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North Carolina Historical Review

Issued Quarterly

Volume XXXII Numbers 1-4


Published By


Corner of Salisbury and Edenton Streets

Raleigh, N. C.


Published by the State Department of Archives and History Raleigh, N. C.

Christopher Crittenden, Editor David LeRoy Corbitt, Managing Editor


Walter Clinton Jackson Hugh Talmadge Lefler

Frontis Withers Johnston Douglas LeTell Rights

George Myers Stephens


McDaniel Lewis, Chairman

Gertrude Sprague Carraway Josh L. Horne

Fletcher M. Green William Thomas Laprade

Clarence W. Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton

Christopher Crittenden, Director

This review was' e^toblisked m January. 192 J-,, as a medmm of publica- tion and discussion of history : pi{ North Carolina. It is ismed to other institutions by exchangej but to the- general public by subscription only. The regular price is $2.00 per ytar. Members of the State Literary and Historical Association, ' for whic% the annual dues are $3.00, receive this publication without further payment. Back numbers may be procured at the regular price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number.

The North Carolina Historical Review




NORTH CAROLINA, 1765-1776 1

Paul Conkin



William S. Hoffmann



Max L. Heyman


SOUTH CAROLINA, 1850-1860 81

Margaret Burr DesCramps



Francis B. Dedmond


Hugh Talmage Lefler


Powell's The Carolina Charter of 1663— By William D. Overman ; McCain's The County Court in North Caro- lina before 1750 By Rex Beach ; Preslar's A History of Catawba County By Henry S. Stroupe; Spence's The Presbyterian Congregation on Rocky River By E. Clinton Gardner; Draper's King's Mountain and Its Heroes: History of the Battle of King's Mountain, By William B. Hesseltine; Oliphant's, Odell's and



iv Contents

Eaves's The Letters of William Gilmore Simms: Vol- ume III By H. G. Kinchloe; Lanning's The St Augustine Expedition of 1740: A Report to the South Carolina General Assembly By Rembert W. Patrick ; Chitty's Reconstruction at Sewannee By PORTER Williams, Jr.; Jahn's Tobacco Dictionary By Nannie M. Tilley ; Lord's The Fremantle Diary By Herbert W. Hill; Simkins's A History of the South By Frontis W. Johnson; de Grummond's Caracas Diary By Capus M. Waynick; Beale's Charles A. Beard: An Appraisal By Fletcher M. Green.




William Frank Zornow


Margaret Burr DesChamps



Christopher Crittenden


HISTORICAL REVIEW, 1924-1953 174

Paul Murray



Harry L. Golden


Robert Mason


BOOKS 1953-1954 225

Leonard B. Hurley

Contents v



Louis B. Wright

NORTH CAROLINA BIBLIOGRAPHY, 1953-1954 ____ 271 Mary Lindsay Thornton


Peckham's The Discovery of New Britain By William S. Powell ; Brooks's Selected Addresses of a Southern Lawyer By Jason B. Deyton; Noblin's The Grange in North Carolina, 1929-19 5 J,. By Haitung King and Jack W. Van Derhoof; Johnson's and Holloman's The Story of Kinston and Lenoir County By D. J. Whitener; Mathis's The Lost Citadel By Richard Walser; Mouzon's Privateers of Charleston in the War of 1812 By Beth Crabtree; Hesseltine's Dr. J, G. M. Ramsey: Autobiography and Letters By Robert F. Durden; Davis's Jeffersonian American Notes on the United States of America By D. H. Gilpatrick; Todd's Confederate Finance By C. K. Brown ; Park's General Kirby Smith, C. S. A. By Jay Luvaas ; Fishwick's General Lee's Photographer By J. Walter Coleman; Harwell's Stonewall Jackson and the Old Stonewall Brigade By BURKE DAVIS ; Jacobs's Indians of the Southern Colonial Frontier: The Edmond Atkin Report and Plan of 1775 By Gaston Litton; Davis's and Hogan's The Barber of Natchez By William D. McCain; Freund's Gustav DreseVs Houston Journal By James A. Tinsley; Kilman's and Wright's Hugh Roy Cullen: A Story of American Opportunity By Nannie M. Tilley; Cowdrey's American Academy of Fine Arts and American Art Union By Ben F. Williams.


NUMBER 3, JULY, 1955


Houston G. Jones


NORTH CAROLINA, 1877-1894 346

Frenise A. Logan

vi Contents


David H. Corkran



Noble E. Cunningham, Jr.


