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 The information presented here is an exact transcription of excerpts from the book, printed in 1865, which consisted of 200 copies.  The indication in this book is that the first printing, in 1861, consisted of 50 copies.  The dates and locations of these writings are important to the context in which they were written.   No corrections or changes have been made.


               Excerpts from the book :




Colonel David Fanning”

 ( a Tory in the Revolutionary War with Great Britain):



From 1775 To 1783,

as written by himself

with an introduction and explanatory notes



Richmond, Va.

Printed for private distribution only.


in the first year of the independence of the

Confederate States of America






“The narrative which is now for the first time printed, supplies a vacancy which has always been felt by the historian of the Revolution in the Southern States.  History, song, and tradition have each done something to perpetuate the recollection of the deeds of one whose name has come to us linked with all that is cruel and rapacious in a war of the most fratricidal character; but no authentic detailed account of his life has up to the present time been made public, and but few of the particulars of his career during the war are generally known.

All who have written of David Fanning, the Tory, have assigned him a high rank in the annals of infamy, and none who read his own account of himself and his ‘services’ will hesitate to admit that he has been, ’by merit raised To that bad eminence.’

The frankness with which he narrates his adventures, and speaks of the cold-blooded murder of his neighbors and fellow-citizens, is only equalled by the self-satisfaction which he exhibits at the close of his address ‘To the Reader,’ in using words of the Psalmist as applicable to himself, as the ‘perfect’ and the ‘upright man.’

Besides what he has written, the following account of him (principally traditionary) is that which is best authenticated.

David Fanning was born in Johnston county, N. C., about the year 1754 of obscure parentage.  He was apprenticed to a Mr. Bryant, from whom, on account of harsh treatment, he ran away, when about sixteen or seventeen years of age.  His miserable condition excited compassion, and secured for him a temporary home at the house of John O. Deniell, of the Haw Fields, in Orange county.

He had the scald head, had lost nearly all his hair, and the scalp was so offensive that he never ate at the table with the family or slept in a bed.  In subsequent life he wore a silk cap, and his most intimate friends never saw his head naked.

In the course of two or three years after his elopement from his master he went to South Carolina, engaged in trafficking with the Catawba Indians, acquired property,  and settled on Raeburn’s Creek, a branch of Reedy river, in Laurens District.  On his return from a trading excursion, at the beginning of the difficulties with the mother country, he was met by a party of lawless fellows who called themselves Whigs, and robbed by them of everything he had.  Previously to this he had preferred to be a Whig, but, exasperated by the outrage perpetrated by these desperadoes, he changed sides, and during a series of years availed himself of every opportunity to wreak his vengeance on his former friends.

The defeat of the Tories at King’s Mountain disheartened them for any great efforts afterwards in North Carolina, and they never again assembled in any large numbers in that state.  In 1782 Fanning went to Charleston, S. C., and thence to St. Augustine in Florida.  From thence, at the close of the war, finding that all hopes of his returning to his native State, were removed by the action of the Legislature , which made an exception of him in their acts of amnesty, he went to New Brunswick, and Sabine says:  ‘He lived some years in Queen’s county, and was a member of the House of Assembly, but in 1799 he removed to Nova Scotia, where he was a Colonel in the militia.  He died at Digby, Nova Scotia in 1825.’

Caruthers has sifted and garnered the traditions of the times with remarkable fullness and discrimination, and interwoven record evidence, but recently discovered, elucidating and confirming much that was previously obscure and doubtful.  He is sustained by Fanning in every important statement but one.  Fanning was not trained in the school of M’Girth, but received ‘bloody instructions’ from an abler and more distinguished man, William Cunningham, the Captain of the ‘Bloody Scout,’ a good memoire of whom is a desideratum yet to be supplied by the South Carolina Historical Society, before it is too late.  Fanning states, in the opening of his narrative, that after the reduction of Charleston (May 1780), ‘myself and one William Cunningham concluded to embody a party of men, which we effected.  We determined to take Colonel Williams, of the rebel militia, prisoner, and then to join Captain Parish, who was to raise a company and assist us.’  ‘Bloody Bill’ and Captain Parish (Paris or Peares, according to varying orthography) were fit companions for Fanning.  Williams eluded them then , but only to fall soon after more gloriously, with the shouts of victory sounding his requiem, on the well-fought battlefield of King’s Mountain.

The history of the ‘narrative’ itself; of the importance attached to it, by those who had heard of or seen it; with the indefatigable efforts, continued for a long period and at last crowned with success, on the part of the gentleman who, with the indispensable, untiring sprit of an antiquarian and historian, allowed no difficulties to divert him from the pursuit, the reader will find in the Introduction by Mr. Wheeler.  One thing seems remarkable; that although the existence of this manuscript was known to persons interested in the history of North Carolina, yet it must have entirely escaped the knowledge of Mr. Sabine; for although he says, in the preface to his ‘Sketches of American Loyalists,’ that ‘I lived in the eastern portion of the United States, enjoyed free and constant intercourse with persons of Loyalist descent, have had the use of family papers and of rare documents, have made journeys to confer with the living, and pilgrimages to graveyards to complete the records of the dead,’ yet he makes no mention of the existence of this narrative; and, in addition to that which is above quoted, has only to say for the biography of David Fanning, that ‘He was an officer under the crown during the war, and at its close settled in New Brunswick.’

