The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

George Burrington, Esq., now Governor, for a crime or offense alleged to be done by him whilst Governor; which by act of Parliament is ordained elsewhere to be heard, and for that the said court cannot compel the said Governor, here to appear or answer thereto; they cannot hear or determine the same, and will not proceed in judgment. William Little, Chief Justice (page 79).

        Thereupon Mr. Ashe, Nath. Rice, Secretary, and John Montgomery, Attorney General, addressed a memorial to the Lord Commissioners, at home, of great power, charging and impeaching Governor Burrington of public misdemeanors and private wrongs, and praying protection against oppression and relief against wrongs.

        I copy further from the Rolls Office in London, the following letter of Governor Burrington, to Duke of New Castle.

June 5, 1734.


        Having lived in this Province for some years without receiving any money from the King, or the country, I was constrained to sell not only my household goods, but even my linen, plate and lands and stocks. The many sicknesses that seized me and their long continuance have greatly impaired my constitution and substance. My affairs and health being in a bad condition, I humbly desire my Lord Duke, will be pleased to obtain His Majesty's leave for my return to England.

        I am with profound duty, My Lord Duke Your Grace's most humble and most devoted servant.


        He was allowed to return, and he died a melancholy death; rioting as was his custom all night, he was found dead in the streets of London, one morning in the Bird Cage Walk, St. James Park.

        Gabriel Johnston succeeded Burrington 1734. He died in 1735, leaving issue: I. John, II. Samuel, and III. Mary.


        John Baptista Ashe, the progenitor of the family, was a lawyer practicing in the colony of North Carolina, early in the eighteenth century. He married Elizabeth Swann, the sister of Colonel Samuel Swann, and eminent lawyer, compiler of the Acts of the Assembly (1752) known as "Yellow Jacket," and speaker of the Assembly, and along with Swann and others settled on the Cape Fear. He was a man of wealth and of culture. His literary abilities are attested by his correspondence with the Home Government arraigning Governor Burrington for his excesses in the administration of the affairs of the colony. He was the Speaker of the Assembly in 1727, and Member of the Council in 1730.

        He was fearless in his denunciation of Burrington, who procured his imprisonment by a sub-He lies buried at Gravely, four miles south of Wilmington, now in possession of Marsden Bellamy.

        I. General John Ashe was born in North Carolina, in 1720; educated at Harvard College, a popular leader and an eloquent speaker. Was speaker of the Assembly from 1762 to 1765. He opposed the Stamp Act, and from that time until his death, in 1781, was the active and constant champion of the cause of the colonists.

        Married Rebecca (sister of General James Moore, and Judge Maurice Moore). To them were born (a) John, a Major in the North Carolina line; (b) Samuel, commanded a troop of light horses at the North during the war of '76; (c) Harriet, married, first, to Davis--second to Laspiere; (d) Eliza, married to William H. Hill, Member of Assembly 1794, of Congress 1799; United States District Attorney and appointed to the Federal bench by President Adams. To them were born Joseph Alston Hill, an orator of great brilliancy, died, at an early age, in 1830, and among other descendants may be mentioned Wm. Henry Wright, United States Engineers; Griffith J. McRee; Judge Samuel Hall, of the
Page 300 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS