The Author, a member of the fourth generation from Colonel Andrew
Balfour, a great-grandson of Tibby Balfour, who married John Troy June 24, 1790,
reproduces this Revolutionary History, together with a brief sketch of the life
of his mother, Anne Eliza Troy, for the edification of the descendants and
John Troy was a lawyer of Salisbury, North Carolina, whose father,
Michael Troy, and mother, Rachel Potts, immigrated to America from Londonderry,
Ireland, prior to the year 1770.
Anne Eliza Troy personally knew Dr. Caruthers, a Presbyterian Clergyman
of Scotch extraction, Author of “Revolutionary Incidents and Sketches of
Character chiefly in the ‘Old North State’,” from which the history of the
Balfour family herein is gathered, she had entertained Dr. Caruthers at her home
and often talked with the writer of his integrity and Christian character.
Anne Eliza Troy manifested at all times a lively interest in the history
of the Balfour family as contained in Dr. Caruthers’ sketches, more fully
handed down through the channel of family tradition.
With her children it gave her much pleasure to talk frequently of these
details, and the writer now finds no small degree of satisfaction in concluding
that Margaret Balfour and Anne Eliza Troy were women of like character, in
affection, in devotion to duty, complete faithfulness to the extraordinary
responsibilities surrounding their lives, and in their deep rooted conception of
every principle of right and justice, it is, therefore, deemed quite fitting
that a brief sketch of the life of the latter be made a part of this work.
To the memory of Colonel Andrew Balfour, his sister, Margaret Balfour,
wife, Eliza Dayton Balfour, and daughter, Tibby Balfour, and to the memory of
Anne Eliza Troy, this work is affectionately dedicated, esteeming the
opportunity a sacred privilege.
Publication is for gratuitous distribution to such of the kindred as may
desire a copy, trusting that all those into whose hands the same shall fall, may
thereby be inspired to the nobler aims of life.
February 10, 1917
from the book entitled “Revolutionary Incidents and Sketches of
chiefly in the ‘Old North State’ “ by
E. W. CARUTHERS, D. D.
Philadelphia: Hayes & Zell, 1854
From pages 297-343
then the writings of Rev. Caruthers about Colonel Balfour and his family are
( . .
. and we continue . . .)
Anne Eliza Troy (Evans), born July 17, 1825, was the eldest of seven
children of Oran S. and Nancy T. Evans, of Chatham County, North Carolina.
Six daughters and one (the youngest) a son, Orpheus Hume Evans.
The home of Mr. And Mrs. Evans, modest in its surroundings, was an
abiding place for discipline, a field for industry, and for the inculcation of
all the lofty ideals that tend to the upbuilding of true character, and it was
here that the Subject’s young mind first began to shape the course that
followed with so much distinction throughout all the years of her life.
At a very early age her school duties began, walking many miles each day
to and from the country school. Being
a most diligent student and with a bright mind, she acquired, quite early, a
splendid English education. Her
educational work was so successful that the age of sixteen years she was chosen
as a teacher in her own community, and thus became an instructor to many of her
former classmates and schoolmates.
One of the most beautiful characteristics of her entire life was her
marked fidelity to her parents. From
her earliest childhood her mind seemed to grasp all the force of that beautiful
Commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother,” and, without wavering, in
fact, under all conditions, some the most trying, her stout heart never failed
to live cheerfully up to this rule; when called to the work as a teacher it
naturally gave her much pride, and seemed to afford her the utmost satisfaction
then to immediately begin to demonstrate this great lesson she had learned, by
returning to her father a portion, or perhaps all, of the money he had expended
upon her education.
On February 4, 1845, she was married to Simpson H. Staley, of Randolph
County, North Carolina. Of this
union two children, Oran Dalles and Leonora Simpson, were born. Mr. Staley lived but a few short years, and at his death it
devolved upon her, then so young, to care for his estate (lands and slaves) and
to properly preserve the same for the benefit of his children.
This she did with marked ability, and with much success until in after
years the same, like all similar interests, was partially disturbed by the
consequences arising out of the war.
On June 4, 1850, she was married to Dr. Mathew M. Troy, of Randolph
County, North Carolina, of which union the writer was born.
The periods of sunshine in her life indeed were of short duration.
After her second marriage there were interspersed a few short years of
seeming tranquility, then came the Civil War, and of the cruelties and hardships
of this, she bore a share almost without parellel.
The writer with full knowledge, as a boy, of many of these details, to
which has been added the study and reflection of more sober years, feel, and
that quite conscientiously, , that in all respects her fortitude and devotion
can most faithfully be compared with that of Margaret Balfour, one of the
distinguished and much beloved principals of the Revolutionary History,
which forms a part of this work.
To one who appreciates the exalted attribute of family affection, it it
easy to realize the great friendship that existed between Anne Eliza Troy, the
eldest sister, and Hume Evans, as he was called, the young and only brother; it
Mr. Evans, the father, was a man of dauntless courage and the very
thought of invasion by an enemy stirred his every impulse, and with the
beginning of the Civil War he found himself to be a Secessionist of the most
extreme order. Too old himself to
engage in war, nothing would satisfy him but to send forward his young and only
son, then a bright boy of seventeen years; and the latter with much of the same
parental spirit and with marked loyalty to his father’s wishes, immediately
enlisted in the cause of the Confederacy. Here
followed a condition that was indeed pathetic, and constituted the next serious
crisis that overshadowed Anne Eliza Troy’s life.
