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in Orange and Alamance:
The Fight for Justice, Belief in Education, and the Great Revival
Spring Tour, Hillsborough
and Beyond, April 13-14
When the town of Hillsborough
was laid out in 1754 where the Indian Trading Path crossed the
Eno River, the surrounding area was being rapidly settled. Since
1748, Lord Granville’s land office had been doing a booming
business. Many of the settlers were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians.
In 1755 missionaries to the area organized Hawfields, Eno, Red
House, and Griers. By 1765, Henry Patillo was the minister for
Hawfields, Eno, Little River, and New Hope. Other churches in
the area were Cross Roads (1792) and Hillsborough (1816).
Regulation and Revolution
The Presbyterians who attended these churches and the ministers
who preached there were deeply involved in the great events
that took place in this region. The churches were barely organized
when the Regulator Movement began in 1764 with public protests
against corrupt local officials and appeals to the provincial
government to stop the abuses. Little was done, however, and
when the unrest threatened to become an armed uprising, Governor
Tryon marched with troops to Hillsborough and Salisbury. At
this time the four Presbyterian ministers in the area –
Hugh McAden, James Creswell, Henry Patillo, and David Caldwell
– wrote to “the Presbyterian Inhabitants of North
Carolina,” urging them not to take part in the insurrection
but to be cheerfully obedient to Law and Government. If any
had sworn not to pay their taxes, it was an illegal oath and
they need not be bound by it. They also wrote to Gov. Tryon,
hoping he would find “a very small proportion” of
Presbyterians among the insurgents. [If that were true, would
they have written the letter?] That uprising was quelled peacefully,
but unrest continued to the point of physical attacks on members
of the corrupt “Courthouse rings,” including the
despised Edmund Fanning of Hillsborough. To protect a special
session of the court in Hillsborough, Tryon called up the militia
and marched upcountry. Met by armed Regulators west of Hillsborough,
Tryon refused to confer, and the battle ensued. Some of the
Regulators were captured and hanged in Hillsborough, and we
will see where they are buried. At the Alamance Battleground
we will learn more about these events.
The American Revolution brought
General Cornwallis through Hillsborough in 1781. Later that
same year, Loyalists seized 200 patriots in Hillsborough, including
the North Carolina governor! The first of the two NC conventions
to ratify the US Constitution took place on the site of the
Hillsborough Presbyterian Church.
The town of Hillsborough
still has many homes and public buildings from the colonial
and revolutionary period. On Friday afternoon we will have a
tour of the central part of town, with a guide from the Visitor’s
Center. It is not a large area to cover on foot, but if you
prefer to travel by car, you can do so.
One of the true highlights of our tour will be the visit to
School in Hillsborough. Presbyterians were famously dedicated
to a high standard of education for the training of ministers.
But why did they offer a superb classical education to girls?
The Burwell School opened in 1837 and taught young ladies reading,
writing, arithmetic, and French, Latin, Greek, musical instruments,
voice, and etiquette. The school was operated by Rev. and Mrs.
Robert Burwell during his pastorate at the Hillsborough Presbyterian
Church. Rev. Burwell later served as president of both Peace
College and Queens College.
We will also hear the fascinating
story of how Elizabeth Keckly, a teenage slave girl in the Burwell
household, became a confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln during the
Saturday’s visit to
the New Hope church (est. 1756) will remind us of the great
interest among Presbyterians in the establishment of a university.
Many of the founders and most of the first faculty members were
Presbyterian, and some of New Hope’s pastors also taught
The Great Revival
Roads Presbyterian Church
On Friday evening, Dr. George
Troxler of Elon University will address the third great movement
of those times -- the Second Great Awakening, also known as
the Great Revival. Why did it first appear in NC at the Crossroads
and Hawfields Presbyterian churches in Alamance County? How
did the emotional camp meetings affect the local churches? Were
all of them involved in the movement? How did it spread so quickly
across the state? On Saturday we will visit both Hawfields and
Cross Roads. Many Presbyterians in North Carolina today have
roots that go back to these early piedmont churches.
These are just some of the
questions we will be addressing during our tour in Orange and
Alamance counties, April 13-14. This is the first time that
our annual two-day tour is taking place in the Spring. We hope
you will be there to enjoy the spring flowers with us! The
registration form for the tour is on the last page of this newsletter.
Maps are on p. 4.
Because parking is a problem around the church on a weekday,
registration for the meeting will be at the Microtel Inn from
11:45 to 12:30. If you can come earlier, please join the officers
about 11:00 for an early lunch at the nearby Mayflower Seafood
The Microtel Inn at Hillsborough
is new and has offered us an excellent price for overnight (see
p. 3). But if you decide to go home Friday night, you can meet
us the next morning at New Hope church at 8:25 a.m. It is on
NC 86, east of I-40 (see p. 4). We will not have a bus this
time but hope to carpool as much as possible, both to save gas
and to enjoy each other’s company!
If you can come early or
stay longer, you can visit Ayr Mount, 376 St. Mary's Rd, Hillsborough,
the restored 1815 plantation home of William Kirkland. Guided
tours Thurs.-Sat. at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., $10. Poet’s Walk
is a mile-long trail through meadows and woodlands, following
the Eno River parallel to the Old Indian Trading Path, passing
ruins of an old tavern. Open to all daily in April from 9-6.
Downtown Hillsborough has
many antique, craft, and specialty shops, as well as locally
owned restaurants. The Daniel Boone Village on South Churton
St. includes nearly 30 antique shops, a blacksmith shop, and
other businesses. You can also visit the Commandant's House
of the former Hillsborough Military Academy on Barracks Road,
and see the old textile mills and mill villages of West Hillsborough.
for the Spring Tour
Friday, April 13
9:00 Board Meeting, Microtel Inn
11:00 Optional early Dutch Lunch at Mayflower Seafood Restaurant,
11:45-12:30 Registration in lobby of Microtel Inn, 120
Old Dogwood St., Hillsborough
12:40 Assemble in lobby.
12:45 Carpool to Burwell School, 319 N. Churton Street, Hillsborough
All travel on this tour will be by private auto. Detailed
maps will be provided!
1:00 Talk on Burwell School, tour, and display of artifacts
2:45 Guided tour of Hillsborough, on foot or by car, starting
at Visitors Center, 150 E. King St.
4:00 Orange County Historical Museum, 201 N. Churton Street,
4:30 Late registration, Hillsborough Presbyterian
Church, 102 W. Tryon St.**
5:00 Tour of Town Cemetery, next to the church.**
5:30 Hillsborough Presbyterian Church sanctuary. Talk on church
and town history.**
6:00 NCPHS Business Meeting (In Sanctuary)
6:45 Dinner in the church activity room.**
7:30 Speaker: Dr. George Troxler, Elon University.**
The Second Great Awakening: Evangelical Presbyterians in
the Carolina Piedmont
**For events in or near the church, parking
is available in City parking lot across Tryon St. from church.
Saturday, April 14
8:15 Leave in cars from Microtel for New Hope Church.
8:25 New Hope Presbyterian Church and cemeteries, 4701 NC Hwy
86, Chapel Hill.
10:00 Alamance Battleground Visitor’s Center and the Allen
House, 5803 S. NC Hwy 62, Burlington.
11:35 Hawfields Presbyterian Church and cemetery, 2115 S. NC
Hwy 119, Mebane.
12:15 Box lunch at the church
1:00 Crossroads Presbyterian Church, 3302 N. NC 119, Mebane.
1:30 Return to Hillsborough or depart for home.
Microtel Inn, 120 Old Dogwood St., Hillsborough, NC. 919-245-3102.
Rates for NCPHS only, and only until Apr. 3rd: $39.95
+ tax (1 double bed); $49.95 + tax (two doubles).
Directions: From I-85, take Exit 164 to go
north on S. Churton St. Take immediate first left, between
AutoZone and Pizza Hut. Microtel is up the hill behind Pizza
Hut. From: I-40, take Exit 261 to go north on Old NC 86 for
1.6 miles. As soon as you pass under I-85, take first left as
roads that Microtel and the Mayflower Restaurant are on are
too new to be on Mapquest.
Map to Microtel:
order to make the Hillsborough and New Hope Church maps more
readable online, we have provided links to larger versions of
map, Friday , April 13
morning, 8:25 a.m.: New Hope Presbyterian Church
Historical Tour of Northern Ireland
As this newsletter is going out, we are preparing for our first-ever
tour of historic churches and sites in Northern Ireland. This
year is the 100th anniversary of the Presbyterian Historical
Society of Ireland, and they invited NCPHS to bring a group
over to join them for that event. We will be their guests for
dinner at Union Theological College on the campus of Queens
University, and Dr. Robert Cain of our society will give a brief
talk on historical connections between Presbyterians in Ireland
and in NC.
