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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Blount (Blunt), James

by Mattie Erma E. Parker, 1979

d. spring or summer 1686

James Blount (Blunt), colonial official, and leader in Culpeper's Rebellion, moved to the Albemarle colony from Isle of Wight County, Va., between 1660, when the family was still in Virginia, and 1669, when Blount was a member of the Albemarle council. Presumably, the title captain, applied to him by his contemporaries, indicates his rank in either the Virginia or the Albemarle militia, or both.

By 21 Apr. 1669, Blount was a council member in the Albemarle colony. He was also on the council in 1672, 1677, 1679, 1681, 1684, and perhaps also in years not indicated in surviving records. In 1677, and apparently in other years, he was one of the burgesses representing Chowan Precinct and sat on the council by vote of the assembly, which then chose some of the council members.

Although Blount participated in the government over which the controversial Thomas Miller presided in the summer and fall of 1677, he was one of the leaders in the overthrow of Miller in December of that year. Not only did he help lead the upheaval, subsequently called Culpeper's Rebellion, but he became a member of the rebel parliament and the rebel council that governed the colony until 1679, when the proprietors reestablished government under their own authority.

After the restoration of de jure government, Blount served on the council at least in the years 1679, 1681, and 1684. He was a justice of the county court of Albemarle in 1682 and 1683.

Blount lived in Chowan Precinct, where he owned 300 acres of land in the 1670s. His holding was enlarged by a grant of 660 acres in 1684.

Blount was married twice. His first wife, whose name is not known, was the mother of at least five children: James, Thomas, John, Ann, and Elizabeth. Apparently James and Thomas, if not the other children, were born before their parents moved to Albemarle. They proved their headrights and were granted land in 1680, by which time both were married. Blount's first wife died between 27 Sept. 1670, when she was a witness in court, and 13 June 1683, by which time Blount's second marriage had taken place The second wife was Anna Riscoe, widow of Robert Riscoe of Albemarle and daughter of Belshassar Willix of Exeter, N.H. She and Blount probably were married shortly before 13 June 1683, when Blount obtained administration of Riscoe's estate "in right of his wife." If children were born of the second marriage, they apparently died in infancy.

Blount died between 10 Mar. 1686, when he made a codicil to his will, and 17 July, when the will was proved. By that time his two daughters were married and each had at least one child. They were referred to in the will as Elizabeth Hawkins, who had a son named John, and Ann Slocum, who had a daughter named Ann.

Blount's own son John was still a minor when his father died. John's brother Thomas became his guardian, but the guardianship lasted less than a decade, as John was married in 1695 to Elizabeth Davis, daughter of John and Mary Davis of Henrico County, Va. Thomas himself was married to his second wife, Mary Scott, about the time of his father's death, in the spring of 1686. James, Jr., gave his wife's name as Elizabeth in listing his headrights and also in his will.

Blount's widow, Anna, whom he called Ann in his will, married Seth Sothel, then governor of the colony and one of the proprietors of Carolina. After Sothel's death, she married John Lear, a prominent Virginian.


J. Bryan Grimes, North Carolina Wills and Inventories (1912).

J. R. B. Hathaway, ed., North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, 3 vols. (1900–1903).

North Carolina State Archives (Raleigh), for Albemarle Book of Warrants and Surveys (1681–1706), Albemarle County Papers (1678–1714), Colonial Court Records (folder containing legislative papers in Box 192), Guardian's Bond of Thomas Blount (1 Feb. 1686/87), Perquimans Precinct Births, Marriages, Deaths and Flesh Marks (1659–1739), and Wills of James Blount, Thomas Blount, and Mary Lee.

Mattie Erma Edwards Parker, ed., North Carolina Higher-Court Records, 1670–1696 (1968).

William S. Powell, ed., Ye Countie of Albemarle in Carolina (1958).

Hugh F. Rankin, Upheaval In Albemarle: The Story of Culpeper's Rebellion (1962).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 1 (1886).

Additional Resources:

Blount Family Papers, 1685; 1896 (collection no. 00072-z). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (accessed November 5, 2013).

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