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Chapter 3

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
History of North Carolina

The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago and New York, 1919
Volume II by
William K. Boyd

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


[image ALT: link to next chapter]
Chapter 5
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

Vol. II
p66
Chapter 4
Courts, Boundaries, Land Disputes, Indian Removal, Locating the Capital

For a generation after the election of 1800 interest in party history was eclipsed by social, economic, and institutional problems. Currency and finance, improvement of transportation, an increasing demand for public schools, agitation of constitutional reform, adjustment of land and boundary disputes, the removal of the Cherokee Indians, rounding out the judicial system, — these questions marked the rise of new interests, and some of them proved to be the basis for a new epoch in party organization and development.

Among the first tasks after the Revolution was the adjustment of the court system. During the colonial period the control of the judiciary was the subject of controversy between the Crown and the Assembly. The Constitution of 1776 marked the victory of popular control, for it vested in the legislature the election of judges and their salaries, also their impeachment, and the erection of courts. In 1777 a court law was enacted. It divided the state into six districts, in each of which a court was to be held twice a year at six court towns, — Wilmington, Newbern, Edenton, Halifax, Hillsboro, and Salisbury. In 1782 sessions of court were also ordered for Morganton, and in 1787 for Fayetteville. The number of judges was three, one of whom might hear all cases except demurrers, cases agreed, special verdicts, bills of exception, and motions in arrest of judgment, which could be heard only by two or more judges. An attorney-general, like the judges elected by the legislature, represented the state in criminal matters. Below these circuit courts were courts of pleas and quarter sessions, held by the justices of the peace in each county, and also the court of one justice, — all inherited from p67the colonial period. In such a system, especially in the superior courts, there were many defects. The limitation of sessions to the court towns worked a hardship on suitors and witnesses, who often had to travel long distances. The number of judges was too small, resulting in contested dockets. The judges were also dictatorial, often browbeating witnesses and judges.º On the other hand, the judges were not protected from the enmity of the legislature, for although they could not be removed during good behavior, their salary might be reduced. Another defect was the absence of any system of appeals.

The movement for reform began in 1790 when an additional judgeship was created; another was created in 1798, and in 1806 the number of judges was increased to six. For administrative purposes the circuits were grouped into two ridings in 1790, the eastern riding including the districts of Halifax, Edenton, Newbern, and Wilmington; the western including Morganton, Salisbury, Fayetteville, and Hillsboro. In each riding two judges were to hold court, but one in each riding was to exchange circuit with one of another riding after each session. In 1806 the number of ridings was increased to six. To expedite justice the office of solicitor-general was also created in 1790, whose powers were identical with those of the attorney-general. A more important change, one in keeping with the democratic spirit of the times, was made in 1806, by ordering a session of the superior court for each county twice a year. Justice was thus brought closer to the people, the lawyers had to seek clients in each county instead of clients making long journeys to the old court towns. The fees of attorneys and court officers were also reduced to the level of those in the county courts. These reforms were bitterly criticized by lawyers, court officials, and the interests identified with the old court towns. In Hillsboro the representatives of Orange County were dined and toasted as "a testimonial of the high approbation of the firm and patriotic opposition which they made to the adoption of the new judiciary system."1 Some lawyers and court officials, p68disgusted with the "apparent restless and destructive spirit of innovation," left the state. Among them was John Haywood, later known as one of the historians of Tennessee. In the meantime judges were forbidden to express an opinion as to facts presented in 1796, but not until 1835 was the reduction of their salaries forbidden during continuance in office.

The greatest reform was the creation of a Supreme Court with the right to hear appeals from the superior courts. This came as a climax to attempts to relieve congested dockets. The cause of the congestion was not entirely the small number of judges, but also differences of opinion among them. Illustrative was the case of Winstead vs. Winstead, the question being whether levy and sale on the land of the husband after death divested the widow of dower rights. One judge failed to file his opinion, and the case was thereupon argued before two other judges. One of these deferred his opinion. Later Judge Williams again sat on the case, but as he had changed his mind, there was another disagreement and the case was finally stricken from the docket without decision. Hence in 1799, on account of the inconveniences and delays "from the want of a speedy and uniform decision for all questions of law or equity arising in the circuit," due to differences of opinion among the judges or desire for further consideration, or lack of sufficient judges, the judges were ordered to meet twice a year at Raleigh in June and December for a period of two years to decide cases disagreed on or those which one judge was unwilling to decide by himself. An interesting feature connected with the law was the trial of James Glasgow, Secretary of State since 1776. Temptation proved too strong for him, and in 1797 it was disclosed that he had issued fraudulent warrants for land in Tennessee and the mountain section of North Carolina. His trial was committed by the legislature to a special term of court at Raleigh, and he was convicted. Interesting incidents of the prosecution were that the defendant's counsel was John Haywood, author of the new court law, and an attempt to steal valuable documents in the comptroller's office by a faithful p69slave of Glasgow, who was killed while breaking into the building.a

In 1801 the special sessions at Raleigh were continued for three years and were dignified with the title Court of Conference. Attorneys were also forbidden to appear before it. In 1804 the Court of Conference was made permanent, and the next year its name was changed to Supreme Court. In 1810 the judges were authorized to elect one of their number Chief Justice, and the scope of litigation was widened by allowing appeals, in which the attorney-general should represent the state. There were still limitations and difficulties. The work of the judges on the circuits increased, making it difficult to have a full meeting of the Supreme Court. It also seemed unfair to require or allow a judge to be a member of a court which heard appeals from his own decisions while on the circuit. Moreover, suits themselves were never transferred from the superior courts to the Supreme Court, but only questions of law arising from them; often after one of these had been raised and settled, new viewpoints were discovered, thus resulting in delay of justice. Also the salaries did not make judgeships attractive to the abler lawyers. There was, too, a need of a more specialized knowledge of the law, notably in the domain of equity. Concerning the latter defect, Governor Miller was especially emphatic. "The daily delay attendant on a suit of equity," he wrote, "is proverbial and amounts to an almost total denial of justice. The trial of such a suit approaches near to novelty in our judicial proceedings, as every man who has been so unfortunate as to be engaged in a contest of this kind, or who has been in the least conversant with our courts, can very well attest." Reform in 1818 was sought by a reorganization of the Supreme Court. By a statute of that year the tribunal was to consist of three judges elected by the legislature who should give exclusive attention to the court, should hold two sessions a year at Raleigh, hear appeals only after decisions of the superior courts had been rendered, and review the entire case instead of questions at law. The judges should also hold court day after day until all appeals were decided. Equity proceedings were to be instituted directly before the Supreme Court, for p70which it was a distinct court of equity. Thus justice was made more swift and more efficient.

The reorganization of 1818 was not without opposition. The salary of the justices ($2,500) was higher than that of the circuit judges and even that of the governor. The tradition of close contact between members of the Supreme Court and the people while the judges were on the circuit was violated. Apparently the tribunal of last resort was in no way responsible to public opinion. Consequently for a number of years there were efforts to reduce the salaries of the judges and to restore the Supreme Court as it existed prior to 1818. An important influence in preventing a reversion to the old system was the election of William Gaston to the bench in 1833, when the opposition to the court was strong and threatened a victory. Gaston was author of the law creating the court; he was also a Catholic, and as such was apparently debarred by the Constitution from holding office of trust; yet his character and great services raised him above partisan prejudice, and after his election the opposition to the Court is lost sight of. In 1842 as a concession to the more distant western counties a session of the Court was established at Morganton. The wisdom of the reorganization was soon manifest. The state was fortunate in the choice of judges. Their decisions not only refined justice in North Carolina, but brought respect and prestige throughout the land, and the Court prior to 1860 enjoyed unusual distinction.

Less vital than the court system, but likewise productive of controversy, was the completion of the state's boundaries. In 1803 commissioners were appointed by the legislature to continue the South Carolina line, on which no surveys had been made since 1772. The commissioners met similar officials from South Carolina at Columbia and in 1808 recommended that the lines of 1735 and 1746 be accepted as far as the Salisbury and Charleston road, at which point a divergence be made to the southeast corner of the Catawba lands, which should be followed as far as the Catawba river, thence along the river to its forks, thence westward along the line of 1772, and from its terminus westward along the parallel 35 degrees. This report was adopted, but in 1813 on account

p71

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Supreme Court, 1818

John Louis Taylor, Chief Justice • John Hall, Associate Justice •
Leonard Henderson, Associate Justice; Chief Justice, 1829

p72 of difficulties in establishing an accurate survey, the boundary west of the line of 1772 was directed to run to a ridge dividing the north forks of the Saluda and Pacolet rivers, thence to another ridge dividing the Saluda and Green rivers, thence to the main ridge "dividing the eastern and western waters," following it to the Cherokee Boundary of 1797, thence to the east bank of the Chatooga River. The report of the commission establishing such a line, was confirmed in 1815, with a few variations.

While negotiations with South Carolina were in course, a controversy arose over the Georgia boundary. Its immediate cause was the disposition of a strip of land approximately twelve miles wide and two hundred long, just south of the parallel 35 degrees, which is also the boundary between North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Originally a part of South Carolina, the territory in question was ceded to Congress, but in 1802 the United States ceded to Georgia that part along the Georgia frontier. In the newly acquired district Georgia organized the County of Walton; but the northern boundary, the line 35 degrees, had never been surveyed. Consequently North Carolina and Georgia issued conflicting land grants, resulting in much disorder and violence. In 1806 Georgia appealed to Congress to establish the line between North Carolina and Georgia. As the North Carolina congressmen opposed the request, no action was taken. The next year both states agreed to a survey and appointed a joint boundary commission. The surveyors employed were Dr. Joseph Caldwell for North Carolina and Joseph Meigs for Georgia. They found that the supposed location of the line 35° as claimed by Georgia was in reality 35° 22′ 32″, or twenty-two miles within North Carolina territory. Observations were made to find the correct latitude, the most successful experiment being on Caesar's Head Mountain. The commissioners reached an agreement. Their report was accepted by North Carolina, but Georgia rejected it and again appealed to Congress. An examination of the controversy was made by a congressional committee. The trend of opinion was so strongly favorable to North Carolina p73that Georgia yielded to public opinion and dropped the contest.b

Another boundary productive of dispute was that between North Carolina and Tennessee. According to the act of cession, enacted in 1789, the line was to follow the high mountain ranges between Stone Mountain on the Virginia border and the Georgia boundary. In 1795 a joint commission established the line from the Virginia border to a point on the Catalouchee turnpike as it crossed the Great Iron or Smoky Mountain, a distance of 151 miles, the survey being halted at that point on account of uncertainties regarding the Cherokee lands. In 1819 another joint commission undertook the completion of the line. The act of cession directed the boundary beyond the Iron or Smoky Mountain as follows: "Hence along highest ridge of said mountain to the place where it is called Great Iron or Smoky Mountain, thence along the extreme height of said mountain to the place where it is called Unicoe or Unake Mountain, between the towns of Cowee and Old Chatta; thence along the main ridge of said mountain to the southern boundary of this state." The commission surveyed and marked the line in accordance with this instruction, and its report was ratified by the legislatures of Tennessee and North Carolina. However no settlements were made until the removal of the Cherokee Indians in 1836. Then Tennessee organized the Ocee District and issued land grants, and North Carolina also began to issue grants after 1852. When the policy of issuing land grants was adopted, the markings on Smoky Mountain had become well-nigh obliterated. Southwest of the Tennessee River the mountain for a distance of eight miles breaks into a number of ridges, the chief of which are Hangover on the east and Big Fodder Stack on the west. Then the ridges unite, but at County Corner, a few miles further south, a similar division occurs between State Ridge on the west and McDaniel Bald on the east. Both Tennessee and North Carolina issued conflicting grants for land between these ridges. Private suits resulted in decisions by the Federal District Court in 1900 and 1902 favorable to North Carolina grants. To obviate future difficulties, the State of North Carolina brought suit against the p74state of Tennessee in the Supreme Court of the United States and the decision, which was rendered in 1914, upheld the claim of North Carolina to the disputed territory.

A controversy with Tennessee involving far greater stakes than the adjustment of the boundary line arose over the validity of land warrants. The background of the dispute was the land policy of North Carolina. In 1780 and 1783 a large tract known as the Military Reservation was set aside to meet the bounties offered the North Carolina soldiers in the Continental Line. Its boundary began at the intersection of Cumberland River and the Virginia line, ran south fifty-five miles, thence west to the Tennessee River, along that stream to the Virginia line, thence east to the point of departure. In 1783 a land office was opened in Nashville to consider the claims of soldiers. When the territory west of the mountains was ceded in 1789, the land claims of the soldiers were distinctly protected; the act of cession provided that "lands laid off or directed to be laid off" should enure to the use and benefit of the claimant, and in case the Military Reservation was not large enough to satisfy all claims, warrants should be issued for other unappropriated lands in the territory ceded, and the governor of North Carolina should have the right to perfect titles claimed under entries not previously perfected by grant or otherwise. The time set by North Carolina for completing surveys and securing grants was 1792; but the date was extended, although the right of extension was not mentioned in the act of cession. Tennessee naturally became restive, since sovereignty over lands within her boundaries was a matter of economic and political importance. In 1799 the Tennessee legislature declared the State of Tennessee sovereign over all ungranted land on the ground that title was transferred to Tennessee on admission to the Union. This act was immediately superseded, but in 1801 a state land office was opened; prior entries, grants, and warrants of North Carolina origin were validated, but every act toward surveying or marking land under title from North Carolina was subjected to a penalty of $5,000, and all grants of such origin were excluded from the Tennessee courts. Soon after a commission was appointed to confer with the North Carolina p75authorities, and in 1803 an agreement was reached by which Tennessee was to perfect titles to claims which were passed upon by North Carolina, provided the consent of Congress could be secured, which was essential on account of the vast amount of public land in Tennessee.

In 1806 came the reply of Congress. It was the cession to Tennessee of all public lands east and north of a line extending from the intersection of Elk River with the Tennessee-Alabama line, thence north to the main branch of Duck River, down that stream along the North Carolina Military Reservation to the Tennessee River, and along that stream to the Virginia line. This boundary was known as the Congressional Reservation Line. East of it lay the North Carolina Military Reservation, but restrictions in the North Carolina act of cession as to land grants were specifically guaranteed, for the act of Congress stated that entries, rights of location, and warrants of North Carolina origin not located west of the Congressional Line on February 1, 1790, should be located east of it on Tennessee lands. Within a few years, when all the lands in the Military Reservation had been entered, North Carolina began to satisfy remaining claimants by grants south and west of the Congressional Line. Apparently this was a violation of the agreement of 1803, but North Carolina claimed it was not in force, as it was not confirmed by the Congressional Act of 1806 except with conditions which were destructive of the rights of the state. Tennessee retaliated by imposing fines on any attempt to carry out the North Carolina policy. In 1815 North Carolina memorialized Congress, and in 1818 Congress authorized Tennessee to issue grants and perfect titles east or west of the Congressional Line. In the same year the Chickasaw Indians who lived west of the line were removed, and Congress authorized Tennessee to satisfy North Carolina claimants in the Chickasaw District. The following year a commission was appointed to examine and pass on all North Carolina claims. A host of claims were filed; it was estimated that 4,000,000 acres had been granted before the act of cession, and by 1838 more than 8,000,000 more had been granted to North Carolina soldiers. This was more than one-half the total p76area of Tennessee. Alarmed at the number of unrecompensed military heroes, Tennessee fixed October, 1822, as the final date to file claims, but the time was extended until 1838, at which date it was estimated that the remaining unsatisfied claims amounted to 60,000 acres.

The principal beneficiary of these transactions was the University of North Carolina. By gifts of Benjamin Smith and Charles Gerrard, it received warrants for 33,920 acres; by a resolution of the legislature in 1821, 14,724 acres were also received, and likewise by right of escheat the right to warrants of all soldiers dying intestate. Soon after the compromise of 1819 the institution decided to press its claims. An agent was employed to search out escheated warrants on a 50 per cent commission and Archibald DeBow Murphey and James H. Bryan were appointed commissioners to represent the University in Tennessee. The Tennessee legislature, alarmed at the probable magnitude of the escheated claims, in 1821 stayed the issue of grants. A compromise was reached by Felix Grundy on behalf of Tennessee and the University's representatives, by which the University was to cede to East Tennessee College (later the University of Tennessee) 20,000 acres and to West Tennessee College (later the University of Nashville) 40,000 acres. The total amount realized by the University after the cost of controversy and litigation was 100,973 acres, the sale of which realized approximately $200,000.

In the meantime a genuine expansion of territory was taking place through the removal of the Cherokee Indians. At the close of the Revolution the Cherokees still occupied all the land now in the bounds of the state west of the Blue Ridge excepting the territory northeast of a line approximately halfway between Asheville and Burnsville, which had been ceded by the Indians to the state in 1777. The further elimination of the Indians became a function of the Federal Government after the adoption of the Articles of Confederation. In 1785 by the Treaty of Hopewell considerable territory west of the Great Smokies, and also a large tract in the French Broad region, were ceded. To this was added in 1791 a triangle extending west and northwest of Asheville to the Clinch River, p77and in 1798 another triangular strip in the region of Hendersonville and Waynesville. In 1819 about half of the remaining lands occupied by the Cherokees were ceded, and in 1835 a last cession, including all the land the Cherokees then occupied, was negotiated.

