Archive for the ‘NC’ Category

The Randolph County Confederate Monument

August 17, 2017

Confed Monument Ron Baker Photo CT

The Randolph County chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was organized in 1906 at the suggestion of Mrs. E.E. Moffitt, the daughter of Governor Jonathan Worth.  “The paramount interest of the organization” was to erect a monument to Confederate veterans in Asheboro.  The ladies raised money for the statute through numerous public events: “Bazaar” sales, a “Biblical cantata,” an “Old Maids’ Convention,” a “Batchelor’s Congress,” a “Spinster’s Return,” a “home talent concert,” and through sales of post cards.

IMG_0421Their final appeal to the general public was published in The Courier of 26 Feb 1909: “We have set our hands to the sacred task of erecting in the town of Asheboro, near our beautiful new courthouse, a monument to commemorate the bravery and valor of the Confederate Soldiers of Randolph County who fell in the War between the States.”

IMG_0423“We would that all men in looking upon it might feel that it was a fit expression of the glory of the dead and of the love and reverence of the people for whom they died. It will speak to generations yet unborn of the simple loyalty and sublime constancy of the soldiers of Randolph county who fought without reward and who died for a cause that was to them the embodiment of liberty and sacred right.”

Mullins catalog1

More than a hundred individual and business donors contributed to the final cost of $1700.  The monument was ordered through the “Blue Pearl Granite Company” of Winston-Salem.  The base of Mt. Airy granite is 9’6” square and 22 feet tall.  The 6’ tall statue itself was purchased from the W.H. Mullins Company of Salem, Ohio. 

Mullins catalog2

It was Number 5608 in their catalog, “Confederate Infantryman/ Six Ft. high from top of base to top of head. One-eighth plate base 20x20x5 inches. Made in sheet copper, antique bronze finish; also in sheet bronze.” The company’s 1913 catalog featured a full-page photograph of the Asheboro statue atop its granite pillar.

Mullins catalog3

The Mullins Company sold statues of all varieties of soldier, both Union and Confederate, officer and enlisted man.  After World War I they sold many more modern tin soldiers to memorials around the country. One page of the 1913 catalog prints a poem, “The Blue and the Gray”:

By the flow of the inland river,

When the fleets of iron have fled,

Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,

Asleep are the ranks of the dead;

Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day;

Under the one, the Blue;

Under the other, the Gray.

 

No more shall the war cry sever,

Or the winding rivers be red,

They banish our anger forever,

When they laurel the graves of our dead.

Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day,

Love and tears for the Blue,

Tears and love for the Gray.

IMG_0422

The monument was unveiled Sept 2, 1911 at the two-year-old county courthouse, at a public event attended by an estimated 3,000 persons (about twice the population of Asheboro at the time).  The keynote speaker was North Carolina Chief Justice Walter M. Clark, a Confederate veteran and author of the Regimental History series N.C. Troops.  Congressman Robert N. Page delivered a “Eulogy to Old Soldiers,” and the President of the Randolph Chapter of the UDC, Miss May McAlister (the grand-daughter of Dr. John Milton Worth), unveiled the monument. It was “presented by” E.L. Moffitt, the President of Elon College; “accepted for the veterans” by the State Auditor, W.P. Wood; “for the county,” by county attorney H.M. Robins; and “for the town” by Mayor J.A. Spence.  Bands played, songs were sung, and the UDC hosted a dinner on the grounds of the Presbyterian Church across the street, at which 250 watermelons were cut and served to the crowd.

Walter Clark b1846Chief Justice Clark in the war

Chief Justice Clark’s speech was a lengthy and meticulous account of the regimental histories of each of Randolph County’s companies. “To some this recital of bare facts will seem tiresome, but to these veterans they recall memories that will never die. The ‘days of our youth are the days of our glory.’ Bear with me then as I recall the battles, marches and sieges of not long ago.”

IMG_0419He closed by saying “From what I have already said, it will be seen that from the very beginning of the war to its close, wherever there were hardships to be endured, sufferings to be borne, and hard fighting to be done, there the county of Randolph was represented, and represented with honor, in the persons of her gallant sons.”  Absent from Clark’s speech was any “waving of the bloody shirt,” or any reference to “the Anglo-Saxon race” (features of many other such dedicatory addresses). Clark’s only overt political remarks concerned the perceived unfairness that southern states were taxed to provide pensions to Union veterans, but not to Confederate veterans- a position that no doubt resonated with the hundred or more Confederate veterans in his audience.

One hundred years later, just before Veteran’s Day in 2011, an additional footstone marker was installed at the monument to correct the misidentification of Company M, the “Randolph Hornets,” as Company D.  The marker goes on to note eight additional companies which included large groups of Randolph County men.

Hugh falls CT

In mid-September 1989, the remnants of Hurricane Hugo swept up from Charlotte and nearly toppled the statue from its granite pedestal.  An iron armature inside the sculpture had corroded over the years, allowing the hollow statue (which weighs less than 100 pounds) to flip over.  Ad Van der Staak of Van der Staak Restorations of Seagrove, reconstructed the shattered shoe, rifle butt and arm crushed in the fall. The statute was also cleaned and coated with a preservative, under a bid of $4,880. Cablevision of Asheboro donated half the expense, with the county covering the remainder.  Alice Dawson, Clerk to the Board of Commissioners, told the newspaper that the statue would have to be known as “Hugo” thereafter, in recognition of his near ‘death’ in the hurricane.

Vander staak

Hugo and Van der Staak, 1989

IMG_0420

Independence Day, 1842 (Part 2).

July 29, 2015
Recreated 1830s Fourth of July Celebration at Old Sturbridge Village, Mass.

Recreated 1830s Fourth of July Celebration at Old Sturbridge Village, Mass.

1842: One hundred seventy three years ago; a lost world that is oddly similar to our own….

It is Monday, July 4th, 1842, and John Motley Morehead has been Governor of North Carolina for 18 months.  A fellow cotton mill owner, Morehead is well known to those in Franklinville, and has probably already visited there.  He lives in Blandwood Mansion in Greensboro and is related by marriage to General Alexander Gray of Trinity, the wealthiest man in Randolph County.

John Motley Morehead

John Motley Morehead

Morehead is a member of the Whig party, and the Whigs are firmly in control of the politics of Randolph County, and of North Carolina.  Their hero is Henry Clay, congressman of Tennessee.  Whig party members are progressive proponents of government taking an active role in economic development or, in the terminology of the times, “internal improvements.”  They lobby for the creation of corporations to spin and weave cotton and wool, develop iron, copper and gold mines, and to build plank roads, canals and railroads.  North Carolina, in fact, was in 1842 the home of one of the largest railroad networks in the world.  The Wilmington and Weldon Railroad was built due north from Wilmington to Weldon on the Roanoke River near the state line.  When completed in March 1840, it was at 161.5 miles long, the longest railroad in the world.  A month later the Raleigh and Gaston line was completed running northeast from Raleigh, making Weldon a railroad hub. The Seaboard & Roanoke (east to Portsmouth, VA) and the Petersburg & Roanoke (north to Petersburg, VA) soon followed.  It is now possible to buy a ticket in Raleigh and take the train, with numerous stops and changes, all the way to New York City.

Central Georgia Railroad 1840s

Central Georgia Railroad 1840s

The Erie Canal

The Erie Canal

John Tyler is President of the United States, the 10th man to serve in that office.  Tyler, a Virginian, is not held in high regard by the Whig party rank and file.  Vice President just 15 months ago, he succeeded President William Henry Harrison in April 1841.  General Harrison, a hero of the Indian Wars and the oldest man ever elected President, caught pneumonia during his inauguration and died barely a month later.  He was the first President to die in office.  In the contentious “log cabin and hard cider” campaign of 1840 General Harrison beat the highly unpopular incumbent Martin van Buren.  Van Buren had been Andrew Jackson’s hand-picked successor, but he had the bad luck to take office in March 1837 just as the “Panic of 1837” sabotaged the economy.  Private speculators who bought land trying to capitalize on the railroad boom lost everything when the bubble burst; businesses failed and unemployment was widespread.  Even worse, state governments had borrowed heavily from foreign banks to finance construction of new canals, turnpikes and railroads, and without those tolls and fees they found themselves unable to pay their overseas creditors.

President William Henry Harrison

President William Henry Harrison

President Martin van Buren, 1837

President Martin van Buren, 1837

In the summer and fall of 1841, Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas, Illinois and Maryland all defaulted on their payments to London banks.  Florida and Mississippi defaulted in March 1842, and Pennsylvania and Louisiana would soon follow suit.  In June treasury agents in London were unable to sell U.S. bonds despite the fact that the federal government had completely paid off its national debt six years earlier.  Parisian banker James (Jakob) Rothschild sent word, “You may tell your government that you have seen the man who is at the head of the finances of Europe, and that he has told you that you cannot borrow a dollar, not a dollar.”

James (Jacob) Rothschild, head of the Paris branch of the family bank.

James (Jacob) Rothschild, head of the Paris branch of the family bank.

Anger over the defaults renewed America’s negative attitudes toward Britain, the country’s original enemy. State politicians were outraged at the thought of imposing additional taxes on citizens already in the depths of a financial depression, just to honor commitments to European bankers.  The governor of Mississippi proposed to repudiate the debt to “the Baron Rothschild… the blood of Shylock and Judas flows in his veins.  It is for this people to say whether he shall have a mortgage on our cotton fields and make serfs of our children.”  [Note: Mississippi still has never paid that debt.]  An Illinois legislator named Abraham Lincoln called for Federal assistance to the western states, “in the midst of our almost insupportable difficulties, in the days of our severest necessity.”

President John Tyler

President John Tyler

President Tyler refused to intervene.  After all, it was those Democrats Andrew Jackson and his minion Van Buren who had promoted all this speculation and unwise public investment.  Congress twice attempted to ease credit by voting to re-establish a central bank for the country, and twice Tyler vetoed the bills, leading to the resignation of almost all of his cabinet in September 1841.  Tyler was burned in effigy outside the White House.  Charles Dickens, who arrived in Washington in March 1842 on his first tour of the United States, wrote that the President looked “worn and anxious, and well he might, being at war with everybody.”

Charles Dickens, 1842.

Charles Dickens, 1842.

And apparently financial conditions were going to get worse.  A decade earlier Congress had promised to reduce federal tariffs on foreign imports and exports. Those tariffs had been designed to protect the infant industries of the Northern states, but rankled the agricultural South who wanted free access to the huge British demand for cotton.  The date for reduction had been fixed by the law: June 30, 1842.  But with incomes reduced by five years of depression, tariffs now account for 85 per cent of federal revenue, and any reduction in the tariffs would require big cuts to the federal budget.  Just before the deadline, Congress passes a bill to temporarily preserve the tariffs, and provide aid to the West.  But Tyler, sympathetic to southern cotton interests, vetoes it.  A London newspaper reports, “The condition of the country is most appalling.  The treasury is bankrupt to all intents and purposes.” [All quotes come from the best work on this subject, “America’s First Great Depression: Economic Crisis and Political Disorder After the Panic of 1837,” by Alisdair Roberts (Cornell Univ. Press, 2012).]

The Royal Mint, London, 1842.

The Royal Mint, London, 1842.

Panic in New York 1838

Panic in New York 1838

So why, in the midst of this depression and governmental breakdown and international credit crisis, was the tiny new town of Franklinsville hosting what might be the biggest celebration in its history?

Merrimack Mfg Co Lowell 1841

Merrimack Mfg Co Lowell 1841

The simplest explanation is to look at Franklinsville as a little outpost of New England in the countryside of North Carolina.  The tariffs had been designed to promote and protect the industrial revolution in the United States, and it just so happened that its birthplace was in New England. The tariff that protected a cotton mill in Massachusetts also protected the cotton mills in North Carolina- what few there were.  Randolph County Whigs, in particular, had little love for the plantation cotton economy, and its exploitation of enslaved African labor.  The local economy was built on production of wheat and corn, and these were not export items.  As early as 1828 Randolph County Whigs had proposed building a cotton mill, but not until 1836, after the tariff was in place, did investors build the first small factory at Cedar Falls.

