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Williams, Benjamin (1751-1814)

A Revolutionary War Patriot, North Carolina Governor, and U.S. Congressman, Williams used a middle-of-the-road strategy to achieve political success with Federalists and Republicans while serving as Governor.

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Emerson, James (1736-1786)

James Emerson (also spelled “Emmerson” in some documents) was born around 1736. He fought against the British crown during the North Carolina Regulation and the Revolutionary War.  Emerson came close to being hanged for treason by the British in the first conflict.  He later survived the latter conflict and lived out his remaining days as a Chatham County farmer.

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Burke, Thomas (1744-1783)

Born in Ireland in 1747, Thomas Burke protested the Stamp Act, served in the North Carolina provincial congresses, at the Halifax Convention, and at the Continental Congress, and served as Governor of North Carolina.  His perseverance at the Continental Congress was instrumental for the inclusion of Article II in the Articles of Confederation.  If he had lived, Burke undoubtedly would have been an Antifederalist during the ratification debates and a formidable intellectual foe for James Iredell.

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Dueling

Many modern-day Americans consider dueling to be a senseless act of violence, but for many Southerners and North Carolinian gentlemen, the act was many times a defense of honor.

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The Test

On the eve of the American Revolution, the Vestry of St. Paul’s Church in Edenton wrote the “Test”, and it became a catalyst for fanning the flames of independence within the colony of North Carolina. Written approximately a month before the Declaration of Independence, the "Test" proved to be the church’s own declaration of independence.

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Port Act

The Port Act was the tipping point that ignited revolutionary passions and talk concerning independence among North Carolinians. 

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Rev. Daniel Earle

Rev. Daniel Earle from Edenton publicly stood against Britain and their infractions of the rights of free peoples.

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Richard Caswell

Richard Caswell was not only one of the first of delegates chosen to represent North Carolina at the first Continental Congress but he was also the first and fifth governor of the Tar Heel State.

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Penn, John (1741-1788)

Patriot, Continental Congress member, and North Carolina signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Penn and his contributions to the American Revolution and the early days of a fledgling nation have been overlooked.  Penn was one of three North Carolinians who signed the Declaration of Independence, and his efforts on the North Carolina Board of War were instrumental in undermining Cornwallis’s military campaigns in the South.

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Hewes, Joseph (1730-1779)

Although Joseph Hewes was a native of New Jersey, he was one of three North Carolinians to sign the Declaration of Independence.  His business experience, education and honorable character enabled the Tar Heel to serve North Carolina vigilantly in public service for thirteen years.