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and the general assembly of “the State of Frankiand” informod Richard Casweil, governor of North-Carolina, that the people of the counties of Washington, Sullivan, and Greene had declared themselves a self-governing people, independent of the State of North-Carolina.
In 1785, Governor Caswell issued a proclamation, marked with great vigour and determination, yet full of moderation, and couched in a style worthy of the occasion and the officer from whom it issued; and, as the western factionists seemed disposed to defy it, affairs rapidly approached to what seemed to be a gloomy and perilous crisis.
There were courage and pride on both sides; but the people of both sides were North-Carolinians, and the respective leaders men who were animated with true Carolinian hearts.
No men could be braver or more determined in their purposes than those compatriots who now stood in an attitude of hostility towards each other; but, like all really brave men, they were averse to the shedding of blood, and looked with horror at the prospect of a civil war.
In November, 1785, the legislature of North-Carolina met at Newbern; and the members, recollecting the gallantry and patriotism and sacrifices of the western factionists in times past, and anxious to deal with them as brethren, made a liberal and noble effort to reclaim them from their treasonable course. An act of oblivion for past offences, conditioned on the submission of the misguided inhabitants of Frankland, was passed; but even this failed to quell the disturbances, and both parties prepared to assert and maintain what they conceived to be their respective rights. In 1786, the courts of “Frankland” and of NorthCarolina were held in the same counties; two sets of officers asserted their authority, and scenes of violence were not uncom
The dignity, forbearance, and determination of the mother State began, however, after a severe struggle, to have their proper effect: the loyal party gained strength daily, and in the year 1787, the western counties were represented in the legislature of North-Carolina, sitting at Tarboro'.
In the year 1788, Sevier, after a desperate struggle, was arrested and carried to Morganton; but he was finally permitted to escape, and was afterwards a member of the legislature of North-Carolina. He had been one of the heroes of King's Mountain ; and his compatriots exercised a wise forbearance towards his infirmities, and, with true courage and generosity, saved him from being the destroyer of a name made honourable by many noble deeds. In tho year 1789, the legislature again passed an act autho
rizing the cession to the United States, for the general good, of the western domain of the State ; and on the 25th of February, 1790, Samuel Johnston and Benjamin Hawkins, senators in Congress, executed the deed according to the act. This princely gift embraced what is now the State of Tennessee.
On the 17th of September, 1787, the Constitution of the United States was signed in Philadelphia. It was to be accepted and ratified by the different States; and at a convention in NorthCarolina, held in Hillsboro' in the year 1788, after a long discussion it was rejected by a large majority.
Another convention was called on the 21st of November, 1789, and by this convention, North-Carolina acceded to the Union and adopted the Federal Constitution. Rhode Island was the only State now remaining out, and in 1790 she followed the example of North Carolina.
In the year 1788, the seat of government in North-Carolina was permanently fixed in Wake county; the incorporation was very appropriately called “the city of Raleigh," and in a ort time it became a pleasant and flourisbing town.
Here, in the year 1831, the capitol was burned down, and a new one was afterwards erected, built of solid granite, and costing upwards of half a million of dollars.
Some years ago, the title of the Cherokee Indians to lands in the western part of the State was extinguished; thus was acquired by the State the full control of that beautiful mountain region, whose scenery, climate, and resources are unsurpassed by any mountain country in the world.
By liberal legislation, the State accumulated a literary fund of about two millions of dollars, and some ten years ago the interest of this fund was applied to the object for which it was originally designed. A system of free-schools was established; and though it was at first necessarily imperfect, and worked badly, it has rapidly improved, and now promises to do incalculable good.
The single want of the State was the want of navigable rivers, and this want beginning to be felt about the time the Mississippi valley began to be settled by Americans, a strong and steady current of emigration has continued to carry off much of her wealth and enterprise.
The people would not trouble themselves to build railroads or dig canals while new paradises were constantly opening in the West; and thus the State, whose natural and moral resources onco entitled her to be among the foremost in the Union, fell towards the rear of her less favoured sisters. There is good reason to believe, however, that the people of the State are aroused to the importance of works of internal improvement; and whenever they bring themselves, by railroads and canals, within reach of the markets of the world, then will their State advance instantly, by strides that few can equal, to the very front ranks of greatness and prosperity.
The North-Carolina character, much as it has been misrepresented, is unequalled by any in the world. Take it in the valley of the Mississippi, and in the far West, and it is proverbial for honesty, probity, and honour; and to it does the great South-west owe much, if not most, of its real greatness. There is no other people so honest and so reliable; and while they are the most unassuming, the least ambitious, and the least ostentatious of all the races of the world, they are, undoubtedly, among the very bravest. This courage is not the result of vanity and vain-gloriousness, of cruelty or ambition; but, though on this account it attracts less notice, it is, for the same reason, the more cool, steady, and indomitable.
To these elements are added an unconquerable love of liberty, and a strong religious sense; an ardent attachment to the freedom of law, and an intellectual or mental piety—that which recognises distinctions between right and wrong as not mere matters of convenience, or inventions of men, but as resulting from the commands and prohibitions of an Almighty Power which governs all things, and which will surely bring into judgment every secret thought and act.
Such are the elements of the North-Carolina character-ele. ments which have not yet received their final polish, or been developed into the highest state of which they are easily susceptible. Much, however, as this character has been withdrawn from the gaze of mankind, it has had its effect in fixing the destinies of the world : it set the ball of the Revolution in motion, and it has, over much of this continent, carried law and religion, and opposed itself a sturdy barrier to the wild, erratic, licentious tendencies of the age. It is the very salt of the South-west, and the fairest and sweetest blossoms of humanity in the great Mississippi valley have sprung from it; but at home, in its native place, it is perhaps wanting in energy, and has gradually lost some of its robust qualities by having languished too long in the shade of adversity. Let the sun of universal education shine upon it, and the matchless resources of the State, by works of improvement, be made to minister nutriment to its wants, and soon its bright blossoms will imparadise the soil from which its sturdy trunk has sprung, and its green, unfading foliage furnish umbrageous retreats for the weary of the earth.
List of the Governors of the State of North-Carolina. Richard Caswell, of Lenoir county, from 1776 to 1779; Abner Nash, of Craven, from 1779 to 1781 ; 1781, Thomas Burke, of Orange.
Alexander Martin, of Guilford, elected in 1782, served till 1784; from 1784 to 1787, Richard Caswell, of Lenoir county; from 1787 to 1789, Samuel Johnston, of Chowan county; 1789 to 1792, Alexander Martin, of Guilford ; 1792 to 1795, Richard Dobbs Spaight, of Craven county ; from 1795 to 1797, Samuel Ashe, of New-Hanover; 1798, William R. Davie, of Halifax; from 1799 to 1802, Benjamin Williams, of Moore; from 1802 to 1805, James Turner, of Warren; from 1805 to 1807, Nathaniel Alexander, of Mecklenburgh; 1807, Benjamin Williams, of Moore; 1808 to 1810, David Stone, of Bertie; 1810, Benjamin Smith, of Brunswick; 1811 to 1814, William Hawkins, of Warren ; 1814 to 1817, William Miller, of Warren ; 1817 to 1820, John Branch, of Halifax; 1820, Jesse Franklin, of Surry; 1821 to 1824, Gabriel Holmes, of Sampson; 1824 to 1827, Hutchins G. Burton, of Halifax; 1827, James Iredell, of Chowan; 1828 to 1830, John Owen, of Bladen ; 1830 to 1832, Montfort Stokes, of Wilkes; 1832 to 1835, David L. Swain, of Bun. combe; 1835, Richard Dobbs Spaight, of Craven ; 1836 to 1840, Edward B. Dudley, of Onslow; 1841 to 1845, John M. Morehead, of Guilford ; 1845 to 1849, William A. Grahame, of Orange; 1849 to 1851, Charles Manly, of Wake; 1851, David S. Reid, of Rockingham, elected for two years.