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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 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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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."

 

Reference:

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. http://books.google.com/books?id=g9PTESIlqwoC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false (accessed October 31, 2012).

Kent, Scotti. It Happened in North Carolina. Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot. 2000. p.16. http://books.google.com/books?id=tKHq25ssqQkC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA16#v=onepage&q&f=false (accessed October 31, 2012).

Image Credits:

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

Origin - location: 

Comments

Comment: 

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

Comment: 

His wife was named Margaret--following up my maternal line, she is my 5th great-grandmother. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Carothers-161 has a lot of info about Robert & his family.

Comment: 

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.

Comment: 

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!

Comment: 

I like this!

Comment: 

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.

Comment: 

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 Ancestry.com "MsAmericanPie""

Comment: 

I am a member of the Ashmore family. I am a descendent of James Ashmore. Information may be found on he and Joshua Hadley by searching out the Quaker records. Joshua Hadley was a Step son to Fredrick Ashmore and a half brother to James Ashmore. Very interesting history. I thank you for this sight and for the information. I found one sight that say James and Joshua Hadley were cowards.....I do not believe this for a second. All I have know were brave people but did not fight a fight that they did not believe in. They are smart people, with a quit disposition, that you do not want to make angry. Again, Thank you for the information you have put together!
Long live our freedom!
Karen

Comment: 

I am a descendant of Joshua Hadley. He was one of my great grandfathers. I also read the Quaker documents and also, evidently, the one you read about them being cowards. As you were, I was greatly offended by that. I share the view that they were all pretty much heroes of the day! I am very, very proud to be a member of such a brave and honorable group.

Comment: 

I am also a descendant of Joshua Hadley, via his daughter, Ann. Or at least that is family lore. I'd love to talk with you some time to flesh out the genealogical material that I've worked up on the family.

I am currently compiling a genealogy of our family, and I would really appreciate any assistance you could offer.

You can reach me at grierhpharmd@gmail.com.

Best regards,
-Grier

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