JAMES A. PEIFER, 1861-1865 385

George D. Harmon


Jay B. Hubbell


Harden's Tar Heel Ghosts By Paul Murray ; Smith's and Smith's The History of Trinity Parish, Scotland Neck, [and] Edgecombe Parish, Halifax County By William S. Powell; Rubin's Thomas Wolfe: The Weather of His Youth By George W. McCoy; Lambie's From Mine to Market: The History of Coal Transportation on the Norfolk and Western Railway By Charles E. Landon; Morgan's Justice William Johnson, the First Dissenter; The Career and Constitu- tional Philosophy of a Jeffersonian Judge— By C. E. Cauthen ; Easterby's The Colonial Records of South Carolina. The Journal of the Commons House of Assem~ bly, September 14, 17 42- January 27, 1744 By Henry S. Stroupe ; Cox's Glimpse of Glory, George Mason of Gun- ston Hall By Elizabeth W. Wilborn ; Wilson's The Tinkling Spring, Headwater of Freedom. A Study of the Church and Her People By Thomas H. Spence, Jr.; Wiley's Rebel Private, Front and Rear By Richard D. Younger ; Eaton's A History of the South- ern Confederacy By Philip M. Rice ; Anderson's Brokenburn, The Journal of Kate Stone, 1861-1868 By C. H. Hamlin ; Douglass's Rebels and Democrats By Clara G. Roe; Bower's Making Democracy a Re- ality. Jefferson, Jackson and Polk By J. G. DE Roulhac Hamilton; Catton's American Heritage By C. W. Tebeau; Vail's Knickerbocker Birthday: A Sesqui- Centennial History of the New-York Historical Society, 1804-1954 By Howard Braverman; Carter's The

Contents vii

Territorial Papers of the United States. Volume XX. The Territory of Arkansas, 1825-1829 By Paul M. McCain.




Wesley H. Wallace



Houston G. Jones


Alfred P. Tischendorf


George C. Osborn


George D. Harmon


Robinson's The North Carolina Guide By Weymouth T. Jordan; Fries's and Rights's The Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, Volume VIII, 1823-1837 By S. Walter Martin ; Shanks's The Papers of Willie Person Mangum, Volume IV, 1844-1846 By Charles Grier Sellers, Jr.; Henley's The Home Place By Rosser H. Taylor ; Wellman's Dead and Gone, Classic Crimes of North Carolina By Beth G. Crabtree; Masterson's William Blount By LeRoy P. Graf; Gilmer's The Memoirs of Emma Prather Gilmer By D. L. Corbitt; Stoney's The Dulles Family in South

viii Contents

Carolina By Elizabeth W. Wilborn ; Hubbeli/s The South in American Literature, 1607-1900 By Louise Greer ; Wiley's Fourteen Hundred and 91 Days in the Confederate Army By Beth G. Crabtree; Davis's They Called Him Stonewall: A Life of Lt. General T. J. Jackson, C. S. A. By Stuart Noblin; Williams's P. G. T. Beauregard: Napoleon in Gray By Jay Luvaas; Coulter's Wormsloe: Two Centuries of a Georgia Family By Fletcher M. Green ; Miers's The Web of Victory: Grant at Vicksburg By LeRoy H. Fischer; and Dalzell's Benefit of Clergy in America and Related Matters By John R. Jordan, Jr.


The North Carolina Historical Review

Volume XXXII January, 1955 Number 1


By Paul Conkin

The near myth about religious freedom has given an at- tractive halo to the popular conception of American colonial history, although such freedom, had it existed, would have been almost inexplicable. Most of the immigrants to America brought with them the current European ideas of a state church. Puritans in New England and Anglicans in North Carolina alike desired a privileged legal status for their re- ligion. In many of the colonies, and particularly in North Carolina, liberalizing influences tended to change the form of the established religion from that found in Europe. In North Carolina religious toleration, which was initially of- fered as an inducement to settlement, and the almost com- plete religious freedom found on the unassimilated and con- stantly retreating frontier left a heritage of local religious independence which was hardly reconcilable with a strong establishment.1 In the period from 1765 to 1776 many people in North Carolina, both those who were for and those against the English political rule, persistently resisted the efforts of the royal authorities, the Anglican clergy, and sometimes the local officials to secure an effective church establishment of the English type. Because it paralleled a most important period of political unrest and because it represents the climax of one of the several state-wide struggles for religious free- dom, this religious discontent reveals a significant phase in the development of the American mind and the institutions which are its concrete manifestations.

1 Evarts B. Greene, Religion and the State (New York, New York University Press, 1941), 47-73.


2 The North Carolina Historical Review

The Episcopal Church was always, or at least nominally, the official religion of colonial North Carolina, although the Anglican clergy had no regular and certain establishment until the Vestry and Orthodox Clergy Acts of 1765.2 Though the English Church was recognized as the legal or state church in the early proprietary charters, the proprietors were given permission to, and did, grant freedom of con- science.3 Several vestry acts were passed in the colony, the first in 1701, but there is little evidence that they were ever strictly enforced. After the arrival of the first royal governor in 1730 with instructions to secure an adequate religious establishment, it was eleven years before an apathetic colo- nial Assembly passed a vestry act. This law proved inade- quate to the purposes of the clergy and the Crown, and a more effective act was passed in 1754. When this act was disallowed by the Crown in 1759 because it gave too much power to the local vestry, a five year legislative struggle en- sued before the Assembly was persuaded to pass a vestry law that met the demands of the English Government.

While in 1759 there was a common sentiment in North Carolina that the Protestant religion should be legally estab- lished, there was a wide difference of opinion as to the form the Establishment should take. The source of the legislative struggles after 1759, as well as much of the later religious dissention, was the Crown's insistence on a stronger estab- lishment than that desired by either the dissenters or Angli- cans. The Crown wanted a centralized ecclesiastical system which could be strictly enforced by the colonial governor. The dissenters wanted to retain almost complete religious freedom within an establishment that would do little more than definitely exclude Catholics. The Anglicans desired the establishment of their own church, yet at the same time, wanted to retain a firm local control over their own ecclesi- astical affairs. The various vestry acts passed between 1754

2 William L. Saunders, editor, The Colonial Records of North Carolina (Raleigh: Josephus Daniels, 1890), VII, 490. Hereafter cited as Saunders, Colonial Records.

8 Stephen B. Weeks, The Religious Development in the Province of North Carolina (John Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, Tenth Series, Baltimore, 1892), 14w.

The Church Establishment 3

and 1765 exhibited both the latitudinarian ideas of the dis- senters and the independence of the Anglicans.

The Vestry Act of 1754 left the right of presentation of clergymen in the hands of the local vestry. This situation was unsatisfactory to Governor Dobbs who, since it merited the disapproval of the Bishop of London, secured its dis- allowance in 1759.4 The problem of presentation, more than any other issue, created a division of interests between the Crown and staunch Anglicans. According to English prac- tice, the Crown had the authority to induct, or appoint, ministers into parishes, although in practice always on the advice of the church officials. In North Carolina the general practice had been for the local vestry to hire its own minister, if one were available. In the absence of an American bishop, the governor was the supreme representative of both the Crown and the Church and was ready to claim his preroga- tive and induct ministers into parishes as he wished. Until the Revolution this problem of presentation or induction remained a source of friction.

When the fate of the Vestry Act of 1754 was known in North Carolina, Dobbs asked for a new act, this time giving the Crown its right of presentation. The Assembly expressed its official sorrow that the last act had met with royal dis- approval, complained of its lack of representative in London to explain the peculiar circumstances of the colony, and promptly passed twin church laws, a Vestry and an Orthodox Clergy Act, which were even more obnoxious to the Crown than the act of 1754.5 Not only was the right of presentation definitely retained in the vestry, but also other unsatisfactory conditions were affixed. In keeping with the desire of the dissenters for a lax establishment, these acts required that a prospective vestryman take an oath that he would not oppose, instead of the usual conform to, the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England. The Bishop of London avowed that this oath could be taken by a Jew or pagan.6 Furthermore, the acts excluded the minister from member-

4 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 15-16. 6 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 139. •Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 714-716.

