NORTH CAROLINA IN THE COLONIAL PERIOD.
BY DANIEL R. GOODLOE.
An article by John Fisk, which appeared in the February (1883) number of Harper's Magazine, entitled "Maryland and the far South in the Colonial period," contains statements in regard to North Carolina which have given grave offense to every citizen and native of the State. The writer assumes to portray the condition of the people and the character of their institutions, civilization and government, during the whole period of their colonial existence, while he has presented only an exaggerated and distorted picture of disorders which prevailed among the first handful of settlers on the Northeastern border, before there was a defined boundary, and when that portion of the territory, or a considerable part of it was claimed by Virginia.
The writer may, also, have had in view the resistance made by the people called Regulators, in the middle and upper counties, at a later period, to the robbery and extortion of the county officers. But the more charitable supposition is, that he has never read a history of the Province.
The original grant made by Charles II. to the Lords Proprietors, bears date March 20, 1663. This instrument conveyed to the noblemen and gentlemen, named all the territory lying between the parallels of thirty-one and thirty-six degrees of North latitude, and extending from the Atlantic Ocean westward to the South Sea. Wm. Byrd, Esq., the intelligent Virginia gentleman, who was one of the commissioners employed to run the boundary line between the two provinces, states, in his "Westover papers," that "Sir William Berkeley, who was one of the grantees, and at that time Governor of Virginia, finding a territory of thirty-one miles in breadth between the inhabited part of Virginia and the above mentioned boundary of Carolina, (thirty-six degrees) advised Lord Clarendon of it, and his Lordship had influence enough with the King to obtain a second patent to include this territory, dated June 30, 1665."
It appears from this statement of Mr. Byrd, that North Carolina owes this addition of half a degree to the width of her territory, to the treachery of the Governor of Virginia, to his trust. It was the duty of the Governor to secure, if practicable, the unclaimed territory for Virginia, but it was in the interest of Sir William Berkeley to have it added to the Carolina
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