trails must be of equal importance.
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINIANS WON THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.  After the battleof Alamance, the defiance declared at public meetings, the declarationof independence at Mecklenburg and at Halifax; after Gates' defeat at Camden,August 16, 1780, and Sumter's rout at Fishing' creek, Cornwallis startednorthward to complete the conquest of Virginia and North Carolina. "Atthis dark crisis the Western North Carolinians conceived and organizedand, with the aid which they sought and received from Virginia and theWatauga settlement [the latter being then a part of North Carolina) nowin Tennessee, carried to glorious suceess at Kings Mountain on October7, 1780, an expedition which thwarted all the plans of the British commander,and restored the almost lost cause of the Americans and rendered possibleits final triumph at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. This expedition waswithout reward or the hope of reward, undertaken and executed by privateindividuals, at their own instance, who furnished their own arms, conveyancesand supplies, bore their own expenses, achieved the victory, and then quietlyretired to their homes, leaving the benefit of their work to all Americans,and the United States their debtors for independence."
VANCE, McDOWELL AND HENRY. "The white occupation of North Carolina hadextended only to the Blue Ridge when the Revolution began"; but at itsclose General Charles McDowell, Coi. David Vance and Private Robert Henrywere among the first to cross the Blue Ridge and settle in the new countyof Buncombe. As a reward for their services, no doubt, they were appointedto run and mark the line between North Carolina and Tennessee in 1799,McDowell and Vance as commissioners and Henry as surveyor. While on thiswork they wrote and left in the care of Robert Henry their narratives ofthe battle of Kings Mountain and the fight at Cowan's ford. After his deathRobert Henry's son, William L. Henry, furnished the manuscript to the lateDr. J. F. E. Hardy, and he sent it to Dr. Lyman C. Draper, of Wisconsin.On it is largely based his "King's Mountain and its Heroes" (1880).
DAVID VANCE. He was the grandfather of Governor and General Vance; "camesouth with a great tide of Scotch-Irish emigration which flowed into thePiedmont country from the middle colonies between 1744 and 1752, and madehis home on the Catawba river, in what is now Burke, and was then Rowancounty, where he married Miss Brank about 1775; and here, pursuing hisvocation as a surveyor and teacher, the beginning of the Revolutionarywar found him. He was one of the first in North Carolina to take up armsin support of the colonies, and in June, 1776, was appointed ensign inthe second North Carolina regiment of Regular Continental troops, and shortlythereafter was promoted to a lieutenancy, and served with his regimentuntil May or June, 1778, "when the remnant of that regiment was consolidatedwith other North Carolina troops. He served at Brandywine, Germantown,Monmouth, and was with Washington at Valley Forge through the terriblewinter of 1777-78. In command of a company he fought at Ramseur's Mill,Cowpens, and King's Mountain in 1780-81. His son David was the father ofZebulon and Robert B. Vance, the United States senator and Confederategeneral respectively, was a prominent and influential citizen of his time,and a captain in the War of 1812, which, however, terminated before hisregiment reached the theater of war.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM MOORE. He was from Ulster county, Ireland, and was the'first white man to settle west of the Blue Ridge in Buncombe. He was withhis brother-in-law, Griffith Rutherford when that officer came throughBuncombe in 1776 on his way to punish the Cherokees, and was struck withthe beauty and fertility of the spot on which he afterwards settled, sixand a half miles west of Asheville, the present residence, remodeled andenlarged, of Dr. David M. Gudger. He was a captain of one of Rutherford'scompanies. He returned in 1777 and built a fort on the site above referredto, obtaining a grant for 640 acres from Governor Caswell soon afterwards,for "land on Hominy creek, Burke county." But he had to leave his new homefor the Revolutionary War, in which he served gallantly, returning at itsclose with his own family-his wife being Gen. Rutherford's sister-and fiveothers. He had three sons, William, Samuel, and Charles, and three daughters,all of whom married Penlands, brothers. William and Samuel moved to Georgia,and Charles, the youngest, fell heir to the home place. Of him Col. AllenT. Davidson says in The Lyceum for April, 1891, page 24, that he had beenborn in a fort on Hominy creek "and was one of the most honorable, hospitable,open-hearted men it was my good fortune to know, whom I was taught by myparents to revere and respect; and I can now say I never found in him anythingto lessen the high estimate placed upon him by them."
MOUNTAIN TORIES. There was a man named Mills mentioned in "The Heartof the Alleghanies" as living in Henderson county during the RevolutionaryWar; local tradition says there was a Tory named Hicks who at some timeduring the Revolutionary War built hiraself a pole cabin on what is nowthe Meadow Farm near Banners Elk; but which was for years known as Hick'sImprovement. Benjamin Howard built what is known as the Boone cabin forthe accommodation of himself and his herders when they were looking afterthe cattle grazing on the mountains near what is now the town of Boone.Howard's Knob, where he is said to had a cave, and Howard's creek are namedfor him. daughter Sarah married Jordan Council, Sr., a prominet citizen,and they lived near the oak tree that has buck-horns embedded in its trunk,near Boone village. There is also here at the spring, a large sycamoretree which grew from a switch stuck in the moist soil by Jesse Council,eldest son of Jordan Coucil, but one hundred years ago. Howard was a Tory.Some of the Norris family are said to have been Tories also and two men,named White and Asher, were killed by the Whigs near Shull's Mills duringthe Revolutionary War. There were, doubtless, other Tories hidden inthese mountains during those troublous times. Daniel Boone himself wasnot above suspicion, and escaped conviction under charges of disloyaltyat Boonesborough, Ky., by pleading that his acts of apparent disloyaltywere due to the fact that he had been "playing the Indians in order togain time for getting reinforcements to come up." 
THE NORRIS FAMILY. William Norris settled on Meat Camp, and his brotherJonathan on New river, about 1803, probably, as William was less than ninetywhen he died in 1873.