4 The North Carolina Historical Review

ship in the vestry, contrary to English church practice.7 The men of North Carolina had already found it advantageous to discuss their minister's salary and conduct without his dis- turbing and embarrassing presence. Finally, if a minister were immoral or committed a crime, he had to face trial in the local or secular court instead of in an English ecclesi- astical court.8 Needless to say, these vestry laws of 1760 were disallowed.9

In 1762 the Assembly passed two more church laws, each retaining the same objectionable features as the last ones. Governor Dobbs immediately vetoed the Vestry Act, but reluctantly approved the Orthodox Clergy Act in order that the ministers might have a salary. At last, in the legislative sessions of 1764-65, Governor Dobbs, ill, tired, and already planning to relinquish his job to William Tryon, succeeded in pushing through the Assembly two church laws which satis- fied both him and the Lord Bishop of London. These remain- ed in operation until the Revolution. Perhaps significantly, the first of these laws, the Vestry Act of 1764, was passed by an Assembly greatly dwarfed by the absence of all but four of the ordinarily recalcitrant northern members.10

The Vestry Act of 1764 provided for the support of the clergy, for education, and for poor relief. On every third Easter Monday twelve vestrymen were to be elected in each parish by the qualified voters. Each year before November 1 the sheriff was to collect a poll tax of not more than ten shil- lings from each taxable to support the Parish. If he could not collect the tax in a period of five days, he was empowered to sell a compensatory amount of the goods and chattels of the defaulting person. The vestry was liable for all damages to an underpaid minister in accordance with the fees and salary set by law.11 Most important in later controversies, the act provided that any dissenter, and later by amendment any

7 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 720-722.

8 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 714-716.

9 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 723.

10 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 1035.

11 Walter Clark, editor, The State Records of North Carolina (Winston, M. I. and J. C. Stewart, 1895-1906), 106-107. Hereafter cited as Clark, State Records.

The Church Establishment 5

one at all, who refused to qualify when elected a vestryman was subject to a fine of three pounds.12

The Orthodox Clergy Act of 1765 provided the parish minister a salary of £133.6.8 proclamation money, and a glebe of 300 acres or a compensating £20 extra salary. He was to receive twenty shillings for a marriage by license, five shillings for a marriage by banns, and forty shillings for a funeral.13 Although complete religious jurisdiction was given to the Bishop of London, the governor was empowered to suspend an indicted minister while awaiting the verdict of an English ecclesiastical court. The minister could preach out of his parish only with the consent of his vestry. Most significant, the right of presentation was not mentioned.14 As a result, both the governor and the Bishop of London interpreted the act as giving the right to the crown by im- plication.15 With these two acts, North Carolina now had as strong a legal establishment as any other colony.

Unfortunately for the Establishment, Governor Dobbs left the Church little more than two strong vestry acts in 1765, for the church was, if anything, weaker than it had been in at least a decade. There were only six ministers to serve twenty-nine county-wide vestries in a colony with a white population of about 100,000;16 of these six ministers only four were doing good work. The lack of ministers is revealed by the fact that when Governor Dobbs died unex- pectedly in 1765 he had to be buried without benefit of clergy in southerly Brunswick County. In the whole colony there were only ten Anglican church buildings, with a few outlying chapels.17 On the credit side, a few of the counties had functioning vestries, which were helping to support the clergy. The church was also strengthened by aid from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts18 which sponsored most of the ministers as missionaries.

"Clark, State Records, 759-760.

"Clark, State Records, 583-585.

"Clark, State Records, 660-662.

" Arthur Lyon Cross, The Anglican Episcopate and The American Colonies (New York, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902), 243.

"Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 1027, 1039-1041.

17 Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 102-104.

" Hereafter to be abbreviated as the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

6 The North Carolina Historical Review

A more personal view of the Established Church can be had from the letters of the North Carolina Clergy to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in the years just before 1765. With some exaggeration they reveal the trials of a minister in the sinful wilds of a small but growing colony. From Craven County, James Reed, one of the most famous colonial ministers, reported extreme difficulty in collecting his salary, deplored the many dissenters and infidels in his parish, and constantly begged for religious pamphlets to combat the "New Lights/' Their "crying-out, . . . falling down as in fits, . . . awakening in extacies, . . . and impulses, visions, and revelations;" 19 their "preaching the inexpediency of Human Learning & . . . the great expediency of Dreams Visions & immediate Revelation"20 must have shocked the dignified and literate Reed. In Beaufort County, Alex Steward worked hard and seldom complained, although he was sincerely worried over the lack of ministers in neighbor- ing counties. By 1765 he was living in the first glebe to be furnished a minister in North Carolina. He desired pamphlets to fight the rash doctrines of the Anabaptists and blushingly admitted that in order to retain for the church some of the more dupable members he had baptised one man by im- mersion.21 In Chowan County, Daniel Earl performed his duties, was influential in education, but reputedly divided his love between his ministry and his herring fishery. James Moir was preaching occasionally in various counties, always deploring his inability to accumulate a fortune, and at every opportunity criticising Governor Dobbs and the whole ec- clesiastical system.23 The most tragic story of hardship was told in the letters of James McDowell of Brunswick County. Though his parish contained the largest church constructed

19 G. W. Paschal, "Morgan Edwards' Materials Toward a History of the Baptists in the Province of North Carolina," North Carolina Historical Review, VII (1930), 383. Hereafter cited as Paschal, "Morgan Edwards' Materials."

30 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 565.

21 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 315-316, 734-735.

23 Bennett H. Wall, "Charles Pettigrew, First Bishop-Elect of the North; Carolina Episcopal Church," North Carolina Historical Review, XXVIIl (1951), 17.

28 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 1051.

The Church Establishment 7

in colonial North Carolina24 and also the leading families, including Governor Dobbs, McDowell complained of the capricious weather, the long, hard trips to outlying chapels, his financial misery, his exclusion from vestry meetings, and the fact that he had only two slaves while other ministers in the province had twenty.25 When his wife died in child- birth and the roof of his big, new church fell in, McDowell was ready to leave the colony in despair. In 1763 he died while still a minister in Brunswick.

The most recurrent complaint of the ministers was about the dangerous growth of dissenting denominations. James Reed's listing and evaluation of these groups is a classic of brevity: "The Anabaptists are obstinate, illiterate & grossly ignorant, the Methodist [really New Light Baptists], ig- norant, censorious & uncharitable, the Quakers, Rigid, but the Presbyterians are pretty moderate except here & there a bigot or rigid Calvinist." 26 This is a fairly complete list, for, other than the German denominations, these four dis- senting groups were alone significant in colonial North Car- olina. The Moravians, by acts of Parliament and the North Carolina Assembly, were given equal rights with Anglicans and had a separate parish.27 Beginning about 1750 a heavy German migration from Pennsylvania brought the Lutheran and German Reformed churches into the Piedmont region, notably along the Yadkin. These two German speaking de- nominations received many special religious privileges and, in return, were always completely law abiding.28 Quakers had been among the earliest settlers in North Carolina and in 1765 were very numerous in the Northeast, particularly in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties. They were exempt-

24 The Brunswick church was seventy-six feet and six inches long, fifty- three feet and three inches wide, and was twenty-four feet and four inches high. It had eleven windows, three large doors, and brick wall three feet thick. Marshall D. Haywood, Governor William Tryon, and His Administra- tion in the Province of North Carolina, 1765-1771 (Raleigh: E. M. Uzzel, Printer, 1903), 24. Hereafter cited as Haywood, Governor William Tryon and His Administration.

"Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 236-237, 729-730.

"Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 264-266.

^Adelaide L. Fries, "The Moravian Contribution to Colonial North Carolina," North Carolina Historical Review, VII (1930), 14.

28 William K. Boyd and Charles A. Krummel, "German Tracts Concerning the Lutheran Church in North Carolina During the Eighteenth Century," North Carolina Historical Review, VII (1930), 81.

8 The North Carolina Historical Review

ed from military service and all oaths, yet were sometimes strongly in opposition to the Establishment.29

The largest dissenting elements were the principal Baptist sects and the Presbyterians. After 1751 the Particular or Regular Baptists, strongly Calvinistic and the predecessors of the present day Primitive Baptists, absorbed most of the earliest Baptist group, the General or Free Will Baptists, and in 1765, the year of the strong vestry acts, united their sev- eral churches in the Kehukee Association. After 1755 an ex- tremely Arminian sect, the New Light Baptists, began to gain many adherents whose extreme emotionalism rendered them anathema to the Anglicans. They were most numerous in the western counties of Orange, Guilford, and Rowan, where they were organized in the Sandy Creek Association.30

The Presbyterians were almost as influential in colonial North Carolina as the Anglicans. Claiming all the privileges of the Scottish Church, many Presbyterians refused to con- sider themselves dissenters. Except for a small colony in Duplin County and about four congregations in Cumberland County, the Presbyterians were mostly in the, then, western counties of Orange, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Tryon, Guilford, Bute, Wake, Surry, and Granville. They were largely Scotch- Irish immigrants who had filtered down from Pennsylvania or had come up from Charleston. They made outstanding contributions to education and furnished a good share of the political leadership.31 Living in frontier counties, these Presbyterians had been accustomed to an almost complete religious freedom before 1765 and were quick to devise ways of evading the church laws whenever they were about to be enforced in their midst.

