Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Davidson and Hightower Land Grant 1786

Buncombe County, North Carolina
Register of Deeds

Index: DEE
Date Filed: 2 January 1786
Grantor: State of North Carolina (960 acres)
Grantees: William Davidson and Richard Hightower
Description: 960 Acres French Broad River
Book/Page: 1-A/28

State of North Carolina No 960 Acres

To all to whom these presents shall come greeting know you that for and in consideration of Starling money paid by Richard Hightower & William Davidson into the Treasury for the use of this State we have granted and by these presents do grant unto the said Richard Hightower & William Davidson, their heirs and assigns as Tenant in Common and not as joint Tenants a plantation or tract of land containing nine hundred and sixty acres situate in the District of Ninety Six on both sides of French Broad River abord the Cherry Tree bottom including the upper fork. Having such shape from and marks as are represented by a plat hereunto annexed together with all woods, trees, waters, water courses, crops, commodities, appurtenances, and hereditaments whatsoever hereunto belonging. To have and to hold the said tract of nine hundred and sixty acres of land and all and singularly other _____ premises hereby granted just _____ said/paid Richard Hightowers, William Davidson, their heirs and assigns forever free and _____ given under the great seals of the state. Witness his excellency William Moulrie Esquire, Our Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the said State at Charlston this second day of January Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Six and in the tenth year of the Independence of the United States of America.

William Moultrie

John Davidson, Registrar

Note that, William Moultrie, governor of South Carolina, granted to Richard Hightower and William Davidson 960 acres of land located in North Carolina. However, the "Starling money" paid apparently went into the treasury of the State of North Carolina. One possible explanation is that General William Moultrie had as a result of the Revolutionary War some authority to bestow land grants that extended into North Carolina. This has not, however, been confirmed. In 1786, Richard Caswell was governor of North Carolina.

William Moultrie was born in Charleston, South Carolina on November 23, 1730. His father, a prominent physician, had come from England in 1728. He lived on a plantation in St. John's Berkeley County. In 1749, he married Elizabeth Demaris de St. Julien. After her death, he would marry Hannah Motte Lynch. Moultrie rose to prominence after serving as a militia Captain in the Cherokee expedition under Lt. Colonel James Grant in 1761. Even though William Moultrie was a political moderate, when the Revolution came, he joined the rebellion. He was elected to the 1st Continental Congress in 1774, but did not serve. On June 17, 1775, he was given the commission of Colonel in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment. On September 16, 1777, Moultrie was commissioned a Brigadier General in the Continental Army. However, he did not participate in any significant field operations until after the British capture of Savannah, Georgia on December 29, 1778.

Under Southern Commander Maj. General Benjamin Lincoln, Brig. General Moultrie was given a measure of independence of command. He commanded at Beaufort (Port Royal Island), South Carolina on February 3, 1779 where he defeated 200 British troops. This defeat discouraged Colonel (later Maj. General) Augustine Prevost from pursuing operations north into South Carolina until May 1779. Moultrie helped organize Charleston's defenses when General Prevost threatened the city on May 11-12, 1779. Moultrie was involved in the American defeat at Stono Ferry, South Carolina on June 20, 1779. He was again elected to the Continental Congress, but declined to serve. In 1780, Moultrie was captured following the Siege of Charleston on May 12, 1780 and remained imprisoned for the next two years. He was exchanged for Maj. General John Burgoyne in February 1782. On October 15, he was promoted to Major General, the last such appointment of the war to that grade.

Following the war, William Moultrie was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1783. In 1784, he served as Lieutenant Governor. He was then elected governor for a two-year term in 1785. While governor, he created the county court system and the capital was moved from Charleston to Columbia in 1786. He was elected to the State Senate in 1787. He was elected to his second two-year term as governor in 1792. He retired from public office 1794. In 1802, his Memoirs of the American Revolution were published in two volumes. Moultrie died in Charleston on September 27, 1805. He was interred at Windsor Hill Plantation. Fort Sullivan was renamed Fort Moultrie in his honor.


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