Dispute: John FREEMAN and Frederick DICKSON
The following news article came from the William Murphy Collection at ECU's Special Collections room, Joyner Library.
Transcribed and submitted by Carol P. Martoccia
New Bern Mirrow, New Bern, NC
Two prominent planters living on Rainbow Creek in 1794 were John FREEMAN and Frederick DICKSON, who had a boundary line dispute.
In an affidavit dated September 29, 1794, John FREEMAN, said, among other things:
That about fourteen years ago he purchased of William HOOKER, Esq. of Glasgow that part of the then county of Dobbs which is now the County of Glasgow, containing 250 acres on both sides of Rainbow Creek, which tract was patented by John MAXWELL as appears by the original grant, dated the3rd day of October, 1755, the title of the said John MAXWELL is now vested in this deponent.
He furtheer says that one of the purchaser of said land through whom he derives his title, soon after the date of the original grant entered upon the premises, cultivated a considerable part of the land, built upon it, and transferred his right and possession to the next purchasers from whom by legal conveyances, through several persons it came to the said William HOOKER, who transferred the same by deed to the deponent, who himself has had the land in peaceable possession near 14 years.The deponent further says that a certain Frederick DIXON without the knowledge of this deponent on the 10 day of September 1793, made an entry of land in the County of Glasgow on the said Rainbow Creek, containing 30 acres, and soon afterward another entry on the same creek and in the same county containing 100 acres, which entries interferred with the deponent's land.
The deponent also says that the said entries were concealed from him during so long a time that he was under the necessity of making application to the Governor for a suspension of the DICKSON grants of the said land as his the deponent's only remedy, that the suspension being grantd was certified by the Secretary to the County Court of Glasgow at June term last, when the Sheriff was ordered to summon a jury to go upon the premises, and try the claims of the said parties, according to law.
But the said DICKSON, this deponent affirms being a man of great art labored to influence the jury, and collected the jury at his own house, immediately before they went on the premises and there treated them very liberally with brandy, insomuch that many of them were so far affected by the said brandy, that this deponent then thought and still thinks they were not fit for business.
The deponent pray the court for a new trail (sic).Sworn to before Spruce McCAY..... Frederick Dickson, among other things, said; That he made entries of land located on Rainbow Creek, joining the MAXWELL and HAMM old patent lines and the Rainbow Swamp, including part of his plantation and all the vacant land in the said bound, which he is ready to prove by certificate.
He further says that he did entertain the jury with a little brandy after they had finished business, and their verdict had been given in, but expressly denies that he gave them any before.
Members of the Jury were: Burwell WESTBROOK, Crawford FULLER, Augustine WILSON, Ruffin PRIDGEON, Drewry ALDRIDGE, Spencer CALDWELL, William KILPATRICK, William HARPER, Huey HARPER, Samuel CASWELL, Officers mentioned: Sheriff Graves BRIGHT, Clert of the Court; Willoughby WILLIAMS, James GLASGOW, Secretary to the Worshipful; the Justices of Glasgow County.
Verdict of the Jurors in favor of the said Frederick DICKSON.
Benjamin CASWELL, brother of Governor Richard CASWELL, settled on a plantation on the North side of Kinston on the North side of Rainbow Creek, now in Greene County. He served as an officer of the Dobbs Militia for the years 1761-1782, Dobbs County is now Lenoir.
(Clerk's Loose Papers, Craven County, NC)