The starting of Hume Evans (so young) to the war, seemed almost
completely to overcome the strength of her good mother, and some remedy had to
Dr. Troy (of Whig persuasion) was not a Secessionist, and never at any
time hoped for the success of the Confederacy, but promptly aligned his views
with those of his native State when she had seceded.
He was a great favorite of Mrs. Evans, and at this juncture it seemed
that nothing could preserve her from complete collapse except that D. Troy
should immediately enlist and follow as a protector for this young boy.
Although a professional man, thus exempt from military duty, he
immediately consented to do so and enlisted.
Here Anne Eliza Troy, wife, eldest sister, daughter, was called upon to
separate from her husband and to face alone, as it were, all of the serious
problems then to follow through the long period of war; she was equal to this,
and with that deep love which she bore for her mother and young brother, gave
her cooperation. Dr. Troy became a
member of the same company with Hume Evans, and carried out with his best
efforts this undertaking, of which the close was attended with indescribable
In the space of a few months Hume Evans had laid down his life in the
cause for which his father had manifested such zeal.
While on picket duty at a late hour at night was instantly killed, being
shot through the head, without warning, by a villain whose weapon rested through
the crack of a fence and in such close proximity as to leave its powder marks
upon the boyish face, then dreaming perhaps of his home and loved ones.
This murder, for murder it was, seems in all respects as cruel and foul
as was the killing of Colonel Balfour, the principal of this work.
Dr. Troy, as best he could, buried the remains of Hume Evans near the
place of his death until his father could reach the scene and bring the body
home for final interment. With this
terrible experience, it seemed to dawn upon Mr. Evan’s mind what the cruel
consequences of war might be, and for the first time his stout heart trembled.
Of him and Mrs. Evans, both of whom lived until about the close of the
war, it may truly be said, they died broken-hearted.
After the death of Hume Evans, it seemed no one could share so deeply and
effectively the great affliction to this family as did Anne Eliza Troy, and here
she laid aside every other interest, devoted her time and attention to the care
and comfort of her father and mother, watched over them throughout all the dark
years of the war, nursed them through all their afflictions, and finally when
the sad end came, saw them carefully laid to rest.
Dr. Troy, after the death of Hume Evans, continued the duties of war in
the capacity of Field Hospital Surgeon, was captured when the lines were broken
at Petersburg, Virginia, afterwards confined for many months at Johnson’s
Island, and was not heard from during this long interval until a day or two
before his return, far into the summer of 1865.
The writer here recalls vividly how, as a boy, he observed the keen
soliitude of his mother during this last-named anxious period, following so
closely upon the previous sorrowful experiences; it did at the time seem more
than her strength was equal to.
Dr. Troy, on his return home broken down in health and spirit, undertook
the restoration of his profession, but soon died.
His remains rest, together with the remains of the writer’s second
child, Herman Whitley Troy, in the town cemetery at Graham, North Carolina.
Then it seemed for Anne Eliza Troy that life’s battle had to be begun
anew. To those now living, the
difficulties and gloom of the period immediately following the war need not be
painted anew. To the stoutest
hearts what to do was indeed a difficult problem.
Anne Eliza Troy, with practically everything swept away by the war,
careworn with the many sorrows herein recited, and with the education and
training of her children not yet completed, did not falter.
In her deliberations as to what to do, her mind pointed to the vocation
of hotel keeping. This work she
undertook with an earnestness and a perseverance that may truly be called
wonderful. Her efforts in this line
were a complete success; she followed the occupation with such marked energy and
courage that at one time she was the keeper of three different hotels in North
Carolina, situated many miles apart, traveling frequently alone by night from
one to the other in order to add her personal supervision to every detail.
In the pursuance of this work she was enabled to provide for her family,
to meet all her pecuniary obligations and do much good for those around her.
Her work as a hotel-keeper won for her a host of patrons throughout North
Carolina and the adjoining states, all of whom became her warm friends, for in
this field she lived closely to one of the ruling characteristics of her nature,
namely good measure, shaken together, running over.
Anne Eliza Troy’s broad mind and generous heart afforded her at all
times a true conception of that most important subject, “Charity”. To her family and kindred her love knew no limit; to her
neighbors she ever bore the fullest gratitude and affection; to the poor around
her she always extended substantial aid, and during all the long years following
the war, her affection for the family slaves of former years never waned, their
affection for her was alike, deep and lasting.
After such a strenuous active life as this review shows, her health
failed, and about the year 1888 she was compelled to withdraw from her hotel
pursuits; this she did, locating at Amherst, Piedmont section of Virginia,
seeking the benefits of this splendid climate, and further the opportunity of
being near the family of the writer.
Here she gradually regained a portion of her strength; in fact, became
stronger each year, taking, as it were, much comfort in the knowledge of duty
well performed, and of that beautiful thought, that she owed no man anything.
With these surroundings the last years of her life were spent in
reasonable composure, and at the home of the writer on the morning of July 31,
1900, surrounded by her children and grand-children, she passed most peacefully
to her reward.
writer would renew that ofttimes sorrow for the omissions of his earlier years,
would record his lasting gratitude for the privilege of having his mother during
the closing years of her life, walk as it were, with her hand in his, and would
once again bless her memory with those words to be found carved upon the shaft
that marks her resting place: “Faithful
in all things, a life of usefulness with Godly fear and true charity.”
J. P. BELL COMPANY, INC., PRINTERS, LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA