When pines were king for the Scottish settlers of the Cape Fear Valley
region of North Carolina, about 1776, they made a lot of people besides the
Scots rich in many ways. The pines were used for ship building, for tar,
turpentine, and buildings. They were here as far as travelers went. The only
problem was that they had to be moved. This was a job in itself. Waterways
were all there were, so the Scots took their lessons from the Indians. They
boxed the trees for sap to make pitch, tar, turpentine, and moved it in
barrels by water to Norfolk, VA., south to Savannah, GA. and any other seaport
town they could get it to.
The products were used all up and down the coat in large quantities. This is
why the N. C. people are called "Tar Heels." These Scots of N.
C., the Irish, and the Negro slaves of big plantations began to grow and
prosper. Some writers think it started as far back as 1710 or 1720. Early
records of N. C. show there was nothing to make a dollar off of except the
pines. There was no industry except that, but if a family would endure the
hardships, they would plant as they cleared the land of pines, plus get 8
shillings per barrel for raw turpentine. By 1740, it was the major income of
the Scots and everyone else. The bigger the family, the more income they made.
As they made enough to buy a slave, they did so at the old slave market in
Fayetteville, N. C. on the river. This is where the boats came in from
Wilmington, N. C., Charleston, S. c., Norfolk, VA and all that could get
trade there for other ports. Small boats and log rafts were used on smaller
rivers and streams to move their products to larger rivers, then on bigger
rafts made at the trading places. Then came the plank road from upper to lower
Cape Fear Valley, which was a toll road for wagons. In wet and muddy places
this helped a lot. wagons would carry heavier loads. In dry weather they used
the Yadkin Trail that was the old Indian trail from the foothills of the
mountains to the coast of N. C.
By about 1760 to 1780, large plantations had sprung up all along the coast and
river bottoms from the large grants of land from the Crown. If they had a
grant, that covered whatever they could look after. Boundaries were set,
but didn't abount to much until later years. They just kept getting bigger as
land was cleared and farming got bigger. The Revolution in the North and all
the fighting with the Indians and British in the North only helped the
Carolinas at that time in history, in my way of looking at it now. It is said,
and history has the records, that the first millionaire in the colonies was
Gordon from Aberdeen, Scotland, along with the Williams. With the Mohawk
Indians in the North, history says "He took his staff and traveled into
the forest and made treaties with the Mohawk Indians while preaching to them
of Christian religion.."
In 1754, the Justices got together to hold their first court and designate
some certain place to build a courthouse, a prison, and stocks near the center
of the county. The fist courthouse was built on the Cape Fear River at
the mouth of Little River in a small place called Choeffington, about two
miles from Linden, near Dawson's Landing. The Scottish people had heavy
settlements in this area and during the early settlements of these counties,
many of these Scots moved up into Moore County, just north of Fayetteville to
Another piece of interest to the people; the Fayetteville post office is one
of the first and oldest established in America, and Fayetteville was on the
old original main Post Road from Maine into Georgia in 1798. The old
original Stage Coach House and Post office is still standing and is located in
Stedman, only eleven miles from Fayetteville. Governor Benjamin Williams
granted this land to John McMillen in 1799. Governor Williams once owned
the house in the horseshoe and was laid to rest there.
"Fair Oak", the home of E. J. Lily of mercantile fame was built in
1650, and is full of history, especially of the Civil War. Dr. and Mrs. Albert
Stewart, Jr., live there. She is quite active in the restoration and
preservation of this great city and is responsible for saving the Horne House
which houses the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce.
Fayetteville is a beautiful city, gorgeous homes, beautiful yards and claims
to have the first hill in the sandhills, located in the business district.
From there to the sea, it is all flat country.
Fayetteville is a beautiful and historical city. Just a short while there will
prove that it is not all Fort Bragg and Cross Creek Mall. Cross Creek
was thee a long time before the Fort or the mall, along with many of the
oldest Scottish Clans in this country.