North Carolinians have long had a reputation for a "free society." We have also been known as stubborn. :)
It came about like this:
In 1649, Englishmen had tired of Charles I's Catholicism and decided to chop off his head. This had never been attempted before... because there was that deal about going to hell for killing a "divine" monarch. When you chop of a king's head and nothing happens, you tend to no longer regard kingly rule as "divine." No lightening bolts actually came from the sky when his head rolled across the courtyard. No frogs, pestilences, hail, or plagues fell from the heavens...
What a liberating experience that must have been!
During the Interregnum (between monarchs), Oliver Cromwell allowed great freedom (relatively speaking) in the colonies... Quakers who shunned authority, for instance, got to worship as they please. I brought up Quakers because their anti-slavery and anti-authority stance are important to this state's history... well, at least part of it.
North Carolina, on the south side of the Dismal Swamp (a boundary that must be traversed and where few people survived) and behind the wall of the deadly Outer Banks, offered a wonderful chance to evolve gradually without much interference. Quakers loved it here! They flourished in a place where opposing opinions did not matter.
Still, eleven years later, Charles II came back to the throne and (can you believe it?) expected things to return to normal! lol Right, dude! We had a taste of freedom... for half a century... you've got to be kidding! Anglican (state religion) re-entrenchment came slowly, but decidedly by 1700. Still, in Northern Carolina, it took quite a bit longer... lol. There were... uh... rebellions... a few anyway. He he... we caused trouble.
So, North Carolinians began as the ultimate liberals and pretty much remained that way for decades. Still, a conservative notion began in the southern parts of North Carolina about 1725. Much of this had to do with outside influence... or outsiders inside what would be North Carolina itself. What resulted is... well, a schizophrenic, yet conservative state that Rob Christensen called a Paradox of Tar Heel Politics... the state that we know, love, and sometimes despise today.
You can easily tell that North Carolina is the product of two worlds... one non-conforming Virginians and less aristocratic. The other is South Carolinian and highly aristocratic. These were split down the middle by Indians hostile to English invaders behind a maritime "brick wall" called the Outer Banks. The Tuscarora War of 1711-15 took care of the Indians quite early. From the English point-of-view, northern Carolina, the area "north and east of Cape Fear," was really a waste dump. The dregs moved there, became pirates, and skimmed their subsistence from whales and porpoises near the shore... and any ship unlucky enough to crash on the hazardous barrier islands. Early on, we kept a low profile.
South Carolinians, by contrast, were flamboyant, haughty, and did not much keep to themselves. Charleston was the cream of colonial Anglican influence.
You might have guessed that the "outside" influence along the Cape Fear River, the one that came later than the Virginian-ish Albemarle region in the north (at least 50 yrs old by 1725) was Charlestonian... led by "Goose Creek" Indian slavers (sons of former governor Col. James Moore)
South Carolina was highly aristocratic by comparison, but it was only a remote part of the English kingdom... a part yet considered "beyond the line" (America in general) to where the wild and land-thirsty capitalistic sons of formerly rich men (and their minions/slaves) went to make their fortunes... after first stopping off at Barbados to murder slaves in sugar plantations, of course. They were worse than the Koch brothers, if you can believe it! :)
"Carolina" (to English nobility, really just the area around Charles Towne) was often reminded of its lower status - denied the nobility long reserved for England itself... they were allowed titles like "Casiques" and "Landgraves" when they really wanted "Duke" and "Earl" (maybe even "king!"). English dominance declared itself in Locke's "Fundamental" Constitutions of 1669... where these lower, provincial titles appeared. Virginian escapees in the Albemarle (northern part of NC) wanted to "renounce" all such titles and develop a more egalitarian society. So, we have the difference here, in early NC, like we have now... a liberal, egalitarian system based on equality of each individual versus the presumed right to rule of the landed aristocrat. Thus, the colony's schizo problems after 1725.
Still, this downward glance from the motherland would not sit well with liberal ex-Virginians nor aristocratic Carolinians alike, a temporary alliance was reached, and a revolution developed, but that's another story...
The point to this story is that the motherland decided to chastise their lackluster non-conforming provincial subjects at the turn of the eighteenth century. A class/religious struggle developed that was simply one of many historic examples... they still continue today.
In Charles Town's view, South Carolina already had a well-manicured foot in the aristocratic door that England wanted open in the colonies... and they got full of themselves, too... thought they were immune to England's ire. That thought perished after the Lords Proprietors disgustedly sold out to the crown (late 1729).
This early class struggle in Carolina (at the beginning of Anglican reassertion around 1700) gave fuel particularly to one man's greed... and if you've read my posts before, you know who he is.
I've picked on Edward Moseley quite a bit. This is simply another installment of the abuse of the pseudo-aristocracy that Moseley well represented... my version of #OCCUPY MOSELEY. Furthermore, no historic figure has enjoyed more favor from modern conservative North Carolinians than this guy.
Yes, Edward Moseley's father, John (a merchant-taylor of St Giles, Cripplegate parish in London) died when Moseley was only seven. Well... the probably-pampered little rich-wannabe kid [temper, temper...] still got into the best school... Christ Hospital's (not medical) Royal Mathematical School, reserved for orphaned children of "substantial" men, with lessons prepared by none other than Isaac Newton (the gravity guy) himself. According to the celebrated sarcasm in William Byrd's Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia: and North Carolina of 1728 (a funny book, actually), Edward Moseley “was bred in Christ’s Hospital [Newgate, London] and had a Tongue as Smooth as the Commisary, and was altogether as well qualify’d to be of the Society of Jesus.” Well, Byrd had a definite opinion as well... lol. He called Moseley "Plausible" in the "secret" version of that history. He never tells why... exactly. We can guess. :)
Christ's Hospital and the Royal Mathematical School was the brainchild of Samuel Pepys, who had the frequent ear of the King. The English government needed navigators for their merchantmen. Children who graduated were usually apprenticed to a merchant mariner as navigator and Moseley was no exception. In December 1697, he was apprenticed to Jacob Foreland, master of the ship Joseph, bound for the Spanish port of Bilboa, probably to pick up loads of iron ore.
|Moseley's not-so-modest school of Christ's Hospital (see below)|
|This was the best we could do as far as public buildings until 1734. Being the most powerful nation now kind of prevents us from remembering our very humble beginnings. At least it was brick...|
But, the apprenticeship never happened... remember that Edward had rich "friends," as the entry in Christ Hospital's register states. They "otherwise provided for him" by purchasing his three-year term from Foreland. This took some clout and money indeed!
Funny that DeFoe had a strong interest in America as well... and our Caribbean pirates! To tell the truth, a lot of noble wannabes got interested in America... lots and lots of land... and more LAND! The English loved their land and the power that came with it... remember... they live on an island... land was limited. Land gave you power!
Back to the abuse...
Incidentally, I've never found where Moseley even stepped onto another ship again...maybe the gold weighed him down too much. :)
|Rev. Dr. Thomas Bray|
Note that seemingly devout adherence to the state religion did not prevent Moseley joining forces (Moseley made money from conflicts... he carefully remained as neutral as possible) with John Porter (a reputed Quaker) and the Quaker proprietor John Archdale against the Anglicans (now Moseley's competition) in Northern Carolina in 1706-1708... Porter's son, Maurice Moore, and Moseley would all marry sisters and head to the Lower Cape Fear to "capitalize" or take advantage of that open region later...
Moseley was no more than 21 years old and still quite impressionable and full of himself no doubt. When Moseley found out that, in 1704, the very next year, that Henderson Walker, only about 44, had died, Moseley jumped right up for the job as Ann's next husband... and of course, the gainer of Walker's extensive land holdings in the remote wilderness province of Albemarle. He left Charleston sometime after April 1705 to snatch up that free rich gal!
The reason I know this is because in April of 1705 he handed a note (IOU) for £22 (just under $2000) to Col. George Logan, a friend of ex-governor Robert Daniell (even married Daniell's widow) and said (in the note) that Col. James Moore would cover it for him... to which Moore later said "What the...?" and Logan sued Moseley for the cash.
By then, of course, Moseley had moved to the Albemarle and gotten hitched! No record was ever found showing that Moseley actually paid that note. He bandied it back and forth in court (across the water between the Albemarle and Charles Towne), but probably never paid it. Logan later asked his friend and executor Daniell (in October 1706) to collect all debts owed to him, but "more especially from Edward Moseley of No. Carolina!" Moseley probably figured that old man Logan would die soon.
Moseley was careful that no one could say he didn't act legally when he got this land, the release for the 200 acres on Kendrick's Creek shown below, attached to a deed in 1728 (release previously recorded in 1727):
|Release statement for his father's land by Benjamin Walker, 1727. Note that Elizabeth Lillington, probably John's daughter witnessed it. Note also that Benjamin Walker signed with a "B" because he was illiterate.|
In 1718, Moseley (with Maurice Moore) opposed NC governor Charles Eden (well, they locked his secretary, John Lovick, out of his house and then rifled the papers) because Eden cavorted with Blackbeard the pirate (the Teach/Thatch fellow) and threatened Moseley's income from survey fees... from potential immigrants who feared piracy. He attempted to stall Thomas Pollock's attempts to get help in the Tuscarora War from Virginia... because his friends in SC (especially the Moores) could use the money from the sale of the Indians to the West Indies. Also, he collected fees for surveys that he never performed (I've proven this one). Yes, he was a businessman... a perfect model of corporate loveliness!
Gag! As Shakespeare said, "... the gorge rises at it!"
An interesting reference that I found: Edward's mentor (before he ran out), Gov. James Moore, in reference to the contested actions of a merchant in court (1701), said that "Mr. Painter having comitted Piracy; not having his majesties Pardon for ye Same. Its resolved he is not fit for that trust." Moore obviously believed that piracy was one of his duties... his "trust!" lol The king accused him of it, also.
Edward Moseley showed that he learned that lesson well, too.
In early America, especially North Carolina, a financially-depressed British rich kid could appear wealthy and even feel powerful as a King among the pines! The Family, indeed, contemplated a kingdom of their own in the Brunswick settlement along the Cape Fear River. Moseley even felt that he had royal backing for his crimes against the North Carolinians that he sneered at each day.
One thing that I've noticed after years of researching this guy is... that when he would get caught doing something that the King frowned on, he submitted quickly and acted like he was only trying to best serve his king. Moseley did not have guts enough to fight for the people, Dr. Hill... sneakily against them, maybe... the powerless lower class... US! No, he was a sniveling coward who absolutely adored land, power, and money.
This is ever so relevant to today... Edward favored the Anglican version of the domineering established church (when it suited), not unlike the religious right today that sees Chick-Fil-A as a golden financial example of God's power...
I believe that Edward Moseley and Mitt Romney could have played admirably together in their mansions with their gilt toy soldiers... "off with his head" they might say with a sick little grin on their faces! Still, our society today is becoming more and more democratic thanks to the invention and massive democratizing potential of the internet... the haughty aristocratic days are numbered... the days of Edward Moseleys, Paul Ryans, David Kochs, and Eric Cantors is about over. We the people (the Quakers) are coming back out and speaking our minds.
The Family's Brunswick Town may have faltered before 1740, but the Family remained in power for quite some time... even taking virtual control of the rival town across the river... Wilmington. Again, there was a riot there in 1898... the only coup to ever occur in United States history... over race... hundreds murdered... you might have heard... "negro carcasses" clogging the Cape Fear River... led by one of Maurice Moore's great-grandsons, Alfred Moore Waddell and his cousin, "Col." Roger Moore (named for Maurice's brother, "King" Roger Moore). Yeah... "Gone With the Wind" might easily have been set in the Lower Cape Fear with the immense rice plantations that once sat on the river...