and also Edmund Fanning, until he retreated into the store of Messrs. Johnstone and Thackston; they demolished Fanning's house. Not only were these beaten, but Thomas Hart, John Luttrel, (clerk of the crown,) and many others, were severely whipped."
Another entry, January 25th, 1771, ordered that Richard Henderson, who appeared as prosecutor of the several charges against Thomas Person, should pay all costs.
Another record: "Proclamation of Governor Martin, dated February 10th, 1775, issued as governor and as agent and attorney of Lord Granville, forbidding Richard Henderson from purchasing or holding any lands from the Cherokee Indians."
Extracted from Governor Martin's dispatch:
"I enclose a copy of Lord Dunmore's proclamation, also Richard Henderson's plan of settlement of a large tract of land on the waters of the Kentucky, the Cumberland, the Ohio, and the Tennessee."
These extracts prove the enterprise and character of Judge Henderson, under the royal rule. After independence had been declared, and the state government organized and established in North Carolina, he was elected one of three judges of the court, which he declined to accept, or resigned in a few months. The chief reason that caused this, was that Judge Henderson was at that time the chief manager of the "Transylvania Land Company." He and his associates had bought, for a fair consideration, of the Cherokee Indians, who had offered their lands for sale, a rich tract of country, in which was embraced a considerable portion of Kentucky and Tennessee. The treaty by which this purchase was made was concluded in 1775, on the Watauga river, at which Daniel Boone was present. The states of Virginia and North Carolina declared this void.
His associates in this transactions were John Williams, Leonard Henly Bullock, of Granville, William Johnston, James Hogg, Thomas Hart, of Orange.
The company took possession of these lands on April 20th, 1775.
The Governor of North Carolina, (Martin,) by proclamation, declared this purchase illegal; the state of Virginia did the same, and the state of Tennessee claimed these lands; but the states of North Carolina and Virginia each subsequently granted to the company 200,000 acres as remuneration.
In 1779, Judge Henderson was appointed with Oroondates Davis, John Williams, of Caswell, James Kerr, and William Baily Smith, to run the line between Virginia and North Carolina into Powell's Valley.
The same year he opened a land office at the French Lick, (now Nashville,) for the sale of the company's lands.
Judge Henderson had several brothers, the youngest of whom was Major Pleasant Henderson. He was born in 1750, and served in the war of the revolution. In 1789, he succeeded John Haywood, as clerk of the House of Commons, which position he held for forty years, continuously. He married, (1786,) a daughter of Colonel James Martin, of Stokes County, and settled at Chapel Hill, where he resided for many years, and reared a large family. He moved in 1831 to Tennessee, where he died in 1842, in the 85th year of his age, leaving Dr. Pleasant Henderson, of Salisbury, born 1802; Dr. Alexander Martin Henderson, born 1807; Mrs. Hamilton C. Jones, of Rowan County.
Judge Henderson married Elizabeth Keeling, a step-daughter of Judge Williams, and had six children.
I. Fanny, born 1764; married to Judge Spruce McCay, of Salisbury.
II. Richard, born July, 1766.
III. Archibald, born 1768.
IV. Elizabeth, born 1770; married William Lee Alexander.
Index - Contents