That first mill had started with cotton spinning equipment inserted into the grist mill of Benjamin Elliott, a former Clerk of Superior Court.  With the financial support of Dr. Philip Horney and his son Alexander, and under the management of his son Henry Branson Elliott, the tiny new factory at Cedar Falls made “bundle yarn” which was sold at the Elliott store on the courthouse square in Asheboro.

The Franklinsville Factory, as rebuilt after the 1851 fire.

The Franklinsville Factory, as rebuilt after the 1851 fire.

The “Randolph Manufacturing Company,” organized in March, 1838, built on the successful experiment at Cedar Falls.  Located at “Coffin’s Mills,” the site of Elisha Coffin’s wheat, corn, and saw mills and cotton gin about 2 miles downriver from Cedar Falls, the new factory was built on a New England plan.  For example, after being chartered by the legislature, it was operated not as a loose partnership but as a corporate body of stockholders-  the first corporation ever to conduct business in Randolph County.   Second, it was designed using a completely new scale.  The three story, 40 by 80-foot “Factory House” was the first building built in the county textile manufacturing purposes, and was probably one of the first ten in the state.  It was also one of the first brick structures in the county, and was certainly the largest building in Randolph County when completed.  Finally, the cotton mill would have the first looms in the county, weaving cloth where Cedar Falls could only spin.  The Franklinsville factory thus was the first “integrated” manufacturing operation (the first to manufacture cotton in all stages “from bale to bolt” of woven cloth.)

That it still made good financial sense to build the Franklinsville factory even after the Panic of 1837 took hold shows that the Randolph County economy was different from the rest of the South.  None of this investment would have been possible without the protection of the tariff; otherwise the American market would have been flooded with British cloth and yarn, made and imported more cheaply than the small local factories could compete with.  The Asheboro newspaper reported that “Since the commencement of their works but one short year ago, a little village has sprung up at the place which has assumed the name of Franklinsville, embracing some eight or ten respectable families.  A retail store of goods has just been opened here on private capital.  And the company have now resolved to establish another one on part of their corporate funds.” [Southern Citizen, 8 March 1839.]

Samuel Slater Spinning Frame 1790s

Samuel Slater Spinning Frame 1790s

In 1840 Benjamin Swaim, the editor of the Asheboro newspaper Southern Citizen, reported that he “had occasion to visit Franklinsville last Monday, which gave us an opportunity of viewing the Work.  It appears to be going finely.  The Factory House, (a very large brick building) is nearly completed; and they are putting up the Machinery.  It is expected they will commence spinning in a few weeks – by the first of March at furtherest.  Success attend their laudible enterprize.” [Southern Citizen, 21 Jan. 1840.]

A letter from a Randolph resident to his son in Texas (LF William Allred to son Elijah Allred), written in July 14, 1843 but perfectly capturing the lingering spirit of the times of a year earlier, wrote that “produce is plenty and market low Owing I believe to the Bad economy of Our Government Rulers for ever since the contest has raged so high about Moneyed Institutions that people is afraid to engage money on account of the Scarcity of that article; Before that Embarasment, I thought this Old Country was Improving verry fast; the two Cotten factories one at the Cedar Falls and the other at Coffin’s Mill, now called Franklinville, they Manufacture vast quantities of Cotton thread and Cloth and sells thred at ninety cents for five pounds and cloth from eight to ten cents per yard.”

Hatbox with Rising Sun wallpaper motif from the 1840 log cabin campaign

So, while times seemed dark for much of the country, times in the new town of Franklinsville were looking sunny, and the owners and stockholders had arranged to celebrate the success of their risky investment.  It is a short news article, but it has much to say about the times, and perhaps about our own.

More on Charlie Poole and Daner Johnson

July 15, 2014

Charlie Poole porch swing

I have recently had several inquiries regarding Charlie Poole and Daner Johnson from people who have read my previous posts.  I purposefully didn’t include a lot of genealogical material there, but as usual, many of the interesting details of the lives of local people relate to their families.

Since Daner is supposed to have been the teacher of Charlie, I decided to go back and unearth as many facts about their family connections as I could find.

The Pooles.

There are a couple of direct entries on Charlie Poole in ancestry.com, but all entries have issues, especially with dates of birth and death.  I prefer to fall back on what census takers recorded first hand at the time.

There is a lot of understandable confusion over when Charlie Poole’s  mother may have died, stemming largely from the fact that his father John Philip Poole supposedly married two sisters with very similar names.

John Phillip Poole and wife appear in both the 1900 census of Randolph County and the 1910 census of Alamance as just “John Poole” and spouse “Bettie.” Ancestry.com entries list his birth year as 1853, but the 1900 census says he was born in March 1850 in NC, and his father was born in NC.

John Poole’s occupation in 1900 is listed as “Cotton Mill Spinner;” in 1910 it is listed as “Cotton Mill Lapper.”  [The Lapper Room was part of the process of opening bales of cotton and making flat sheets or laps of cotton which would then be sent to the Carding Room.  From the Carding Room, roving bobbins would go to the Spinning Room.]  Both censuses says that John Poole cannot read or write, and is a renter of a house (not a farm) in each place.  Franklinville Township included the mill villages of Franklinsville, Island Ford, Cedar Falls, Central Falls and Worthville, all within a 9-mile stretch of Deep River.

1900 Census Randolph (Fville)

Poole 1900 census

 

Bettie Poole is listed in both censuses as a house keeper.  The 1900 census says she is the mother of 9 children, 8 of whom are living.  The 1910 census says she is the mother of 13 children, 8 of whom are living.  The 1910 census says that only she and her son “Ralf” can read and write.  In the 1900 census, only son Lea had attended school that year.

The following children of John and Bettie Poole are listed in 1900 (birth dates from census; death dates from ancestry.com)

Sarah E (b Oct 1878) d 1933 (occupation 1900, “Cotton Mill Spinner”)

Leroy (Lea) R (Jan 1884- 1957)  (1900- “Cotton Mill Spinner”)

Ralph (Aug 1889-  )  (1900- “Cotton Mill Spinner”)

Charlie C (March 1891) (different birth year from most listings) (no occupation)

James (Feb 1894)  (no occupation)

Giles (Jiley) M. (Aug 1896)  (no occupation)

Henry M (Aug 1897)  (no occupation)

In the 1910 Census the family has moved from Franklinville TS in Randolph County to Faucette TS in Alamance County [The Haw River mill village is partially in Faucette TS and partly in Haw River TS.  The villages of Glencoe and Hopedale are also in Faucette TS].  Sarah is no longer listed in the family, and Lea lives in a neighboring house with his wife Julia, age 21, whom he married in 1906.  They have a daughter Mary E., age 2.  Lea’s occupation is listed as “Cotton Mill Spinner” in 1900 and “Cotton Mill Slubber” in 1910.  [A Slubber was one of 3 different roving frames used in the Carding Room preparing cotton for spinning].

In 1901 Ralph’s occupation has changed to “Carder,” so he worked in the Card Room with Lea.  “Charley”’s occupation in 1910 is  “Cotton Mill Oiler.”  This was necessary to keep the machinery in good operating condition, and there may have been oilers in each separate “Room,” or they may have been sent where ever they were needed.  In 1910, James, “Jiley” and Henry all worked as “Cotton Mill Doffers.”  Charlie’s job as an oiler could be seen as a step up from doffer, but didn’t require particular speed or skill, as a doffer might.

In 1910 the Pooles obviously live in an Alamance County mill village, as they are surrounded by mill occupations.  In 1900 one neighbor, Anderson Diffee, is a “Cotton Mill Bailer” [i.e., employed in the Cloth Room, baling cloth for shipping].  The next neighbor, Jessie Bonkemeyer, is a farmer.  On the pages before and after the Poole entry, there are 5 weavers and  two spinners listed in 4 families among numerous farmers.

1910 Census Alamance

Poole 1910 Census Alamance

The Johnsons.

Sorting out the Johnson family is not so straight-forward, but I think I have put something together from assorted ancestry.com records and census records.

Hiram Johnson, age 55, is listed as a Miller in the 1870 census of Surry Co, NC (Mt. Airy vicinity).  His wife is Lydia Shields, age 54, born in Moore County, NC, near Carthage.  The 1870 census lists their children as follows:

Elizabeth, age 24, “House Keeper” [born circa 1846]

Lydia, age 23, “At home”

Elizabeth, age 15, “At home”  [born circa 1855)

Hiram, age 15, “At school”

Cindee, age 10, “at home”

Louisa, age 4, “At home”

The Charlie Poole listings on ancestry.com list what may be the two Elizabeths as-

“Betsy Ann, 1850-1896)” and

“Bettie Ellen, 1850-1911”

Obviously these dates don’t fit, but the nicknames might.

Ancestry.com lists the father of Hiram Johnson as Ransom Johnson, c1790-1852

Ransom is listed as having two children with Susan (unk. Last name)-

Hiram,

Acquilla (3-3-1813 in Alamance County -1869)

Acquilla Johnsonmarried Philipena Cornelia Moser (1815-1910) in Alamance County.

They had at least seven children (one of which, another Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Johnson, married Samson Bunting in 1861 and died in 1876, so thankfully doesn’t muddy the already murky Bettie/Betsy Johnson waters).

One of their daughters, Nancy Lou Johnson, apparently had 4 children, at least 3 of whom are listed as “unknown father.”

Dora E. Johnson (1864-1958, father David Breedlove)

William Arthur Johnson, 1883-1948 (he later had 13 children of his own)

Napoleon P. Lusien Johnson (1870-1955), who married twice and may still have living children)

Daner Gordon Johnson, 1879-1955.

082309_0416_CharliePool9.jpg

So, Daner Johnson’s paternal grandfather Acquilla Johnson and Charlie Poole’s maternal grandfather Hiram Johnson were brothers.

That means their parents (Bettie Johnson, whichever one, and Nancy Lou Johnson) were first cousins, and Daner and Charlie were second cousins. (Not first cousins, as I said in my original blog post)

Here is what I have found specifically regarding Daner in the public records:

In 1870 census takers found Nancy Johnson, a “seamstress” aged 30, living in the home of her sister Harriet Johnson, age 34.  Her daughter Dora E., 6 and Thomas, age 2, were “at home.”  The Johnson sisters lived next door to Anthony Moser, age 46, a farmer with 7 children, who was also their uncle, brother of their mother Philapena.

In the 1880 Census Nancy Johnson, aged 41, is listed as a single head of household living in “Randleman Mills” NC.  Her daughter Dora E., age 16, is employed in a cotton mill.  Nancy has sons Napoleon P., aged 9; William A., aged 4, and Danie G., 8 months.

The 1900 census shows 62-year-old Nancy as the head of her household, a farm in Cedar Grove township of Randolph County.  She owned the land subject to a mortgage, and had 15 animals.  Her son Napoleon L. Johnson, 29 and single, farmed the land.  Her son Dannier G. Johnson, single, had “no occupation.”  Daner and his mother could not read or write, though Napoleon (known as “Nep,”) could.

In 1910 Napoleon, 39, is married to Jennie, 34, and they have a daughter Lora, 6 months old.  Jennie Trotter is listed in genealogy indexes as dying in 1915.

The 1910 census found Daner Johnson living in Siler City, NC, boarding in the home of John J. Foster, age 54.  Johnson, aged 29, is living there with his wife Lilian, age 18.  They have been married one year.  Daner’s occupation is listed as “self-employed automobile mechanic,” and he had been out of work for 8 weeks in the previous year.  According to the census, he can read and write.

