"Men will not be fully able
to understand North
Carolina until they have opened the treasures of history and become familiar with
the actions of
its sons, before the Revolution,
during this painful struggle."


The text and historical research are by Françoise Rochet  


Illustrations and research in Outlander are by Gratianne Garcia   

As a foreword, the Regulators movement is often seen as a popular insurrection movement and not as a revolutionary movement eager to overthrow power. Most history books give little information on this subject. However, historians still associate it with the beginnings of the War of Independence.
This research was followed by the text of Valérie Gay-Corajoud, whom we thank very kindly. 


We were able to support Valerie's research through the North Carolina government website. we also thank for the wealth of its historical information!


In this first part, we will see how this war began.


A second part will be devoted to the Battle of Alamance and its aftermath.


At the end of this document, you will find some significant extracts from the novels of Madame Diana Gabaldon, mainly taken from Volume 5 "The Cross of Fire".

Outlander, its heroes and the War of Independence 
3.1 - Regulators   

It should be noted that two provinces have experienced this movement of "Regulators".

One in South Carolina. The main problems were a lack of representation and services provided by the government such as courts and churches.

South Carolina Regulators helped catalyze the Revolutionary War because the colonists found that the distant authority of the British Parliament was too late to meet their demands.

The South Carolina Regulators were active mainly between 1767 and 1769.

The other in North Carolina. 


From 1766 to 1771, under the rule of William Tryon, and mainly in Orange, Granville and Anson counties, citizens took up arms against colonial officials they considered corrupt.


We will only detail North Carolina which interests us particularly since this episode was highlighted in the books Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, as well as in the television series that is inspired by it.

This movement, which took the name of "Regulator Movement" consisted mainly of farmers. They presented themselves as being

"white farmers in the West with a certain class consciousness and eager to democratize the local governments of their respective counties". 


At first, they sent individual letters in which they denounced the local colonial officials who overtaxed them.

They claimed to be

"poor and industrious peasants", "workers", "poor wretched", "oppressed" by "rich and powerful [...] pernicious monsters." 

The Regulators believed that the alliance of power and money governed North Carolina and therefore denounced those directors whose "most pressing concern was to increase their fortunes."



What were the causes of this discontent?  

Political causes: laws, taxes. 

First of all, we must remember all the laws and taxes imposed by London, on sugar, tea, the laws on the cantonment of troops, the laws on the issuance of coins that awakened all the Thirteen American Colonies.

The first revolt in Boston, the great port of the colony, was known to all by the very active American press.

She overshadowed the discontent of Caroline's poor farmers...

We did not talk about it much and still today, we must look to find in the books the history of the "Regulators" in detail. However, the Movement of Regulators gained momentum and became a real civil war!


Demographic causes 


The province of North Carolina was little exploited before 1730. It experienced spectacular population growth in the 1750s and 60s. This land was worked mainly by farmers and herders. They were joined by new Scottish and Irish immigrants under the leadership of one of the royal governors, Governor Gabriel Johnston from 1734 to 1752, a Lowland Scot. His sympathies were with Scottish settlers, whether Lowland or Highland.

He offered low prices for land and persuaded the legislature to exempt Scots from taxation.


During the eighteen years of Governor Johnston's reign, North Carolina's exports prospered (tar, pork turpentine, corn, tobacco...).

This era of prosperity augured great opportunities for profiteers.

Thus, gradually, a new flow of settlers arrived from the cities of the East in search of new riches in the rural West.

Merchants, lawyers and other liberal professions settled there, disrupting the social, economic and political structure of the region.

Indeed, prior to this migration of urban dwellers from the East Coast, there was no well-established government structure. Local farmers controlled the area, met and discussed when problems needed to be solved.


Economic causes: depression 

As a new affluent social class took hold, the local farming community suffered from a deep economic depression due to severe droughts and natural disasters.

Farmers lacked food and had lost their livelihoods.

An infernal cycle was set in motion.


