suffered from the illegal exactions of
Sheriffs and officials, whose pillaging was supported by the whole force of Government.
‘The Sons of Liberty,’ said they to one another, ‘withstood the Lords
of Parliament in behalf of true Liberty; let not officers under them carry on unjust oppression in our province.’2
Some of those who were wronged hardly gained by their utmost efforts a scanty subsistence for their families.3
All were loyal; regarding the British
form of government as ‘the wholesomest Constitution in being.’
But they were goaded ‘by the corrupt and arbitrary practices of nefarious and designing men, who, being put into posts of profit and credit among them, and not being satisfied with the legal benefits which arose from the execution of their offices, had been using every artifice, practising every fraud, and where these failed, not sparing threats and menaces whereby to squeeze and extort from the wretched poor.’4
To meet this flood of iniquity, the most approved advice came from Herman Husbands,5
an independent farmer, who dwelt on Sandy Creek
, then in Orange
, now Randolph County
, where he possessed an ample freehold of most fertile land, and cultivated it so well, that his fields of wheat and his ‘clover meadow’6
were the admiration of all observers.
Each neighborhood throughout Orange County