previous next
[222] Now, since he has opened and arranged this store-house of facts, which were heretofore unknown or only guessed at, the history of North Carolina can be fully and truthfully written, and it is to be hoped that some equally devoted son of hers will soon take up the task, and perform it as acceptably as he did his.

Nothing so delighted him in his investigations as the discovery of facts which proved the existence among the early settlers of the Democratic spirit, and no incidents roused his enthusiasm like those in which this spirit forcibly asserted itself. He would quietly smile at the conduct of such characters as John Starkey, who despite sneers and ridicule persistently refused to wear shoe-buckles and a queue, but his eye would kindle and his cheek glow at such declarations as that of John Ashe, that the people would resist the Stamp Act ‘to blood and death.’ His sympathies were altogether with those who, like the Regulators, sought redress of grievances even by violent and revolutionary methods, because he believed that underlying all such movements there was the true spirit of liberty and devotion to the rights of man; which were to him of inestimably greater importance than the preservation of the forms of law, or even the peace of society.

But he indulged in no harsh criticism of those other patriots who—believing that liberty regulated by law was the only liberty worth preserving, and fearing for the safety of society—aided in suppressing such movements; for he knew and honored their motives, notwithstanding his own strong sympathy with those who resisted and fought them.

In a word, he pursued his labors with the true spirit of historic investigation, and meted out with an impartial hand honor to whom honor was due, and blame to all who deserved it. And he rejoiced in the work of rescuing from oblivion the names and noble acts of the pioneers of our civilization and in placing them in their true light for the admiration of posterity.

In this work he was engaged for about eleven years, with frequent interruptions caused by illness, and a more conscientious, faithful and valuable work has never been done for North Carolina. It is the great reservoir of facts from which all must draw who would write accurately and truthfully the history of the first century of our civilization.

It was done by a true and loving hand, under the inspiration of a brave and loyal heart, without the least expectation or hope of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
North Carolina (North Carolina, United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Starkey (1)
John Ashe (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: