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In every one of the States such scenes occurred, showing very clearly the spirit that prevailed in America.
NORTH CAROLINA, I LOVE THEE.
North Carolina ! thou land of my pride!
betide; And naught else to me, from sea, land, or air, Can e'er be so lovely, grand, or so fair.
North Carolina! thou noblest of States !
North Carolina! great, glorious, and free!
E. G. H.
THE REGULATORS. —BATTLE OF ALAMANCE.
By the time our next legislature met in New Bern the British ministry had repealed the odious “Stamp Act,” though they still insisted on the right to tax the colonies if they chose.
Our legislature, however, was in such a good humor that it voted the sum of £5000—equal to $25,000—to build the governor a fine palace at New Bern.
It was said that this was done to please the ladies of the governor's family, who had made themselves very popular with the members by their fascinating manners and elegant entertainments. One of the new counties was named for Miss Wake. The ladies were anxious to have a fine house, and they succeeded in getting it, though it was built on a plan so much grander than was intended that it cost the State $80,000 by the time it was finished.
This was a very untimely piece of extravagance. The State was already in debt, and the people so burdened and so full of resentment that they were ready for rebellion.
Governor Tryon had no sympathy for their troubles. He further gratified his love of display by getting up a costly military expedition to the West to settle a short boundary-line for the Cherokee Indians, and in return they bestowed on him the name of “ The Great Wolf of Carolina.” Such a title was a rather doubtful compliment, but no doubt it pleased Tryon and the ladies very much. The inhabitants of the middle and western counties soon
showed what they thought of all this. They did 1768.
not care in the least for the beauty or the graces or the balls and dinner-parties of Mrs. Tryon and her sister; but they did care to find themselves harassed by bad laws, burdened with taxes, and impoverished by extortion.
Meetings were held and associations formed for mutual protection and assistance, especially in the central counties, where they called themselves “ Regulators.”
A good many Quakers had come from Pennsylvania and settled in Guilford and what are now Alamance and Randolph counties. These good people were always ready to stand up for liberty. They would not own slaves, nor would they be enslaved themselves. One of their preachers was Herman Husbands of Orange county. He had but little education, but was influential in his own neighborhood, and now began to be very busy writing and speaking and urging the men of that section in every way to resist the lawyers and to appeal to the State government.
The foremost lawyer in the country was Edmund Fanning, who had come from New York and lived in Hillsboro, and had grown rich by extorting enormous fees, and in many ways made himself very much hated and feared. Governor Tryon supported and encouraged this man, and sent his private secretary to assist him and act with him. He issued proclamations to overawe the Regulators, and refused to hear all petitions and remonstrances with scorn.
1769. Finally, the governor raised a company of militia, and marched from New Bern to Hillsboro under pretence of holding a court and redressing all wrongs. But the end of this court was that the poor Regulators were heavily fined, and some of them put in prison, while Fanning, though he was found guilty of all his evil deeds, was fined one penny for each one of them.
This was a mockery of justice, and had the effect to inflame and irritate the people still more. Then Governor Tryon issued another proclamation graciously granting a general pardon to all the Regulators except thirteen, whom he had not been able to lay hands on and whom he called "outlaws." Then he marched back to his fine palace at New Bern.
Two more years of such government and of growing discontent brought these Regulators into open armed resistance. Their numbers had greatly increased, and among them were many men of lawless and desperate character. This is always so in such uprisings, and the leaders of the people should be careful to watch and repress such characters, for they give a bad name to the whole movement. But the Regulators had no leader. Herman Husbands got out of the way as soon as the fight which he had instigated began, and went back to Pennsylvania. Most of these men were plain farmers and church-members, who, though goaded by oppression, did not mean to rebel against government, but only desired justice.
The rude and desperate men among them were now committing many excesses and outrages, seizing and cruelly beating lawyers, sheriffs, and other officials, Edmund Fanning among them. They burned and destroyed Fanning's fine house and furniture in Hillsboro, and finally, going farther and farther in their resistance, two or three thousand men at last assembled on Alamance Creek in arms, demanding fair play from the governor.
Tryon understood his profession as a soldier, if he did not know how to be a good governor. He acted swiftly and with energy. He ordered out the militia from several counties around New Bern, and sent orders to Hugh Waddell, who was at Salisbury, to raise troops and meet him in Orange. He set out at once himself with a train of artillery and baggage-wagons and all the belongings of a regular army, about eleven hundred strong.
Now, though the Regulators had assembled and stood at bay, it is not probable that they had expected there would be a battle. They had no soldiers among them, no arms but their guns, and no experienced leaders to tell them what to do. They knew that most of the men with Waddell and with Tryon sympathized with them and would not want to fight. All they wanted was justice, and they thought Tryon might give them that without any bloodshed if they only showed they were in earnest in demanding it.
A party of them, who called themselves the “ Black Boys” of Mecklenburg, went to meet Waddell's company near Salisbury, and destroyed their powder. Waddell's