By the date of his address ‘To the Reader,’ it will be seen that the narrative was written in 1790.  An examination and comparison of the Index and text will give reason to believe that the order of the narrative was first arranged in his mind, and the Index made out, as containing the most important events connected with this period of his life, in the order in which they occurred; and when the work was being executed he failed to find many of the documents he had intended to embody in his account, among which were included the letters, proclamations, speeches and petitions, which are indicated in the Index by a *, but which cannot be found in the text.  Those parts of the Index might have been omitted; but deeming it proper to print the whole paper as it was made out by the author, I have preserved the whole arrangement of title, address to the reader, index and text, just as he had it, not altering a single word or letter from the copy.  A very few typographical errors of a single letter occur, but these are too apparent to be pointed out.

This narrative gives many details of events which have escaped the historian, and records acts of heroism and instances of suffering on the part of those who, in the Southern States, offered up their all as a sacrifice to secure the independence of the American colonies.  But the patriot and the philanthropist must always regret that the struggles of those who, in the contest with Great Britain, shed their blood on every battle-field, both in their own section and that of the North, for the freedom of the whole country, were productive only of a change of masters with them; for soon after throwing off the yoke of Old England, they were, through adroit management and cunning legislation, made to assume that of New England; and ere the actors engaged in the first struggle had all passed from the stage of life, their children had to draw the sword to protect their homes and firesides from a foe who, fattened upon their substance, and grown insolent by successes, attempted to impose on them burdens more odious than those which they refused to bear from that nation to whom they owed their existence as a people.  And these impositions on the part of the North have at last culminated in the final and irrevocable separation from them of those to whom they should have clung with more than maternal love.  And, alas! their mad efforts to subdue those who now stand in the attitude of rebels towards them, have brought about the re-enacting of scenes such as those disclosed by our veracious chronicler; and although we still have greatly the advantage in the battles fought up to this time, yet Virginia invaded, Maryland overpowered, and Kentucky divided against herself, have realized all the horrors of civil war as told by Fanning, with other scenes at the recital of which decency revolts, and before the perpetrators of them even the Tories of the first revolutionary war might ‘hide their diminished heads;’ while the faithful historian of this portion of our country’s annals will blush for his race when he records the deeds of those who, calling themselves Union men, cling to the old government, as did the Tories of Fanning’s time, and in the name of loyalty rob and torture and lay waste the property of those who have dared to assert and endeavor to maintain their rights as freemen.

The present may seem an inappropriate time to attend to preserving the history of our former struggle for independence; and it must be admitted that while a country is engaged in a furious war, with a foe who unites to all the rancor of difference of race the rage of the pirate at the escape of his destined victims, it is hardly a fitting time to contribute to the historical literature of our country.  But when we recollect how liable to loss and destruction, especially at such periods, are all manuscript records, a reason is at once given for consigning them to’the art preservative of all the arts,’ to prevent their total loss.  For this reason, and with the hope that this effort may contribute something to the history of one of the States now forming a part of the new Confederacy, is this pamphlet distributed.

In making out the notes illustrative of the history of persons named in the text, I have derived the greater portion of the information from Sabine’s Loyalists, Lossing’s Fieldbook of the Revolution, and Gibbes’ Historical Documents of South Carolina.  I am also indebted to Hon. L.D. Swain, ex-govenor of North Carolina, for many of the notes, which are printed entire as he wrote them, and for the synopsis of the life of Fanning, as given in the preface.

T. H. W.

               Richmond, Nov. 25th, 1861





By John H. Wheeler


The name of Fanning, whose narrative is herewith preserved, written by himself, is associated, in the revolutionary history of North Carolina, with deeds of daring, rapine, and cruelty.  Since the history of North Carolina was written by me (1851) I have met with a letter from General Alexander Gray to Dr. A. Henderson, dated Randolph  county, N. C., March 30th, 1847, which gives much information as to the adventures and exploits of Colonel Fanning.  Rev. E. W. Caruthers, D. D., in a work entitled ‘ The Revolutionary Incidents and Sketches of Character, chiefly in the old North State,’ in 1854, has devoted more than one hundred and fifty pages of his very valuable work to the life and character of Fanning.

In preparing matter for a second edition of my History of North Carolina, as I felt satisfied that the sketch of Fanning I had presented of him under Chatham County (2d vol. 84) was not complete, and not satisfactory even to myself, without this narrative, which I knew had been written, and which was in existence , I made some efforts to obtain a copy of it.  But to effect this seemed almost hopeless.  I had seen a copy of a letter from Fanning to Rev. Roger Veits, dated in 1822, in which he declared that he ‘would not let any one have it on any pretence whatsoever’ - that he had refused five hundred dollars for it.  I visited St. Johns, in the British province of New Brunswick, near which Fanning lived and died, but was not successful in this object.

After Fanning’s death (in 1825) his son, who, Dr. Caruthers states, ‘ was a ruling Elder in the church and an estimable man,’ did not seem to value so highly this important paper, which with other documents of his father came into his possession.  He allowed Porter C. Bliss, Esq., who was employed by the Massachusetts Historical Society  to collect authentic materials of the early history of our Nation, to make a copy, which he did, as he informed me, ‘verbatum et literatum’ - not correcting the many errors in orthography and grammar with which it abounds.  I copied this myself carefully.  When I first heard of this manuscript copy, it was in the hands of Hon. Geo. Bancroft, in New York.  Wrote to Mr. Bancroft, with the approbation of Mr. Bliss, who at the time was engaged in a responsible position in the Indian Affairs Bureau of the Interior Department in Washington City, and is now attached to the American Legation at Brazil, Mr. Bancroft immediately replied, testifying to the authenticity, fidelity, and value of the manuscript;* and through Mr. Bliss’s efforts it was forwarded to me. My exertions  to procure this paper had been stimulated by a letter to me from Governor Swain, dated 16th  April, 1861, in which he says: ‘ I have known of the existence of the Fanning manuscript for nearly thirty years; and have made repeated efforts, unsuccessfully, to obtain a copy.  My last attempt was three or four years ago, through Dr. Sparks, of Boston.'




*The following note from Mr. Bancroft will testify to the value he placed on the narrative:


                                                                                New York ,  April 26, 1861

My dear Mr. Wheeler: 


         I have yours of April 19th.  Having only had permission of Mr. Bliss to keep the MS.

for a short season, I returned it almost immediately to Mr. Deane , from whom I

received it.  The journal must be printed.

                                                                     Yours truly,

                                                                                  Geo. Bancroft


John H. Wheeler, Esq.




When Judge Murphy, a few years before his death, was collecting materials for history, he made an effort through  Hon. Archibald McBride, of Moore county (in Congress from 1809 to 1813), to obtain a copy of Fanning’s narrative.  He could get get nothing except the following letter, which has been published in the University Magazine, and also in Caruther’s work:


                                                                                                         Digby  15th May 1822


‘Dear Sir

The letters you sent me appears to be a request of some gentleman in North Carolina, or elsewhere to get holt of my Journal, or the narrative of my servis, During the time of the American Revolution.  I am under the necessity of saying that I would not Let any man have it on any pretense whatsoever, Unless I was well informed of the use that was to be made of it.  You can say to the Gentleman that I now have a narrative of the Transactions of that war, Both of North and South Carolinas; and if any gentleman wishes to know from me of any particular transaction, or the Date, by pointing it out to me, I may give the information of it, if it Don’t operate against my Coming back to look after my property.  You may say, that my Journal contains more  than one Quire of Fools Cap paper Closely wrote, and it would take a good pens man a month to write it over, fit to send to the world abroad.  I was offered, by Charles Cook in England fifty pounds sterling for my Journal to have it published,  and I Refused him.  Colonel McDougal Desired me not to Insert in it, any thing of his Servessas; as he intended going back to North Carolina to Live, and he knows that I have a Narrative of all the Transactions.  If he should want any thing of the kind from me, he should write to me himself.  If any person wishes to prove any thing false , respecting the conduct of the Torys, let him point what it is, and I will endeavour to give him the truth.

                                      I am dear Sir Your obedient Servant

                                                                                 David Fanning.

 P. S.  I believe there is some more meaning in the letters than I understand; the word Memorial of my life or a word to that effect, that I don’t understand.  I have hurt my ankil and knee, so I cannot come to see you.  Ross said you wanted to answer them by post.


To the Rev’d Roger Veitts.

With every reader of the revolutionary history of North Carolina, so full of thrilling incidents and patriotism, I feel much gratification in rescuing from oblivion this narrative of one, about whom so much and varied tradition exists in our State; and which, from its minuteness in detail, and accuracy of dates (which have been compared with reliable authorities), may be depended upon, as a truthful record.  Had the daring, desparate temper of Fanning been elevated by education, chastened by religious influences, and directed in proper and patriotic channels, his name might have been associated with that of the Marions and Waynes of the eventful epoch in which he was notorious.”


                                                                                  Jno. H. Wheeler


Murfreesboro’, Hertford Co., N. C.

                 5th June, 1861




The following excerpts are as written by David Fanning:





written by himself

Detailing Astonishing Events


From 1775 to 1783







Courteous Reader,


whoever thou art, the Author being only a farmer bred, and not conversant in learning, thou may’st think that the within Journal is not authentic.  But it may be depended upon on that every particular herein mentioned is nothing but the truth; Yea, I can boldly assert that I have undergone much more than what is herein mentioned.

Rebellion according to Scripture is, as the Sin of witch-craft; and the propagators thereof, has more than once punished; which is dreadfully  exemplified this day in the now United States of America but formerly Provinces; for since their Independence from Great Britain, they have been awfully and visibly punished by the fruits of the earth being cut off; and civil dissention every day prevailing among them; their fair trade, and commerce almost totally ruined; and nothing prospering so much as nefarious and rebelious Smugling.  Whatever imperfections is in the within, its hoped will be kindly overlooked by the courteous Reader, and attributed to the Author’s want of learning.

I do not set forth any thing as a matter of amusement, but what is really, justly fact, that my transactions and scenes of life have been as herein narrated during the term of the Rebellion; and that conduct, resolution, and courage perform wonderous things beyond credibility, the following of which laudable deeds will give them, are exercised therein the Experience that I have gained.

In the 19th year of my age, I entered into the War; and proceeded from one step to another, as is herein mentioned, and at the conclusion thereof, was forced to leave the place of my nativity for my adherence to the British Constitution; and after my sore fatigues, I arrived at St. John River; and there with the blessing of God, I have hitherto enjoyed the sweets of peace, and freedom under the benevolent auspices of the British Government - which every loyal and true subject may enjoy with me, is the wish of the Author.

                                                                                             David Fanning

King’s County

       Long Beach

              New Brunswick

June 24th 1790.


Psalm 37 & 37.

“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright! for the end of that man is peace.”






The narrative of David Fanning       .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                     1

Major Robinson took the command                  .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   3

The first time my being taken                              .                   .                   .                   .                   .                 3

My going to the Indians                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                 4

John Tork in East Florida                .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                 5

Colo. Mills taken           .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                7

Gilliam took me            .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                9

My wounds dressed      .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .              11

Treaty with the rebel, Colo. Williams                  .                   .                   .                   .                   .                11

The reduction of Charleston            .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               11

Colo.  Innis’ Engagement in South Carolina     .                   .                   .                   .                                        12

Went to Deep River North Carolina                    .                   .                   .                   .                   .                13

Col. Hamilton’s advertisement        .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                 13

A skirmish with Duck   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                  14

Joined Lord Cornwallis                    .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .              14

A skirmish with  Capt. John Hinds                    .                   .                   .                   .                   .                  15

The Three Skirmishes   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                 15

The Skirmish with Collier and Balfour                .                   .                   .                   .                   .               17

My appointment from J. H. Craigg .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                     18

A copy of the commission, I gave   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                    19

The names of the different Officers .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                  19

Chatham taken              .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .              24

The Regulations of the Loyalists      .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                   24

The oath to the Loyalists                  .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               27

Engagement with Col. Alston         .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                 27

Copy of a parole            .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .             28

Major Gage’s letter        .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .              29

Col. Slingsby wounded .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                  31

The Engagement with Wade           .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                31

McDougald and McNeal join me     .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                   32

My advertisement          .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .             32

Hillsborough taken, (Gov. taken prisoner)         .                   .                   .                   .                                      33

Colo. McNeal killed, and myself wounded         .                   .                   .                   .                                     34

Skirmish with O Neal   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                  34

J. H. Craigg’s letter        .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               36

Colo. Edmund Fanning’s letter       .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                 37

Capt. John Leggetts’ letters              .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                 37

Colo. McDougal’s list of Officers     .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                   37

Colo. McNeal’s       do        do          .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               37

The Volunteers from Wilmington  .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                     37

Different skirmishes with Rutherford’s men      .                   .                   .                   .                                      38

Rebel proclamation       .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               39

& Col. Isaacs from the mountains   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                      39

Skirmishes with the Rebels               .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                41

Golstone’s House burnt and two Rebels killed .                   .                   .                   .                                        41

Terms required by me of the Rebels                    .                   .                   .                   .                   .                42

Williams answer            .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               43

Ramsey’s Letters            .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               44

Williams, Burns, & Clarke’s letter    .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                      45

Capt. Linley murdered and two men hanged for it                .                   .                   .                   .                    46

Col. Alston came to me                    .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                46

My articles presented again                .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               47

General Butler’s letter    .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                   49

Walker, and Currie’s skirmishes with the Rebels                    .                   .                   .                   .                    50

Balfour killed                 .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               51

Bryan Killed                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               51

Rebel  Commisary hanged                .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                 52

Capt. Williams from Gov’r to me   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                        52

Griffith’s Letter              .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                53

Rosur and Goldston’s letters           .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                    53

Capt. Dugin’s and Guins letter        .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                    54

The answer from the Assemblay     .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                       55

Myself married, & Capt. Hooker killed                .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   56

The forged letters          .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               57

My answer in Major Rains name      .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                      58

My riding Mare taken    .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                     59

Hunter and Williams letter               .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                  59

My arrival in Charleston                    .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                 61

The names of the gentlemen Committee in Charleston        .                   .                   .                                          61

*Rebel proclamation     .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .              

Embarked for East Florida              .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   63

*Major Devoice’s Articles                  .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .              

A certificate of my Services                .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .               63

An estimate of my property             .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                  64

*King’s Speech              .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .

*My speech to the inhabitants          .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .

*Myself and others set out for East Florida        .                   .                   .                   .

*My arrival at New Providence         .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .

Col. Hamilton’s letter   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                                      65

My Memorial to the Commissioners                  .                   .                   .                   .                   .                    66

Lieut. Colo. McKay’s letters              .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                  67

Commissioner’, certificate                 .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                69

Memorial for half pay to Sir George Young       .                   .                   .                   .                                        67

*My letter to George Randal             .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .

The Rebel Act of oblivion                .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                 70

*Rebel Petition              .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .

*Mr. Branson’s letters   .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .

*William Teague’s letter                    .                   .                   .                   .                   .                   .


*The subjects named in these are not to be found in the text.




. . . . . “The day Lord Cornwallis defeated Gen. Greene at Guildford,* I was surprised by a Captain Duck, with a company of Rebels, where I sustained a loss of all our Horses, and arms; we had one man killed on each side.

The day following, myself, and three more of the company, furnished ourselves with arms, and persued the Rebels, who we discovered had gone to their respective homes with their plunder.  We visited one of their houses and found the horses which had been taken from the friends of the Government; and discovering one of the said party in an out house , I fired at him, and wounded him in the neck with buckshot; but he escaped.  We then mounted ourselves , and turning the other horses into the woods, we returned back to Deep River.  We kept concealed in the woods and collected 25 men, having scouts out continually until we proceeded to Dixon’s Mill, Cane Creek, where Lord Cornwallis was there encamped.  On our arrival there his Lordship met us, and asked me several questions respecting the situation of the country, and disposition of the people.  I gave him all the information in my power. And leaving the company with his Lordship, I returned back to Deep river in order for to conduct more men to the protection of the British arms.

Two days following, I returned to the army at Chatham Court house, after being surprised and dispersed by the Rebel Dragoons; on my bringing in 70 Loyalists.  I joined my company again and went with his Lordship, to Cross Creek, and as we had lost most of our horses, we determined to return to Deep River, and join his Lordship when on his way to Hillsborough.  General Green followed his Lordship as far as Little River, and then returned to Ramseys Mills on his way back to Camden; his men marched in small parties and distressed the friends to Government, through the Deep River settlement; I took 18 of them at different times, and paroled them, and after thatwe were not distressed by them for some little time; after a little while some of us had assembled at a friends house, where we were surrounded by a party of 14 Rebels under the command of Capt. John Hinds;  we perceived their approach and prepared for to receive them; when they had got quite near us, we run out of the doors of the house, fired upon them, and killed one of them; on which we took three of their horses, and some some firelocks - we then took to the woods and unfortunately had two of our little company taken, one of which the Rebels shot in cold blood, and the other they hung on the spot where we had killed the man a few days before - - We were exasperated at this, that we determined to have satisfaction, and in a few days I collected 17 men well armed, and formed an ambuscade on Deep River at Coxe’s Mills, and sent out spies.  In the course of two hours, one of my spies gave me information of a party of Rebels plundering his house, which was about three miles off. I instantly marched to the place and discovered them in a field near the house.  I attacked them immediately, and kept up a smart fire  for half an hour, during which time, we killed their Captain, and one private, on the spot - wounded three of them, and took two prisoners besides eight of their horses well appointed, and several swords.  This happened on the 11th of May 1781.  The same day, we persued another party of Rebels, and came up with them the morning following; we attacked them smartly and killed 4 of them on the spot wounded 3 dangerously and took one prisoner with all their horses, and appointments.  In about an hour after that, we took two men of the same party, and killed one more of them; the same evening we had intelligence of another party of Rebels, which were assembling about 30 miles off in order for to attack us; as I thought it best to surprise them where they were collecting, I marched all night  and about 10 o’clock the next morning, we came up with them; we commenced a fire upon each other, which continued for about 10 minutes when they retreated; we killed two of them, and wounded 7, and took 18 horses well appointed; we then returned to Deep River again - I still kept the company together, and waited for another opportunity, during which time, I took two Rebel soldiers and parolled them, who gave me information of a Col. Dudley coming from Gen’l Greens camp at Camden, with baggage.

I mounted my men and set forward in search of them; and I concealed my men by the side of the road; and I thought the time long; according to information I had from the soldiers - I took one man with me, and went to see if I could make any discovery.  I rode a mile and a half, when I saw Col. Dudley with his baggage - I then wheeled my horse, and returned to my men; where I came within a hundred yards of them, Dudley and his Dragoons was nose and tail and snapped their pistols several times.  I, then, ordered a march after them, and after marching 2 ½ miles I discovered them, and immediately took three of them prisoners, with all the baggage and nine Horses.  The baggage I divided among my me Men, which agreeably to Col. Dudley’s report was valued as 1,000 [pounds sterling].  I returned to Coxe’s Mill and remained there till the 8th June; when the Rebels embodied 160 men to attack me, under the command of Cols. Collyer and Balfour.  I determined to get the advantage by attacking them, which I did with 49 men in the night, after marching 10 miles to their encampment.  They took one of my guides, which gave them notice of my approach: I proceeded within thirty steps of them; but being unacquainted with the grounds, advanced very cautiously.  The sentinel, however, discovered my party, and firing upon us, retreated.  They secured themselves under cover of the houses, and fences; the firing then began; and continued on both sides for the space of four hours; being very cloudy and dark - during which time I had one man killed, and six wounded; and the guide, before mentioned, taken prisoner; whom they killed next morning in cold blood.  What injury they suffered, I could not leard; As the morning appeared we retreated, and returned again to Deep River; leaving our wounded men at a friend’s house, privately.

The Rebels then kept a constant scouting, and their numbers was so great, that we had to lay still for sometime; and when Collier and Balfour left the settlement, he the said Colonel Dudley, before mentioned, took the place with 300 men from Virginia.  He took a negro man from me and sold him at public auction for 110 pounds; the said negro was sent over the mountains, and I never saw him since.  At length they all began to scatter; amd we to embody.  William Elwood being jelous of my taking too much command of the men, and in my absence, one day, he persuaded them that I was a going to make them regular soldiers, andcause them to be attached to Col. John Hamilton’s  Regiment; and vindicated it , by an advertisement, that I had handed to several of the Loyalists; that I thought had the greatest influence with the Loyalists.  He so prevailed with the common sort, that when I came to camp I found most of my men gone; I, then, declared I never would go on another scout, until there was a Field Officer.  The majority chose me; They, then, drew up a petition to the commanding officer of the King’s troops.” . . . . . .



. . . . . “About the 7th March1782 Capt. Walker and Currie, of the Loyal Militia fell in, with a party of Rebels, and came to an engagement, and fired for some time, ‘till the rebels had fired all their ammunition; and then, wished to come to terms of peace between each party; and no plundering, killing or murdering should be committed by either party or side; which was concluded upon by each Colonel, for such certain limited bounds; which was to be agreed upon by each Colo; and if they could not agree, each party was to remain neutral until matters was made known, respecting the term which they had to agree upon.  Soon after my men came to me and informed what they had done; we received the rebel Col. Balfour’s answer; ‘there was * resting place for a tory’s foot upon the Earth.’  He also immediately sent out his party, and on the 10th, I saw the same company coming to a certain house where we were fiddling and dancing.  We immediately prepared ourselves in readiness to receive them, , their number being 27 and our number only seven; We immediately mounted our horses, and went some little distance from the house, and commenced a fire, for some considerable time; night coming on they retreated and left the ground.  Some time before, while, we were treating with each other, I had ordered and collected twenty-five men to have a certain dress made which was linnen frocks, died black, with red cuffs, red elbows, and red shoulder cape also, and belted with scarlet, all fringed with white fringe, and on the 12th of March, my men being all properly equipped, assembled together, in order, to give them a small scourge, which we set out for.  On Balfour’s plantation, we came upon him, he endeavored  to make his escape; but we soon prevented him, fired at him, and wounded him.  The first ball he received was through one of his arms, and ranged through his body; the other through his neck; which put an end to his committing any more ill deeds.

We also wounded another of his men.  We then proceded to their Colonel’s (Collier,) belonging to said county of Randolph; on our way we burnt several rebel houses, and catched several prisoners; the night coming on and the distance to said Collier’s was so far, that it was late before we got there.  He made his escape, having received three balls through his shirt.  But I took care to destroy the whole of his plantation.  I then persued our route, and came to one Capt. John Bryan’s; another rebel officerr.  I told him if he would come outof the house, I would give him a parole; which he refused, saying that he had taken parole from Lord Cornwallis, swearing ‘by God! he had broken that and he would also break our Tory parole.  With that I immediately ordered the house to be set on fire, which was instantly done.  As soon as he saw the flames of the fire, increasing, he called out to me, and desired me to spare his house, for his wife’s and children’s sake, and he would walk out with his arms in his hands.  I immediately answered him, that if he walked out, that his house should be saved, for his wife and children.  When he came out, he said ‘Here, damn you, here I am.’  With that he received two balls through his body: He came out with his gun cocked, and sword at the same time.