THOMAS HODGES came to Hodges' gap one, and a half miles west of whatis now Boone, during the Revolutionary War. He came from Virginia, andbrought his family with him. He was a Tory and was seeking to keep outof taking up arms against Great Britain when he came to his new home. Therewas a Norris in this section who was also a Tory. Thomas Hodges' son Gilbertmarried a daughter of Robert Shearer who lived on New River, three milesfrom Boone, and died there about 1845. Robert Shearer was a Scotchman whohad fought in the American army. In 1787 Gilbert was born, and lived atthe place of his birth in Hodges' gap till his death in December, 1862.Hollard Hodges, a son of Gilbert, was born there July 18, 1827, and isstill there. He still remembers that about 1856 he and Jordan McGhee inone day killed 432 rattlesnakes on a rocky and cliffy place on the Richmountain about three miles from Boone; and that he has always heard thatBen. Howard had entered all the land about Hodges gap. His wife was bornElizabeth Councill, and is a grand-daughter of Jordan Councill, Sr., whosewife was Sallie, daughter of Ben. Howard.
HENDERSON COUNTY HEROES. In her history of Henderson county, writtenfor this work, Mrs. Mattie S. Candler says, "here are unquestionably numbersof quiet sleepers in the little old and neglected burying grounds all overthe county wrho followed Shelby and Sevier at Kings Mountain,"and mentionsthe grandfather of Misses Ella and Lela McLean and Mrs. Hattie Scott ashaving fought against his immediate relatives in the British army on thatoccasion, receiving a severe wound there. Elijah Williamson is said tohave lived in Henderson county on land now owned by Preston Patton, hisgreat grandson. Williamson was born in Virginia, moved to Ninety-Six, S.C., and afterwards settled on the Patton farm, where he planted five sycamoretrees, naming each for one of his daughters. They still stand. Samuel Fletcher,ancestor of Dr. G. E. Fletcher and of Mrs. Wm. R. Kirk and Miss EstelleEdgerton of Hendersonville, owned an immense tract adjoining the Pattonfarm, to which it is supposed he came about the time that Elijah Williamsondid.
DESCENDANTS OF REvOLUTIONARY HEROES. Representatives of several Revolutionarysoldiers reside in these mountains, among whom are the Alexanders, Davidsons,Fosters, McDowells, Coffeys, Bryans, Penlands, Wisemans, Miens, Welehes,and scores of others, who fought in North Carolina. Others are descendantsof Nathan Horton, who was a member of the guard at the execution of MajorAndre, when he carried a shot-gun loaded with one ball and three buckshot.J. B. Horton, a direct descendant, has the gun now. J. C. Horton, who liveson the South Fork of the New River, near Boone, has a grandfather's clockwhich his ancestor, Nathan Horton, brought with him from New Jersey overone hundred years ago. The late Superior Co'rrt Judge, L. L. Greene ofBoone, and the Greenes of Watauga generally, trace their descent directlyfrom General Nathanael Greene, who conducted the most masterly retreatof the Revolutionary War, when he slowly ret, ired before Cornwallis fromCamden to Yorktown, and won the applause of even the British.
THE OLD FIELD. Where Gap creek empties into the South Fork of New Riveris a rich meadow on which, according to tradition, there has never beenany trees. It has been called the "old field" time out of mind. it washere that Col. Cleveland was captured by a notorious Tory named Riddleand his followers during the Revolutionary War. The tree under whichit is said he was seated when surprised and captured is still standingin the yard of the old Luther Perkins home, now occupied by a son ofNathan Waugh. The tree is said to be 180 years old. It is three feet indiameter six feet from the ground, and still bears fruit. It is said thatMrs. Perkins sent her daughter to notify Ben Cleveland and Joseph Callowayof Cleveland's capture and that they followed him by means of twigs droppedin the river as he was led up stream, having joined the party of CaptainCleveland, who had gone in pursuit. Greer lived four miles above Old Fieldand Calloway two miles below. It is said that Greer shot one of the captorsat Riddle's knob, to which point Cleveland had been taken, and that therest fled, Cleveland himself dropping behind the log on which he had beenseated while slowly writing passes for his captors. It is also claimedthat Ben Greer fired the shot which killed Col. Ferguson at Kings Mountain. Roosevelt says Ferguson was pierced by half a dozen bullets. (Vol.iii, 170).
THE WOLF'S DEN. Riddle's knob is ten miles north of Boone, and is evenyet a "wild and secluded spot, being very near the noted Elk Knob, theplace where this noted Tory had his headquarters. It is known as the "Wolf'sDen," and is the place where the early settlers caught many young wolves."About 1857 Micajah Tugman found Riddle's knife in the crevices of the Wolf'sDen. It was of peculiar design, the "jaws" being six inches long, and thehandle was curved.
BENJAMIN CLEVELAND. This brave man was born in Virginia May 26, 1738.When thirty-one years of age he came to North Carolina to live, settlingin Wilkes county. In 1776 he became a Whig. He was himself somewhat cruel,as it is related of him that "some time after this (his capture at OldField) this same Riddle and his son, and another was taken, and broughtbefore Cleveland, and he hung all three of them near the Mulberry MeetingHouse, now Wilkesborough". Cleveland weighed over three hundred pounds,and his men called him "Old Roundabout," and themselves "Cleveland's BullDogs." The Tories, however, called them "Cleveland's Devils." He was acaptain in Rutherford's expedition across the mountains to punish the Cherokeesin 1776, for which service he was made a colonel, and as such renderedgreat service in suppressing Tory bands on the frontier. He raised a regimentof four hundred men in Surry and Wilkes counties and with them took partin Kings Mountain fight. Before he died he weighed over 450 pounds, butwas cheerful and witty to the end, which came in October, 1806.
