Cabarrus County, during the Revolution and before a part of Mecklenburg, showed early resistance to the powers and oppressions of its rulers. The people lost no opportunity of opposing the Royal Government.
I found, in the London Rolls Office, the list of persons who were concerned in destroying the ammunition intended for Governor Tryon's army, en route from Charleston to Salisbury, in 1771, inclosed in a dispatch from Governor Martin; and they are preserved, as many of the descendants of these bold and patriotic men still reside in this section, as follows:
James Ashmore; Benjamin Cochran; Robert Caruthers; Robert Davis; Joshua Hadley; John White; James White; William White, Jr.
We present a name worthy of respect and remembrance. Our pages have been hitherto devoted to the soldier and statesman, but we now dwell upon one who stamped upon his day and generation, as a divine, a character worthy of all Grecian or Roman fame.
Rev. John Robinson, D. D.,*
* Historical sketch of Poplar
Tent Church, by Wm. S. Harris.
was in all respects one of the highest type of men in mind and manners; resplendent in purity and usefulness of his life; peerless in consecrated genius; like Masselon, he was truly the Legate of the Skies. He was born in this county, near Sugar Creek Church, and received his academic education from Mr. Archibald, and completed it at Winnsboro, South Carolina. He was licensed to preach in 1793, and became one of the most popular and acceptable ministers of the Presbyterian faith; he taught school for many years, and some of the first minds of the country were developed by his learning and assiduity.*
* Historical sketch of Poplar Tent Church, by Wm. S. Harris.
* As Governors Owen, Pickens,
Murphy, and Hon. Charles Fisher, D. M. Barringer, Col. Daniel Coleman and
These have adorned every station of life; in testimony of their grateful appreciation of his services, his pupils built a handsome monument, on which is a beautiful inscription appropriate to his character. And although an ordinary life has elapsed since his decease, his memory is still cherished by many with affection.
* As Governors Owen, Pickens, Murphy, and Hon. Charles Fisher, D. M. Barringer, Col. Daniel Coleman and others.
He married Mary Baldwin, whose lovely character did much to temper the ardent enthusiasm of her husband. Only four children reached maturity, two sons and two daughters. His eldest, Samuel, was adventurous and daring in temper. He participated in the South American and Turkish-Grecian struggles, and attained command of a splendid ship, which was lost at sea in February, 1843, with all on board.
Connected with Cabarrus County and the church is the name of Rev. Hezekiah James Balch, who was born at Deer Creek, Harford County, Maryland, in 1748. He was a gifted divine and a finished scholar. He graduated at Princeton in 1766, in the same class with Waighstill Avery, Oliver Ellsworth, of Connecticut, Luther Martin, of Maryland, and others. He came to North Carolina in 1769. He was the first pastor of Poplar Tent Church, and remained so until his death. He combined in his character unspotted piety, enthusiasm, and firmness. He was earnest and patriotic in the cause of liberty; and took an active part with the men of Mecklenburg, to which Cabarrus then belonged, in the convention that declared Independence on the 20th of May, 1775. He did not, however, live to see the warmest wish of his heart gratified, the independence of his country, for which he was ready to give up his life. He died in 1776.
In the ancient graveyard of the venerable Poplar Tent Church, stands a mosscovered
Index - Contents