Due to the loss of income, local planters went into debt.

They bought products from newly arrived merchants who took advantage of shortages to raise prices.

Merchants, in turn, relied on crooked lawyers and a corrupt court to settle disputes.


Debts were common at the time. The trials were repetitive and most often the farmers were condemned very severely and above all unjustly.

Social causes: the class war 

Such court cases could often lead to planters losing their homes and property to those arriving from the East.


This situation led to discontent and even great anger. The newcomers rightly became the chosen target.


The Regulators' first complaint was based on lawyers charging exorbitant fees to enrich themselves. This grievance would lead to serious problems between two worlds that would soon clash.


On the one hand, the courageous but often illiterate and uneducated farmers and on the other, the educated elite, lawyers, merchants, who dominated the political and economic world.

A Just Cause: Against Political Corruption 


The situation worsened when farmers became aware of the collusion between the judiciary and the merchants. Lawyers, judges and government agents formed a clique that enriched itself at the expense of farmers.

Local sheriffs, supported by the courts, collected taxes that they diverted for their personal purposes. They destroyed the proof of a first payment and demanded it again...

As early as 1765, farmers attempted to express individual grievances to local officials, but many remained deaf to these distress calls.



Edmund Fanning 


One of the men who had settled in Orange County was Edmund Fanning.

This individual rallied against him all the malcontents and was quickly considered "haughty, despotic and tyrannical in spirit." 

Fanning was a Yale graduate, a poor lawyer who had made his way to Hillsborough. Through his ties to the North Carolina Assembly, he had been appointed to important positions.

In a ballad, sung by the Regulators as early as 1765, Fanning is portrayed as a man trying to fill his pockets with gold.

His bad reputation was due to the speed with which he had gained power in Orange County and the amount of money he was making dishonestly.

This song is said to have been written by Rednap Howell, one of the four men outlawed after the Battle of Alamance.

When Fanning first arrived in Orange 

He looked both pale and skinny, 

An old coat patched on the back 

An old mare he rode 

The man and the mare were not worth five pounds 

As I have often been told 

But by its civil flights 

He laced his coat with gold

Nutbush's speech 


One of the earliest manifestations was George Sims' Nutbush (later Williamsboro) Address on June 6, 1765. It was a protest against the rulers and against the fees charged. This document called the "Nutbush Address" has been considered the equivalent of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense". It is the basis of the Regulators movement.

Sims' long speech is structured and he explains the grievances.

From its introduction, it is positioned:

"Well, Gentlemen, it is not with our form of government, nor with all of our laws that we quarrel, but with the bad practices of the officers of our County Court, and the abuses we suffer from from those empowered to manage our public affairs".

The people had to understand that this was not a rebellion against the Government of North Carolina or the King of England, but simply a "quarrel" with local officials in the Western Counties.

But unfortunately, these were appointed by the Governor himself, the representative of the Crown.

The second part of the speech focused on abuses by local officials. One of the first grievances mentioned was extortion of fees by lawyers, merchants, and tax collectors and their abuse of power on the backs of unsuspecting backcountry farmers who probably knew nothing about the law.

It was this overbilling that angered the people of the Western Counties the most.


"It is well known that there is a law which states that a lawyer must not take more than 15 shillings for his fees in the county court." 


The Regulators Movement 


With all these individuals imposing themselves as representatives of law, authority, wealth and importance, western farmers began to lose their grip on the region. They felt that their only way to make their voices heard was to unite to deal with the situation.

It was not until 1768 that the farmers officially organized themselves and began petitioning the Colonial Assembly and the Governor.

They decided to call themselves the Regulators.

They had five objectives:

1. First, none of the men will pay taxes until their grievances are satisfied in accordance with the law;

2. second, they shall not pay officers' fees beyond the required amount;

3. third, regular meetings will be held to speak with representatives and file grievances with the governor;

4. fourth, members will have to pay fees in order to "defray" the costs;

5. and finally, all decisions will be presented by majority. This last distinction established that no man would control or make decisions for the majority.


The last distinction was crucial and established that no man would control or make decisions for others. This rebellion against the local authorities had to speak with one voice.

Their objective was in one line:

Form an honest government and reduce taxes.  


With this association, close to the Sons of Liberty of Massachusetts, because of its very democratic structure, the Regulators believed that their problems would finally be solved by a unified voice. They soon realized that none of the officials cared about their problems. On the contrary, the vexations continued.


In February 1768 a proclamation required all inhabitants to pay their taxes at one of five places where the officials would be settled for a period of two days.

For years, people had been used to the sheriff coming to their house to collect taxes, but now the sheriff wanted people to travel a great distance to pay taxes they often didn't have a penny for!

Serious incidents were to follow one another.

Discouraged by not obtaining justice through peaceful negotiations, the Reformers took a more radical stance.

Violence, lawlessness and terrorism reigned. When the government retaliated against them, the Regulators refused and defiantly terrorized the Governor's men and disrupted judicial proceedings.




Regulators have never had a dedicated leader.

But several men distinguished themselves in the movement, including James Hunter, Rednap Howell, William Butler, and Hermon Husband, a Quaker and follower of Benjamin Franklin, who circulated political pamphlets advocating reform of the colony.

Hermon Husband (1724-1795) was a farmer and preacher. He had been inspired by the Great Awakening after hearing George Whitefield preach, he became a follower of the "New Light", then Quaker.


Husband's leadership and eloquence early in the Regulators movement helped rally other farmers to the cause; however, Husband failed to prevent the riots

Because of his Quaker beliefs, Husband wanted to fight local and provincial officials in a non-violent manner. He left the Alamance field just before the battle began in May 1771.

He was twice elected to the North Carolina Assembly, but was expelled during his second term.


Another regulatory leader was (1735-1783).


County minutes indicate that James HunterJames Hunter was active in local affairs and appeared to be highly educated. He assumed, in spite of himself, a position of leadership because he was the author of leaflets and petitions. He was known to travel to meetings of the Regulators in various counties, especially those further west. Hunter not only participated in various meetings but also delivered numerous announcements and petitions in person to provincial officials. Because of this particular assignment and his general profile, Hunter was referred to as the "Chief Regulator".


William Butler, (1730-1779) described as "a capable but poor man", emerged as a leader in the late 1760s. He was at the centre of serious events at Hillsborough in 1768 and 1770 and at Alamance in 1771.


Rednap Howell, (1726-1787) the "poet of the Regulators", was a teacher.

This scholar wrote several "satires" on the men and events associated with the uprising.

He wrote a pamphlet denouncing Governor Tryon's lavish spending.

He first appeared on the scene in May 1768 as one of the signatories of a petition to Governor William Tryon, declaring farmers' grievances against County officials.


Loyalty to the king and pacifism 


It was clear that the Regulators wanted to resolve the conflict peacefully.

These men had largely experienced rebellion in Scotland.

They knew that in America they had found a new hope of life and did not want to lose their new gains.

They had pledged allegiance to the King and intended to comply because they remembered what they had endured in the past.

They had an irresistible desire to express their loyalty to the king at every opportunity. After almost every correspondence addressed to government officials, the Regulators signed:

 « God save the King George the Third ». 


The Regulators made a clear distinction between decisions made by the Crown and the dishonest management of colonial officials.

Their other desire was to peacefully end this injustice.

Moreover, when one looks closely at their many requests, it turns out that they always proposed amicable settlements and constantly submitted a proposal for discussion and gathering.


To that end, they had elected 12 members of their group to resolve issues with local authorities and prevent violence.

Here again, we can clearly see to what extent the Regulators refused to place a single man at their head. Again and again, they wished to be the representatives of an entire people oppressed by unscrupulous governance.

However, among these poorly educated farmers, some of them had distinguished themselves by their ability to understand and relay their various demands.

It was James Hunter, William Butler and Hermon Husband that we have already talked about.

In their eighth announcement, the Regulators were determined to pursue their goal of ending the case.

"in a fair manner for an amicable settlement". 


Their hope to bring all parties together for discussion was clearly stated.

Howell and Hunter forwarded the petition to Tryon, who refused to hear their grievances.

He demanded that the Regulators pay their taxes and obey the laws of the province.

The tension rose again a notch especially as the Governor carried out a project considered particularly indecent: the construction of his palace.



Tryon Palace 

Born in Surrey, England, in 1729, William Tryon was a well-regarded soldier, considered courageous, obedient and very law-abiding. He had married Margaret Wake on December 26, 1757, a young aristocrat, which had led to his appointment as lieutenant-governor of North Carolina in 1764.

He had taken office at a very troubled time due to British taxation.


From his appointment in 1764 to his move to New York in 1771, this inflexible man was continually in conflict with his subjects. One of the first points of contention was the Stamp Act. On this occasion, he had to confront the Sons of Liberty of North Carolina, especially in cities along the coast of the colony, such as Wilmington and New Bern.

After the dissolution of the stamp law, when it should have appeased the population, Governor Tryon built a new residence, the famous "Tryon's Palace".

Its elaborate architecture by John Hawks made this house the most expensive in British North America. With this new building, New Bern had become the first permanent capital of the colony.

The palace by its grandeur and imposing structure was intended to be a demonstration of power and wealth. It was a strong, crisp and clear message sent about the power of royal colonial power to the residents of the colony. It was a slap in the face to the farmers.

But the cost of the building, at least £15,000, sent another message to the colony's residents. It was a real insult to the poor farmers. The cost of the palace would be paid for by an increase in taxes on residents.


Butler, the Regulator wrote:

"We are determined not to pay taxes for the next three years, for the governor's building or house, and we will not pay it either." 


Moreover, with the region in total rebellion and a few months away from the final confrontation, Tryon held a grand celebration in December 1770 to celebrate the completion of the project.

Today, the site is still known as Tryon Palace.

On 20 June 1768 Tryon, in a desire to appease, issued a proclamation requiring all public officials to have fair tables of their legally established fees affixed in their offices and, above all, to respect them! From pacifist petitions to violence


Its objective was to ensure that all local and judicial officials did not charge or receive fees other than those established by the competent authority, on pain of being dismissed, prosecuted and convicted.


In the summer of 1768 Tryon led a military expedition to "pacify." He met with no formal resistance. The farmers negotiated and tried to elect farmers to the Assembly, claiming that

"the majority of this Assembly was composed of lawyers, clerics and other personalities who [were] in permanent contact". 


But in September 1768 the situation worsened and was ripe for violent conflict when the colonial Superior Court met for its semi-annual session at Hillsborough. During this session many government officials were considered corrupt, including Colonel Edmund Fanning, who was convicted and fined a single cent.


In addition, the Regulators who had led the accusation and who had refused to pay their taxes because of corruption were sentenced to a particularly severe fine. Violence was averted when the 4,000 regulators left Hillsborough, still eager to settle the conflict peacefully.

This time, the Regulators sent a global petition to the North Carolina government denouncing

"inequality of opportunity between the poor, the weak and the rich, the powerful". 


A promise was made to hold an election in 1769. This calmed the opposition for a while. The elections were held legally.


But as soon as they were elected, the farmers' representatives were dismissed after 4 days: Governor Tryon had dissolved the Assembly.

The militia 


Faced with the failure of this attempt and the bad faith of the Governor, riots began violently.

It fell to William Tryon to put an early end to the hinterland revolt. His counsel suggested that he call up the militia and march against the rebellious farmers.


Because there were few regulars garrisoned in North America, a colonial militia had been established by Governor Gabriel Johnston before 1750. Colonial militias were descended from free adult male citizens of a community, city or region. The governor added servants and indentured labourers. Originally these militias were intended to protect the territories against Indian intrusions. For now, the new governor will call them to restore order among the Americans, thus creating the beginning of a civil war.


In September 1770, this locality, where the Court of Justice was held, was again the scene of many bloody riots denounced by the newspapers.

Many cases involving Regulators were to be tried there. A hundred armed Regulators arrived at the Hillsborough Courthouse.


The trials were interrupted. After less than an hour of proceedings, tensions between officials and farmers turned into a scuffle

The judge was forced to flee; the lawyers, as well as two merchants, were severely beaten; and warehouses and houses were looted. Edmund Fanning was dragged down the steps, beaten and feathered. His house was demolished. The church was spared. After all these events, the assembly of the colony did undertake some reforms but it also passed a decree to "prevent riots and disturbances", while the governor organized himself to better suppress them militarily.


In January 1771, Howell had learned that Herman Husband had been imprisoned in New Bern and began to raise a force to free him. Nearly 3,700 regulators marched again on Hillsborough to shut down the trial, but Tryon, foresighted, had brought in about 1,400 militia members from surrounding counties to prevent the riots.

Tensions rose again and came to a head when the trials of Husband and Butler began.

With a trained militia, it has been difficult for the Regulators to attempt anything against the courts, even at 3 to 1. After a few days of tension and confrontation, the Regulators dispersed and the trials began.

Husband was eventually acquitted, but William Butler and two others were charged and sentenced to fines and several months in prison.

It was obvious that nothing could be settled amicably, especially since it was rumored that the Regulators were heading to New Bern for a new confrontation.

To be continued... The great battle is brewing!


 "The Regulators" and their "War of Regulation" have been extensively detailed by Diana Gabaldon in her novels. We can even say that it was she who introduced these events to the general European public, in particular.


Here are just a few particularly illustrative examples.


In The Fall Drums (T 4), Diana Gabaldon introduces us to the world of the wealthy settlers of North Carolina and describes the natural wealth of the country. It is a moment when it brings us into a society where a war is already being prepared. Jocasta shows Claire and Jamie the River Run plantation, which derives its wealth from the trade in turpentine and pitch (tar) with the English army.


· T 4 Ch 10: Jocasta, Cross Creek, North Carolina, June  


"River Run covered a vast territory that included many hectares along the river but also a significant portion of the pine forest that covered a third of the colony. In addition, Hector Cameron's lands were crossed by one of the tributaries of the Cape Fear. Thus, timber and its by-products, such as pitch and turpentine, could be transported to the major ports along the river. No wonder River Run prospered, even though its tobacco and indigo production remained low compared to other plantations. That said, the fragrant tobacco fields we walked through were not modest. 

We have a small sawmill up there, Jocasta explained to me, at the water's edge. This is where the trunks are cut and shaped. Then they went down by barge to Wilmington. By water, it's not very far from the house, but I thought you'd rather see the estate. » (...) "The sawmill specialized in the production of masts and spars, its main customer being the Royal Navy. In fact, River Run dealt extensively with the Crown and supplied the royal stores with masts, spars, slats, planks, pitch, turpentine, tar, etc." 


But it is Volume 5 "The Cross of Fire" that corresponds to this entire period of American history.

The passages are numerous and therefore it is impossible to quote them all.


· T5 Part One, CH1 to 17  


Mrs. Gabaldon makes us discover this hinterland of North Carolina in the eighteenth century, on the edge of the Indian territory. It is a poor region, far from the major centers where farmers, breeders live... without luxury and even sometimes in poverty. She describes suffering, lack of money, shortages, abuses, exorbitant taxes...

Claire's medical consultations are the list of the various problems encountered in the mountains: smells, grime, a goiter, brown and missing teeth, splints, a trapper, a dog inseparable from his master ...

Slowly, we understand that in these mountains, anger is brewing!

And indeed, we enter the heart of the riots that took place in Hillsborough in front of the court with the Regulators: a gentleman injured as a result of a beating, a small owner evicted because unable to pay his taxes in money.

And quickly, we see the arm wrestling between the farmers and the Governor!

During the Gathering, at the beginning of the book, a large part of the Scottish community gathers at Mount Helicon (Grandfather Mountain). The tone was set by the reading of Governor Tryon's proclamation read by Lieutenant Hayes.


Diana Gabaldon, took the opportunity to give details of the riot in front of the Hillsborough courthouse.


· CH1 (Governor Tryon's proclamation read to all participants) 


"I, William Tryon, esquire, in my capacity as Her Majesty's Captain General, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province... – Whereas it has been reported to me that a large number of individuals of outrageous words and turbulent behaviour disturbed the public order by gathering tumultuously in the town of Hillsborough on the 24th and 25th of last month, while the Superior Court of Justice of that district was sitting to oppose the government's just actions by directly violating the laws of our country and boldly attacking the judge appointed by Her Gracious Majesty in the performance of his duties. "Considering that these same individuals have barbarily beaten and injured several persons in the said court and, during the above-mentioned meeting, uttered other unworthy words and insults against His Gracious Majesty's Government, that they have committed the most abject insults to the person and property of various inhabitants of the city, indulging in drinking, condemning their legitimate sovereign King George to groans, calling for the success of the Pretender... Hayes paused to catch his breath. After inflating his chest with a deep breath, he continued: "And in order that the persons who have committed the aforesaid outrages may be brought to justice, after seeking the advice and approval of His Majesty's Council, I hereby issue a proclamation strictly directing all His Majesty's Justices of the Peace in this Government to conduct expeditious investigations into the crimes and misdemeanours aforesaid, and to hear the statements of the person or persons who will appear before them in order to give their testimony on the facts in question, which will then be transmitted to me for submission to the General Assembly in New Bern on the 30th of the next month of November, when they will be extended for immediate summons to the agenda of current affairs... Hayes, whose face was now almost as crimson as that of the piper, took a long breath before attacking the final stretch: "–... Written under my dictation and affixed with the Great Seal of the Province, at New Bern, this 18th day of October, in the 10th year of the reign of His Gracious Majesty, Anno Domini, 1770. » 

Hayes finally concludes in a small condensed cloud of breath: "Signed William Tryon." 


· Ch1 (People talk about riots): 


"I did not know what Tryon intended to do to those who had taken part in the riots, but I felt the uneasiness, created by the governor's message, spreading through the crowd like the whirlpools of water surging between the rocks of the nearby torrent. Several buildings in Hillsborough had been destroyed and a group of crown officials had been violently dragged into the street and booed. It was rumoured that a justice of the peace, who had little to do with justice and even less with peace, had lost an eye as a result of a vicious whip. No doubt taking this display of civil disobedience very seriously, Judge Henderson fled through the window and left town, effectively preventing the court from sitting. It was clear that the governor had reason to be very angry. » 


· Ch2 (Story of farmer MacLennan turned regulator and the drama resulting from the unjust brutality of tax collection): 


"It was the taxes that finished me off, you know? The year was worse than expected, but, cautiously, I had set aside ten bushels of corn and four beautiful buckskins. It was worth a lot more than the six shillings I had to... However, taxes had to be paid in cash, not in corn, furs or blocks of indigo, which were common bargaining chips between farmers. Trade was mainly based on barter. (...) Naturally, the difficulty lay in turning the ten bushels of corn into six shillings. (...) "Our sheriff's name is Howard Travers," he said, mechanically wiping the drop that had formed under his nose. He came to our house with an official letter and told us that he would kick us out if we didn't pay our debts right away. Having no choice, Abel then left his wife in their cabin and hurriedly left for Salem. On his return, his six shillings in his pocket, he had found his land seized and sold – to Howard Travers' father-in-law – and his cabin inhabited by strangers. (...) In fact, he found her wrapped in a blanket, shivering, under the large spruce of the hill that sheltered the graves of their four children, all dead before reaching the age of one. No matter how much he begged her, Abigail refused to go back down to the cabin that had belonged to them and to ask for help from those who had dispossessed them. He could not have said whether it was simply stubbornness or because of the madness caused by the fever that gripped her. She had clung to the branches with superhuman strength, screaming the names of her children. She had died there, during the night. » 