Contemporary with the policy of removal was the rise of the national spirit among the Cherokees. After the treaty of 1819 the Indians who remained adopted a republican form of government and a written constitution, their capital being located at New Echota, Georgia. By 1835 there were 3,644 Cherokees in North Carolina. The treaty of that year provided that a limited number of Indians might remain and become citizens of the United States, but this clause was stricken out by President Jackson. There now followed a sad and pathetic chapter of Indian history. Although practically all the Cherokees protested against the removal treaty of 1835, an army of 7,000 men was sent to enforce the treaty. Forts or stockades for collecting the Indians were erected, among which were Fort Montgomery near Robbinsville, Fort Hambric at the present site of Hayesville, Fort Delaney at Old Valleytown, and Fort Butler at Murphy. Against concentration and removal there was resistance. Leadership was taken by Old Man Tsali (Charley). He, his brother, his three sons and their families were arrested and taken to a stockade at the junction of the Tuckasegee and Little Tennessee rivers. There they fell upon their captors, killed four of them, and made their escape. General Scott, convinced that the escaped Indians could not be recaptured by the whites, and also fearing their influence, offered a compromise by which Utsali, Chief of the Cherokees, and 1,000 of his followers might remain in North Carolina provided Old Man Tsali was delivered up. Either by voluntary action or seizure by Utsali, Tsali was secured and executed. Official documents in confirmation of the compromise do not exist; but many Indians were allowed to remain and in 1846 their rights were recognized by treaty, an annual allowance of $3.20 per capita being granted. To protect their rights William H. Thomas was appointed Indian Agent. For them he purchased five towns, Bird-town, Paint-town, Wolf-town, Yellow-hill, and Big Cove.

p78

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Indian Removal from North Carolina

p79 In these the Indians lived a civilized life with a constitution framed for them by Thomas. Charles Lanman in 1848 made the following comment on Cherokee life:

About three-fourths of the entire population can read in their own language,c and, though the majority of them understand English, a very few can speak the language. They practice, to a considerable extent, the science of agriculture, and have acquired such a knowledge of the mechanic arts as answers them for all ordinary purposes, for they manufacture their own clothing, their own plows, and other farming utensils, their own axes, and even their own guns. Their women are no longer treated as slaves, but as equals; the men labor in the fields and their wives are devoted entirely to household employments. They keep the same domestic animals that are kept by their white neighbors, and cultivate all the common grains of the country. They are probably as temperate as any other class of people on the face of the earth, honest in their business intercourse, moral in their thoughts, words, and deeds, and distinguished for their faithfulness in performing the duties of religion. They are chiefly Methodists and Baptists, and have regularly ordained ministers who preach to them on every Sabbath, and they have also abandoned many of their more senseless superstitions. They have their own court and try their criminals by a regular jury. Their judges and lawyers are chosen from among themselves. They keep in order the public roads leading through their settlement. By a law of the state they have a right to vote, but seldom exercise that right, as they do not like the idea of being identified with any of the political parties. Excepting on festive days they dress after the manner of the white man, but far more picturesquely. They live in small log houses of their own construction, and have everything they need or desire in the way of food. They are, in fact, the happiest community I have yet met with in this southern country.2

In 1862 Washington Morgan was sent by Gen. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Kirby Smith to enlist the Cherokees in the Confederate cause, but Colonel Thomas persuaded them to join a Legion under his command. About 400 responded, and were used as scouts and home guards. They participated in a number of minor battles, notably at Baptist Gap, Tennessee, in September, 1862. The Confederate Government made the same financial allowance for the Indians as the Federal Government had made. After the war, in 1868, the Cherokees adopted a constitution at Cheowee, Graham County. Titles to land amounting to 50,000 acres were established by litigation, and in 1875 the Department of Indian Affairs assumed guardianship. p80In 1889 the Eastern Band of Cherokees was incorporated under the laws of North Carolina "with all the rights, franchises, privileges and powers incident and belonging to corporations under the laws of the State of North Carolina."

Of antiquarian interest, and also reflecting the rise of sense of patriotic pride, was the process of locating the capital, constructing the state house, and the contract for a statue of Washington. In 1779 the legislature appointed a committee to select a location in Johnston, Wake or Chatham counties for a permanent capital. In 1781 choice was fixed on Hillsboro and the public building at Newbern was ordered to be sold. However in the summer of 1781 David Fanning and his band of loyalists raided Hillsboro and captured Governor Burke and other state officials. Hillsboro was now too near the centre of military operations for safety, and at the next session of the legislature the resolution making it the capital was rescinded. During the next few years sessions of the legislature were held at Halifax, Tarboro, Smithfield, Fayetteville, Newbern, Salem and Wake Courthouse. The Hillsboro Convention of 1788, along with the consideration of the Federal Constitution, was authorized to "fix on the place of an unalterable seat of government." So pressing was the other business of the convention that the details of location were left to the legislature with the general direction that the capital be located within ten miles of a place chosen by the convention. Balloting for the locality was then undertaken. The competing sites were Tarboro, Smithfield, Fayetteville, Newbern, Hillsboro, the fork of the Haw and Deep rivers, and the Hunter plantation in Wake County. On the third ballot the Wake County location received a majority of the votes. But not until 1791 did the legislature undertake to carry out the mandate of the convention. Then a commission was appointed to purchase land and lay off a capital city. The commission met late in March, 1792, and after a week's investigation decided on the Joel Lane plantation. In April a deed was procured for 1,000 acres for which the state paid £1,378, North Carolina currency, equivalent on face value to $3,445. Plans for a city were drawn up, surveys were made, and at the next session of the legislature the work of the commission

p81

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Residence of Joel Lane

p82 was confirmed and the name Raleigh was given the projected city. Sometime in 1792 the cornerstone of a state house was laid in Union Square; two years later the building was completed, being constructed of brick and having a dome, a rotunda, and broad hallways. Between 1819 and 1822 porticoes were built and a coat of stucco was added.

In the meantime a sense of public spirit pervaded the legislature of 1815, and a resolution was adopted instructing the governor to "purchase on behalf of the State a full length statue of General Washington." No limitation was set on the price, and after prolonged correspondence on the part of Governor Miller, it was decided to follow the advice of Thomas Jefferson and to place the contract with the Italian artist Canova, and that he should be guided as far as possible by Cerrachi's bust of Washington. In 1821 the work was completed, for which the artist received $10,000. The statue was sent to America on board the United States Ship Columbus. It was landed at Boston, transshipped by a coast wise vessel to Wilmington, thence up the Cape Fear River by boat to Fayetteville, and across country from Fayetteville to Raleigh, arriving at destination on December 24th.

Ten years after the Canova statue was practically destroyed in a fire which consumed the state house.d A new capitol had to be built. After delay due to sectional rivalry and the question of constitutional reform, $50,000 were appropriated for the work in November, 1832. The next year $75,000 were appropriated, and in 1834 supervision of the structure was given to David Paton, a Scotch architect then residing in New York. Under his direction the existing splendid edifice was really planned and constructed, the work being completed in 1840 at a total cost of $530,000.

(p81)

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The First State House, Burned in 1831

From a rare old painting in the Hall of History at Raleigh


The Author's Notes:

1 Hoyt, Papers of Archibald DeBow Murphey, I, p8, n.

[decorative delimiter]

2 Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, p94.


Thayer's Notes:

a The details are given in "The Glasgow Trial and the North Carolina Supreme Court", North Carolina Booklet III.1; where it is stated, however, that the burglar was not killed on the spot, but captured — to be tried and hanged later.

[decorative delimiter]

b For full details, see "The North Carolina and Georgia Boundary", The North Carolina Booklet, III.12.

[decorative delimiter]

c Not mentioned is the noteworthy fact that Cherokee was written in its own script, a syllabary which had been devised by Sequoyah (a remarkable man also known by the European name George Guess) just twenty years before this passage was written. It caught on almost immediately, spread like wildfire, and is still in use today. The genesis of Sequoyah's script was contemporaneously recorded in the Cherokee Phoenix, Vol. I No. 24, Aug. 13, 1820.

[decorative delimiter]

d All was not lost, however. A painting was made, after the fire but while memories were still fresh, from which this lithograph was executed:


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LaFayette Examining Canova's Statue of Washington in the Rotunda of the State House, 1825.

and at least one substantial piece of the actual statue remains:

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The Ruins of Canova's Statue of Washington,
now in the Hall of History at Raleigh

The above lithograph and photo and their accompanying captions are reproduced from "A State Library Building and Department of Archives and Records", an article by R. D. W. Connor in The North Carolina Booklet, Vol. VI, No. 3 (January, 1907), pp158‑176, in which the author presses for such a building as well as better conservation of the State's history, arguing among other things that had someone cared enough in 1831 the statue would not have perished.

But in 1910 Canova's original plaster model for the statue was found, and from here the story takes a happier turn. For the details — and a photo of the Canova statue that now stands in the Capitol at Raleigh, see Dr. Candy Lee Beal's page at North Carolina State University.


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Page updated: 25 Oct 13