In 1920, Napoleon, 49, is single and Minnie Underwood, 32, is living in his house with daughter lora, 10, and James Johnson, age 8.  Minnie (1887-1965) at some point married Napoleon and they are both buried in the Holiness Church cemetery in Randleman.  Their daughter Lora or “Loray” never married and was still living with them at the time of the 1940 census.  Loray Johnson was the informant providing information for the death certificates of both her father and her uncle Daner in 1955.

082309_0416_CharliePool10.jpg

Daner and his mother Nancy are both buried in the Melanchthon Lutheran cemetery west of Liberty in Randolph County.

 

Mac Whatley, 7-15-14

Unconventional Warfare

April 29, 2014

Pineland Money

Confession:  About fifteen years ago, when I was Mayor of Franklinville, I secretly collaborated with the Pineland Resistance Movement, guerrilla freedom fighters seeking to destabilize the civilian government.  They had me in return for a pig-picking in some hot, forsaken section of Montgomery County, and a helicopter ride.  Looking back, maybe I sold myself cheap.

Twice each year the center of North Carolina becomes the fictional country of Pineland as part of the Robin Sage training exercise, the final test for students at the Special Forces Qualification Course held at the U.S. Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, based out of Fort Bragg.  Several hundred servicemen and women from the base act as the People’s Republic of Pineland home defense forces, and the aspiring Green Berets play the resistance.  Civilians volunteer to be “trained” as resistance forces by the Special Forces “advisors;” I was a Mayor role-playing an elected official for what they called a “key-leader engagement.”   Using citizen volunteers adds realism; on the flip side, so does seeing a squad of black-clad ninjas crawling up through one’s pasture, or hearing gunfire and flash-bang grenades at midnight.

Pineland Resistance, Fayetteville Observer photo

Pineland Resistance, Fayetteville Observer photo

From the Special Forces press release:  “Candidates are placed in an environment of political instability characterized by armed conflict, forcing Soldiers to analyze and solve problems to meet the challenges of this ‘real-world’ training.  With the help of civilian authorities and local citizens, Robin Sage has been conducted since 1974; before this, similar exercises were run under the names Devil’s Arrow, Swift Strike, and Guerilla USA.  The exercise’s notional country of Pineland encompasses 15 counties in North Carolina, including Alamance… Chatham, Davidson, Guilford… Montgomery, Moore, [and] Randolph…  Special Forces candidates and Robin Sage role-players live, eat and sleep in these civilian areas.”

People's Republic of Pineland

People’s Republic of Pineland

The mythical country of Pineland comes to life for two weeks twice a year, and by the time it’s over, maybe the new Green Berets have learned enough to stay alive in some place like Afghanistan.  As the father now of a son in Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., I hope they learned a lot.  Whenever I hear of a Green Beret in a casualty report, I hope it wasn’t anyone I ever knew in Pineland…

University of Pineland

University of Pineland

The Army calls this an exercise in “unconventional warfare,” though it seems as though the unconventional has become the norm nowadays.  The irony of this part of North Carolina, these central counties, being the heart of the fictional resistance movement is not lost on me as a historian, however.  Pineland has brought the teaching of guerilla warfare into 20th and 21st century Randolph, where the real article inflamed the same ground during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Bloodshed and politics went hand-in-hand here during the War of the Regulation in 1771; during the Whig-Tory War of 1780-1782; and during the War of the Rebellion of 1861-1865  There is no accurate count of casualties from any of these eras of internecine conflict, but it is no exaggeration to estimate the dead in the hundreds.  An actual body count would put Randolph, Moore and Chatham counties into the lead as North Carolina’s bloodiest battlefield- yet we don’t even make the list.

Pineland Guerillas

Pineland Guerillas

Colonel David Fanning’s assassination of Randolph County’s militia leader, Colonel Andrew Balfour, wasn’t Fanning’s first murder, or his last.   In his one circuit of the county in March, 1781, Fanning killed Balfour, the head of the militia infantry, seriously wounded John Collier, the head of the cavalry; burned houses and barns, and generally decapitated civilian government by scattering the justices meeting at the county court.  He did the same in Chatham County, and for good measure he attacked state government in Hillsboro, capturing the Governor and Council and taking them prisoners to the British in Wilmington.

Head of the Resistance Forces, Pineland Bob Snyder, retired Green Beret.  AP Photo, Gerry Broome.

Head of the Resistance Forces, Pineland Bob Snyder, retired Green Beret planning an attack in Ramseur. AP Photo, Gerry Broome.

The lack of government and justice after the Revolution insured that simmering desires for revenge would survive in family lore for more than four score years, to surface in Randolph of the 1860s.  A county that overwhelmingly resisted secession continued to resist Confederate government.  Though the county sent large numbers of soldiers into the southern army, it also sent many into the Federal forces, and as many more refused to fight for either side.  As I have written before, North Carolina’s first recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor was Howell G. Trogdon of Franklinville.  Many others left the county to fight for the Union or to protect their Quaker families in Indiana or Ohio.

Randolph County was under martial law for much of the war, with government forces supporting the tenuous control of civilian authorities while they searched for deserters, draft dodgers, “recusant conscripts,” “Holdenites,” “Lincolnites,” and other undesireables.  Purgatory Mountain was honeycombed with the underground hide-outs of the “hiders out of the army.” The county had a shadow government, the Heroes of America or Red String, whose members after the war formed the nucleus of the Republican Party.

Chief Kidd's Hideout

Chief Kidd’s Hideout

As civilian officials tried to cope with “an environment of political instability,” some went too far.  Deputy Sheriff Alfred Pike of Franklinville finally captured the leader of the resistance, “Colonel” Bill Owens, only after obtaining information on his hiding place by torturing Owen’s wife and children.  A Deputy for 15 years, Pike was so roundly censured in the press for his tactics that he resigned and moved his family to Texas, and the blow-back cost his boss, Sheriff J.W. Steed, his job in the election of 1864.

Robin Sage 3

This is just part of the story of Randolph during the Civil War that was researched and written by Bill Auman for his PhD dissertation.   It has recently been published by MacFarland, and is available on Amazon.   [http://www.amazon.com/William-T.-Auman/e/B00GXSW0IS  ;  William T. Auman, Civil War in the North Carolina Quaker Belt: The Confederate Campaign Against Peace Agitators, Deserters and Draft Dodgers (2014).]

WTA Civil War Quaker Belt

Buy his book, and read the real story of Randolph’s war.  You will never look at the Confederate flag decal on some ratty pickup truck in the same way again.  Maybe if they knew their own family history, they’d have bumper stickers for The People’s Republic of Pineland, instead.

 

July 1, 1863.

July 1, 2013

NC Monument GettysburgKilled in the battle of Gettysburg, July 1st, 1863, Lieut. John H. Palmer, of the 22d Reg’t N. C. T., in the 24th year of his age.

He was a native of Randolph county, and among the first to volunteer in defence of his beloved country. Thus has fallen one so young, and promising, in the opening bud of manhood. He died a true patriot and soldier, fighting the enemies of his country and home. He was ever gay and lively; polite in his manners and strict in the discharge of his duties. Gallant in action, and heedless of danger—he feared not to follow where the colors went.

In him his parents have lost an excellent son, and North Carolina one of her brightest stars.

“He sleeps on Pennsylvania’s plains,
Amid the fallen brave,
The wild wind of her native hills
Sing requiems o’er his grave;
Deep toned notes of cannon’s roar,
Nor musket’s deeply rattle
Can rouse him from his sleep no more,
Nor wake him up to battle!
Green be the turf o’er his head,
And sacred be the sod;
Oh! may his spirit find a home
In glory, with his God.”

–J******.
[Published in the Fayetteville Observer, September 14, 1863]

John H. Palmer was the oldest of the twelve children of Oron Alston Palmer (1813-1890) and Sylvania Selvina Staley (1817-1896) of the Long’s Mills community north of Liberty in Randolph County.  He was born October 21, 1837, and enlisted in Company I, the “Davis Guards,” of the 22nd N.C. Infantry, on June 5, 1861.

John’s younger brother Joseph N. Palmer, born July 16, 1841, enlisted in the same company at the same time, but “mustered out… at home” on December 17, 1861—that is, he died at home, probably of one of the diseases that spread through the camps in the early months of the war.  So the war had already taken at least one member of the family before Gettysburg.

John Palmer was promoted to Sergeant Major on July 31, 1861; to 3rd Lieutenant on June 14, 1862; and to 1st Lieutenant on July 18, 1862.  Lt. Palmer was not by any means the only loss from Company I that day.

Lutheran Theological Seminary's Schmucker Hall

Lutheran Theological Seminary’s Schmucker Hall

From the Greensboro Patriot, September 24, 1863 (also published in Fayetteville Observer)

TRIBUTE OF RESPECT.
HEADQUARTERS 22D N. C. REGIMENT,
Camp near Orange C. H., Va., Aug. 26, 1863.


At a
meeting held by the officers of the 22d N. C. Regiment, Capt. C. F. Siler was called to the Chair, and Lts. R. W. Winborne and S. G. Caudill were appointed Secretaries.

The Chairman having explained the object of the meeting to be for the adoption of resolutions expressive of the sorrow for the death of Lieuts. J. F. PALMER [sic- J.H. is correct]  and I. S. ROBBINS, Company I, 22d N. C. Regiment.

The following gentlemen were appointed a Committee to draft resolutions: Lts. B. W. Birkhead, G. F. Gardin and W. A. Tuttle, Sergts. T. J. Hooper and F. M. Birkhead.
WHEREAS, It has pleased Almighty God in His infinite wisdom to remove from our midst our beloved comrades in arms, Lts. J. F. PALMER and I. S. ROBBINS, of Co. I, who left their professions under bright auspices, at an early date and hastened to the rescue of their country, and fell on the bloody heights of Gettysburg, under the majestic folds of the banner of liberty, while bravely leading their company.

Resolved, That while we bow in humble submission to the ways of Divine Providence, in his dealings with men, we cannot refrain to mourn the loss of these brave and noble young men whose gallantry and skill as officers has been tried on every field that their company has been engaged in, and found to be of the highest order; whose gentlemanly bearings had reached the acme of perfection towards all those they became associated with, and won for them the confidence and admiration of all who knew them.

Resolved, That in their death their company and regiment has sustained an irretrievable loss, and our righteous cause two of its most noble defenders.

Yes! before that terrific fire was begun,
The mission of these noble men was done;
Ere the flowers of summer were in bloom,
The noble martyrs were laid in one tomb;
Secret, yet swift, the fatal missile sped,
And friends now weep over their early bed.

Resolved, That we wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.
Resolved, That we extend our heart-felt grief to the bereaved families, and for comfort would point them to that Being who has vouchsafed all that is good for man.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the families of the deceased, and to the Greensborough Patriot, Catawba Journal and the Fayetteville Observer, for publication.

Lieut. B. W. BIRKHEAD, Co. I, }
G. H. Gardin, Co. B, }
W. A. TUTTLE, Co. A. ) COM.
SEGRT. HOOPER, Co. E,
}
BIRKHEAD, Co. L, }

Lt. R, W. WINBORNE,       } Secretaries.

Lt. S. G. CAUDILL, }

[This very formal expression of grief was a common feature of men’s clubs before the war- Masons, or social clubs would meet to eulogize a departed member, and write such flowery Victorian messages for publication in the local papers.  As time between battles permitted, the officers and men continued the tradition until the losses came too fast to keep it up.]

Isaiah Spurgeon Robins (b. 5-30-1837 ) was Company I’s 2nd Lieutenant.  His family history will be outlined in another post, but he enlisted in Company I on July 5, 1861, mustering in as 1st Sergeant.  He was promoted to Ordinance Sergeant in March 1862 and transferred to the regimental Field Staff.  On July 18, 1862 he was elected 2nd Lieutenant and transferred back to Company I.  How did the company lose both its lieutenants on July 1st?

On June 30th, J. Johnston Pettigrew’s brigade of eastern North Carolinians was sent into the little town of Gettysburg, PA, to look for supplies (“especially shoes.”)  They ran into John Buford’s Union cavalry and cocked the trigger for what became the turning point of the war.

A.P. Hill awakened his men to march into the town before dawn, and fortified them with an unusual allowance: any man who wanted an issue of whiskey at 5 AM was to receive one.  A five-mile march along the Chambersburg Pike brought them within sight of the town by 10 AM- and also within sight of federal artillery, which began a bombardment.  By 2:30 battle had become general along a front just west of the ridge where the local Seminary was located, and Robert E. Lee ordered Pettigrew’s 26th NC to press the federal line- which happened to be held by the famous Iron Brigade.  The federals were pushed back, but at a heavy cost- Pettigrew’s brigade suffered 40% casualties.

Dorsey PenderAbout 4PM Dorsey Pender’s troops advanced to relieve Pettigrew.  Pender’s Division of North Carolinians, including the 22nd NC Regiment, had led the march of A.P. Hill’s corps into Pennsylvania. They were in high spirits, impressing a British observer, who wrote “The soldiers of this Division are a remarkably fine body of men, and looked quite seasoned and ready for any work.  Their clothing is serviceable … but there is the usual utter absence of uniformity as to colour and shape of their garments and hats; grey of all shades, and brown clothing, with felt hats predominate.” [Lt. Col Arthur J. Freemantle, Three Months in the Southern States (London, 1863), pp229-230];  Dorsey Pender himself noted that “I never saw troops march as ours do:  they will go 15 or 20 miles a day without leaving a straggler and hop and yell on all occasions.” [ James I. Robertson, Jr., General A.P. Hill (1987), p204.]

His men charged right into a ferocious artillery barrage- 20 cannon spaced 5 yards apart threw iron at the Confederates.  One of the Union officers wrote that his cannon were “cutting great gaps in the front line of the enemy.  But still they came on, the gaps being closed by regiments from the second line, and this again filled by a third column which was coming over the hill.  Never have I seen such a charge.  Not a man seemed to falter.  Lee may well be proud of his infantry.” [Wainwright, Diary of Battle, quoted in Robertson, AP Hill, p212]

Gen. Alfred Moore Scales

Gen. Alfred Moore Scales

The brigade commanded by Alfred Moore Scales, a Rockingham County attorney, formed the extreme left of the attack.  The brigade, which included the 22nd NC, attracted a storm of musket fire from Union troops dug in at the Seminary in addition to the artillery, which fired case, canister and explosive rounds into the massed men.  The North Carolinians held, and pressed the attack, at horrific costs.   The color-bearer of the 13th NC his right arm blown off by an artillery shell, grabbed the flag with his remaining hand and pushed ahead shouting, “Forward, Forward!”  It was one of the fiercest artillery barrages of the war, and “virtually annihilated” Scales’ five North Carolina regiments.  Scales, himself wounded, reported that “only a squad here and there marked the place where regiments had rested.”  (McPherson, p. 212)  The brigade’s 500 casualties included every field officer. (id.)

How did Lts. Palmer and Robins die?  I’ve found no details- but the specifics can be imagined from the context.  Company I, the “Davis Guards,” their company, was at or near the center of the 22nd NC Infantry regiment, which was in the thick of the attack on Seminary Ridge by Scale’s Brigade, which was decimated by the Union artillery.  Other sons of North Carolina died there that day, and no doubt more Randolph County boys died with them.  We know these two, one 25 years old, one 26, and they can stand for them all.

Scales Brigade Monument Gburg

New Market Inn

March 30, 2013
New Market Inn, from the southeast, circa 1950.

New Market Inn, from the southeast, circa 1950.

During the winter months I try to get out and investigate the parts of Randolph County that are not so accessible when the animal and vegetable elements of creation awake in the spring and summer. Saturday March 30th, 2013, was a beautiful warm and sunny day, and as I was driving down 311 I steered through that odd left-hand crook in the road in Sophia that I’ve wondered about a thousand times. Whether going north just past New Market Elementary School or south just past Marlboro Church Road, cars must jog left as 311 for some unexplained reason swerves in its path beside the railroad. As a historian I’ve long been aware that this is the site of the New Market Inn- the one colonial or federal inn that retained its identity into my generation. For some reason I’d decided or been told ages ago that the inn itself was on the lot where a garage and auto salvage yard now covered all the acreage, but this last Saturday B.U. (Before Undergrowth) seemed like a good reason to double back and check out what my friend Colon Farlow recently asserted to me: that the inn wasn’t on the garage lot, but on the adjacent lot just to the west, a wooded lot now for sale. Not only did I stop and hike that lot, I got the first tick of spring for my efforts, so here’s the story.

New Market Inn, circa 1940.

New Market Inn, circa 1940.

In my book Randolph County: Images of America, the New Market Inn is illustrated on page 70 (and shown above) in a photo taken in 1935. This and one other image of the building in the historic photo database at the county public library document the house after its demotion in status into use as a barn, and before it collapsed or was demolished circa-1960. They show a house that architectural historians would term “Georgian,” the style that takes its name from the 18th century kings of England and is usually reserved to structures built before 1810. Georgian style houses show a strong formal symmetry, often with a five-bay center-hall plan. Georgian proportions emphasize verticality, with tall, narrow windows and steep roofs and boxed cornices which are cut flush to the gable ends. In Piedmont NC such houses were always of heavy timber construction, as brick was too expensive to use for residential bearing walls until the 1830s. Interiors would have had simple finishes, with exposed floor joists, raised panels on doors, mantels and wainscots, and enclosed “dogleg” or “boxed” stairs.
Conversion of the house into a barn has removed most of the decorative information I usually use to date a structure, and there are no photos of the interior known, but exterior photos of the New Market inn definitely exhibit the Georgian vertical emphasis and the symmetrical five-bay plan. The entrance door has been expanded into a barn door, but on the second floor what appears to be an original door opening suggests that the house had a center-hall plan. Most of the windows have been removed and boarded up; the two remaining may have been reused from other locations, as they appear to be short 6×6 sash. Visible through the open center door is another window on the far side of the house; it is located where a door should be, but the shadow appears to indicated a repurposed 9×9 sash. At the lower southeast corner an assymmetrical door and window could be later changes to the original plan; they may also mark the location of a separate entrance to the inn’s tap room.

Sketch of the stone foundations

Sketch of the stone foundations

The second, slightly later photo is a valuable view of the eastern side, showing the steep roof pitch of 10 or 12 inches of rise to every foot of run. The attic floor has two narrow windows crowded into each side gable, leaving space for a large end chimney which, if it existed, has been removed. A shed-roofed one-story addition is visible to the north side; the large barn-like additions on the west which were visible in the previous photo are here hidden behind a large cedar tree. The later photo documents a catastrophic structural failure progressing in the west-central portion of the house, where the inward slump indicates that the floor joists have rotted or been removed.

Corn Crib

Corn Crib

On my exploratory hike, the only standing structure I found was this corn crib/ tractor shed combination, probably dating to the 1930s or 40s and of little interest. Much more unusual was the blooming carpet of purple “Grape” or “Roman” hyacinth, which covered at least an acre southwest of a stone foundation. The briars, brush and vines, even in their temporarily leafless state, did not allow close inspection, measurement or adequate photography of the foundation. By my analog paced measure, the fieldstone foundation is 10-12 inches above grade and measures approximately 30 feet wide by 45 feet long. A water-filled depression indicates a cellar under the western end of the structure, at least 15 by 30 feet. A flat 4 by 5-foot rectangular stone a foot thick lies near the center of the façade, and another one approximately 2 by 4 feet lies at the southeast corner. Both may have been step stones to the doors shown on the photos. Chimney bases are not discernible to the east or west, but a large pile of brick and stone inside the foundation could be the remains of a chimney positioned either at the west end or at the center of the house.

Foundation stones

Foundation stones

Like much 20th-century journalism, newspaper accounts of the house sell romance and nostalgia over actual history. “YE OLD TAVERN, LANDMARK OF PIONEER DAYS, STILL STANDING IN NEW MARKET,” spins an article dated April 24, 1938 from The Randolph Tribune:

A few miles above Randleman on the High Point Road in New Market Township stands one of the earliest landmarks of pioneer days in Randolph County. It is a symbol of the sturdy and cultured type of pioneers who set up well-built homes in a country hitherto uninhabited except by Indians. There is something about this old landmark that seems to shout, “Mine is an interesting story.”

Today the old tavern, known formerly as one of the best on the Plank Road, is a barn, sheltering the owner’s stock and housing the hay and fodder. The chimneys have crumbled to dust, the front door has been replaced by a big swinging barn door, and the steps are gone. An investigator will find that there were eight rooms downstairs besides the dining room and kitchen. On the second floor were a large hall and six bedrooms. At the top of the narrow stairway the third floor consisted of two big loft rooms. The remaining windows are very narrow, the ceilings are low, and the wood has been painted several different colors. There are several original handmade doors. The fireplace used eight-foot logs.   At one corner of the house is a huge, long rock which some say was an “upping block,” others a doorstep.

Hearthstone, Doorstep or Upping Block?

Hearthstone, Doorstep or Upping Block?

This is the only description of the interior, but the writer evidently included the additions and expansions of the house in his room count, as the original block could not have had ten rooms downstairs and six bedrooms on the second floor. It is also interesting that the writer notes only one fireplace.    The article goes on to state: “Just who built this huge house is uncertain, but the earliest known occupants were Sidney Porter and his wife, Ruth Worth Porter, who later removed to Greensboro.” Addison Blair’s 1890 history doesn’t discuss the house in particular, but of New Market itself he writes

This is an old settled place, and was the home of Capt. John Bryant, a Whig, who was shot in his old house by Colonel Fanning. The place afterwards came into the possession of Shubal Gardner, who had a store there and was regarded as a big man. He owned a number of lots in Johnsonville and at one time drove a heard of beeves to Philadelphia. Joseph Newlin bought the property in 1840 and called it New Market and for many years carried on an extensive store and tin shop.

(J.A. Blair, Reminiscences of Randolph County, Asheboro, 1890; p. 49)

In the 1960s, local historian Addison Wall (who lived only a half mile from the site) wrote The Randolph Story for the Randleman Rotary Club, and noted on page 106 that “The inn closed down some time after the Civil War and was converted into a barn.  The lower floor was used as a granary and storage by Mr. Snider who bought the farm seventy-five years ago.  The New Market elections were held for a number of years in the building…. The building was torn down about 1950.”

To fully examine all these personalities involved with the property will take additional posts!

The Asheboro Sit-Ins

January 18, 2013

AA Hops

On February 1,1960, four freshmen students from N.C. A&T asked for coffee at the lunch counter in the Woolworth’s “dime” store in downtown Greensboro, just 25 miles north of Asheboro. When they were denied service, they refused to leave, in a nonviolent protest that became known as a “sit-in.” The next day they were joined by twenty more students; on the third day there were more than 60 demonstrators, and on the fourth day, more than 300, as the protest spread down the street to the nearby Kress lunch counter. Within a week, the protest was joined by other cities in North Carolina; within a month, sit-ins were occurring all over the South. On March 16th, President Eisenhower supported the students, saying that he was “deeply sympathetic with the efforts of any group to enjoy the rights of equality that they are guaranteed by the Constitution.”

The first sit-ins, sponsored by the NCAACP Youth Council in 1958, had desegregated lunch counters in Kansas and Oklahoma. The Greensboro protests gathered wide media attention and resulted in the tactic spreading all over the South. Success came faster in some places: students in Nashville, TN achieved citywide desegregation in May, 1960. In Greensboro the black employees of Woolworth’s were the first to be served at the store’s lunch counter, on July 25, 1960. The entire Woolworth’s chain was desegregated the next day.