The tour we have planned
will emphasize the history of those Scottish Presbyterians who
settled in the North of Ireland, and the roots of those who
later left for America. It will include introductory visits
to some libraries and archives, visits to several historic Presbyterian
or Reformed churches as well as sites relating to St. Patrick,
and excursions to Carrickfergus, the Giant’s Causeway,
Londonderry, and Armagh.
Our trip is being co-sponsored
by New Hope Presbytery, which has been linked with the Presbytery
of East Belfast since 1990. Rev. Jim Campbell, who was very
involved in setting up that relationship, is making all the
local arrangements. We will be staying in the homes of church
members in that presbytery.
Although we had talked about
such a tour for some time, the opportunity came up fairly quickly.
It required a lot of planning in a short time, and much of the
publicity did not go out until after Christmas. Many people
who contacted us were unable to go on short notice and hoped
we would plan another trip to Northern Ireland soon. We don’t
know if that is feasible, but it is something we should talk
about. And how about inviting a group from Northern Ireland
to stay with some of us in NC and go on one of our tours?
News from Montreat
Friends of the Historical Foundation at Montreat recently reported
on their work with Columbia Seminary and the Montreat Conference
Center to establish a Presbyterian Heritage Center there. Columbia
has been very helpful, but the Friends need our support and
ideas for this project. Many of you are on their mailing list.
If you are not, let them know: FHFM, P.O. Box 207, Montreat,
NC 28757; email email@example.com
Day Last Fall!
On October 14, 2006, our society had a delightful meeting at
Peace College. We were warmly welcomed by President Laura Bingham,
and her husband Warren Bingham then gave us a very interesting
account of the history of the college. William and Joseph Peace
of Oxford, NC, gave money and land for the school, which opened
in 1872. The first female president of the college was Mary
Graham, a suffragette. In the 1950s President William Presley
worked with the First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh to keep
Peace College from being merged into St. Andrews. In 1994 Peace
became a four-year college, one of the few remaining woman’s
colleges in the country.
After lunch in the college
dining hall, President Don Saunders opened our business session.
First on the agenda was the passage of a number of revisions
to our by-laws, in order to reverse the traditional times of
our meetings. The Executive Committee proposed having our tours
in the spring in order to avoid the sometimes drenching rains
of the hurricane season. The membership approved the change.
Our one-day Annual Meeting will now be on the second Saturday
of October, and our two-day tour of historic churches will be
on the weekend after Easter.
Our society’s former
president, Rev. Thomas Spence, gave a report on the decision
at the General Assembly in June to close the Historical Foundation
at Montreat. Tom is on the Board of Directors of the Friends
of the Historical Foundation at Montreat. Reports by officers
followed, and the business meeting was adjourned. Before leaving,
however, the group was treated to an excellent tour of the college,
led by Mrs. Rebecca Leggett, Director of Visitor Services.
We were especially glad that
our long-time member and former president, Gov. Bob Scott, was
able to drive down from Haw River to attend the meeting.
On March 16th our former president, Martha MacLeod, will receive
the Flora MacDonald Award at the Scottish Heritage Symposium.
See the next newsletter for more details!
Last November one of our
long-time members, Rev. Ben Lacy Rose, died at the age of 91
at the Westminster-Canterbury retirement home in Richmond, VA.
He was a Presbyterian pastor for nearly 70 years, and his churches
included Chinquapin, Bethel, and Beulaville in Duplin County,
NC; Central Presbyterian Church in Bristol, VA; First Presbyterian
Church in Wilmington, NC; and Little Chapel on the Boardwalk
in Wrightsville Beach. Dr Rose earned his B.D., Th.M, and Th.D.
from Union Seminary in Virginia and served on the faculty as
professor of pastoral leadership and homiletics from 1956-1973.
He was a chaplain in the U.S. Army during World War II and was
awarded the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit He retired from
the U.S. Army Reserve in 1974 with the rank of colonel. I retirement
he continued to serve as a supply pastor and gave frequent talks
Another member, John Teunis
Vergeer of Pittsboro, died last October at the age of 78. A
native of Grand Rapids, MI, he was a graduate of Hope College
in Ann Arbor, MI. He had served in the US Army and had been
Vice President of Continental Bank in Chicago. He was a member
of University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill. Our sincere
sympathies go out to his wife, Rev. Melicent Huneycutt-Vergeer
Although not a member, Joe
McLean of West Raleigh Presbyterian Church often attended NCPHS
meetings. We are sorry to report his death on Feb. 16.
