Sketch of Col. Wrightstill Avery

Draper Manuscripts
N.C. Series
1743-1874
Series KK V.1
Wisconsin State Historical Society
LDS Film # 0889173
Transcribed and submitted by Sloan S. Mason

p. 1-4

Copy of Jn. T. AVERY'S Sketch of Col. Wrightstill AVERY- (letter to Draper)

Col. Wrightstill AVERY was the son of Humphrey AVERY, of the county of New London, township of Norwich or Groton, Conn. We have no record of his birth, supposed to have been born about 1745. He was one of nine brothers who lived to manhood, they had one sister who married an AVERY-they removed & settled in Tioga Co., N.Y. Of the brothers, 2 were killed at Wyoming and 1 at the storming of Ft. Griswold. I believe sometime of twelve of the name fell there.

I - write this a certificate of this trustees at N. Jersey (Princeton College) from which it could appear that he was a tutor before he graduated. On leaving college he removed to Somerset Co, Maryland, taught a grammar school & studied law with Littleton DENNIS, & from there emigrated to N.C. He settled in Mecklenburg Co, lived with Hezekiah ALEXANDER. He assisted in founding a library and establishing a Classical school in Charlotte-both perhaps, among the first in the state.

At the breaking out of the Revolution, he seems to have been occupied with business, often Council of Safety. He went to Charleston, and obtained from the Council the first powder and lead ever brought into a Province for Revolutionary purposes, was sent with orders to Gen. WILLIAMSON, subsequently wrote orders to Gen. RUTHERFORD in the Cherokee nation; was appointed by Gov. MARTIN, with Gen. LENOIR and MCDOWELL, to hold a treaty with the Indians, which the breaking out of hostilities, prevented; he was subsequently appointed with SHARPE & WINSTONto hold and did make, the treaty of the Long Islands of the Holston. He was subseq. App. Attorney General which he resigned in consequence of ill health. My maternal grandmother's name was LANE. She lived at Snow Hill, in Maryland; mariner the Captain of a Ri--- arrived a vessel, a Welshman names Yelverton Peyton PROBART, he had 3 daughters and 1 son. My grandmother while the children were young married a Mr. COLLIER of New Bern or its vicinity, & brought the familyto N.C. My mother married Martin FRANKS & settled at White Rock on the Trent River, ten miles from New Bern. Mr. FRANKS died without issue; & my father while a member of Legislature at New Bern, became acquainted with mother & married her in 1778, resided there; was commissioned as Colonel of Jones Co. by Gov. CASWELL, was a short time in service. While he resided in Jones Co. the British took Charlotte, and burned his library-about all he had realized by his practice.My mother's 2 sisters, were married, 1 to a man named CLARKE and another to LAVENDER. They were taken prisoners at Brier Creek, carried to Bermuda and died there. My father and mother took the LAVENDER children and raised them. Mr. COLLIER the CLARKE children, the son PROBART, went to England to procure under the laws of primogeniture the estate of one Welsh ancestor and found a very pretty estate in the possession of 2 old maids; but he had neither the mind nor the means to got to law for it. His Uncle LANE of Maryland, died a bachelor, and gave his oldest son William Yelverton PROBART an estate worth $100,000 dollars, and it ruined him. He was a good fellow and it made him a fool, and he spent it in a very short time.

I know but little of my maternal kindred. There is a family of LANES near Wilmington that are relatives, some of the COLLIERS I have seen---- Governor of Alabama I believe of that stock.

Of course, I do not expect you to publish any of this, and would not write it to any person but you; but believing you to know more about the private history and families of that state than any man in it since had a Cameron'? Death?, I thought I would add my mind? To the general stock you posses.

Wrightstill AVERY'S children:
Mrs. Polly M.? SUMMY? Was born 3 Oct. 1779
Mrs. Eliz. LENOIR, relict of Wm. B. LENOIR, August 1782
Isaac T. AVERY born 22 Sept. 1785.
Selina Lenoir born Oct. 1788.
All living at the last accounts.
Col. Wrightstill AVERY died 16 March 1821.
Mrs. Leah AVERY, consort of W. AVERY, died 20 Jan. 1832, in the 84th year of her age.

It was BLANCHARD, a nephew of Martin FRANKS who lived with my mother who was taken in the night, with a highly respectable neighbor within a house he was spending the night, for mutual safety, as they thought, and they were both shot by the Tories within half a mile of the house. (No date)

p.4-6

(copy)Burke Co, N.C.-7 July 1833
Dear Sir,
You were kind to favor me with a copy of your address to the Historical Society. I believe I mentioned to you that day I had the pleasure to see you in Morgantown, that I had the day I read the address, chanced on an old letter from Col. James ROBERTSON carrying the personal history of N. Carolina? --- to the 17th of October, 1777-that letter I enclose.

In looking for ROBERTSON'S letter today, I opened a file of letters from my Uncle Sam'l AVERY, extending from 1769 through several years. Chancing to pen one dated in April 1775. I was struck with some passages in it, and enclose it to you, to see if you take the same view that I do. I had not ---- from ------ my publications or subsequent history that the extortions of the Kings clerks or magistrates had produced? In the other provinces the same scenes of violence bloodshed & had supposed the Regulators were exclusively N. Carolinians. It would seem from the expressions alluded to, that except the actual rising in arms, the same violence existed at the North, and was even came farther.
Isaac T. AVERY
(Gov. SWAIN)

P.12 (COPY)
Nassau Hall, June 6, 1767
This may certify all and whom it may concern.
That Wrightstill AVERY, the bearer hereof, has been employed in teaching a school in the college, from Sept. 1766, til April 1767. The specimen he gave in this station of his abilities in governing and instructing youth, together with the proficiency he has made in the arts, sciences, and learned languages, and also his prudent, discreet and modest behavior and unblemished moral character, induce us to join in recommending him as a person well qualified to instruct youth and to guide their morals.
Jas. HALSEY
James THOMSON
Jos.? EDWARDS
Tutors of the College of New Jersey

Copied from the original letter loaned me by Mrs. Mary A. CHAMBERS, of Morgantown, N.C, grand daughter of W. AVERY.April 20th, 1880L.C. DRAPERp.16-17
North Carolina
Tryon County
Personally appeared before me, the subscriber, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said County, James HENDERSON, and made oath, that about the close of November last, he happened to be at a meeting at the house of Robert ALEXANDER, when the said ALEXANDER as a Captain desired of his men to go out into S.C. to the assistance of Col. RICHARDSON against the insurgents against American Liberty there, when Wm. MOORE, Esq. Came in company, and did all he could to dissuade the people from going, and told them that they had not surety for their pay; and when he was told that Col. GRAHAM would be obliged to be surety for their pay, he replied that said GRAHAM was no Colonel; and that they had no right to give commissions that gave him his commission; and that there was no regular Congress held at Hillsborough, but hat they were a pack of rogues and ruining the county, and likewise told the people who would have enlisted as minute men, that he could not see how they would count on their pay, as there was no regular Committee or Congress, and thereby prevented the people from enlisting and also in talking said that Col. MARTIN was a rogue and a fool, and ruining the country by virtue of his present proceedings as a Colonel for Liberty; and told the people that if they took none of the public money, they would have none of it to pay.
Sworn and subscribed before me this 29th day of March 1776
James HENDERSON
David JENKINS

Transcribed from the original among the mis. Papers of Wrightstill AVERY, of N.C.
L.C.D.

Endorsed:" Arthur GRAHAM, compt.? Vs. Wm. MOORE, Esq.
Tryon Co.
1776

p.43
State of North Carolina
Salisbury Superior Court
September Term 1779
This is to certify that the following persons who were tried at the said Court, and capitally convicted of High Treason, were by the several Petit Jurors who posed? on their said Trials,, humbly ---- --- to Mercy (to wit)
William ADAMS
Moses CHEETWOOD
Shadrick CHEETWOOD
Michael SITES?
Frederick WISE

Test: H. GIFFARD, C.S.C.

Endorsed
No. 5
Cert'd persons recommended to Mercy by Jurors, Salisbury Co., Sept. Tern, 1779

Copied from original among personal papers of Wrightstill AVERY.
L.C.D.

Silas McDOWELL Papersp.50

 

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