James Few (1746-1771)

Written By North Carolina History Project

A Regulator leader from the Hillsborough area, James Few was executed the next day after the Battle of Alamance

James Few was a Maryland native.  In 1758 his parents and siblings moved to Orange County, North Carolina where they worked a sizable amount of land.  He married Sarah Wood and had two twin daughters in February 1771.

The twenty-five-year-old father must have been politically aware and active, for he had earned a reputation for “promoting the disturbance of the country.”   When the Regulators met the militia near Great Alamance Creek, James Few was among the number.  

A day after the battle, Few was convicted (without a military court) and executed approximately five miles from the battlefield, beside a main road, the Hillsborough Road.  No doubt the location was picked so that Few’s swinging body could serve as a reminder of possible outcomes for future dissidents.  

After the Battle of Alamance, Tryon and his troops camped on Few’s property for several days.  The Few family, all except for James’s brother, William, later moved to Georgia.

In 1773, the North Carolina Assembly reimbursed William Few, Jr., for the farm’s loss of crops when Tryon allowed his troops’ horses to forage on the Few farm.  The Colonial Records state: “Resolved, That…William Few for a field of wheat, barley and oats [be compensated] thirty seven pounds ten shillings it being for so much furnished the Troops on the late Expedition against the Insurgents.”