What is the history of the civil rights movement in Randolph County? With our history of Quaker anti-slavery activism and the Underground Railroad, was Randolph out in front of desegregation? Nothing has been published on this subject, and little research has been done. One exception can be found through the website of the Southern Oral History Project interview database, at http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/sohp/id/4046 . This is a recorded interview of Melvin Benjamin Marley, born in Ramseur in 1943, by Sarah McNulty, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill. Marley was a participant in a series of sit-ins that took place at businesses along Sunset Avenue that finally resulted in the desegregation of public eating establishments in Asheboro.

This is a uniquely valuable primary source document, available in a uniquely modern way, but it well illustrates some traditional challenges in taking oral history alone as the last word in research. Marley, as a freshman at NC A&T, also participated in the Greensboro sit-ins. He remembers the Asheboro demonstrations as part of the same continuum of social protest.

“So me and my brother was in college at A&T State University in Greensboro and the sit-ins there was going on at the same time, so we would actually go to jail up there through the week and come home on the weekend. So we was home one weekend and they were having demonstrations in Asheboro so some people approached us and said, since ya’ll… were in those in Greensboro, would you like to come help us organize? So we came over and organized with them…”

Newspaper accounts actually show that the Asheboro sit-ins were nearly four years after the Woolworth sit-ins in Greensboro, beginning Saturday January 25th, 1964, and still going strong as of February the 17th, 1964. While the Marley brothers may have joined the original sit-ins as freshman, Asheboro’s eating establishments remained segregated well into the end of their senior year. I think this is an example of the passage of time telescoping the time frame of history- fifty years later, the four-year time frame seems almost simultaneous in memory.

Burrell Hopkins

Burrell Hopkins

Melvin’s memory of the details seems unclouded, however. Two NAACP organizers, a Reverend Banks and a Robert Blow, of Thomasville, conducted meetings at the Greater St. John’s Baptist Church to map out the protests. Groups were sent to the Walgreen’s soda fountain, the Little Castle sandwich shop, and to Hop’s Bar-B-Que. Melvin and his twin brother Elvin were assigned to Hop’s, a restaurant in a converted taxi stand seating just 21 stools at a counter. Hop’s was the eponymous establishment of Burrell “Hop” Hopkins, who opened it in 1954 after four years as a cook at the StarLite Drive-In on Salisbury Street near Bossong Hosiery Mills. When Hopkins died in 1986, the community remembered him fondly. “He was one of the free-heartedest men you ever meet,” said Leon Strickland, an employee for 28 years. “He wanted to give folks the impression he was mean as hell, but he was 100 percent the opposite,” said Hal York, a long-time customer. (See article by Chip Womick in The Courier-Tribune, November 28, 1986). But whatever his eulogy, Hopkins was cast in the black hat role in this historic drama. He barred the door of his restaurant, saying, according to Marley, “No, you can’t be served here!” [Katie Snuggs, also arrested that day, remember Hopkins saying “You niggers can’t eat here!”]  In response, the demonstrators” just lay down in front of the door where nobody could go in… laying down at arm’s length, everybody touching the tip of the other’s hand, forming a big circle [around the building] where nobody could get through.”

The protest quickly attracted white bystanders. Marley recalled that the demonstrators took “a lot of abuse, just laying there. It was a really, really hard job to keep everybody under control, not to show anger or not to say anything to anybody… just lay there, a peaceful-type demonstration. My twin brother was laying beside of me and a lady came up and talked real big and spit in his face and when she spit in his face, I caught a’hold to his hand because he was about to get up and I held him down and I said, “No, No, No!” And while we were laying there, there was another incident; a lady walked up with her high heels on and took the shoe and started beating on one of the demonstrators…”

They didn’t react, said Marley, because “we had something in mind. It had to be nonviolent because you couldn’t accomplish anything by rolling up your sleeve and taking someone on. The hecklers called us many names, the one that was the most devastating to us was to be called niggers; niggers, go home, such as that was being said…. And with the name calling, it hurt to a point that you would want to do something, but you would realize that this was nonviolent and that was the only way it would work because these individuals that came to Asheboro were playing under the Martin Luther King system. And so… we took the abuse and laid there, spit upon, kicked, hit and stuff. It was hard, but we had a goal in mind… because we didn’t want anybody hurt, but we wanted justice.”

When the police came the demonstrators were arrested, but refused to walk to the police cars. “We tried to get as many people of size to help because that would not only make the lines larger but also the police would have a hard time picking them up; because we wouldn’t get up, we’d lay there; they’d have to bodily take us to the car to put us in. And we’d just lay limp and wouldn’t cooperate with being led from laying down to be put in police cars.” With the Marleys at Hop’s was “a lady named Emma Jean Stinson, she weighed somewhere about three hundred and some pounds… so they said, “Mrs. Stinson, will you please get up?” And she said no, and it took about four of them to get her up and put her in the car. And you know, by the time they had put all of us in the car the policemen were sweating and tireder than we were and probably wanted something to eat.”

“So they took us to jail, to the old Randolph County jail… And they would lock us up in cells that usually hold ten or twelve people, but at one time there was something like thirty-five of us in one cell… the women were downstairs and the men were upstairs. So the organizers were out in the parking lot and we would…call off our names, who all was in jail. And… they would go back and get people with property to come and sign our bonds so we could get out of jail…. our parents that had property would come and get us. And then other people that didn’t have kids, there was a man in the city back then named Mr. Tom Brewer and Mr. Lon Strickland who owned right much property on the east side… and they signed a lot of bonds.”

Almost Fifty Years Later

For an “objective” account of the event described by Melvin Marley, see the entry on this blog “60 Negroes Arrested in Sit-In Incidents,” from The Courier-Tribune, Monday, January 27, 1964.

What the Newspaper Had to Say…

January 15, 2013
the original article

the original article

60 Negroes Arrested in Sit-In Incidents

The Courier-Tribune, January 27, 1964.

There were 60 Negroes—24 juveniles and 36 adults—arrested here Saturday at Hop’s Bar-B-Que and the Little Castle in the first wave of sit-ins.

All 60 were charged with breaking a local ordinance dealing with congregating in the doorway of a business.

The Negroes posted bond Saturday night of $25 each to appear in Recorder’s Court Feb. 13.? A sheriff’s department spokesman said most of the Negroes posted bond on an individual basis, but that Rev. I.C. Everett and Mabel Haskins posted bond for some members of the group.

The names of the 36 adults are as follows:

Russell Siler, Ramseur; Archie C. Leak, 411 Woodlawn St; Mackie Lewis, 621 Loach St; Queenie Greene, 823 Cross St.; Dexter L . Trogdon, Rt. 1, Asheboro; Grady Ritter, Jr., 728 Frank St.; Tommy McMasters, 503 Loach St.; Melvin Marley, Rt.2, Ramseur; Robert Lee Bostic, 706 Tucker St.; and Shelly Manuel, Rt. 1, Asheboro.

Also, Elvin L. Marley, Rt.2, Ramseur; Edward McNeil, 426 N. McCrary St.; Joe Bell, 608 Greensboro St.; Archie Lee Little, 534 Greensboro St.; Woodrow Everetts, 501 Washington Road; Clinton McQueen, 460 Glovenia St.; Charles Farr? 1316 Forest St.; James Freeland, 508 Cross St; Lionel Baldwin, 443 Watkins St.; and Thomas Timmons, 427 N. Spring St.

Also Troy Franklin, Rt.1, Asheboro; Joe Morrison, 502 Cross St.; Macy Holley, Thomasville; George Lowery, 818 Brewer St.; Floyd Chalmas Thomas, Jr., 429 Loach St.; Ann Ledwell, 511 Loach St.; Barbara Ann Bostic, 706 Tucker St.; Brenda Ewing, 161 Greensboro St.; Grace Massey, 103 Washington Road; and Lille Mae Snuggs, 544 Loach St.

Also, Penny Bennett, Cedar Falls Road; Barbara Massey, 100 Washington Road; Earlene Crowder, 827 Railroad St.; Ollie Mae Little, 534 Greensboro St.; Clara Davis, 402 Loach St.; and Daisey Crump, 823 Cross St.

Benjamin Swaim and the “Man of Business”

January 17, 2012

[A comment on this blog last month asked for information on Benjamin Swaim.  I have written about him twice; the biogrpahy of him in Volume “S” of the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography is by me, and actually contains a portion of the following paper.  This study of his life and one of his books was originally written in 1981 as an assignment for my Masters Degree courses at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Library and Information Science.  For Mr. Powell at DNCB I abstracted the basic biographical information about Swaim.  The bibliographical information is here presented to the public for the first time.  One thing I realize is not clear from this paper is that Benjamin Swaim’s legal books are the first known Randolph County imprints– that is, they are the first books printed in the county.]

 
SWAIM, BENJAMIN (13 May 1798 – 23 Dec. 1844), lawyer, printer, author and newspaperman, was almost certainly the son of William (10 March 1770 — 1 June 1850), and Elizabeth Sherwood Swaim (8 Nov. 1773 — 14 Aug. 1835).  They and several other branches of the numerous Swaim clan were residents of the Timber Ridge Community, east of Level Cross in Randolph County. [i]

Life and Career.
Benjamin’s early life and education are obscure, although he perhaps attended schools taught by his uncle Moses Swaim.  Benjamin first appears in the records of the North Carolina Manumission Society, when, on August 27, 1819, he attended the society’s convention and began a sixteen-year association with the abolitionist group.[ii]   In the fall of 1822, he was hired to teach day classes of Mt. Ephraim schoolhouse in Guilford County.  Swaim, a law student at the time, was considered to be a teacher of great ability.  The number of students attracted to this school was so large that an assistant teacher was needed, and his second cousin William Swaim was hired for the position.  Benjamin and William organized a debating club at the school known as the “Polemic Society,” which became a forum for local men of all ages to join in oratorical contests.   In 1823, Guilford County Sheriff and state legislator Col. William Dickey asked Benjamin to take over Dickey’s private school.  Swaim instead successfully recommended cousin William for the job.

By  Line

Benjamin Swaim then relocated to the Randolph County town of New Salem, where he opened a law practice.  New Salem was (and is) located about a mile southwest of the Swaim family farms at Timber Ridge.  It was a crossroads community located at the point where the road between Asheboro and Greensboro intersected the ancient Indian Trading Path.  Land was conveyed to trustees of a Quaker meeting house there in 1815, but an informal group had probably met there as early as 1792.  New Salem was the commercial hub of Randolph County during the first quarter of the Nineteenth Century, hosting more stores and businesses than Asheborough.[iii]  The state legislature chartered town government in New Salem in 1816, appointing commissioners Benjamin Marmon, Jesse Hinshaw, Peter Dicks, William Dennis and Moses Swaim.

Moses Swaim, a brother of Benjamin’s father William and the only non-Quaker on the board, was the first president of the North Carolina Manumission and Colonization Society.[iv]    Benjamin, also a charter member of the organization, was in 1827 elected its President as well as delegated to attend the National Convention of the Abolition Society.  His opinions on the subject of slavery are revealed in his 1829 “Report of the President”, as printed in the Greensborough Patriot.  In it, he declares that “…the hour of Negro Emancipation is fast approaching.  It must and will assuredly come.  And all that we can do is prepare for its approach by a timely and gradual improvement of their debased condition….  Aided by Divine assistance, we may fearlessly encounter all the opposition of our enemies and confidently stand forth, the advocates of truth and justice, with such unyielding firmness and determined purpose as no earthly Interest, power or prejudice can successfully resist.” Swaim was reelected President of the Manumission Society until its discontinuance in 1835.

Perhaps as early as May, 1831, Swaim began planning a serial law publication, The Man of Business or Every Man’s Lawbook , a pioneer reference work of business law and legal forms.[v]   Swaim called The Man of Business “new in character and design’, and publicly appealed for the approval of other lawyers, since “the prudent and seasonable prevention of ruinous litigation is no less a professional duty than the skillful management of it.”  Benjamin’s partner in this venture was his cousin William, had founded The Patriot, Guilford County’s first newspaper in 1829.[vi]  William Swaim printed the first volume in 1833-31.  However, the successful reception of The Man of Business , and the trouble involved in traveling repeatedly from his home to the printing office in Greensboro, led Swain to open his own shop in October, 1834.  The New Salem operation was staffed by R.J. West, printer, and John Sherwood (a cousin)[vii].  Volume II of The Man of Business was produced there in 1834-35.
In February, 1836, Swaim began editing and publishing a newspaper from his office in New Salem.  Titled Southern Citizen, it had been proposed in November, 1834 by William Swaim. [viii]  William’s prospectus, published in the Patriot, lamented the low esteem in which Southern newspapers were held, and sought to supersede his Patriot with a new “splendid, superfine” publication, “the largest and most usefull family newspaper… devoted to the interest, amusement, and edification of the American people Swaim was roundly abused in the state’s periodical press for his pretentious statements, but within a year he had attracted enough subscribers to begin preparations for publication.  His death age 33 in December, 1835 threw these preparations into disarray.  The Patriot continued to be published for the benefit of William’s estate, while Benjamin took up the challenge of publishing the Southern Citizen.


The first issue of the Southern Citizen appeared in February, 1836.  The editorial content was of an uncompromising Whig political persuasion, promoting agriculture, internal improvements, universal education, and literature. (Its motto: “What do we live for but to improve ourselves and be useful to one another?”) An unusual feature was the “Legal Department,” subtitled “Ignorance of the Law Excuseth No Man.” Here Swaim, obviously inspired by the success of The Man of Business, answered the questions of subscribers on various points of law.

In December, 1836 Swaim moved his newspaper, printing business and law office to Asheboro, the Randolph County seat.  The Southern Citizen was issued from there weekly without interruption until April of 1842, when publication was suspended.  Either debt and financial instability or the recent death of Swaim’s wife following the birth of a daughter may have contributed to the shut-down.  Publication was resumed on 14 October 1843, and continued until 17 October, 1844, when Swain sold the newspaper and printing office to John Milton Sherwood.[ix]  Whether the newspaper continued after that date is unknown.

On 7 Feb. 1829 Swain married Rachel Dicks (Aug. 1808 – 3 March 18141), daughter of Peter and Rachel Seals Dicks. They were the parents of five children: Anna Dicks (b. 17 Apr. 1830), Thomas Clarkson (10 May l832- 1 March 18kb), Matilda Rosalie (8 March 1835 — 26 Feb. 1837), Charlotte (b. 9 Dec. 1837), arid Rachel Dicks (b. 21 Feb. 1841). Benjamin Swaim’s sudden death while on a trip to Raleigh revealed the fact that he was “indebted beyond the account of his personal assets.”[x](x)  Although his executors discovered more than 300 debtors owing money to Swaim’s estate, very little money could be collected and his property was sold in a futile attempt to pay his creditors.

Publications.

Swain’s legal career after 1836 consisted mainly of writing and publishing form-books and digests of North Carolina state law.  A proposed third volume of The Man of Business grew into Swain’s 540-page opus The North Carolina Justice, printed in Raleigh in 1839 [The North Carolina Justice:  containing a summary statement of the statues and common law of this state, together with the decisions of the supreme court, and all the most approved forms and precedents relating to the office and duty of a justice of the peace and other public officers].  In 1841 Swain published, “at the Southern Citizen office” in Asheboro his The North Carolina Executor . . . a safe guide to executors administrators in their practical management of estates. . .   And in 1842, Swaim likewise published  The North Carolina Road Law… with all the necessary forms and practical observations pertaining to the… responsibilities of overseers and road hands.

Swaim therefore made a career of writing and publishing form-books and digests of North Carolina state law related to various public offices and private professions.  All of his works seem to have been relatively popular;  The Man of Business was still in print in 1841 and offered for sale (along with Swaim’s Justice and Executor) in the catalog of law books of the Raleigh bookseller Turner and Hughes.  A second edition of the popular North Carolina Justice was updated by Swaim and published posthumously in 1846.  Another purported revision of The North Carolina Justice was edited by an Edward Cantwell and published by Henry D. Turner of Raleigh in 1856; although titled “Swaim’s Justice—Revised,” it was subtitled The North Carolina Magistrate, a practical guide to the laws of the state…under the Revised Code, 1854-55, and its preface states that the work is not a revision of Swaim, but a “new and original publication.”  That a “new and original publication” would wish to trade on Swaim’s name in its title twelve years after his death suggests that his reputation as a North Carolina legal authority was high.

Precedents.

The author of “Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina, 1820-1860” muses that “when one remembers that he was a lawyer, one is amazed that Swaim was eager to help the common man and to assist him in being his own attorney.”   Yet to some extent Swaim was following in the footsteps of legal predecessors in the state.  North Carolina’s first printer, James Davis, published in 1774 his  Office and Authority of a Justice of Peace.  And Also, the the duty of Sheriffs, Coroners, Constables, Churchwardens, Overseers of Roads and other Officers, Together with precedents for Warrants, Judgements, Executions and other legal process….  New editions by different authors appeared in 1791 and 1800 which were also subsequently revised and reprinted[xi]; Swaim’s North Carolina Justice therefore had a long pedigree.   Likewise, his Executor was preceded by Francois-Xavier Martin’s Treatise on the Powers and Duties of Executors and  Administrators according to the Law of North-Carolina, published in Raleigh by J. Gales in 1820.  However,  Swaim’s Road Law does not seem to have had North Carolina antecedents, and The Man of Business appears to have been a completely original conception.  An 1819 self-help book which could represent a parallel idea was J.H. Conway’s The North Carolina Calculator; or New Practical Arithmetic…  of utility to merchants, traders and others, in their general occupations; this was a prototype small-business accounting treatise.

Swain asserted, however, that The Man of Business was “new in character and design,” and worried that those in the legal fraternity might protest the popularizing of the law.  Though the work was “calculated to render every man his own counsellor in matters of ordinary business,” Swaim declared himself motivated by the desire “to improve the modes of doing business, and thereby to render the ends of justice more easy and accessible to all classes of the community…”  While today every state (except Louisiana) operates under the Uniform Commercial Code (a model state law package governing all commercial transactions), the nineteenth century operated under the burden of a bewildering array of local laws regulating business. Although business law is taught as a separate curriculum in modern business schools and economic departments, Swaim may have been an originator of the concept of uniform laws as a vital part of business administration and financial efficiency.  His most direct influence lay in the inspiration of imitators such as Franklin Crosby, who in 1860 in Philadelphia published Everybody’s Lawyer and Counsellor in Business:  containing plain and simple instructions to all classes for transacting their business according to law…. [xii]

Vol II Title Page

Characteristics of the Printed Page.
The Man of Business was considered by Swaim to be a periodical “published simultaneously at Greensborough and New Salem, N.C.  It will consist of four hundred and thirty-two duodecimo pages (in twelve monthly numbers) neatly printed, pressed, -folded, stitched and trimmed.”  Each monthly number consisted of 18 leaves or 36 pages made up of 9 signatures of 4 leaves each.  Four pages of type were printed at once on one side of an 8 x 13-inch sheet of rough-laid paper from the Emmanuel Shober paper mill in Salem.[xiii]

The joint publishing arrangement may have arisen from the difficulty of a single press publishing a weekly newspaper as well as a monthly magazine.[xiv]  Although the printing work for volume one was stated to have occurred at William Swaim’s Greensborough Patriot office, four versions of volume one exist.  This physical evidence indicates volume one was set in type by hand and printed four separate times, and perhaps only once in Greensboro.  Two versions of volume one exhibit a simple masthead on page one, and two begin with title pages.

The masthead design resembles a tiny newspaper masthead, with title, editor, and imprint information.  “THE MAN OF BUSINESS./ (motto)/ Benjamin Swain, Editor./ NEW SALEM, N.C. JULY, 1833/ VOL. I NO, 1/ PROSPECTUS…” Version one also includes the “TERMS” at the foot of the page, ending with “…stitched and trimmed.”  Version two does not include TERMS, ending instead with “…ordinary business.”  Version one of the ‘title page’ design ends “VOL. 1/ OCTOBER, 1834-5/ WILLIAM SWAIM, PRINTER,/ GREENSBOROUGH, N.C./ 1834.” Version two of the title page ends “VOL. 1/ OCTOBER, 1833,/ Reprinted,/ New Salem, N.C./ 1836.”

Vol II No. 6 Title Page

The imprint of version one of the title page is obviously incorrect. Volume one, number one is dated July, 1833, not October, 1834. The printer has taken the title page for volume two, printed in 1834, and replace the “II” of that “VOL. II’ with “I’, making no other corrections, This suggests that volume one originally appeared with no title or imprint information other than its masthead.  Moreover, since the title page of the 1836 reprint corrects 1834-5 to 1833, but has not corrected “October” to ‘July”, we may surmise that the type for the reprint was set from a copy of the 1834 title page, with some mistakes corrected and others overlooked. Which one of the two “masthead” versions may be original requires further study.

In volume one, number twelve, Swaim complains of the trouble and expense of traveling back and forth to the printing office, and says “I hope to find some relief in the location of the whole concern in one place… In future it will be printed and published in the town of New Salem, Randolph County, N.C., provided its patronage should be sufficiently increased to justify the purchase of a press, etc.” However, at least volume two, number one must still have been printed in Greenshorough, for in number two Swaim states “Since the appearance of the first number of this volume, I have engaged in the services of a young printer,[xv] who has recently set up, and is commencing business in this place… it is therefore hoped, and confidently expected, that the publication will, in future, go on with more promptness and regularity, as the whole concern is now at home.”

Numbers three through twelve of this volume all bear the imprint “R.J. WEST PRINTER,/ New-Salem, N.C.” No versions of the volume two title page exist. Version one bears the imprint “VOL. II/ NEW SALEM,/ OCTOBER/ 1834’5.” The page is printed in six different point sizes of type, including two versions of an unusual ball-serif italic, one slanting to the left, the other slanting right.[xvi]  Title page version two has already been mentioned, bearing the imprint “VOL. II/ OCTOBER, 1834-5/ WILLIAM SWAIM, PRINTER./ Greensborough, N.C./ 1834.”
Volume one is indexed by a simple contents list following the numbered page sequence. This is complicated by the fact that pages 37 through 48 are misnumbered 1 through 12 (noted in an Erratta on page 72), and by the fact that “Pages from 352 to 417 are erroneously numbered by mistake. The index, however, is made out as the pages are, and not as they should be…” This indexing system cannot have been very satisfactory. Volume two provides a classified alphabetical index to both volumes; it indicates both the true page number and the erroneous page number (bracketted). The mistakes were probably perpetuated due to the exigencies of legal citation, which demands that page numbering be uniform from copy to copy— even uniformly incorrect.
Swaim ends volume two hinting at a third volume which was, however, never published and probably grew into his North Carolina Justice, which appeared two years later.  He indicates throughout volume two that complete files of both volumes could be bought “in good law binding.”  Therefore, in addition to “young printer” R.J. West, Swaim also evidently secured the services of a bookbinder.  A copy of The Man of Business in the Peacock collection at Duke has the damaged label “(torn)/ BOOK BINDER/New-Salem, N.C.”  A copy of Volume 2 now in the possession of the author includes a paper label inside the front cover, imprinted “JOHN SHERWOOD/ BOOK BINDER,/ New-Salem, N.C.”  This is evidently his cousin John Milton Sherwood who was subsequently the purchaser of the Southern Citizen printing office.[xvii]

In view of the numerous pleas throughout the work asking subscribers to pay their bills, and from the fact that none of Swain’s subsequent works appeared serially, it may be assumed that his experience with subscription sales was an unhappy one.  The problems of sale and distribution of such published materials in the early nineteenth century must have discouraged many local printers from even attempting a project of the magnitude undertaken by Benjamin Swaim— nearly 900 pages of material related to the study of business law. [xviii]

Copies Examined.
UNC-CH, North Carolina Collection (call number: C347.05-M26)

Vol. I
(c.i) New Salem reprint, 1836.
Stephen B. Weeks Collection.
Number 1, p.1 ends “…ordinary business.”
(c.2) Greensborough, 1834.
Stephen B. Weeks Collection.
(c.3) No title page (t.-p.); rebound.
Gift of the N.C. Baptist Historical Commission.
(c,4) No t.-p.; ‘S’ dropped from masthead: “PROSPECTU .”