The next following being the 13th march, was their election day to appoint Assembly men, and was to meet at Randolph Court House.  I proceeded on in order to see the gentlemen representatives; On their getting intelligence of my coming they immediately scattered; I prevented their doing any thing that day.

From thence I proceeded on, to one Major Dugin’s house, or plantation, and I destroyed all his property; and all the rebel officers property in the settlement for the distance of forty miles.”  . . .




Note 20.    Page 50.


“There was”  The word “no” is evidently omitted here, as Col Balfour certainly meant to say, “There was no resting place for a Tory’s foot upon the earth.”

Balfour, Andrew, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland , of respectable parentage.  He arrived in America in 1772, and settled at Newport, Rhode Island.  In 1777 he went to Charleston, South Carolina,  and engaged in making salt.  He removed th Salisbury, North Carolina, in 1778, and purchased or obtained lands in Randolph county.  He was a member of the legislature from this county in 1780.  Such was his activity in the cause of his adopted country, that he was taken prisoner in the fall of this year (1780), with Jacob Shepard, father of the Hon. Augustine H. Shepard, by a party of Tories under the command of Col. Coulson.  When carrying them as prisoners to Cheraw they were released by Capt. Childs, from Montgomery county.  He returned to his home, when he was attacked by Fanning, and he was cruelly murdered by Fanning, his daughter and sister clinging to him in despair, on Sunday, 10th March, 1782.  His widow, who came to North Carolina after his death, Dec., 1784, was much respected and held the office of Post Master at Salisbury until 1825, discharging its duties with great fidelity and acceptability.  Her son Andrew married Mary Henly, and had nine children (five sons and four daughters), all of whom removed to the west except Mrs. Eliza Drake, wife of Col. Drake, of Ashboro.  His daughter Tibby married John Troy, who had three children: John Balfour Troy, now of Randolph co., Margaret, who died in Davidson county in 1813, and Rachel who married Lewis Beard, now in the west.  His third and remaining child, Margaret, married Hudson Hughes, of Salisbury, who had two daughters, one of whom married Samuel Reeves, of Salisbury.


(On page 17, 29th line, Elwood should be Elrod.  Col. Elrod’s humanity rendered him obnoxious to Fanning. - See Caruther’s Old North State, vol. 1, 175.)


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The following are miscellaneous other writings with references to David Fanning as published on the Internet:


“Biographies of North Carolina Revolutionary War Participants


born Abt 1758 in Deep River, Randolph Co. North Carolina; died Aft April 11, 1846 in Deep River, Randolph Co. North Carolina. He was the son of William ALLRED and Elizabeth DIFFEE. He married Sarah SPENCER 1786 in Randolph Co., North Carolina. Sarah SPENCER was born Abt 1769 in Randolph Co., North Carolina.

John Allred, was born and reared in the house built by his father, William Allred. In the same home Claiborne Allred, who was the youngest son of John Allred and Sarah Spencer, and Orpha Russell settled when they first married and most of their family of seven children were born there.

When the Revolutionary war came, John Allred shouldered his flintlock rifle and fought for the freedom of the American colonies to the end of the war. As a resident of Rowan County, NC, he enlisted in the spring of 1781 as a private and volunteer in the cavalry under Capt. Thomas Doogan for the purpose of subduing and putting down one Colonel David Fanning, a Tory in the Royal Militia, who, with a band of outlaws, conducted a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the colonists in and around Randolph County, North Carolina, burning houses, pillaging and murdering, from 1775 to 1783. Allred served for approximately 12 months until the spring of 1782. The fact of his fighting against the British aroused the anger of Col. David Fanning, the leader of the Tories or British sympathizers, and he and his band of men went to the homestead in search of John, who happened to be at home. He saw them coming, snatched up his gun and secreted himself in the attic. It so happened that they did not go up there to search for him. William Allred also saw them approaching, took up his gun and ran out northwest of the house and lay down behind a large rock. He could see Fanning and his men from his hiding place when they went out to his crib, later opened the crib door and let many barrels of corn run out, did the same at another log crib, then turned their horses loose in the lot to eat and trample the corn into the red mud. When they had eaten all they wanted them to have, they saddled them up and started on towards the western part of the county. Fanning was eventually driven out of North Carolina and fled to South Carolina and then to East Florida, and from there fled with his family to New Brunswick, Canada, where he died on the island of Nova Scotia in 1825.    .  .  .