· T5-1 CH9 (Narrative of the Hillsborough riot, Roger is tasked with finding men for the future militia that Jamie must raise at the request of Governor Tryon)  


"So that's where we are! I was wondering that when I heard the young officer read the governor's speech to us this morning. Looking pensive, she patted the handle of her long wooden spoon against her lips. "One of my aunts lives in Hillsborough. She lives in a room at the King's Inn, just across the street from Edmund Fanning's house. Or rather, across the street from where she was. She let out a caustic chuckle. – ... In one of her letters, she told me what happened. The crowd marched down the street screaming and brandishing pitchforks, like a horde of demons. The men sawed the uprights of the house, then with the help of ropes, made it collapse, right under the nose of my aunt. Now we're supposed to send our companions to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for Fanning, right? Roger was on guard. He had heard a lot about Edmund Fanning, who was far from popular. – I cannot tell you, Mrs Findlay. But the governor... Joan Findlay laughed sarcastically, then spat into the fire. – The governor! Pooh! Let us say rather the friends of the governor. But, what do you want? It's always the same story: the poor must shed their blood to protect the gold of the rich. » 


· T5-1 Ch19 (Jamie organizes militia at the request of Governor Tryon, discussion about the Regulators with Quaker Hermon Husband)  


* (Letter from the Governor calling Colonel Fraser militia leader):


« November 2, 1770 

Colonel James Fraser. 

Having been informed that those calling themselves Regulators had gathered in large numbers near Salisbury, I ordered General Waddell to go there without delay with the militia troops at his disposal, with a view to dispersing this illicit meeting. I hereby command you to assemble such men as you may deem fit to serve in a regiment of militia and to go to Salisbury as soon as possible, in order to assist the troops of the general before December 15 at the latest, when they will march on the insurgents. If possible, bring enough flour and supplies to support your men for two weeks. 

Your obligation, William Tryon. »  


* Diana Gabaldon introduces us to one of the leaders of the rebellion, Herman Husband!


"Hermon Husband was one of the leaders of the Regulation and he had already found himself behind bars several times because of the seditious pamphlets he printed and distributed. The latest news was that he had been expelled from his local Quaker group, as the "Friends" did not appreciate his activities, which they considered incitement to violence. According to the texts I had read, they were not entirely wrong." (... ) "He's been on the road for some time, apparently handing out pamphlets." 


· T5-2 Ch39 ( Marriage of Jocasta Cameron with Duncan Innès) 

Among the guests, we meet Regulators and supporters.

Violent disputes erupt, heralding the coming civil war.

James Hunter and Hermon Husband are present.


"Do you encounter many factious movements in your part of the colony? "Factious? Oh, uh... No, not much. Suspicious, I observed Hector Cameron's white marble mausoleum in front of which Hermon Husband's gray Quaker suit formed a dark stain. "Factious movements" referred to the activities of men such as Hermon Husband and James Hunter... Regulators. Last December, the governor's militias quelled violent protests, but the Regulation continued to simmer under a tightly closed lid. Because of his pamphlets, Husband had been arrested and imprisoned for some time in February, but the experience did not seem to have calmed either his intentions or his language. The pot could overflow any minute. "I am delighted to hear it, madam. Do you often receive news, isolated as you are? »(...) "Ninian Bell Hamilton's rather high-pitched voice had just risen above the hubbub of conversation. All heads turned to the lawn. Ninian was facing a certain Robert Barlow, a character I had been introduced to earlier in the morning. I vaguely remembered that it was some merchant. Edenton? Unless he's from New Bern. This stocky man looked like someone who was not used to being contradicted. He openly looked at Hamilton with a sarcastic pout. "Regulators," you say? I call them delinquents, agitators! You would like to pass this scum for men of honor, let me laugh! "I am in no way trying to pass them off as such, sir! »  

(...) "I do not seek to pass them off as such, sir, I affirm it and defend it on my honour. The two men rolled into the grass to cheers from the spectators. The guests gathered on the terrace and in the garden ran to see what was happening. Abel MacLennan elbowed the crowd, determined to come to the aid of his protector. Richard Caswell wanted to hold him by the arm. Abel broke away brutally, throwing him forward. James Hunter took the opportunity to give him a crooked foot and Caswell fell to his knees in the grass, stunned. His son George let out an outraged scream and punched Hunter in the loins. He turned around and slapped him on his own hew. » 

— "Seeing that Husband had gotten involved and seeing that there would be no other fights, the guests dispersed, moving away towards the buffet tables and the braziers on the terrace. Hunter and a few other Regulators remained to support Husband morally, but most of the guests were planters and merchants. While in theory they may have agreed with Barlow, many did not want to waste an all-too-rare opportunity to party by debating with the Quaker the rights of taxpayers in need. 

I also didn't really want to go into detail about the rhetoric of the Regulation, but I did my best to give the major a brief overview. —... and so, I conclude, Governor Tryon felt compelled to raise a militia to quell the rioters, but the Regulators backtracked. This does not mean that they have abandoned their demands, far from it. Husband had not given up his argument — he never capitulated." 


· T5-2 Part VI Ch 56 – "56." I want to be hanged if we don't kill them all to the last one... » » 

This long chapter is entirely devoted to the War of Regulation  

* Legitimacy of judges and the law of the people:


"By what right is Maurice Moore judged? He is not a magistrate and has not been appointed by the king, nor is Henderson. Neither has a place in a courtroom. The Assembly passed a law banning popular gatherings, further trampling on the rights of the people. Finally, we must rejoice, because we will no longer have any qualms about executing all clerics and magistrates. I want to be hanged if we don't kill them all to the last one. If they had not passed this law, we could have saved the lives of some of them. Ban gatherings! There has never been such a law in English law or in any other country except France. That's where they imported it from. Soon they will import the Inquisition! » 


* Suspicions of corruption:


"Many of the speakers present affirm that the Governor was the friend of the magistrates; that the Assembly housed only sellouts, paid to persecute the Regulators; that Hermon Husband had been imprisoned so that he would not see their devious abuses while the governor and the assembly passed the laws dictated by the lawyers; that the magistrates manipulated the governor and pulled all the strings, appointing ignorant justices of the peace to satisfy their own interests. » 


* Governor William Tryon requested the formation of militia companies to replace the absent or failing army:


"Deposition transcribed and undersigned before the justice of the peace, March eight, 1771. (signatory) Waightstill Avery 

(witness) Justice of the Peace William Harris 

From William Tryon to General Thomas Gage 

New Bern North Carolina, March 19, 1771 Dear Sir, 

Her Majesty's Provincial Council decided yesterday to raise an army corps consisting of regiments and militia companies to march on the insurgent settlements which, by their acts of rebellion and seditious statements, have defied our government. 

As we are very poor in military equipment and armaments, I appeal to your diligence to procure for us the articles (cannons, guns, standards, drums, etc.) listed below. 

I plan to march with my own regiment on the twenty of next month and assemble my militia along the way. I count on one thousand five hundred men, but, judging by the general opinion which seems to be in favour of our government, this number could be considerably increased. 

With the expression of my utmost respect and esteem, Your devoted - William Tryon"  


To be continued...... 


Historical research and text by Françoise 

The illustrations and research in the novels are by Gratianne