DR. DRAPER's ACCOUNT. In his "Kings Mountain and Its Heroes,"' Dr. Drapertells us (Ch. 19, p.437, et seq.) that the Old Fields belonged to ColonelCleveland, and served, in peaceful times, as a grazing region for his stock,and there his tenant, Jesse Duncan, resided. On Saturday, April 14, 1881,accompanied only by a negro servant, Cleveland rode from his "Round About"plantation on the Yadkin to the Old Fields, where he spent the night. CaptainWilliam Riddle, a son of Col. James Riddle of Surry county, both of whomwere Royalists, was at that time approaching Old Field from Virginia, withCaptain Ross, a Whig captive, and his servant, enroute to Ninety Six, inSouth Carolina. Captain Riddle's party of six or eight men, reached thehome of Benjamin Cutbirth, some four miles above Old Field on the afternoonof the day that Cleveland arrived at Jesse Duncan's, and abused Cutbirth,who was a Whig and suffering from wounds he had but recently sustainedin the American cause. Riddle, however, soon left Cutbirth's and went onto the upper end of Old Fields, where Joseph and Timothy Perkins resided,about one mile above Duncan's. Both these men were absent in Tory serviceat the time; but Riddle learned from their women that Cleveland was atDuncan's "with only his servant, Duncan and one or two of the Callowayfamily." Riddle, however, was afraid to attack Cleveland openly, and determinedto lure him into an ambush the next morning. Accordingly, that night, hehad Cleveland's horses secretly taken from Duncan's to a laurel thicket"just above the Perkins house," where they were tried and left. But, itso happened, that on that very Saturday, Richard Calloway and his brother-in-law,John Shirley, went down from the neighboring residence of Thomas Calloway,to see Col. Cleveland, where they remained over night. On the following(Sunday) morning, discovering that his horses were missing, Cleveland andDuncan, each with a pistol, and Calloway and Shirley, unarmed, went inpursuit, following the tracks of the stolen horses, just as Riddle hadplanned. "Reaching the Perkins place, one of the Perkins women knowingof the ambuscade, secretly desired to save the Colonel from his impendingfate, and detained him as long as she could, while his three companionswent on, Cleveland following some little distance behind." She also followed,retarding Cleveland by enquiries, until his companions had crossed thefence that adjoined the thicket, where they were fired upon by Riddle'smen from their places of concealment. Calloway's thigh was broken by theshot of Zachariah Wells, but Duncan and Shirley escaped. Cleveland "dodgedinto the house with several Tories at his heels." There he surrenderedon condition that they would spare his life; but when Wells arrived heswore that he would kill Cleveland then and there, and would have doneso had not the latter "seized Abigal Walters and kept her between him andhis would-be assassin. Riddle, however, soon came upon the scene and orderedWells to desist; after which, "the whole party with their prisoner andhis servant were speedily mounted and hurried up New river," traveling"mostly in its bed to avoid being tracked, in case of pursuit." Two boys,of fourteen and fifteen, "Daniel Cutbirth and a youth named Walters," hadresolved to waylay Riddle on his return to Benjamin Cutbirth's, and rescuewhatever prisoners he might have with him; but they were deterred fromtheir purpose by the size and noise of Riddle's party as they passed theirplace of concealment that Sunday morning. Riddle's party got dinner atBenjamin Cutbirth's where one of Cutbirth's daughters was abused and kickedby Riddle because of her reluctance in serving Riddle's party. After dinnerRiddle's party proceeded up the bed of New river to the mouth of Elk creek,where the new and promising town of Todd now flourishes at the terminusof a new railroad now building from Konarok, Va., Cleveland meanwhile breakingoff overhanging twigs and dropping them in the stream as a guide to hisfriends who, he knew, would soon follow in pursuit. "From the head of thesouth fork of Elk, they ascended up the mountains in what has since beenknown as Riddle's Knob, in what is now Watauga county, and some fourteenmiles from the place of Cleveland's captivity," where they camped for thenight. Meantime, early that Sabbath morning, Joseph Calloway and his brother-in-law,Berry Toney, had called at Duncan's, and hearing firing in the directionof Perkins's home, hastened there; but, meeting Duncan and Shirley in rapidflight, they learned from them that Richard Calloway had been left behindfor dead and that Cleveland was either dead or captured. Duncan, Shirleyand Toney then went to notify the people of the scattered settlements tomeet that afternoon at the Old Fields, while Joseph Calloway rode to CaptainRobert Cleveland's place on Lewis Fork of the Yadkin river, a dozen milesdistant. His brother, William Calloway, started forthwith up New riverand soon came across Benjamin Greer and Samuel McQueen, who readily joinedthem, and together they followed Riddle's trail till night overtook themten miles above the Old Fields, where Calloway and McQueen remained, whileGreer returned to pilot whatever men might have gathered to engage in thepursuit of the Tories. Greer soon met Robert Cleveland and twenty othersat the Old Fields, and all started at once, reaching Calloway and McQueenbefore day Monday morning. John Baker joined Calloway and McQueen to leadthe advance as spies or advance guards; and, soon after sunrise, the ninemen who were in advance of the others fired upon Riddle's party, whileCleveland tumbled behind the log on which he was slowly writing passesfor his Tory captors. But Wells alone was shot, being hit as he scamperedaway by William Calloway, and was left as it was supposed that he had beenmortally wounded. Riddle and his wife mounted horses and escaped with theothers of his band. "Cleveland's servant, who had been a pack-horse forthe Tory plunderers," was rescued" his master. Captain Ross, Riddle's Virginiaprisoner, was rescued. Shortly after this Riddle captured on Kings creekat night two of Cleveland's noted soldiers, David and John Witherspoon,who resided with their parents on Kings creek, and spirited them many milesaway in the mountain region on Watauga river. Here they escaped death bytaking the oath of allegiance to the King of England, and were released;but as soon as they reached their home, David hastened to notify Col. Ben.Herndon, several miles down the Yadkin, who with a party of men, underthe guidance of the Witherspoon brothers returned and captured Riddle andtwo of his noted associates, Reeves and Gross, [sic - Goss] who were takento Wilkesboro and "executed on the hill adjoining the village on a statelyoak. Mrs. Riddle," who seems to have accompanied her husband on his wildand reckless marauds, "was present and witnessed his execution." Wellshad been captured and hanged by Cleveland a short time before. (P.446.)
DAVID AND JOHN WITHERSPOON. Of these heroes Dr. Draper says (p.461),"David was a subordinate officer-perhaps a lieutenent- in Cleveland's regimentat Kings mountain, and his younger brother John was a private." They wereof Scotch origin, but natives of New Jersey. David was born in 1758 andJohn in 1760. They were collateral relatives of John Witherspoon, presidentof Princeton college, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.Each afterwards represented Wilkes in the legislature. David died in May1828 while on a visit to South Carolina, and John in Wayne county, Tenn.,in 1839. Captain William Harrison Witherspoon, of Jefferson, was descendedfrom John Witherspoon, and was born near Kings creek, January 24, 1841.He was a sergeant major of the 1st N. C. Infantry, was shot in the legat Seven Pines in 1862, and in the forehead at Spottsylvania Court House,May 12, 1864, returning for duty in less than two months. He surrenderedwith Lee at Appomattox, after serving four years and nine days in the Confederatearmy. His wife was born Clarissa Pennell in Wilkes County. In the Springof 1865, while seven of Stonemen's men-three negroes and four white men-weretrying to break into her father's stable near Wilkesboro, for the purposeof stealing her father's horses and mules, she warned them that if theypersisted she would shoot; and as they paid her no heed, she did actuallyshoot and kill one of the white robbers, and the rest fled. Gen. Stoneman,when he heard of her conduct, sent her a guard and complimented her highlyfor her courage and determination.