SOURCES: (1) Family history recollections, written by Rev. Brazilla Caswell Allred in 1922, and published in "The Searcher", Vol. VI, No. 2 (So. Calif. Genealogical Society, 1969) The Reverend was the brother of William Franklin Allred of Randolph County, North Carolina. (2) Certified Statement of Mary C. Allred Jones, dated 22 Apr 1929, found among the papers of Dora Belle Jones Cross on 16 Oct 1977; (3) Rulon Allred, "Allred Family in America" (1965); (4) Revolutionary war Pension records, National Archives; (5) DAR Patriot Index, p. 12; Randolph Co. Marriage Bonds, cited in Rand. Co. Gen. Journal, Vol 1, No. 1 (Spring 1977), p. 30-31.
Submitted by: Frederick W. Ford ANURICK@aol.com”



Kenneth Black (1730-1781)  

Kenneth Black was born on the Isle of Jura, Scotland about the year 1730. He married Miss Kate Patterson of the Isle of Jura, Scotland, and soon thereafter emigrated to North Carolina and settled in Moore County. There is no evidence that he was a refugee from The Battle of Culloden, as he was only a boy at the date of that crucial battle. All through the Revolutionary War, Kenneth Black was a staunch Loyalist. He appears to have taken only a passive part in the strife but he was so outspoken for King George, the Third that he was made a target for the slaps and flings of the whole Whig community. For his stand he was ruthlessly murdered on July 20, 1781. Kenneth Black was returning home from guiding Colonel David Fanning, leader of the Tories, through the area known as the Pine Barrens, (present day Pinehurst, North Carolina and surrounding areas), when Colonel Alston's troops came upon him. Attempting to flee, he was pursued and shot; and then clubbed to death with his own rifle. Colonel Alston was pursuing Colonel Fanning seeking revenge for the Piney Bottom Massacre in which a 13 year old boy, a ward of Colonel Alston was killed. Upon learning of his friend, Kenneth Black's murder by Colonel Alston, David Fanning was furious and immediately sought revenge against Colonel Alston at his home, known as the "House in the Horseshoe" in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Colonel Fanning led his troops in an attack on Colonel Alston home with intentions of killing everyone inside. This was prevented only by Colonel Fannings acceptance of a "surrender' off made by the wife of Colonel Alston, who wished only to save her children.

Kenneth Black was a friend of Alan McDonald of Kingsborough, husband of the illustrious Flora McDonald. It was to Kenneth Black that Flora appealed for aid when her house burned in 1777 at Killegrey in Moore County. It was at his house that Flora's daughters were visiting when the rude soldiers ripped their silk dresses with their swords.”

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“Descendants of Col. David Fanning

David Fanning was a very interesting Anscestor to research. He was born in Virginia in 1755. When the Revolutionary War started he felt loyal to England and therefore fought for the English, called a "Loyalist". He attained the rank of Colonel in the Randolph and Chatham Co's, NC Militia on July 7, 1781. After the War, on May 17, 1782 the Act of pardon and Oblivion passed, exempting him from pardon in NC. David and his wife were sent to Florida, awaiting deportation to Canada. On September 23, 1784 they arrived in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. In 1799 the growing family moved to Digby, Nova Scotia. David and his family remained there. In his later years, David Fanning wrote a book about his experiences during the war. The following text was taken from that book.

!From "The Narrative of Col. David Fanning" by Col. David Fanning, Edited with an introduction and notes by Lindley S. Butler. In December 1861 in Richmond, Virginia appeared a slim volume entitled "The Narrative of Colonel David Fanning", Edited by Thomas H. Wynne, the secretary of the VA Historical Society, and with an introduction by John Hill Wheeler, a former diplomat and a NC Historian, the limited edition of fifty copies was the first publication of the most significant loyalist narrative about the American Revolution in the southern provinces.........David Fanning finished the journal of his wartime experiences on June 24, 1790, at his home on the St. John River in the Province of New Brunswick, Canada..............His grandfather, Bryan Fanning, was the first of the family to settle in the county, and his father, David, had moved his family to NC where he was drowned in the Deep River before his son was born. His widow remained in NC with her young daughter and new son, but the struggle was apparently to much for her. She succumbed in 1764, leaving her two children, Elizabeth and David, to be bound as orphans to guardians in Johnston County (the present Wake County). In later years David Fanning would claim his father's property in VA, two plantations totalling 1100 acres, but he never succeded in securing his inheritance. In July 1764, the county court bound the nine-year-old Fanning to a guardian, Needham Bryan, Jr, a county justice, who at least fufilled his obligation to educate the boy. Fanning was apprenticed to Thomas Leech, who may have been a loom mechanic. In 1778 Fanning was reportedly working as a mechanic and loom builder in Chatham County, although he said nothing of his early life other that he was "farmer bred". Some insight on this period is provided by the folk traditions compiled by Eli W Caruthers in his history published in 1854. According to Caruthers, Fanning left his guardian because of harsh treatment and fled to Orange County where he was taken in by the John O'Denniell family. It was here that he was supposedly cured of scald head or tetter worm, an offensive scalp disease that left him bald. Thereafter he wore a silk skull cap. Another tradition from Caruthers is the widespread reputation that Fanning had as a youth of being a superb horseman and a tamer of wild horses.” . . .


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