It is difficult to give even an approximate statistical break- down of the religious picture in North Carolina in 1765. The colony was growing rapidly; the total white and colored population rose from about 120,000 in 1759 to between

29 William L. Grissom, History of Methodism in North Carolina (Nash- ville, Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1905), 9-11.

30 Paschal, "Morgan Edwards' Materials," 371.

31 William H. Foote, Sketches of North Carolina (New York, Robert Carter, 1846), 188-189. Hereafter cited as Foote, Sketches of North Carolina.

The Church Establishment 9

200,000 and 250,000 by 1771.32 With the growth in popula- tion, the dissenting denominations were rapidly increasing, both by immigration and conversions. The German Reformed and Lutheran groups contained only 3,000 families in about twenty congregations in 1771. The total German population, including the Moravians, could not have exceeded 20,000 in that year; it was without doubt less in 1765.33 After the Revolution the Quakers scarcely numbered over 5,000. If Morgan Edwards, a Baptist minister visiting North Carolina in 1772, is correct, the Baptists had sixteen churches as early as 1754 and by 1772 had thirty-two churches plus several more meeting places. In the latter years he estimated that 39,750 people worshipped in Baptist congregations.34 There are few clues as to the number of Presbyterians in North Carolina in 1765. They were probably almost as numerous as the Baptists and in some western counties were in a heavy majority. Always growing rapidly with the influx of Scottish immigrants, the Presbyterians had approximately thirty churches by the time of the Revolution and perhaps a dozen ministers, some of whom were very famous. Despite the more rapid growth of some of the dissenting groups, the Anglican Church remained the largest denomination in the colony until the Revolution. In the eastern and north-central coun- ties the Anglicans were well established; even in Orange and Rowan counties there were substantial congregations. The small number of churches and ministers in 1765 belies the potential strength of the established religion, for there were numerous congregations, sometimes several in a single county, worshipping in small chapels or homes and only occasionally receiving the sacraments from a visiting clergy- man.

Though Governor Dobbs gave the Anglican Church a strong legal basis, Governor William Tryon tried to make the Establishment a living reality. With his administration

^Evarts B. Greene and Virginia D. Harrington, American Population Before the Federal Census of 1790 (New York, Columbia University Press, 1932), 158-159.

33 Saunders, Colonial Records, VIII, 630-632.

84 Paschal, "Morgan Edwards' Materials," 369, 394-395.

10 The North Carolina Historical Review

a new era in ecclesiastical affairs began.35 Tryon was not a bigot in any sense; but he was very closely connected with the Episcopal Church, himself becoming a member of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Recogniz- ing the great need for ministers in the colony, he used his influence to get young ministers to come to North Carolina. By April, 1767, he could report in one of his many succinct and literary communications to the Society, that there were now thirteen ministers instead of six.36 By 1771 there were eighteen ministers, meaning that fully half the parishes had a full time parson. But Tryon, in his determined support of the Establishment, inevitably encountered the opposition of the dissenters and the more independent Anglicans.

The fact that North Carolina had a decentralized ec- clesiastical system before 1765 very much influenced the reaction to a Crown-enforced establishment under Tryon. The vestry laws passed before 1765 had, it is true, embodied many of the restrictive clauses of the acts of 1765, but they had not been universally enforced, as only part of the par- ishes had been active or even organized. In addition, the direction of church affairs had been in the hands of the local vestry. When Tryon personally took over the direction of ecclesiastical affairs and began sending ministers into more and more counties, some times against the wishes of a ma- jority of the inhabitants, the Establishment seemed very oppressive to many groups. It should be kept in mind, how,- ever, that despite the limitations on personal freedom and the economic burden resulting from the Establishment, com- plete freedom of conscience was always granted to all Prot- estant groups in North Carolina. Anyone could worship as he pleased even though he were forced to fulfill certain obligations to the state church, such as paying his vestry tax.

There were two types of resentment against the Establish- ment in North Carolina, each resulting from a different fea- ture of the vestry laws. First, the vestry acts were passed by the North Carolina Assembly and the Establishment was

85 Joseph B. Cheshire, "The Church in the Province of North Carolina," in Sketches of Church History in North Carolina, edited by Joseph B. Cheshire (Wilmington: William L. DeRosset, Jr., Publisher, 1892), 75. Hereafter cited as Cheshire, "The Church in the Province of North Carolina."

"Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 456-458.

The Church Establishment 11

a North Carolina institution, favored, it seemed, by at least a majority of the province's leading citizens. Thus, among many dissenters, the burden of an established clergy could be blamed largely on the predominantly Anglican aristoc- racy within the state, or the office holding classes. But the Establishment was also a policy of the Crown. It was the governor, who as an agent of the Crown, pressed for, and finally was granted by a reluctant Assembly, an establish- ment which gave the Anglican clergy and the governor him- self privileged positions. It was the British governor who enforced the Establishment and who assumed the power of inducting ministers into vacant parishes. It was the Brit- ish Crown that persistently disallowed more liberal religious laws and which refused to recognize the peculiar circum- stances of the colonial church. Thus a great amount of the resentment against the Establishment among the dissenters, and almost all the resentment among the Anglicans, was directed against the English Crown, represented in most cases by the governor.

Tryon assumed that the Orthodox Clergy Act of 1765, by not mentioning the right of presentation, gave him the authority to induct ministers into vacant parishes, and began to distribute the newly arrived clergymen into the most needy parishes. He early met difficulties. For a long time there had been a growing resentment of British rule in the eastern, predominantly Episcopal counties. The people of North Carolina felt that they had certain well established rights which were being encroached upon by the British Parliament. One of these rights was taxing themselves; an- other was choosing their own minister. The governor's usur- pation of ecclesiastical power not specifically granted him was ranked along side the hated Stamp Act as another ex- ample of increasing British tyranny. For this reason Tryon, instead of inducting a certain Cosgreve into Pitt County, sent him on a three months probation, an action which he apologetically explained as follows to the Lord Bishop of London:

This probation I think for the interest of the cause of religion in these parts, the inhabitants seeming as jealous of any re- straint put on their consciences as they have of late shewn for

12 The North Carolina Historical Review

that on their property : Many persons have industriously spread among the parishes and vestries that as the patronage to livings is not specified in the above Act, the Crown cannot claim the patronage; some delicacy therefore your Lordship I hope sees is necessary in the establishment of the clergy here, where the minds of the larger body of inhabitants thro' the want of the means of culture are incapable of entertaining generous prin- ciples of public utility.37

In January, 1766, Tryon reported that a new minister, the Rev. Barnett, had taken up duties in Brunswick County.38 There the vestry promised him the regulation salary, but two years later Barnett remained in Brunswick only by the vestry's wishes, never having been officially inducted. In June, 1768 he wrote to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel explaining his plight:

The people of this Parish do still so violently oppose the pres- entation of the Crown to the Living, that I believe it will be found necessary for me to remove to another part of the prov- ince. . . . Permit me Sir to assure the Venerable Board that the people are so desirous of my stay with them on the usual terms, of an annual reelection as I have been informed, to be willing to make some addition to my former salary. . . .39

Governor Tryon was prepared to force induction of Bar- nett against the vestry's wishes, but Barnett, not wishing to stay in the county under those conditions, removed to Northampton. He was followed in Brunswick by a certain Cramp, whom Tryon proposed to present to the vestry. Cramp was fearful that he would starve if he were inducted, for, as he reported to Tryon, "none like the inducted par-

" 40


Tryon had similar troubles in Duplin and New Hanover counties. He reported to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel that he feared the Rev. Briggs, whom he induct- ed into Duplin, would find his residence most disagreeable because of the resentment to inducted ministers.41 When he sent a certain Wills to New Hanover County, preparatory to

87 Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 261.

88 Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 158.

39 Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 789-790.

40 Saunders, Colonial Records, VIII, 12-16.

41 Saunders, Colonial Records, VIII, 12-16.

The Church Establishment 13

induction, the vestry sent him a letter of protest, praising Wills as a "gentleman worthy of his sacred Function" but denying the right of presentation on the part of the governor, on the grounds that the Act of Assembly did not specifically grant him that power.42 This time Tryon proceded to induct in spite of their protests, but begged the parish to extend good services to Wills until a new Clergy Act clearly grant- ing the right of presentation could be passed.43 Thus, in four or five instances at least, the people most heartily in favor of an establishment, the churchmen themselves, refused to give up their cherished right of choosing and dismissing their own minister even at the expense of having no minister at all. A stronger opposition of a different type greeted the Estab- lishment in the western counties where in a predominently Presbyterian and Baptist region, the Vestry Acts were never effectively enforced. The Rev. Eli W. Caruthers, biographer of David Caldwell, aptly summarized the religious situation in that area before the Revolution:

Presbyterian ministers, and probably others too, were cele- brating marriages without asking leave of the parish minister, and building churches, holding meetings, and administrating ordinances without consulting the Bishop of London, or ob- taining license from any human authority; the people, without any serious apprehension of consequences, were setting at naught the enactments of arbitrary power, by electing for vestrymen such men as they know would not serve, or by staying away from the polls and electing no vestrymen at all; and in some counties . . . they were compelling the Assembly to rescind their vestry acts.44

The citizens of Mecklenburg County did not want an established minister. In 1766 Andrew Morton arrived in New Bern, planning to go on to Mecklenburg as a minister and missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Tryon persuaded him against continuing his journey, doubting if he would get any favorable reception or any hearers among the many Presbyterians in Mecklenburg, who always managed to elect vestrymen from their own number,

42 Saunders, Colonial Records, VIII, 119. ^Saunders, Colonial Records, VIII, 219-220.

u Eli W. Carruthers, A Sketch of the Life and Character of the Rev. David Caldwell, D.D. (Greensborough: Swain and Sherwood, 1842), 75.

14 The North Carolina Historical Review

only to have them disqualify.45 After changing his plans and going to Northampton County, Morton wrote the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel that the people in Meck- lenburg

. . . had a solemn league and covenant teacher settled among them That they were in general greatly averse to the Church of England and that they looked upon a law lately enacted in this province for the better establishment of the Church as oppres- sive as the Stamp Act and were determined to prevent its taking place there, by opposing the settlement of any Minister of the Church of England.46

In 1769 the citizens of Mecklenburg sent a petition to the governor setting forth their religious position. According to it, 1,000 loyal freemen in the county held to the Church of Scotland and were entitled to all the rights and privileges of any British subject, either English or Scottish. In Scotland the Presbyterian Church was the state church with privileges similar to the Church in England; moreover, they claimed additional rights granted by the original North Carolina Charter. In view of these rights they felt it a burden to be taxed to support an Episcopal clergy, especially when they had two Presbyterian ministers to support and when only one twentieth of the people were Episcopal. They petitioned that each group be allowed to worship God according to conscience, and that each pay its own clergy. They stated that an inducted minister would be useless, that ten shillings per taxable was an enormous sum to put under the power of the vestry, being more than it took to run the county government, and that the vestry law, as a whole, was curbing settlement in the back country and would always remain a grievance.47 Many of the immigrants to the region were vir- tual refugees from the stricter religious conformity of Vir- ginia, and were very fearful of losing the early freedom they found on the frontier. Actually, the people were never forced to support an established clergyman; none ever came to Mecklenburg, and with reason.

46 Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 241-242.

46 Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 252-253.

47 Saunders, Colonial Records, X, 1015-1017.

The Church Establishment 15

A unique petition arrived in New Bern in 1769 from the huge frontier county of Rowan, then stretching an indefinite distance westward into the Smokies and the Cherokee coun- try. A small number of Episcopalians in Rowan were ag- grieved because the vestry acts were not being enforced in their county. They complained that Rowan contained people of every nation and creed and that the many dissenters elected as vestrymen such of their own number "as evade the Acts of Assembly and refuse the oaths whence we can never expect the regular enlivening beams of the Holy Gos- pel to shine upon us." 48 In another petition they asked Tryon to appoint their list of vestry candidates even though they were defeated in the election. They also asked him to induct their newly arrived minister, the Rev. Theodorus Swaine Draige, into their parish, which had no active vestry.49

It can be wondered why Governor Tryon, who would not give Andrew Morton leave to go to Mecklenburg County, would allow Draige to go to neighboring Rowan as an estab- lished clergyman. Here, among numerous dissenters and virtually on the frontier, poor, gentle Draige became a self- styled martyr to the cause of his church and to the laws of his country. He tried to allay the alarm caused among the dissenters by his arrival, by conceding them the right to con- tinue performing marriages and funerals without giving him all the fees as required by the Vestry Act. He asked only that they receive his permission before performing the cere- mony. Much to Draige's distress, the dissenting ministers and the magistrates continued to marry and bury as before, without permission from anyone. It finally became clear to Draige that he was not wanted in Rowan by more than a small minority of the inhabitants, he explained his situation as follows:

They say not in words only but wishing that as they have opposed England in endeavoring to intrude on their civil rights, they also shall, and have a right to oppose any intrusion on their religious rights, a Maximum I presume dangerous in itself