THE PERKINS FAMILY. J. D. Perkins, Esq., an attorney at Kendrick, Va.,in a letter to his brother, L. N. Perkins, at Boone, N. C., of date December1, 1913, says that his ancestors Joseph and Timothy Perkins were tax gatherersunder the colonial government of Massachusetts about the commencement ofthe Revolutionary War, but removed to Old Fields, Ashe county on accountof political persecution. They remained loyal to the King during the wholeof the Revolutionary War, and Timothy was killed somewhere in Ashe in aTory skirmish. Timothy left several sons and one daughter, Lucy, J. D.Perkins' great grandmother, who married a man named Young. Joseph alsoleft sons and daughters. "I have forgotten the names of most of our greatgrand uncles," wrote J. D. Perkins in the letter above mentioned, "butI remember to have heard our mother tell about seeing 'Granny Skritch,'a sister to our great-great-grandfather, and who was very old at that time,and living with one of her Perkins relatives up on Little Wilson. Our motherwas then quite small and the old lady (Granny Skritch) was very old andconfined to her bed; but our mother was impressed with Granny Skritch'sloyalty, even then, to King George, and the manner in which she abusedthe Patriot soldiers in her talk."
OTHER IMPORTANT FACTs. Dr. Draper says (p.435), "In the summer of 1780he (Cleveland) was constantly employed in surppressing the Tories-firstin marching against those assembled at Ramsour's mill, reaching them shortlyafter their defeat; then in chasing Col. (Samuel) Bryan from the State,and finally in scouring the region of New River including the Tory risingin that quarter, capturing and hanging some of their notorious leadersand outlaws."
CLEVELAND'S CHARACTER. Dr. Draper tries to temper the facts of BenjaminCleveland's career as much as possible, but that this hero of the RevolutionaryWar was inhumanly cruel, cannot be disguised. His compelling a horse-thief,socalled-for he had not been tried-to cut off his own ears with a caseknife in order to escape death by hanging, was inexpressibly revolting.(P.447). Cleveland lost his "Round About Farm" "by a better title" at theclose of the war, and moved to the "fine region of the Tugalo on the westernborder of South Carolina" and "though the Indian title was not yet extinguished,"he resolved to be among the early squatters of the country, and "removedto his new home in the forks of the Tugalo river and Chauga creek in thepresent county of Oconee" in 1785. He served many years as a "judge ofthe Court of Old Pendleton county, with General Pickens and Col. RobertAnderson as his associates, . . . 'frequently taking a snooze on the bench'says Governor B. F. Perry, while the lawyers were making long and prosyspeeches." He was defeated for the legislature in 1793 by seven votes "Hehad scarcely any education," and "was despotic in his nature" declaresDr. Draper; but "North Carolina deservedly commemorated his services bynaming a county after him.Here he died and was buried; but "no monument-noinscription-no memorial stone-point out his silent resting place." (P.453A.)
ASHE A BATTLE GROUND. From Robert Love's pension papers it appears thatthe first battle in which he took part was when he was in command of aparty of Americans in 1780 against a party of Tories in July of that year.This band of Tories was composed of about one hundred and fifty men, andthey were routed "up New River at the Big Glades, now in Ashe county, NorthCarolina, as they were on the way to join Cornwallis." "In the year 1780this declarent was engaged against the Torys at a special court first heldon Toms creek down the New river, and afterwards upon Cripple creek; thenup New river...then, afterwards at the Moravian Old Town.... making anexamination up to near the Shal~w Ford of the Yadkin . . . routing twoparties of Tories in Guilford county, hanging one of the party who fellinto his hands up the New River, and another, afterwards, whom they capturedin Guilford." This activity may explain the presence of the mysteriuosbattle ground in Alleghany county. (See ch. 13, "A Forgotten Battlefield.")
THE BIG GLADES. This may be the Old Field, and it is most probable thatthis is the spot reached and lauded by Bishop Spangenberg in 1752. (Seech. 3, "In Goshen's Land.")
But whether they are identical with that locality or not, the followingis an account of that well-known spot:
SHORT STORY OF AN OLD PLAcE. This land was granted to Luther Perkinsby grant No.599, which is recorded in Ashe county July 28, 1904, Book WW,page 254. But the grant itself is dated November 30, 1805, while the landwas entered in May, 1803. This tract is the one on which the apple treestands under which Cleveland is said to have been captured; but it is probablynot the first tract nor the best, which was conveyed by Charles McDowell,a son of Gen. Charles McDowell of Revolutionary fame, to Richard Gentryfor $1,000 in 1854. There seems to be several hundred acres in that boundary,beginning on a Spanish oak in the line of Joseph Perkins's Old Field Tract,and crossing Gap creek. There is no record in Ashe county, of how CharlesMcDowell got this place, though he probably inherited it. Richard Gentrydivided his property into three parts, two in land and one in slaves. AdolphusRusseau, who married one of Gentry's daughters got the land now owned byArthur Phillips. Nathan Waugh got the other tract, while James Gentry,a son, took the slaves. It was on this 'tract that the first 100 bushelsof corn to the acre of land in Ashe county was raised by Richard Gentry.He was a member of the family of whom Dr. Cox said in his "Foot Prints,"(p. 110): "The Gentry family have been distinguished for their principlesand patriotic love of constitutional liberty and justice." Of Hon. RichardGentry himself he said (p. 116): "He married a Miss Harboard and his residencewas at Old Field. He was a Baptist preacher, justice of the peace and clerkof the Superior Court and a member of both branches of the legislature."
