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Cabarrus Black Boys

Plaque placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Image from the North Carolina Museum of History.The Cabarrus Black Boys were nine young men from Rowan and Mecklenburg (later Cabarrus) Counties who took part in an infamous raid against a royal governmental military convoy during the Regulator Movement in North Carolina in the years before the American Revolution. On 9 May 1771 Gen. Hugh Waddell left Salisbury en route to Hillsborough to assist Governor William Tryon in quelling the Regulator uprising. After crossing the Yadkin River, Waddell's militia encountered a numerically superior body of Regulators and began to fall back to Salisbury. A small band of Regulators, disguised as Indians, attacked a convoy that was carrying gunpowder from South Carolina to Waddell. The group burned two powder wagons as well as destroyed some blankets, leggings, kettles, and other supplies.

The men involved in this episode were either blackened by their Indian disguises or by the powder as they emptied it from kegs, and the name "Black Boys of Cabarrus" was applied to them at a later time. By a proclamation of 11 June 1771, Tryon offered amnesty to certain categories of Regulators, but this did not apply to those who were involved in blowing up Waddell's gunpowder. James Ashmore, who lived near the site, swore under oath that the Cabarrus Black Boys, in addition to himself, were Robert Caruthers, Benjamin Cockran, Robert Davis, Joshua Hadley, James White Jr., John White Jr., William White, and another William White, identified as the "son of the Widow White."



William S. Powell, James K. Huhta, and Thomas J. Farnham, eds., The Regulators in North Carolina: A Documentary History, 1759-1776 (1971).

Additional Resources:

Barefoot, Daniel W. "The Southern Piedmont Tour." Touring North Carolina's Revolutionary War Sites. Winston-Salem, N.C.: John F. Blair. 1998. p. 162-163. (accessed October 31, 2012).

Kent, Scotti. It Happened in North Carolina. Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot. 2000. p.16. (accessed October 31, 2012).

Image Credits:

"Photograph, Accession #: H.19XX.424.8." 1926-1930. North Carolina Museum of History.

Origin - location: 



I'm a decendant of Robert Carothers. Robert's brother James was involved in this action also. Robert married one of the White girls


His wife was named Margaret--following up my maternal line, she is my 5th great-grandmother. has a lot of info about Robert & his family.


James Ashmore was my 5th great grandfather. I have him living in Logan county Kentucky after the war and also in Chatham county North Carolina. I have him living in Chatham county when he died at the age of 43.


James Ashmore is also my 5th GG


I am wondering what information is available on the family of Benjamin Cockran (Cochran). I believe he is my great-uncle, but I have some confusion regarding the siblings in what I believe is his family. I do know that my Cochran line descends from the Cochrans that lived during this time in Mecklenburg/Cabarrus. At one point, I was told they were not all related, and I do not know the point of entry of my Cochran family into the United States from Ireland (originally from Ayrshire, Scotland). I appreciate any information anybody may have. Thank you!


Aloha Dana,

Not sure you're active via this link. I'm doing some research for a book on the Cochran family--I'm a descendant of Benjamin. Would love to chat about this topic with you!
Warm Regards, Fritz Baier


I like this!


I live next-door to a graveyard that contains many Cochrans buried there. The graveyard dates from 1761 to I believe 1876. There are many Cabbarus Black Boys markers in there! I’m certain that it contains the Cochrans you are looking for. This graveyard is called Spiers Burying ground and is associated with Rocky River Presbyterian Church on Rocky River Road ( at the intersection of lower Rocky River Road ) in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. It is one of seven graveyards associated with that church. This particular burying ground Is located on Freeman Drive (or Road as gps calls it!) Which is 1 mile south of the church off Lower Rocky River Road.


My mother has lived on Freeman Dr, off of Lower Rocky River Rd for over 30 years. A few years ago, I located 4 graves in the graveyard on Freeman Dr which are associated with the Cabarrus Black Boys. Others are located in the Spiers burying ground, including my fiance's (Chris Matheny) 5X great-grandfather, William White, Jr (one of the 3 brothers, not the cousin). Chris Matheny's mother is Jane White, who's father was William White, who's father was Archibald Horatio White (who built the pretty white house across from Morrison Motors on Old Charlotte Rd in 1904). The house is still there, although it was sold by the family in the late 1980's.

William White Jr's Find-A-Grave website link is:


Looking to see if you are also related to Thomas Weeks of Perquimans County from late 17th century. I was drawn in while researching from "MsAmericanPie""

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