Vol. II
(c.l) Greensborough, 1834.
John Sprunt Hill Collection.
(c.2) New Salem, Oct. 1834’5.
Stephen B. Weeks Collection.
(c.3) Greensborough, 1834.
Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies.

UNC—CH, Law Library (Rare Book Room) (call number: S971m-1834)

Vol.  I
(c.1) New Salem reprint, 1836 (#241180),
Bound in calf; black label; stamped “1” on Spine.

Vol. II
(c.1) No t.-p. (#180548),
Bound in calf; red label; stamped “2” on spine.
Duke University Library, Peacock Collection (call number: 347.6—3971-P)

Vol, I
(c.1) Greensborough, 1834 (#23290)
Rebound in red library bindings
(c.2) New Salem reprint, 1836 (#23291),

Number 1, p.1, ends “…In short it will be calcu-“

Signed on t.-p.: “Wm. M.B. Arendell”

(c.3) No t.-p. (#23292)
Number 1, p. 1 ends “. . .and trimmed.”
“B.F. Swaim/ A.D. 1852” in ink on front cover.

Vol. II
(c.1) Greensborough, 1834 (#23293)
On flyleaf: “B.F. Swaim’s/ Law Book/ May the 2nd. 1852” In ink on cover: “B.F. Swaim/ 1852”
(c.2) Greensborough, 1834 (#23294)
Inside front cover: “(torn)/ BOOK BINDER/ New-Salem, N.C,”

“DICK” stamped (in ink?) on spine.

Bibliography.
1. Arnett, Ethel Stephens, William Swaim, Fighting Editor: The Story of O. Henry’s Grandfather. Greensboro Piedmont Press, 1963.

2. Blackwelder, Fannie M. F. “The Bar Examination and Beginning Years of Legal Practice in North Carolina, 1820-1860.”  North Carolina Historical Review XXIX (April, 1952), pp. 159-170.

3. ——-, “Legal Education in North Carolina, 1820-1860.” N.C.H.R., XXVIII (July, 1951), pp. 271-297.

4. ——-, “Legal Practice and Ethics in North Carolina, 1820-1860.” N.C.H.R. (July, 1953), pp. 329-353

5. Davis, Jewell Faye, Bibliography of North Carolina Imprints, 1801-1820.  Washington, D.C. Catholic Univ., M.S.L.S. thesis, 1955.

6. Fox, Charlesanna M., ed., Randolph County 1779-1979. Winston-Salem: Hunter Publishing Co., 1980.

7. Gibson, Virginia E. Salmon Hall, N.C. Printer, 1800-1840, UNC School of Library Science: MSLS paper, 1967.

8. Gress Edmund F.  Fashions in American Typography, 1780-1930. New York Harper and Bros., 1931.

9.  Hall, Francis H. Public Printing in North Carolina, 1816-1861.  UNC School of Library Science: MSLS thesis, 1957.

10.  Jones, H.G.  Union List of North Carolina Newspapers. Raleigh, N.C., Dept. of Archives and History, 1966.

11.  McFarland, Daniel M, “North Carolina Newspapers, Editors and Journalistic Politics, 1815-1835.” N.C.H.R., July, 1953.

12.  McMurtrie, Douglas C.  Eighteenth Century North Carolina Imprints, 1749-1800. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1938.

13.  Paschal, George Washington.  A History of Printing in North Carolina. Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton Co., 1946.

14.  Raleigh Register, 16 Feb. 1836, 16 March 1841, 24 Dec. 1844.

15.  Sherrill, P.M., “The Quakers and the North Carolina Manumission Society,” Trinity College Historical Society Papers, Series X, 1914.

16.  Robert N. Tompkins, ed., “Marriage and Death Notices from Extant Asheboro, N,C., Newspapers, 1836—1857”, N.C. Genealogical Society Journal (Nov. 1978);

FOOTNOTES


[i]  Swaim Bible Records, published in Randolph County Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. X, #2, p.28 (1986); Sidney Swain Robins, A Letter on Robins Family History (nd.); Swaim family genealogical records (possession of Mrs. Francine Holt Swain, Liberty, N.C.)

[ii]  H.N. Wagstaff, ed., “Minutes of the N.C. Manumission Society, 1816-1831”, The James Sprunt Historical Studies, Vol. 22 (1934)

[iii]  Peter Dicks was a storekeeper in the Town, as well as the operator of a mill on Deep River some 2 miles southwest. William Dennis was a potter of slip-decorated redware whose home and kiln were sited half a mile east of town. Dr. John Milton Worth, born in the nearby Centre Friends Meeting community just north across the county line, opened his first practice in New Salem.  William Clark, a future organizer of the Union Factory, operated a “flourishing” tannery and store in the town.  (J.A. Blair, p. 50)  The Adams family, who employed Naomi Wise as a servant girl, lived just South of town.

[iv] At that first meeting, says Levi Coffin in his autobiographical Reminiscences, Moses Swaim, “a lawyer of Randolph County, delivered a lengthy and able address, which was afterward printed and widely circulated.  It was a strong abolition speech, and would not have been allowed a few years later.”  (p.74)  Moses Swaim was elected Clerk of Superior Court in Randolph County in 1837 and served for several years.

[v]  The phrase “Man of Business” had come into English writing as early as 1660, but it had only begun to assume its modern form, “business-man,” in 1829.

[vi]  William Swaim also happens to have been the grandfather of novelist O. Henry, and so has merited the monograph William Swaim– Fighting Editor by Ethel Stephens Arnett (1963). William’s cousin Lyndon Swaim later took over editorship of his newspaper. “The Life of William Swaim” was a multi-part biographical series written by Lyndon Swaim and published in the Patriot from May 18 to June 22, 1866. In transmogrified form, the Patriot survives today, becoming the Greensboro Daily News, now known as  The News and Record.

[vii]  John Sherwood (27 Sept. 1806 – 5 July 1895) was the son of Benjamin Sherwood (1783-1865) and Sally Swaim (b. 29 Sept. 1787).  Sally Swaim was the daughter of distant cousin Michael Swaim; Benjamin Sherwood was evidently a brother of Benjamin Swaim’s mother Elizabeth Sherwood Swaim.  On 26 Sept. 1835 John Sherwood was the grantee of a deed of trust (Randolph County Book 20, Page 111) encumbering property described as “one quarter acre lot in New Salem adj. B. Swaim (formerly Jesse Watkins”.  In 1837 John Sherwood was a candidate for Randolph County Clerk of Superior Court, printing circulars on June 10th , decrying prejudice against candidates who were not Randolph natives and on July 29th,  printing a diatribe against “racing candidates” and describing himself as a “man in limited circumstances, with an extensive family.”  Moses Swaim was the victor in this contest (see Deed Book 21, Page 151).

[viii]  In October 1834, Williams Swaim proposed merging the Patriot into the Southern Citizen beginning July 4, 1835.  He planned to enlarge the weekly paper with three times the editorial material, “printed in new type, on a new press.”  The prospectus of the new paper was printed Nov. 19, 1834; in it he said 2.000 subscribers would be required to begin publication.  Lyndon Swaim, “The Life of William Swaim,” in The Patriot (Greensboro, NC) published from May 18 to June 22, 1866.

[ix]  From The Southern Citizen, Vol. V, #52 (17 October 1844)—“We have recently sold out to Mr. John Milton Sherwood, a young gentleman who was partly raised in this office, and , for the past year, has been the foreman in the establishment.  He will issue the first number week after next./  This number of our paper concludes the Fifth volume of the Southern Citizen, and closes, for the present, at least and very probably forever, the Editorial Career of its present Editor and Proprietor.”

[x] From the Patriot, Greensboro, 12-28-1844:  “Died/ In Raleigh, on Monday the 22nd inst., about 12 o’clock, BENJAMIN SWAIM, of Randolph county, counselor at law, and author of several legal works.

“A friend who watched his dying bed informs us that the deceased ‘had been indisposed about two weeks ago, but had got much better, so as to consider himself well.  On Friday night he was taken with a violent cholera morbius, which proved fatal on Monday.  His suffering was intense.  He had the best medical aid, and attentive nursing, but all failed.  He retained his senses in a most remarkable degree, and submitted to his fate without a murmur- observed, after he was conscious of the near approach of death, that he had no disposition to complain of any act of Providence.  He had but few friends present, but these few gave every possible attention that could be bestowed.’

“Always under the depressing influence of pecuniary want, and afflicted from his birth with a radical defect in his sight, he labored under more of the difficulties of life than fall to the lot of most men.  But nature had endowed him with a remarkably clear intellect and a patient disposition, which enabled him to press forward in the attainment of knowledge to an extent highly creditable to himself and useful to the community.  His mind, patient to investigate, delighted to follow the old law writers through the mazes of their learning into the latent recesses of truths and right reason.  The law was his favorite study, and in it he had made uncommon proficiency for one of his age and proscribed opportunities. He enjoyed the reputation of a clear and correct legal theorist and a safe counselor.  And the practical legal works which he compiled and published will long be used and appreciated by the business public.  He was a man of inoffensive manners and most amiable disposition.  Peace be to his ashes!

“We have deemed this meager public tribute due to one who was, during a portion of our youth ‘our guide, companion, and familiar friend.’—EDS. PAT.”

[xi]  i.e., Francois-Xavier Martin, The Office and Authority of a Justice of the Peace of Sheriffs, Coroners, &c., According to the Laws of North-Carolina (1791) ; or The Office and Duty of A Justice of the Peace and A Guide to Sheriffs, Coroners, Clerks and Constables and Other Civil Officers  According to the Laws of North-Carolina (John Haywood, ed., printed in Raleigh by William Boylan in 1806; and Henry Potter, ed., published by J. Gales and Son of Raleigh in 1828 (2nd ed.).

[xii]  Interestingly, Brantley York (1805-1891), Randolph County native, teacher and founder of Trinity College, is credited with authoring The Man of Business and Railroad Calculator:  Containing such part of arithmetic as have a special application in business transactions (Raleigh: J. Nichols & Co., 1873).  The work contains legal forms edited by Richard Watt York, “A.M. and Counsellor at Law,” but it does not appear to relate to Swaim’s Man of Business in anything but title and subject matter.

[xiii]  On Feb. 7, 1838, in the midst of a financial crisis, Benjamin Swaim mortgaged his house and lot in New Salem, his household property in Asheboro, and “also the printing press, cases, gallies, and all other Materials belonging to the printing office of the Southern Citizen of Asheboro, including the Dog Press, also the Library of books belonging to the said Swaim, consisting of about 200 volumes.”  Swaim owed 4 local businessmen $770, as well as $33.87 to printer R.W. West, and $260 to Salem paper mill owner Emanuel Shober.  “Dog Press” was evidently a generic name for a traditional wooden screw-type printing press.

[xiv]  According to Ethel Stephens Arnett, William Swaim used a Ramage press to print The Patriot (Greensboro, North Carolina, The County Seat of Guilford (1955), p. 240).  Adam Ramage of Philadephia  built wooden printing presses from about 1800 until he died in 1850.  They were available in three sizes: a full-size common press, an intermediate free-standing press which he called his “screw press,” and the smallest, the “foolscap,” named for the size of sheet paper it could print.

