Right of Pre-emption



An Act passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in May 1780 at New Bern reserved a tract of country for the purposes of awarding 640 acres to each family who met the right of pre-emption defined below:


From Mr. Person from the Committee to which was referred the Petition of the Inhabitants of Davidson County, Reported as follows, vizt.:

That the following persons, vizt.:

As listed by State Records of North Carolina Alphabetically listed by surname
John Cockrill Armstrong, Francis
Ann Cockrill formerly widow Ann Johnson Barrow, John
Robert Espy Browne, John
John Buchannan Buchannan, John
Cornelius Ruddle Burton, Saml.
James Mulkerin Castillo, Pierce
James Todd Cockrill, Ann formerly the widow Ann Johnson
Isaac Johnston Cockrill, John
John Gibson Collins, William
Francis Armstrong Condry, Dennis
John Kennady, Sen. Crane, Lewis
Mark Roberson Dunham, John
William Ellis Ellis, William
James Thompson Ervin, Andrew
James Shaw Espy, Robert
James Franklin Evans, John
Henry Howdyshall Foster, James
Pierce Castillo Franklin, James
Morris Shean Freeland, George
William Logan Freeland, James
David Hodd Gibson, John
John White Gower, Russell
Peter Leoney Harris, James
William Collins Heaton, Amos
Jonas Maniffee Hodd, David
Capt. Daniel Williams Hodge, Francis
John Evans Hogan, Daniel
Andrew Thomson Hogan, Humphrey
Casper Mansco Howdyshall, Henry
George Freeland Johnson, Daniel
Daniel Johnson Johnston, Isaac
Edward Swanson Kellow, Andrew
Andrew Kellow Kennady, Sen., John
Francis Hodge Leoney, Peter
John Mulkerin Lindsey, Isaac
James Freeland Logan, William
John Tucker MacAdoe, Arthur
James Foster Maniffee, Jonas
Amos Heaton Mansco, Casper
Dennis Condry McAdoe, Jas.
Frederick Stump Montgomery, John
Russell Gower Mulkerin, James
Andrew Ervin Mulkerin, James
Thomas Prater Prater, Thomas
Isaac Lindsey Pratt, Ephraim
Moses Winters Ramsey, Henry
James Harris Ray, Stephen
John Browne Roberson, Mark
Lewis Crane Robertson, James
John Montgomery Rounsevall, David
Stephen Ray Ruddle, Cornelius
Daniel Hogan Shaw, James
Thomas Spencer Shean, Morris
Humphrey Hogan Spencer, Thomas
Haydon Wells Stuart, Wm
Henry Ramsey Stump, Frederick
John Barrow Swanson, Edward
Jno. Thomas Thomas, Jno.
Wm Stuart Thompson, James
Saml. Walker Thomson, Andrew
David Rounsevall Todd, James
Arthur MacAdoe Tucker, John
Jas. McAdoe Turner, Henry
Henry Turner Walker, Saml.
Saml. Burton Wells, Haydon
John Dunham White, John
Ephraim Pratt Williams, Capt. Daniel
James Robertson Winters, Moses

each and every one of them, receive a grant of six hundred and forty acres of land, including their pre-emptions, without being required to pay any price to the State for the same, provided that every person reciving such grant shall pay the office and surveyor’s fees for the same.

Editors Note: This group has also been referred to as the "Immortal 70"

And the Committee are further of opinion that the Heirs or devisees of

As listed by State Records of North Carolina Alphabetically listed by surname
Zachariah White Allerson, Alexander
Alexander Buchannan Aspie, George
James Leper Bernard, John
James Harrod Bialston, Jesse
Alexander Thomson Blackamore, John
David Maxwell Buchannan, Alexander
Robert Lucas Carvin, Edward
Timothy Tirrell Coonrod, Philip
William Hood Cooper, William
Edward Carvin Crutchfield, John
William Nieley Evans, John
James Shanklin Fane, David
Samuel Morrow Fowler, James
George Kennedy Galloway, John
John Robertson Gausney, William
Abel Gowen Sen. Gentry, Nicholas
Abel Gowen Jun. Gilkey, John
Nicholas Trammell Gowen Jun., Abel
Philip Mason Gowen Sen., Abel
James Turpin Gowin, David
Nathan Turpin Green, William
Jacob Stump Guasnay, William
Nicholas Gentry Harney, Thomas
William Cooper Harrod, James
Jacob Jones Hay, Joseph
James Mayfield Hood, William
William Green Jennings, Jonathan
William Johnston John, James
Samuel Scott Johnston, William
George Aspie Jones, Abram
William Leighton Jones, Jacob
John Evans Kennedy, George
John Crutchfield Larimore, Edward
Joseph Hay Lavavour, Isaac
John Searcey Leighton, William
Isaac Lucas Leper, James
Patrick Quigley Lucas, Isaac
Jacob Stull Lucas, Robert
Joseph Milligan Lumsden, John
Abram Jones Mason, Philip
David Fane Maxwell, David
Benjamin Porter Mayfield, James
Edward Larimore McMuntry, John
William Gausney Milligan, Joseph
Jonathan Jennings Morrow, Samuel
David Gowin Nieley, William
Jesse Bialston Phelps, Solomon
Joseph Renfrew Porter, Benjamin
Philip Coonrod Quigley, Patrick
William Guasnay Renfrew, Joseph
John Bernard Robertson, John
John Lumsden Scott, Samuel
John Gilkey Searcey, John
Solomon Phelps Shanklin, James
James John Shockley, John
Thomas Harney Stull, Jacob
Alexander Allerson Stump, Jacob
John Blackamore Thomson, Alexander
James Fowler Tirrell, Timothy
John McMuntry Trammell, Nicholas
John Shockley Turpin, James
John Galloway Turpin, Nathan
Isaac Lavavour White, Zachariah

who were killed in the settlement and defence of the said County of Davidson, receive grants for the same number of acres in the same manner, and on the same terms and conditions as the former.


And, as it appears that

As listed by State Records of North Carolina Alphabetically listed by surname
Christopher Gais, Sen Bocker, Kasper
Christopher Gais, Jun. Breeze, Richard
Jonathan Gais Buchannan, Sen., John
Kasper Bocker Castello, John
Richard Breeze Cocke, Princis
Princis Cocke Gais Jun., Christopher
Mark Nobles Gais Sen., Christopher
John Kitts Gais, Jonathan
Isaac Mayfield Hollis, Samuel
Samuel Hollis Kennedy, Jun., John
Isaac Rounsevall Kennedy, Sen., John
Enias Thomas Kitts, John
Joshua Thomas Mayfield, Isaac
Caleb Winters Nobles, Mark
John Buchannan, Sen. Rounsevall, Isaac
John Kennedy, Sen. Thomas, Enias
John Kennedy, Jun. Thomas, Joshua
John Castello Thomson, Robert
Robert Thomson Williams, Swanson
Swanson Williams Winters, Caleb

part of them arrived from different places at the Cumberland settlements soon after the time prescribed by the law for obtaining preemptions expired, and part of them were there before the expiration of the time, but were under age; and, as it also appears that all of them have continued there ever since their arrival and assistd in defending the Country, it is the opinion of the Committee that they also receive free grants of the same number of acres, as those mentioned above, and be allowed the liberty of laying them wherever they can find vacant lands and of entering them with the entry officer of Davidson County; on paying the usual office fees. All which is submitted..


Exact spelling has been show of the original documents. Some 150 individuals are included in the three categories above. It is important to note that many of these preemptions were assigned, some multiple times, so that the total number of preemptions is represented as 484 by Irene Griffey who is the noted author of several books dealing with the subject.

1 Clark, Walter, The State Records of North Carolina, VOL XXIV p421

2 Clark, Walter, The State Records of North Carolina, VOL XIX p572-573:


For the Record