IN ANCIENT ALBEMARLE
PASQUOTANK IN COLONIAL WARS
THE earliest wars in which the pioneers of North Carolina took part were those fought between the first comers into the State and the Indians. As Pasquotank was one of the earliest of the counties to be settled, we might naturally expect that county to have taken an active part in those encounters. The fact, however,. that the great majority of her early settlers were Friends, or Quakers, as they are more -commonly called, prevented Pasquotank from sharing as extensively as she otherwise might have done in the fight for existence that the pioneers in Carolina were compelled to maintain; for one of the most rigid rules of the Quaker Church is that its members must not take up arms against their fellow men, no matter what the provocation may be.
However, a search through the Colonial Records reveals the fact that our county has given a fair quota of men and money whenever the domestic or foreign troubles of colony, state or nation, needed her aid.
The first encounter between our sturdy Anglo-Saxon forefathers and the red man of the forest occurred in 1666, two years after William Drummond took up the reins of government in Albemarle. After this trouble little is recorded, nor is Pasquotank nor any of her precincts mentioned in reference to the Indian War. But as the majority of the settlers in North Carolina then lived along the shores of Little River and the Pasquotank, we may feel sure that the men of this county were prominent in subduing their savage foes, who, as Captain Ashe records, "were so speedily conquered that the war left no mark upon the infant settlement."
From then until the terrible days of the Tuscarora Massacre of 1711, the county, and Albemarle as a whole, rested from serious warfare; but these years can hardly be termed peaceful ones for the settlers in this region. The Culpeper Rebellion, the dissatisfaction caused by the tyrannical and illicit deeds of Seth Sothel, the disturbance caused by Captain Bibbs, who claimed the office of governor in defiance of Ludwell, whom the Lords had appointed to rule over Carolina, and the Cary troubles, all combined to keep the whole Albemarle district in a state of confusion and disorder for many years.
But all of these quarrelings and brawlings were hushed and forgotten when in September, 1711, the awful tragedy of the Tuscarora Massacre occurred. Though the settlers south of Albemarle Sound, in the vicinity of Bath and New Bern, and on Roanoke Island, suffered most during those days of horror, yet from the letters of the Rev. Rainsford and of Colonel Pollock, written during these anxious days, we learn that the planters north of the sound came in for their share of the horrors of an Indian uprising that swept away a large proportion of the inhabitants of the colony, and left the southern counties almost depopulated.
Though nearly paralyzed by the blow that had fallen upon the colony, which, in spite of difficulties, had been steadily growing and prospering, the officers of the government as soon as possible began to take steps to punish the Tuscaroras and their allies for the unspeakable atrocities committed by them during the awful days of the massacre, and also to devise means for conquering the savage foes who were still pursuing their bloody work. All the able-bodied men in the State were called upon to take part in the warfare against the Indians. But so few were left alive to carry on the struggle, that Governor Hyde was compelled to call upon the Governor of South Carolina and of Virginia to come to his aid in saving the colony from utter extinction. South Carolina responded nobly and generously. Virginia, for various reasons, sent but little aid to her afflicted sister colony. For two long years the war continued, until at last the Indians were conquered, the surviving hostile Tuscaroras left the State, and peace was restored to the impoverished and sorely tried colony.
During the bloody struggle, Pasquotank, which, with the other northern counties suffered but little in comparison with the counties south of the Albemarle, had sent, what help she could to those upon whom the horrors of the war had fallen most heavily. In the Colonial Records this entry of services rendered by Pasquotank is found in a letter sent by Lieutenant Woodhouse and Thomas Johnson to certain "Gentlemen, Friends, and Neighbors," dated October 3, 1712. "Captain Norton, as I was informed by Mrs. Knight, sailed last week from Pasquotank in Major Reed's sloop, with 30 or 40 men, provisions, and two barrels of gunpowder and ten barrels, I think, of shot." The destination of ship, men and cargo was Bath, the scene of the most disastrous of the Indian outbreaks.
In an extract from a "Book of the Orders and Judgments and Decrees of the Hon. Edward Hyde, Esq., President of the Council," mentioned in Dr. Hawk's History of North Carolina, we find the following entry : "Ordered that Capt. Edward Allard shall depart with his sloop "Core Sound Merchant" to Pasquotank River, and there take from on board the "Return," Mr. Charles Worth Glover, so much corn as will load his sloop, give to Mr. Glover a receipt for the same, and that he embrace the first fair wind and weather to go to Bath County and there apply himself to the Hon. John Barnewell, Esq., and follow such instructions as he shall receive from him."
Again, in a letter from the Rev. Giles Rains-forth to "Jno. Chamberlain, Esq.," written from "Chowan in North Carolina July 25, 1712," further mention is made of Pasquotank's part in the Tuscarora War: "Col. Boyde was the other day sent out with a party against the Indians, but was unfortunately shot through the head and few of his men came home, but shared his fate and fell sacrifices to the same common misfortune."
It has been charged against Pasquotank that her citizens did not respond to the call for volunteers to take part in the Tuscarora War ; and it is true that the Quakers in the county did enjoin upon their brethren that they should not bear arms in this or any other disturbance. It is also true that a number of the citizens in the county did obey this injunction; and when the war was over we find that certain members of the Friends' meeting were brought to trial by the courts "for not going out in ye Indian Wars."
But enough instances have been recorded to show that our county did take an active part in breaking the power of the Tuscaroras and in driving them from the State.
In 1715, when South Carolina in her turn underwent the horrors of an Indian war, and appealed to North Carolina for aid, we find that men from Pasquotank joined with other forces from the colony in response to this appeal. Captain John Pailin and Captain John Norton, both of Pasquotank, are ordered "to draw out their companies and go to the assistance of South Carolina in' the Yamassie War." And furthermore the command reads : "If men refuse, each captain is ordered to draft ten men who have small families or none, and to put them under Captain Hastins." That drafting was not resorted to, and that the men went willingly to the aid of their brethren in South Carolina, who rendered the northern colony such generous assistance in the Tuscarora War, is proved by the fact that fifty men were raised by the two captains, and cheerfully marched to the front along with the bands of militia from the neighboring counties.
So in these earliest trials of the military courage of her citizens, the county proved that she could and would take a worthy part.
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