Saturday, March 26, 2016



            When I was a boy many interesting stories were told of the time when the British Army marched through our county [Person County] during the Revolutionary War, under the command of Lord Cornwallis.
            One of them is to the effect that, in 1781, when he was moving east from Caswell or Alamance county through Person county on the way to Yorktown he passed what is now known as Roseville, four miles southwest of Roxboro. A man living there by the name of Rose, whose smoke house was near the road side, had a large lot of provisions cooked up and put under lock and key. When the army arrived he handed General Cornwallis the key, saying as he pointed to it: "Here, my Lord, is the key to the smoke house. It is full of provisions, open it and help yourselves." This man Rose was what was called a Tory, a member of a political party that was opposed to the war, and was in sympathy with the British.
            The soldiers took the provisions and went on to old Paines Tavern, two or three miles, and stacked their guns, "Flint and Steel" muskets, and spent the night in camp. A big white oak there was ever afterward known and pointed out as the "Cornwallis" tree. The writer has often seen this splendid old tree and it as not been so long since it died and was cut down. "Paines Tavern" was then a place of note, a popular camping ground for emigrants from a large section of the country, moving to the West to seek new homes. Paines, a man of some wealth, owned the place and kept a house of entertainment for the public called a "Tavern," a name perpetuated even today.
            This writer remembers, when a boy, seeing a few of the old Revolutionary soldiers of Person county, who had land warrants as an extra bounty given for service in helping to free our country from the British yoke. These land warrants conveyed to each of them 160 acres of Western land, a quarter section. Very few of them ever went out to occupy their land, but sold their claims to land speculators.
            Roxboro, N. C.
                        October 30, 1915
Taken from Encyclopedia Britannica
[In the early 1900s, A. R. Foushee [1839-1929] wrote a series of letters to the Roxboro Courier recording his memories of Roxboro and Person County in earlier days. These letters were later published in Reminiscences: A Sketch and Letters Descriptive of Life in Person County in Former Days by Alexander R. Foushee: Roxboro, NC 1921. This story was taken from that book and was previously published in The Connector, Newsletter of the Tar River Connections Genealogical Society in Vol. 7 Number 3, Summer 2003 on page 18.]

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