These pages are dedicated to the memory of all the men from North Carolina that fought in the Civil War.
DESCENDENTS OF MARTYRS AMONG THE EARLY SETTLERS OF IREDELL The Statesville Daily Record, September 11, 1953 This story, lifted from the scrapbook of Rev. E.F. Rockwell, the Iredell historian of his day, tells of the Scottish martyrs who settled between the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers in North Carolina. In addition, it contains another of what was perhaps one of the first truly revolving libraries in North Carolina. The story, the author of which is probably Rev. Rockwell, follows: In Iredell County, in the region of between the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers, we fell in with a fragment of an old volume with the title page gone and mutilated at the end—by whom it was written or who published it we do not know—giving an account of the martyrdom of many persons in Scotland in the reigns of Charles II and James II when, in 28 years from 1661 to 1688, 18,000 persons were put to death in various ways, in defense of the Solemn League and Covenant. In looking over the list of names, we were struck by the fact that among them are the very names of Scotch-Irish immigrants to the region from 1740 onwards, such as: John Nisbit Archibald Allison James Stewart Robert Gray William Thompson Henry Hall John Pattie James Robertson And the following surnames: Winslow Wilson Harvey Fraley Graham McEwen Nichols Martin Miller Cockran Skeen Mitchell Jackson Whorey Lawson Gonger Marshall Clark Watt Sample Smith Wood Johnston It is said that these same names prevail in Pennsylvania where these Scotch-Irish sojourned a while before they came to North Carolina. It would seem, then, that we have here today the lineal descendents of those who loved not their lives unto death but were drowned, hanged, shot, beheaded and their heads stuck upon poles, their bodies chopped in pieces and scattered about in the days of Cleaverhouse. They were worthy descendents of such an ancestry. This will appear in various ways. They were an intelligent people and labored to educate their children. One old lady says that her parents said they would do this if they had to live on cornbread and go without sufficient clothing. As soon as they erected a log church, or even a stand for preaching, they placed a school house beside it—the country is dotted all over with the sites of these buildings—both English and classical schools. In one place, the great Moses Waddell (D.D., afterwards), when 14 years old, born and brought up in this county, taught a large classical school consisting of boys much older than himself. Dr. James Hall, D.D., who came from Pennsylvania with his father in 1751, and settled on the Fifth Creek near where the Bethany Church Post Office now stands, graduated from Princeton in 1774 and was ordained at Statesville in 1778, then Fourth Creek Church. He went to the General Assembly 16 times, was moderator of that body in 1804, the year he received his D.D. One of his measures for circulating knowledge was a circulating library owned by a joint stock company and had as many lots of books as there were shares of stock. They were returned and drawn out again in a meeting held at John Nesbit’s store, the greatest center of business in this county long before the court house was located at Statesville in 1790. We meet frequently with some of these books and others brought here by the settlers when they emigrated—technical, scientific, classical books and these show what kind of people they were. Transcribed by Christine Spencer, September 2008