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Bill Thayer

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A Selection of Articles
the North Carolina Booklet

The North Carolina Booklet was a series, published by the Daughters of the Revolution over a span of about twenty years, of monthly publications. The first issues usually ran to twenty or thirty small pages, devoted with very few exceptions to a single article on some topic specific to the State; after a few years, several articles are found in each issue, if often on related topics. Written sometimes by amateurs, sometimes by academics with a lay audience in mind, the articles exhibit the virtues and failings we might expect, but at their best they provide a lively and focused window into State and colonial history. From time to time I'll be adding to this site; the list below will get longer over time, though not necessarily including every item.

The earlier Booklets all start with the same preface:


The object of the North Carolina Booklet is to erect a suitable memorial to the patriotic women who composed the "Edenton Tea Party."

These stout-hearted women are every way worthy of admiration. On October 25, 1774, seven months before the defiant farmers of Mecklenburg had been aroused to the point of signing their Declaration of Independence, nearly twenty months before the declaration made by the gentlemen composing the Vestry of St. Paul's Church, Edenton, nearly two years before Jefferson penned the immortal National Declaration, these daring women solemnly subscribed to a document affirming that they would use no article taxed by England. Their example fostered in the whole State a determination to die, or to be free.

In beginning this new series, the Daughters of the Revolution desire to express their most cordial thanks to the former competent and untiringly faithful Editors, and to ask for the new management the hearty support of all who are interested in the brave deeds, high thought, and lofty lives of the North Carolina of the olden days.

Mrs. D. H. Hill

Vol. II

The Revolutionary Congresses of North Carolina

The background that led to them; a summary of each of the four Congresses and of the reaction of the colonial government; the return to normalcy upon the Thirteen Colonies' adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Vol. III

The Trial of James Glasgow, and the Supreme Court of North Carolina

The trial of a corrupt public official; the exceptional court set up to conduct it eventually led to the establishment of a State Supreme Court.

North Carolina Cherokee Indians

A former commander of the famous Cherokee Legion writes feelingly of the Cherokee his comrades-in‑arms; of the Cherokee Removal (the Trail of Tears), of Chiefs Yonaguska and Junaluska, and of the Federal Government's "Training and Industrial School".

Historic Hillsboro

The interesting characters and conflicts in this small town, founded in the late 18c, when it quickly reached its greatest importance in the history of North Carolina.

Social Life in Colonial North Carolina

Family, church and — mostly — educational life in the colony.

Was Alamance the First Battle of the Revolution?

A polemical account of the battle of the Alamance, of which the author affirms that it was indeed the beginning of the American Revolution.

Governor Charles Eden

A capsule of the surface of his life — his ancestry and family, his appointment as governor, his relation­ship with Blackbeard (denied), his grave.

The Colony of Transylvania

A history of the short-lived enterprise, most of it taken up by a transcription in full of Richard Henderson's journal [primary source]; the paper also includes a description of the fort at Boonesborough and an account of the siege of 1778.

Social Conditions in Colonial North Carolina

No, 18c North Carolinians were not savages, despite some bad press in the entertaining diaries of early Virginian landowner William Evelyn Byrd.

The Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge

A detailed account of the most important of the Revolutionary War battles fought in North Carolina. Profusely illustrated for so short an article, it includes two maps.

The North Carolina and Georgia Boundary

In the early 19c, Georgia claimed part of what turned out to be North Carolina; the matter was set straight, amicably if with some stubbornness on Georgia's part, by a joint surveying expedition.

Vol. IV

The Lords Proprietors of Carolina

Biographical sketches of the original Lords Proprietors, then an outline of the descent of each of their shares and notes on some of their more interesting successors.

The Battle of Ramsaur's Mill

A straightforward account of the battle: the lead‑up, the battle itself, its importance in the Revolutionary War.

The Convention of 1788‑'89 and the Federal Constitution — Hillsborough and Fayetteville

An overview of the proceedings and debates in the two conventions by which the State eventually ratified the U. S. Constitution.

No. 5

Biographical sketches (with portraits) of two of the three North Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence:

John Penn

Joseph Hewes

No. 6

North Carolina's Troops in South America: "The Lost Battalion"

The State's participation in the disastrous British expedition to Cartagena in 1741. Two maps.

North Carolina's Record in War

A commented list of generals, and sometimes units and other notable officers, from North Carolina who served in war from 1711 to 1865.

Rutherford's Expedition against the Indians, 1776

The punitive expedition and its background; with a separate biographical sketch of Gen. Griffith Rutherford.

Some Changes in the North Carolina Coast since 1585

Uncertainty and controversy attend the place where Raleigh landed, not only or even mostly because of the vague historical record, but because of the constantly shifting landscape of the Outer Banks, where islands, inlets and sounds disappear or are created every few decades. Survey article parses some of the most important historical maps of the area.

Vol. V

No. 3

Cornelius Harnett: The Pride of the Cape Fear

Biographical sketch of some length, detailing especially his participation in the politics of the Revolutionary War.

Edward Moseley: Character Sketch

Vol. VI

No. 3

The Battle of Rockfish Creek in Duplin County

A minor Revolutionary War engagement, but emblematic of the difficulties in fighting the vastly superior British forces. (Map, photograph of the battleground; the other illustrations are repeated from a previous issue of the journal.)

Robert Diggs Wimberly Connor

A brief biographical sketch of the North Carolina historian.

[decorative delimiter]

Technical Details

Printed Source

I am transcribing my selection from original exemplars of the Booklet, and only of course those now in the public domain: details here on the copyright law involved. Unless otherwise indicated, any illustrations are those accompanying the original article in the journal.


As almost always, I retype texts by hand rather than scanning them — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with them, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

These transcriptions have been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the articles are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree; red backgrounds would indicate they had not been proofread. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The Booklets were well proofread; the inevitable few errors I found, I corrected, when important (or unavoidable because inside a link), with a bullet like this;º and when trivial, with a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet or the underscored words to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

A small number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic  in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any over­looked mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line); p57  these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

[image ALT: A shield of six vertical bars, the upper quarter of the shield being a rectangle bearing thirteen stars; it is surmounted by an eagle with outstretched wings and a riband an inscription not readable at this scale, and below the shield another somewhat more prominent riband, still not readable, though. It is the seal of the North Carolina Society Daughters of the Revolution, used on my site as the icon for material from the 'North Carolina Booklet'.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is a copy of the seal of the North Carolina Society Daughters of the Revolution — the publishers — as it appears on the covers of the Booklets, or at least of the earlier ones since later volumes charge the stripes of the escutcheon with the further motto 'Liberty Home and Country'. I've colorized the seal (the U. S. colors are also those of North Carolina) and slipped under it a discreet map of the State to make it a bit less generic.

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Site updated: 23 Jul 20