[xv] Identified on all subsequent monthly title pages as “R.J. WEST, Printer/ New-Salem, N.C.”

[xvi]  A modern “trutype” version of this typeface is available on computers as Elephant Italic, an adaptation of early 19th century “fat face” types made by designer Matthew Carter.

[xvii]  Swaim’s reference of October 17, 1844 to the purchase of the Southern Citizen by John Milton Sherwood is the only known use of that middle name, but the buyer appears to be the same as the “John Sherwood, Book-Binder” of the Man of Business.  While Sherwood’s latter career with the Southern Citizen is not clear, he also is apparently the same man responsible for another first in N.C. journalism.  A John Sherwood, editor of The Farmer’s Advocate and Miscellaneous Reporter, published in Jamestown from Aug. 1838 to June 1842, is cited by James Oliver Cathey as publishing North Carolina’s first agricultural journal.  [see “Agricultural Developments in North Carolina, 1783-1860,” published in James Sprunt Studies in History and Political Science, Vol. 38; Chapel Hill, UNC Press, pp. 84, 102-103] .  Says Cathey, “John Sherwood… was one of the leading advocates of greater efficiency in farm operations. ‘What you undertake, do well,’ he urged.  Farmers were encouraged, in the interest of efficiency, to keep business-like records of their activities, to include notations of stock on hand, implements, methods used, weather conditions, time of planting, time and methods of culture, and of all experiments conducted…. Sherwood, in his Farmer’s Advocate, was the most forceful and persistent in advocating this feature of the reform program.”  Sherwood’s program to make farmer’s more business-like seems very much akin to Swaim’s program to codify and demystify business law.

And as regards book binding, Swaim’s estate papers indicate that Daniel Clewell of Salem in 1842 bound 29 copies of the N.C. Executor and 4 sets of the Man of Business.

[xviii] Swaim’s estate papers in the NC State Archives contain records of an auction sale of his assets held in August 1845; for sale were 185 copies of the N.C. Road Law, which sold for 5 cents each; 8 copies of the Man of Business which sold for $1.35; 53 copies of the N.C. Executor, and 1 N.C. Justice.  5 bound volumes of the Southern Citizen were sold to Joseph P. Julian.  At least one of these bound volumes survived into the 21st century, which the local owner, refusing to sell to the local historical society, auctioned it off to a paper dealer on eBay who cut the pages apart and sold them as “SLAVE ADS!!!”  Among the law books in Swaim’s sale were Haywood’s Justice; Haywood’s Manual; a Revised Statutes (of N.C.); Iredell’s Digest; N.C. Reports; Battle’s Reports; Martin’s Sheriff; N.C. Sheriffs, and “Right’s M of B.”  This last title is intriguing; if “M.O.B.” is short for “Man of Business” then this might indicate some other work related in title or subject to Swaim’s periodical.  But so far nothing under that title or author (either Right or Wright) has been found in union catalogs.

BALLOON BUSTING II

September 15, 2011

Union Balloon

Did a Randolph County artillery gunner really take down a Union observation balloon?  Probably not; but every other aspect of the story can be verified and the characters named in the story are inarguably real:  it shines a light on one of the county’s first and at the time, premier military units: Company I of the 22nd North Carolina Regiment.

Company I, known as the “Davis Guards,”[i] has not been as well known as Franklinville’s Company M, the “Randolph Hornets”.  But in 1861 the opposite was true:  the Guards, formerly known as the “Asheborough Guards,” were the long-time militia company of the county seat.  The Hornets were newly minted, freshly equipped, and backed by the largest corporation in the county.  The Guards were old school militia, traditionally uniformed, and serving under much of their antebellum leadership.

A notice of one of the quarterly musters of the Guards appeared in 1859 in the local newspaper:

ATTENTION ASHEBOROUGH GUARDS!

You are hereby commanded to appear at Asheborough, on Saturday the 4th of July next, at 10 o’clock A.M.—armed with Gun, Shot-Pouch, Horn and Six Rounds of Powder.

Also, all persons wishing to join the C Company, are requested to come forward on that day.

By order of the Captain.

June 20, 1859.

S.G. Worth, Sergeant.[ii]

S.G. Worth tombstone in the Asheboro cemetery.

Shubal Gardner Worth (1836- 1864), the company Sergeant in 1859, was elected Captain of the company in 1861.  Worth was the son of Dr. John Milton Worth (1811- 1901) of Asheboro, and the nephew of wartime State Treasurer and future Governor Jonathan Worth.  At the outbreak of the war, S.G. Worth was serving as the Clerk of Superior Court of Randolph County, and resigned that office to raise the county’s first company for service in the Confederate army.[iii]  “Shube” Worth served as company commander for more than eighteen months,[iv] about half of which involved service along a line of hastily-built fortifications along the Potomac River.  The Washington Post recently rated this story of the Potomac blockade, which bottled up Washington, DC for much of the first year of the war, as one of the “most important yet overlooked” stories of the Civil War.[v]

Company “I” took up camp at Evansport, Virginia late in September, and was stationed there during the Autumn and Winter of 1861-’62.  Evansport, today better known as Quantico, Virginia, was the headquarters of heavy cannon batteries established on the west bank of the Potomac from the Occoquan River, just south of Mt. Vernon, to Quantico Creek, about 15 miles.  This series of gun emplacements prevented ships from passing up river to the capital, thus isolating Washington, D.C.  Three batteries were largely built and maintained by the 22nd North Carolina regiment, mounted with 9-inch Dalghren guns, smooth bore 32 and 42 pounders, and one heavy rifled Blakely gun.[vi] The batteries frequently engaged with federal gunboats and with Union batteries on the Maryland side of the Potomac, but combat casualties were few.

A "Quaker" Gun

Union soldier posing with the fake cannon after capture of Evansport.

Given the constant observation from the Balloon Corps, the Confederates shrewdly increased the number of visible guns by creating “Quaker Cannon,” tree trucks painted black and carefully situated in gun emplacements to look like additional artillery.  Balloon observers could not distinguish between the fake and the real cannon, and thus reports back to Union command consistently overestimated Confederate fire power.

Company I was detailed to man Battery No. 2 at Evansport during the entire Potomac blockade,[vii]  and once had several men wounded when a 42-pounder Dalghren gun burst.

One of the Gosport Dahlgrens.

Fifty-two 9-inch Dahlgren cannon had been rescued by the Confederates from the burned Gosport Navy Yard at Norfolk and brought to Evansport.  Dahlgrens, by far the most popular gun in the U.S. Navy, were soda-bottle-shaped, smooth-bore, muzzle-loading naval guns.  Commonly designated by caliber using Roman numerals (i.e., “IX”), the most common variety of Dahlgren IX was 108 inches long, weighed more than 9,000 pounds, and could throw an 80-pound solid shot or a 73.5-pound exploding shell.[viii]

A Blakely rifle is also known to have been at Evansport, and this is probably the one which would have been used to shoot at the balloons, as Blakelys were British muzzle-loading cannon which had rifled barrels.  Blakelys were very popular with Confederate artillery, and there were many different designs and sizes.  What they all had in common is that the rifled barrels imparted a spin to the shell which allowed longer and more accurate shots.[ix]

Parents of the Wood brothers, buried in the Asheboro Cemetery.

Randolph County’s lead actor in the balloon drama, Sergeant Thomas Jefferson (records alternatively say “Jones”) Wood of Company I, 22nd North Carolina Regiment, was born in 1 Mar. 1840 near Asheboro.  He and his older and younger brothers Franklin Harris Wood (1836-1913) and William Penuel Wood (1843- 1924) all served with the 22nd North Carolina.  The three boys were the only children of Penuel P. Wood (1813-1903) and his wife, Calista Birkhead Wood (1816- 1903) of Randolph County.  Franklin Harris Wood (1836-1913) served as the regimental Chaplain.[x]

W.P. or “Penn” Wood enlisted in January 1862 and joined his brother in Company on March 1st.  He was promoted to Full Corporal on October 1st, and to Full Sergeant on May 23, 1864.  Wood represented Randolph County in the state senate in 1901 and in the state house from 1905-1907; he was elected State Auditor in 1911, and served in that office until 1921.  He is buried in the Asheboro cemetery, just across the carriageway from J.M. Worth.[xi]

View of the Potomac from inside the Confederate gun emplacements.

The 22nd N.C. regiment remained in support of the batteries at Evansport until March, 1862, when the army was abruptly ordered to fall back from Manassas and the Potomac to the line of the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg.  The retreat was both so hasty and so quiet that it was not discovered by the Union spy balloons for almost a day.  When federal troops landed at the Evansport batteries on March 9th, “Two or three guns of the battery were found bursted.  All of the pieces had been heavily wadded, then crammed to the muzzle with sand and fires built under the carriages with the expectation that they would burn and the heat cause the gun to discharge and burst.  But this failed except in a few instances.  The guns were mostly rifled 7 and 9-inch Dahlgrens with one magnificent 120-pounder Blakely gun, which had been brought from England but a few months before.  This, with its fellows, was subsequently taken to the Washington Navy Yard, where they were all put in good condition and did much excellent service for the Union thereafter.”[xii]

The Confederate departure was so quick and confused that Company M of the 22nd Regiment, the Randolph Hornets, left its almost-new Company flag flying over its camp, soon to be captured without a shot being fired.[xiii]

T.J. Wood served throughout the war and was with General Robert E. Lee when he surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on Palm Sunday, April 8, 1865.[xiv]


[i] Almost certainly re-named in honor of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

[ii] North Carolina Bulletin, Asheborough, 27 June 1859.

[iii] S.G. Worth was appointed Clerk of Superior Court for Randolph County for Spring term Superior Ct– just in time for the storied trial of his cousin, State vs. Daniel Worth.  See the Greensboro Patriot, 4-6-60, p.2.

[iv] Appointed Lt. Colonel of the 5th Battalion of Home Guards by Governor Vance, Worth returned to Asheboro.  He subsequently resigned that command to raise another company, which served with the 19th N.C. Cavalry, in the brigade of Gen. W.P. Roberts.  Worth was regimental Adjutant when he was killed in the vicinity of Richmond on May 11, 1864 during the Battle of Yellow Tavern, the same day and place General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded.  Worth’s life and career will be the subject of a separate post.

[vii] Ibid.

[x] Franklin Harris Wood was born in Randolph County 19 Aug 1836; he died at the home of his son George Thomas Wood (1874-1943) in High Point on 2 Oct 1913.  He married Frances Elizabeth Pearce (1852 – 1936).  F. H. Wood Wood is listed as “D.D.” without further explanation on genealogy websites, which traditionally means “Doctor of Divinity.”  His post-war career as a minister, if any, is not known.

[xi] William Penuel Wood (2 May 1843 –  1 Apr 1924), married Henrietta J. Gunter (1849-1893) and had the following family: Blanche Penn Wood (1873 – 1954) (who married J.O. Redding); John Kerr Wood (1875 – 1939); and Mabel Emma Wood (1879 – 1967) (who married William A. Underwood).  The  W.P. Wood House was located on the north side of the 300 block of East Salisbury Street in Asheboro, currently a playground for an adjacent daycare.

[xii] Pvt. Oliver C. Cooper, 1st Mass. Infantry, quoted in “Annals of the War: Chapters of Unwritten History Blockading the Potomac,” published December 20, 1879 in the “Weekly Times,” Philadelphia, PA.

[xiii] Ibid.  The story refers to a “handsome banner… of satin, bearing on one side the inscription, ‘The Randolph Hornets,’ and on the other, ‘Onward to VICTORY.’”  This is what allowed the identification and return of the flag to the county historical society in the 1960s.

[xiv] He died Feb. 4, 1923 in High Point.  He married Sara Sadie Christian (1843-1900), and had one son, William Marshall Wood (1868-1951), who died in Beaumont, TX.