The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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and used on similar occasions in Scottish history, evidently influenced the mind of Jefferson, when he indited the Declaration of July 4, 1776. He tells us in his autobiography that when engaged in preparing that National Declaration, he and his colleagues searched everywhere for formulas, among the writings of the Puritans, as well as elsewhere. The greatest interest had attached to the "proceedings at Middle Octorara," so that a reprint of those proceedings was demanded and appeared in Philadelphia; and we must see that most naturally a similarity of expression would occur in these documents where they most probably had a common origin, whose aid was invoked to give vehemence to their denunciation of an "unchristian king," and to give pledges of mutual faith and declarations of sacred duty, and thus similar phrases are found in these two great American Declarations to give form and presence to kindred thoughts.

        The Rev. Dr. A. W. Miller in a sermon, delivered at Charlotte on May 14, 1876, most truthfully used the following language:

        "If to the people of Mecklenburg county, Providence assigned the foremost position in the ranks of patriots, a century ago, let them never cease to hallow the memory of that illustrious hero, the Rev. Alexander Craighead, who prepared them for it, at so great toil and pains, and for years and years diligently sowed the seed that produced the glorious harvest. No ordinary work was given him to do, and no ordinary training and discipline fitted him for it.

        "Deeply imbibing the spirit of the Scottish Covenant, contending earnestly for the descending obligations of those covenants upon all whose ancestors were parties to the same, and insisting upon making the adoption of the Solemn League and Covenant a term of communion for members of the church in the colonial as well as the mother country, testifying continually to the Headship of Christ over the State, and the responsibility of all kings and rulers to Him, a failure of whose allegiance to Him would forfeit the allegiance of the people to them; proclaiming everywhere these good old doctrines, with a fidelity, and a courage, and a zeal, and a constancy, that ought to have secured sympathy and commanded admiration. Instead of this, he experienced the usual fate of those who are in advance of the age. He was opposed, resisted, denounced as an extremist and ultra reformer, calumniated as an agitator, and even censured by the General Synod of the Presbyterian Church! It was not until he came to North Carolina, that he found a congenial element which he could mould and train successfully in devotion to principles bearing fruit in splendid achievements, which now, at this anniversary season, in another city, are commanding the homage of the representatives of the world--so successfully trained, that Charlotte occupied the front rank more than a year in advance of Philadelphia--the latter on May 20, 1775, counselling submission, the former declaring independence, and so Mecklenburg became the leader of the land."

        Space forbids the recital of further facts which would but serve to justify the grandeur of this pen portrait, nor can we incorporate herein all the distinguished members of this Craighead family, but must content ourselves with a bare reference to several of them.

        Nancy, a daughter of Rev. Alexander Craighead, was married to Rev. William Richardson, pastor of Waxhaw Church, South Carolina, almost on the Mecklenburg line. They had no children born to them, but brought up as their own, his nephew, William Richardson Davie, and under this training he became a "great man in the age of great men,"--a patriot, a soldier, a jurist, a statesman and a diplomatist.

        The second daughter, Rachael, in 1766, was married to Rev. Dr. Caldwell of Guilford, the educator of a large number of the most eminent men of the South,--divines, statesmen, lawyers, and physicians. His log cabin served for many years to North Carolina as an academy, a college, and a Theological Seminary." Wheeler 1, p. 117.

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