Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Hunters

The Hunter family of Indiana history, type written by H.W. Hunter, in 1940, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, and on two pages.
When I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1985, I began my research of the Hunter family. I looked into the history of James Hunter, General of the Regulators. I found the Alamance Battleground historical site, which is a state park. There I found a statue dedicated to James Hunter, General of the Regulators. Being a northern Yankee, I was embarrassed and tread carefully into my research about the Regulators afraid what I might find out about the Hunters and the Ku Klux Klan.
I called the Alamance Battleground, Burlington, N.C., and identified myself as a Hunter relative. I asked a lot of questions about James Hunter and the Regulators. Feeling comfortable with the way our conversation was going I asked, “Was there a connection to the Ku Klux Klan?” I was told that there was not a connection to the Ku Klux Klan. In fact Mrs. Hunter had started a school for African American girls in her home. A school was later built by the Hunters, and this school was one of the first public schools in North Carolina.
Copies of this family letter have been passed around for years. I first read it around 1967. H.W. Hunter the writer was one of two Hunters: either Harold W. Hunter, b. 25 Feb 1903, d. 1979; or Harvey W. Hunter, b. 17 Sep 1874, d. 30 Jun 1944. Retyping "The Hunters," by H.W. Hunter, I have tried to keep it as close to the original as possible, making only minor changes as *noted.
The Hunters
The Hunters came from Scotland originally. Some of them lived for some time in North Ireland and were called Scotch-Irish, but most of them lived at a town still known as Hunters Town, just north of the border of England and Scotland.
There was almost continuous war between the two countries, lasting about one thousand years. The Scotch were vastly outnumbered and were killed and robbed or driven from homes on numerous occasions.
Some years before the emigration to America they were defeated and after the surrender the British lined them up and shot one out of twenty of them in all of the border towns. In 1739 there was trouble again and it looked like another war was starting. Some wealthy Scotchman had purchased a tract of land (100,000 acres) along the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. This was later increased to 500,000 acres and included a great deal of what is known as the Piedmont district in North Carolina. This was higher land. Ships were chartered and several thousand Scotch-Irish and Scotch people came to North Carolina. Four Hunter brothers and their families were on one boat. This was in 1739. They were William Hunter, James Hunter, Thomas Hunter and John Hunter. They settled along the Cape Fear River. James Hunter later had a large plantation on Sandy Creek in Alamana (*Alamance) County. The others lived near. The land was good and they were all prosperous. The produce was tobacco, tar, turpentine, cotton and grain. This was shipped down the Cape Fear River to Wilmington and then shipped to England and elsewhere. This trade kept up during the Revolutionary War and was prosperous until the Civil War when a blockage was effective. Prosperity does not always mean peace. The Scotch had hated the English for more than a thousand year, and the English were rulers here as well as at home. About the year 1765 Governor Tryon a tyrannical military man became Governor of North Carolina. He was a driver and ordered the settlers to do a lot of things to which they objected. He spent a lot of money needlessly. He built a state house costing $10, 000 (Don’t seem much now under Roosevelt)This aroused the ire of the Scotch and an organization was formed known as the Regulators, later known as White Caps and still later as K.K.K. (*This has been proven not to be true.)
James Hunter was Commander of this armed force and a battle was fought at Alaman Creek which was his home. About 200 were killed and wounded. The Regulators run out of ammunition as only one third of them were armed. There were about 2000 Regulators against 1100 British. The Regulators were desperate, 13 were captured, 1 was hanged, later six more were hanged and six were rescued by their friends breaking down the jail. William Hunter was among the rescued. James Hunter with other leaders fled to Pennsylvania. After about three years he returned to his family, who had been card for by his brothers. His home had been destroyed by Governor Tryon. He re-built his home and was never molested. About three years after this the Revolution broke out and the British left North Carolina. This was in 1776.
John Hunter (the brother of James Hunter, Thomas Hunter and possibly William Hunter) was the father of John Hunter ( the father of Daniel Hunter and four other boys, John, Andy, Sam and William also five girls, Lucinda, Mary, Susana, Cynthia and Margaret) who at (15 yrs) married Geo. Baber (40 yrs) and became the mother of Jack, Aden and As a Baber of Kansas, Ill. John Hunter was born in 1770 in North Carolina and came to Indiana in 1815 settled in Greene County in 1816. He died in 1863 at the age if 93 yrs. His wife long known as Grandmother Hunter was a medical advisor and lived until about 1861. All ten of their children lived until they were grown but were all outlived (except Daniel) by their parents, Daniel Hunter was born in 1798 and died in1864 of black measles which also killed his wife and two of the boys and 1 girl, the girl being Mary Anderson, age 83 and is now living near Solsberry, Indiana. Only part of two families of Hunters came from Scotland at this time, leaving hundreds of families there. I doubt whether it was a good move or not. Only one family moved to Indiana from North Carolina. I think this was a mistake. The bulk of our people are yet in the Carolinas or still back in Scotland and Ireland. Indiana is not so bad but I don’t see why John Hunter dragged (dragged is right) his family over 100 miles of good Hoosier land and settled them N. E. of Tulip on the first poor land that he found. He found a good spring.
H.W. Hunter

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