NCPHS presents awards each year for outstanding books or other
projects on church history. If you would like to nominate
a book or a project for this year’s award, please let
Ann Myhre know right away. Her address is on this page.
Our society's award-winning books and others that have been
donated are in the Scottish Heritage Center at St. Andrews Presbyterian
College in Laurinburg. The center at St. Andrews also displays
on a rotating basis our society’s collection of dinner
plates commemorating historic Presbyterian churches.
Dr. Donald B. Saunders, President
P.O. Box 1846, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Phone: (828) 295-8917
Brenda Spence, Secretary
294 Fairway Lane, Sanford, NC 27332
Ann Myhre, Awards Chair
1005 Park Ave., Garner, NC 27529
Phone: (919) 772-5514
Sally MacLeod Owens, Membership
710 North Person Street #204
Raleigh, NC 27604-1276
Col. John Wray, Program Chair
2113 Yorkgate Dr., Raleigh, NC 27612
Phone: (919) 782-3384 or 787-9754
Earl Fitzgerald, Treasurer
2213 Foxhorn Road
Trent Woods, NC 28562
Barbara T. Cain, Newsletter
1041 Shelley Road, Raleigh, NC 27609
Thomas K Spence, Past President
294 Fairway Lane, Sanford, NC 27332
With permission of the late Dr. Harold J. Dudley, the society
is reprinting a speech he first gave in 1964 entitled “Toryism
in North Carolina.” If you are interested in those
who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American
Revolution and if you would like a copy, please send $2.00 to
Sally MacLeod Owens.
Also available from her are
copies of maps of the Great Wagon Road, for $1.00. Many
churches in central North Carolina have their roots in the Shenandoah
Valley. A reader aptly noted that the Great Wagon Road was the
interstate highway of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Interstate 81 does indeed follow the center of the path the
Scotch-Irish settlers followed.
Finally, we still have a
few copies of Foote’s Sketches, edited by Harold
J. Dudley, for $15 each. To buy one, please contact either Sally
Owens or Barbara Cain. Contact information is on the previous
The society’s year begins the first of January. If
the membership date on your mailing label is earlier than 2007,
please pay your current dues. Back dues are forgiven. Dues
and any address corrections may be included with your registration
for the Spring Tour or sent to Sally Owens, P.O. Box 20804,
Raleigh, NC 27619-0804.
Individual — $ 10.00
Family — $ 15.00
Individual Life Membership — $100.00
One-year complimentary memberships are given to those honored
for outstanding books or projects on Presbyterian church history. PCUSA
churches, colleges, seminaries, libraries, and church boards
also receive complimentary memberships on a long-term basis.
the Spring Meeting:
The schedule, suggested
accommodations, and maps are on pp. 3-4.
If you need a ride to the
meeting, call Earl Fitzgerald (below), who may be able to put
you in touch with someone else who has registered for the meeting.
Registration: $36 per person.
Please detach and send the form below and a check (payable to
NCPHS) by April 4th to our Treasurer, Earl Fitzgerald, 2213
Foxhorn Road, Trent Woods, NC 28562. Tel. (919)876-6665 E-mail:
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No. of registrations ______ @ $36 = $________
(Individual $10; Family, $15; Individual Life Membership, $100):
Total enclosed: ______________
Please send this form with
your check (made out to NCPHS) by April 4th to Mr. Earl Fitzgerald,
2213 Foxhorn Road, Trent Woods, NC 28562.
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If you can do so,
please put the following announcement in your church bulletin
The North Carolina Presbyterian
Historical Society will hold its Spring Tour in Orange and Alamance
counties on the weekend after Easter, April 13-14. On Friday
there will be a special tour of Burwell School in Hillsborough,
a walking tour of the town, dinner at the Hillsborough Presbyterian
Church, and a talk about the Second Great Awakening in the Piedmont.
On Saturday the group will visit the churches of New Hope, Hawfields,
and Cross Roads, as well as the Alamance Battleground. For more
information, please contact John Wray, Program Chairman of NCPHS,
at (919) 782-3384 or 787-9754 or Brenda Spence, NCPHS Secretary,
at (919) 498-2159.
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