SWORD-TILT BETWEEN HERNDON AND BEVERLY. "The depredations of the Torieswere so frequent, and their conduct so savage, that summary punishmentwas demanded by the exigencies of the times. This Cleveland inflicted withoutceremony. General Lenoir relates a circumstance that occurred at MulberryMeeting-house. While there, on some public occasion, the rumor was thatmischief was going on by the Tories. Lenoir went to his horse, tied atsome distance from the house, and, as he approached, a man ran off fromthe opposite side of the horse. Lenoir hailed him, but he did not stop;he pursued him and found that he had stolen one of the stirrups of hissaddle. He carried the pilferer to Colonel Cleveland, who ordered him toplace his two thumbs in a notch for that purpose in an arbor fork, andhold them there while he ordered him to receive fifteen lashes. This washis peculiar manner of inflicting the law, and gave origin to the phrase,'To thumb the notch.' The punishment on the offender above was well inflictedby Captain John Beverly, whose ardor did not stop at the ordered number.After the fifteen had been given, Colonel Herndon ordered him to stop,but Beverly continued to whip the wincing culprit. Colonel Herndon drewhis sword and struck Beverly. Captain Beverly drew also, and they had atilt which, but for friends would have terminated fatally."
SHAD LAWS' OAK. There is a tree on the public road in Wilkes,which to this day bears the name of "Shad Laws' Oak," on which the notches,thumbed by said Laws under the sentence of Cleveland,are distinctly visible.
SEVIER THE HARRY PERCY OF THE REVOLUTION. When "General CharlesMcDowell, finding his force too weak to stop Ferguson," "crossed the mountainsto the Watauga settlements, he found the mountaineers ready to unite againstthe hated Ferguson.... These hardy men set out to search for Ferguson onSeptember 25 (1780). They were armed with short Deckard rifles, and wereexpert shots. They knew the woods as wild deer do, and from boyhood hadbeen trained in the Indian ways of fighting. They furnished their own horsesand carried bags of parched flour for rations." 
According to Dr. Lyman C. Draper's "Kings Mountain and Its Heroes,"page 176, Sevier followed the Gap creek from Mathew Talbot's Mill, nowknown as Clark's Mill, three miles from Sycamore Shoals, "to its head,when they bore somewhat to the left, crossing Little Doe river, reachingthe noted 'Resting Place,' at the Shelving Rock, about a mile beyond theCrab Orchard, where, after a march of some twenty miles that day, theytook up their camp for the night. . Here a man named Miller resided, whoshod several of the horses of the party." The next morning, Wednesday,the twenty-seventh (of September, 1780,).... they reached the base of theYellow and Roan mountains and ascended the mountain by following the well-knownBright's Trace, through a gap between the Yellow mountain on the northand the Roan mountain on the south. The sides and top of the mountain were"covered shoe-mouth deep with snow." On the 100 acres of "beautiful tableland" on top they paraded and discharged their short Deckard rifles; "andsuch was the rarity of the atmosphere, that there was little or no report."Here two of Sevier's men deserted. They were James Crawford and SamuelChambers, and were suspected of having gone ahead to warn Ferguson of Sevier'sapproach. Sevier did not camp there, however, as there was still some hoursof daylight left after the parade and refreshments, but "passed on a coupleof miles, descending the eastern slope of the mountains into Elk Hollow,a slight depression between the Yellow and Roan mountains, rather thana gap; and here, at a fine spring flowing into RQaring creek, they tookup their camp for the night. Descending Roaring creek on the 28th fourmiles they reached its confluence with the North Toe river, 'and a milebelow they passed Bright's place, now Avery's; and thence down the Toeto the noted spring on the Davenport place, since Tate's, and now knownas the Childs place, a little distance west of the stream."
HAYWOOD IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
"Long before white people had come into the mountain country, all theland now included in Haywood county was occupied by the warlike Cherokees.As the western frontier of civilization, however, approached the Indianterritory, the simple natives of the hills retired farther and fartherinto the fasteesses of the mountains. While the Regulators were resistingTryon at Alamance and the patriots under Caswell and Moore were bayonettingthe Tories at Moore's Creek Bridge, the Cherokees of what is now Haywoodeounty were smoking their pipes in peace under the shadows of Old Baldor hunting along the banks of the murmuring Pigeon and its tributaries.
"When, however, the tide of western immigration overflowed the FrenchBroad and began to reach the foothills of the Balsams the Cherokees, everfriendly as a rule to the white man, gave up their lands and removed tothe banks of the Thekaseigee, thus surrendering to their white brothersall the land eastward of a llne running north and south between the presenttown of Waynesrille and the Balsam range of mountains. Throughout the periodof the early settlement of Haywood county and until the present the mostfriendly relations have existed between the white people and the Cherokees.
"Only one incident is given by tradition which shows that any hostilefeeling existed at any time. It is related that a few Indians from theirsettlement on the Tuekaseigee, before the close of the eighteenth century,went across the Smoky mountains into Teunessee sad stole several horsesfrom the settlers there. A posse of white men followed the redskins, whocame across the Pigeon on their way home, encamped for the night on Richlandnear the present site of the Hardwood factory m Waynesville. While encampedfor the night, their white pursuers came up, fired into them, recapturedthe horses, and began their journey back to Tennessee. The Indians, takenby surprise, scattered, but soon recovered themselves and went in pursuitof the white men. At Twelve Mile creek they came upon the whites encampedfor the night. Indian fashion they made an attack, and in the fight whichensued one white man by the name of Fine was killed. The Indians, however,were driven off. Before leaving their camp next morning the white men tookthe body of their dead comrade, broke a hole in the ice which eovered thecreek, and put him in the ice cold water to remain until they could returnfor the body. A big snow was on the ground at the time, and it was bittercold. From this story Twelve Mile creek came to be called Fines creek.
"Haywood county's citizenship has always been at the front in timesof war. From the best information obtainable it is quite certain that mostof the earliest settlers had been in the Continental army and fought throughthe entire war of the Revolution, and later on many of them were in thewar of 1812. Still later a number of these veterans of two wars moved tothe great and boundless West, where the hazardous life might be spent infighting savage tribes of Indians.
"As best it can be learned, only seven of these grand old patriots diedand were buried within the confines of Haywood county, to-wit: at Waynesville,Colonel William Allen and Colonel Robert Love; at Canton George Hall, JamesAbel, and John Messer; at upper Fines creek, Hugh Rogers; at Lower Finescreek, Christian Messer. There were doubtless others, but their names havebeen lost.
"All of these old soldiers were ever ready to fight for their homes.They came in almost daily contact with the Cherokee Indians, once a greatand warlike tribe controlling the wilderness from the glades of Floridato the Great Lakes. While these savages were friendly to the settlers itwas ever regarded as not a remote possibility that they might go upon thewarpath at any time. Hence our forefathers had them constantly to watchwhile they were subduing the land." 
1. N. C. Booklet, Vol. I, No.7, p.3.
2. Dropped Stitehes, 2, p.17.
3. Ashevllle's Centenary.
4. McDowell entered land and settled his children near Brevard.
5. Captian W. M. Hodge's statement to Col. W. L. Bryan of Boone, 1912in letter from latter to J. P. A., November 26, 1912.
6. Thwaites, p. 167.
7. N. C. Booklet, Vol. I, No.7.
8. Wheeler's History of North Carolina, p.444.
9. He was probably related to "Gentleman George" Perkins who had pilotedBishop Spangenberg's party in 1752, Col. Rec., Vol. V, pp. 1 to 14.
10. This tradition is also preserved in the family of Prof. Isaac G.Greer, professor history in the Appalachian Training School, Boone.
11. From Col.W.L. Bryan's "Primitive History of the Mountain Region,"written 1912 for this work.
12. Wheeler's History of North Carolina, p.444.
13. N, C. Booklet, Vol. I, No.7, p.27.
14. Wheeler's History of North Carolina, p.445.
15. Ibid., citing Mss. of General Wm. Lenoir
16. Hill, p.189.
17. Allen, p.21.
Return to New River Notes
The following information on Col. Clevelandand Dickson Co., TN, was taken from the website at this link:
THE GENTRY FAMILY
DICKSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE
By Joseph Neal Luther
Samuel Gentry married Margaret Draper
Nicholas Gentry, Sr. married Lucy Cornelius
Nicholas Gentry, Jr. married Jane Brown
Benejah Gentry married Miss Austin
William Gentry married Lucy Carr
Silas A. Thompson married Ann Gentry
Aris Bowden Luther married Eudora Thompson
Horace Norman Luther Sr. married Nellie B. Jordan
Horace Norman Luther, Jr. married Marjorie Elizabeth Neal
Joseph Neal Luther -- 1943-
Benejah Gentry is the father of William Gentry and grandfatherof Ann Gentry who married Silas Thompson, grandson of Neil Thompson. NicholasGentry, Sr. was Benejah Gentry's grandfather. Neil Thompson married Elizabeth"Betty" Gentry daughter of Simon Gentry and probably the granddaughterof David Gentry, brother of Nicholas Gentry, Jr.
NICHOLAS GENTRY, SR.
Nicholas Gentry, Sr. was a member of the British Army and came to thiscountry as part of the movement of troops to deal with Bacon's Rebellion.His sons included Nicholas Gentry, Jr. and David Gentry.
NICHOLAS GENTRY, JR. -- 1697-1779
Nicholas Gentry, Jr. was born at St. Peter's Parish in New Kent County, Virginia on 30 May 1697 . He married on 30 May 1697 in New Kent Countyto Jane Brown. He had also married first Mary Brooks. He owned land inthat part of Hannover County which later became Louisa County . He diedin 1779 in Albemarle County , Virginia .
His will was probated in Albemarle County in April 1779 and was dated20 February 1777 . Bezaleel Brown and Benejah Brown were witnesses to thiswill. His son, Benejah Gentry, was named for Benejah Brown.
His children included:1. Moses Gentry, born 1722 in Hannover County ; married LucySims; died in 1808 in Albemarle County . Children included: ClaiborneGentry, Nicholas Gentry, Francis Gentry, Joanna Gentry, and Addison Gentry.
2. David Gentry, born 1724 in Hannover County, Virginia; married lstto Jane Kendrick; married 2nd to Mary Estates; died in 1812 in Richmond,Madison County, Kentucky. Revolutionary War service. Children included:Richard Gentry.
3. Nicholas Gentry III, born in 1726 in Hannover County; married firstElizabeth Stringer; married second Sarah Dickens; died circa 1787. RevolutionaryWar service. May have been the Nicholas Gentry who died in Davidson County, Tennessee .
4. Mary Gentry, born circa 1728 in Hannover County ; married Mr. Hinson.
5. Robert Gentry, born circa 1730 in Hannover County; married firstJudith Joyner; married second Rachel West; died circa 1811 at Dandridge,Jefferson County, Tennessee. Children included: Charles Gentry, JesseGentry, Bartlett Gentry, Martin Gentry, Elizabeth Gentry, Sarah Gentry,and Mary Gentry.
6. Elizabeth Gentry, born 14 October 1831 in Hannover County ; marriedNathaniel Haggard.
7. Benejah Gentry, born 1733 in Hannover County; married first MissAustin; married second Anne Jones; died 1830 in Charlottesville , AlbemarleCounty , Virginia . Ancestor - see later.
8. Martin Gentry, born 11 September 1747 in Hannover County ; marriedMary Timberlake; died 22 April 1827 in Madison County, Kentucky. Childrenincluded: Bartlett Gentry, Patty Gentry, and Elizabeth Gentry.
9. Nathan Gentry, born circa 1741 in Hannover County ; married MariannaBlack; died in 1784 in Louisa County , Virginia .
Will of Nicholas Gentry, Jr.
In the name of God amen, I, Nicholas Gentry of AlbemarleCounty , VA. , do make this my last will and testiment. Imprimis. Mydesire is that my well beloved wife, Jane Gentry, remain in the possessionand engagement of my whole estate, both real and personal, during her life,and after decease, I give and bequeath to my son, Martin, a Negro girl,Milly, and likewise a Negro boy, Charles, and the children of said Millywith all of her future children, I bequeath to him and his heirs forever,provided my son Martin gentry, his heirs, executors or administrators,pay to my son Nathan Gentry, the sum of fifteen pounds current money ofVirginia to him, his heirs and assigns, to be paid yearly, five pounds,until paid. I likewise give to my son Martin Gentry my copper still, andmy gun, to him, his heirs and assigns, forever.
I give and bequeath to my grandson Bartlett Gentry, son of Martin Gentry,one Negro boy named Patrick, and to his sister Patty, my granddaughter,I give one Negro girl named Minnie, to them and their heirs and assignsforever. But if either of my grandchildren, Bartlett or Pattie, die withoutlawful issue, the said Negroes Patrick and Minnie descend to my son Martingentry, his heirs and assigns forever.
And further, my will and desire is that my sons Moses, David and NicholasGentry and my daughter Mary have twenty shillings apiece and no more, tobe paid out of my estate and that they, nor any of them shall enjoy anymore, unless the laws of this country, should entitle them to a greatersum; in that case my desire is that they shall not possess, nor enjoy anymore than the law entitles disinherited children to.
Further, my desire is that after my will desired shall be executed,the remaining part of my estate, shall be equally divided between my sonsRobert, Benejah, Nathan, Martin, and my daughter Elizabeth Haggard andmy granddaughters Jane Timberlake and Ann Jenkins; which two last Timberlakeand Jenkins, shall have half as much as my son Robert, shall have no more,and Ann Jenkins shall have, as Jane Timberlake, and no more.
My desire is that my estate be appraised, and lastly I appoint my belovedJane Gentry and my sons David and Martin Gentry, as executors, of thismy last will and testiment, and I do hereby revoke all former wills madeby me, and declare this to be my last will and testiment. In witness whereofI have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 20th day of Febry.,in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven.
Signed, sealed and delivered in presence ofBezaleel BrownSigned Nicholas Gentry
BENEJAH GENTRY -- 1733-1830
Benejah Gentry was born in 1733 in Hannover County , Virginia . Helived a few years in Louisa County and then lived on an estate in southAlbemarle County , near the old Lynchburg Road . This was on Biscuit Run,three miles south of Charlottesville . He died in 1830 in Charlottesville, Albemarle County , Virginia .
Benejah Gentry first married a Miss Austin who died in 1780 after thebirth of their son, William Gentry. He then married Ann Jones, daughterof James and Margaret Jones of Culpepper County , Virginia .
Benejah Gentry is described this way in "The Gentry Family in America:" "He was a successful planter and owned a number of Negro slaves. Hewas a man of fine character, well beloved by his neighbors, a leading memberof the Baptist Church , and very active and zealous in religious work. He could read his Bible from memory, and always led the singing in church."
In 1817, Benejah Gentry transferred all his property to his son Robert,although his death did not occur until 1831, at the great age of 98.
The will of Benejah Gentry was probated in Albemarle County on 3 January1831 . It names as legatees his children Robert, Fannie, John, William,Thomas, Katy, Jane Fulture, and Sarah Hardin. His executors were WilliamDunkum, James and Robert Gentry, his sons.
1. Mary Gentry; married Jeremiah Cleveland, brother of Colonel BenjaminCleveland - a hero of the Battle of King's Mountain who was terror tothe North Carolina Tories during the Revolution; died in 1846 in AlbemarleCounty. Children included: Benejah Cleveland, William Cleveland, MarthaCleveland, Sara Cleveland, Elizabeth Cleveland, and Ann Cleveland.
2. Elizabeth Gentry married William Goodwin.
3. Annie Gentry married Benjamin Sowell.
4. Sallie Gentry married George Hardin.
5. Jane Gentry married Thomas Fulture and settled in Kentucky .
6. William Gentry, born 24 January 1780 in Louisa County , Virginia; married Lucy Carr; moved to Dickson County , Tennessee ; died there on28 February 1840 . Ancestor - see later.
7. Thomas Gentry, born 4 April 1782 in Albemarle County; married inAlbemarle County on 12 December 1804 to Anna Carr, daughter of Gideon Carrand Ann Sandridge; moved to Dickson County, Tennessee in 1805; died thereon 1 February 1849; buried in the Stuart Cemetery. His will is dated 1March 1847 and filed in Dickson County , page 172, No, 105. Children included:Anderson Gentry, Nancy Gentry, Mary Ann Gentry, Benejah Gentry, SusannahGentry, Eliza Jane Gentry, Martha Gentry, Jane Gentry, and LucindaGentry.
8. James Gentry, born 15 October 1786 in Albemarle County ; married4 August 1808 in Virginia to Elizabeth Tooley; died 15 January 1861 inMeshack, Monroe County , Kentucky .
9. John R. Gentry, born circa 1790 in Albemarle County; married 20 November1804 in Albemarle County to Mary "Polly" Thurman; died circa 1845 at Crozet,Albemarle County, Virginia.
10. Robert Gentry, born 1788; married Mary Wingfield; died 1879. Childrenincluded: Albert Gentry.
11. Martha "Patsey" Gentry; married Elijah Dawson; moved to CallowayCounty , Missouri . Children included: Robert Dawson, Elizabeth Dawson,Martin Dawson, and James Dawson.
12. Kate Gentry; married her cousin John P. Gentry, moved to MadisonCounty, Kentucky.
13. Frances Gentry married William Dunkum. Children included: SusanDunkum.
14. Susan Gentry did not marry.
William Gentry was born 29 January 1780 in Albemarle County , Virginia. He married on 14 January 1805 to Lucy Carr in Albemarle County . WilliamGentry moved to Tennessee in 1805, where he died on 28 February 1840 .
William Gentry immigrated with his brother Thomas to Dickson County, Tennessee in the summer of 1805. They came on the Wilderness Trail throughthe Cumberland Gap . They were among the early settlers of Dickson County.
In 1805, William Gentry had a land grant of 71 acres in Tennessee . He was a farmer, miller and ironmaster. He purchased a gristmill on BeaverdamCreek on 27 February 1827 . He was an ironmaster at Jackson Furnace, some4 miles north of his home. By 1838, William Gentry had more than 1,000acres of land in Dickson County , most along the Beaverdam Creek northand east of Burns.
William Gentry appears on the 1820 Census of Dickson County, Tennesseeat page 9. He also appears on the 1840 Census at page 211.
Lucy Carr was the daughter of Thomas and Ann (Sanders) Carr. She wasborn in Virginia and died on 13 July 1859 in Dickson County , Tennessee. See the Carr group.
William Gentry died in testate and his children made separate divisionsof his property including parcels of land, slaves, equipment, etc.
William and Lucy (Carr) Gentry had 6 known children, including the following:1. Elizabeth Gentry, born 5 November 1805 in Albemarle County,Virginia; married circa 1828 to Davidson Crunk; died 14 February 1882. They had 3 children: Lucy Elizabeth Crunk, Eliza Ann Crunk, William Crunk.
2. William Tazewell Gentry, born 19 April 1812 in Dickson County , Tennessee; married around 1836 to Martha Carr; married second to Mrs. Sara FlowersTate; died 2 December 1878 . He appears in the 1850 Census of DicksonCounty (422) with his wife Martha. Children included: Sarah Gentry, MaryE. Gentry, Martha J. Gentry, Silas A. Gentry, Walter Philip Gentry, andEdward W. Gentry.
3. Walter Carr Gentry, born 2 March 1816 in Dickson County; marriedhis cousin Nancy Gentry on 3 September 1840 ; died 2 April 1893 . NancyGentry was the daughter of James Gentry and was born in Tompkinsville ,Kentucky . Children included: Martha Jane Gentry, Amanda Gentry, JamesDickson Gentry, Hickman Gentry, Kandis Gentry, Granville Moulton Gentry,Alton Monroe Gentry, Sardis Ann Gentry, and Fulton Tidwell Gentry.
4. Matthew Leonidas Gentry, born 1 January 1818 in Dickson County; marriedfirst Eliza Gentry; married second Susie Harris on 21 May 1842; marriedthird Nancy Richardson on 16 March 1844; married fourth Amanda Tate Tidwellon 24 April 1870. Amanda later married Andrew Jackson Luther, son of Johnand Laura ( Anderson ) Luther. See the Luther group. He also appears onthe 1850 Census of Dickson County at #423 with his wife Nancy Richardson. Shown on the 1860 Census of Dickson County (100-251) with his second wife,Mary Jane Harris. Died 25 September 1870 . Children included: LucindaGentry, Lewis Gentry, and Alice Palestine Gentry.
5. Benejah Gentry, born 7 July 1819 in Dickson County; married his cousinJane Gentry on 19 July 1840 in Dickson County; moved to and died in Tompkinsville,Monroe County, Kentucky. Jane was the daughter of James and Elizabeth(Tooley) Gentry. Children were: Lucinda Gentry, Milton Gentry, BenejahGentry, and Robert Gentry.
6. Ann Gentry, born 21 January 1823 in Dickson County ; married 20 March1844 to Silas A. Thompson. She died 7 September 1906 . Ancestor - seethe Thompson group.
Garrett, Jill K. (1984) Dickson County Handbook. Easley , South Carolina: Southern Historical Press.
Gatchell. Nellie E. (1984) Our Gentry Lineage: A Family History ofWilliam Tazewell Gentry. Clayton MO: Genealogical Research and Productions.
Gentry, O.B. (1975) The Gentry Family from England to Virginia to DicksonCounty , Tennessee . Nashville .
Gentry, Richard - The Gentry Family in America : 1676-1909. New York: The Grafton Press.
Goodspeed Publishing Company (1896) History of Tennessee - Montgomery, Robertson, Humphreys, Stewart, Dickson, Cheatham, and Houston Counties.
Virginians in the Revolution, pp. 302.
The following information on Col. Clevelandand Giles Co., TN, was taken from this e.mail:
From: John Gwin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:38:18 PM US/Mountain
Subject: Re: [ALDALLAS-L] Frances Wright Cleveland,widow of Col. Larkin Cleveland, Rev.PatriotOn Tuesday, September 7, 2004, at 07:35 PM, Alice Campbellwrote:Alice,
Where is this lady buried????
For ages I've assumed that the family information that my gggg grandfatherCol. Larkin Cleveland buried in Giles Co., TN was correct. And I assumedthat the family information that his wife Frances Wright Cleveland wasburied in the OldGovan Cemetery south of Selma, AL was also correct. There is evena family story that Frances was buried with the coat worn by her husbandCol. Larkin Cleveland when he was wounded on his way to meet his brotherBenjamin at the Battle of King's Mountain. I have references for both ofthese (well, not the burial with the coat :-) ).
Col. Larkin Cleveland: from Patricia Law Hatcher's Abstracts of Gravesof Revolutionary Soldiers
Col. Larkin Cleveland is buried in Buford Station in Giles Co., TN.(This is most likely the Buford Cemetery listed by GNIS at 351710N0870110Win Giles Co., TN)
Frances Wright Cleveland: from Thomas M. Owen's RevolutionarySoldiers of Alabama found on the ADAH website
CLEVELAND, COL. LARKIN. The grave of Mrs. Larkin Cleveland, wife ofCol. Larkin Cleveland, of the Revolution, is at the old Govan graveyardabout eight miles south of Selma, and the inscription is as follows: Thismarble placed here by C. H. Cleveland, son. In memory of his mother Mrs.Frances Cleveland, Widow of Col. Larkin Cleveland, sen. She was born August6th, 1756 and died March 26th, 1836. This C. H. Cleveland was Carter HarrisonCleveland.—Mrs. R. L. Sturdivant, Berlin, Alabama.
Then I found that a cemetery in Oconee Co., SC on I-85 as it crossesfrom the south into SC found some graves covered by Lake Hartwell backin 1988 and transferred them to a Beaverdam Baptist church (or perhapsnot, the paper isn't clear) and the memorial stone for Larkin, among others,is there at the Welcome Station on I-85. The file at Rootsweb describingthis Cleveland Family Cemetery states quite clearly a transcription ofFrances Cleveland's tombstone.
So...Can anybody tell me where the 'Old Govan Graveyard 8 miles southof Selma' might be? It's not on GNIS, nor is it mentioned anywhere on thislist or the Dallas Co. website. Is there a change of county 8 miles southof Selma? All help appreciated! Any Cleveland cousins out there?
The 1989 version of the Central Alabama Genealogical Society's book,VitalData from Cemeteries of Dallas County, Alabama, shows the following:
"Frances CLEVELAND, wife of Larkin Cleveland, b. 6 Aug 1756,d. 26 Mar 1836, bd. in the abandoned GIVHAN family cemetery, located westof route no. 41 near Sardis, east of the intersection of county Rd 77 andCo. Rd. 30, Township 16, Range 11, Section 31."
When I looked at that site on the larger map of Dallas County, however,in T16 and R11, the only intersection of roads occurring in section 31is that of Co. Rd. 77 and Co. Rd. 139, not 30 (30 is a mile or so southof that intersection).
What is clear, though, is that it is the GIVHAN cemetery, not GOVAN.The Givhans were a very prominent family in Dallas County in the early1800s.
I built you a webpage to try to show you this map. The page is at <http://www.zianet.com/jmcdgwin/givhancemmap.htm>.I hope it helps you find it.
Best to you,
(Complete contact information follows in signature.)
John M. Gwin
U.S. Mail Address:
1845 Anderson Drive, Las Cruces, NM 88001 USA
Telephone: (505) 522-2171
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