The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

        Dr. George Glasscock, during the early days of our State, resided in this county at Cross Hill. Dr. Glasscock was a native of Virginia. His mother was the sister of Mary Ball, the mother of Washington. Dr. Glasscock during the march of Cornwallis and the raids of Fanning, was with the Whigs as Surgeon.

        He married Martha Howard and raised a family of ten children, five sons and five daughters, and his descendants are among the most enterprising and useful of our citizens. Dr. Glasscock was murdered in 1787 at the instigation of Colonel Philip Alston.

        A cluster of houses soon acquired the character of a town on the Cape Fear River, about 1730, on the site now occupied by the town of Wilmington. Lots were surveyed and the village was known as New Liverpool. In 1735, John Watson obtained a grant for 640 acres of land including the embryo city, and changed its name of Newton. In 1739, this name, by an act of the assembly, was changed to Wilmington, in honor of Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, the patron of Governor Gabriel Johnston.

        Sir Spencer Compton, third son of Earl of Northampton, was created Baron of Wilmington, January 5, 1727; Viscount of Pevensy in 1730; Member of Parliament and Speaker of the House of Commons. He was for some time President of the Privy Council, and upon the resignation of Sir Robert Walpole in February 1742, was appointed first Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. He died July 2, 1742. (Martin's History, 294; Collins Peerage, III., 257; Uni. Mag., V., 242.)

        There is no portion of the State that was more devoted to the cause of liberty during the Revolution, than the Cape Fear section; none that more readily contributed its men and means to its support. These glowing records exist, and the fearless acts and heroic devotion of her sons are written on the pages of history, and if gathered, would form an imperishable monument to their valor and patriotism.

        Will not some son of New Hanover from this "embarrassment of riches," preserve, and present these memorials in gratitude to worth and valor? They would form a volume of thrilling interest and greatest value.

        The bold action of the New Hanover people during the Stamp Act trouble was unsurpassed by that of any other community. They seized the Stamp Master in the Governor's Mansion, and forced him to swear not to execute his office. In consequence of their action, particular restrictions were laid on the Commerce of Wilmington, and the people embodied under the leadership of John Ashe, marched to Ft. Johnson, where the Governor was, and demanded redress, which was accorded.

        In 1774 when the bill shutting up the Port of Boston, was enacted by the British Parliament, the citizens of Wilmington declared by public resolutions: "The cause of Boston to be the common cause of America;" and the next month sent by Parker Quince a ship-load of provisions to their suffering and beleaguered countrymen.

        The patriotic people of New Hanover formed a Committee of Safety, with which the people of Brunswick, Bladen, Duplin, and Onslow united; and when the Royal Governor (Martin) summoned his Council to meet him in January, 1776, on board of a Sloop of War, in the Cape Fear River, this committee informed the members of the Council that "the safety of the country would not allow them to attend the Governor."

        The proceedings of this committee from November, 1774 to October, 1775, have been printed from the original records, (Raleigh, Thos. Loring, 1844), and prove the fearless conduct of the people.

        The first conflict of arms after the military organization of the State, occurred in this county at Moore's Creek bridge, February 27, 1776, when the colonists, under Caswell and Lillington met the royal forces, under MacDonald and routed them with great loss.

Page 298 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS