Reorganization Of The Carolinas
Separation of the Carolinas.—Economically the Carolinas had been drifting apart. Between the Albemarle and Cape Fear districts lay a primeval wilderness two hundred miles in width. The northern district was devoted to the production of naval stores and tobacco, the southern more to rice culture. Politically the governments had been practically separate almost from the beginning, the governor being located at Charleston and a deputy governor being appointed for the north. In 1713 the proprietors appointed Charles Eden as governor of North Carolina, and from this time the two provinces were practically separate.
The Yamassee War.—Between the South Carolina and Spanish settlements lived the Yamassee Indians. In the War of the Spanish Succession they had remained faithful to the English, but by 1715 they were won over by the St. Augustine officials. The French at Mobile were also working on the Creeks and Cherokees, and a confederation was formed whose object was the destruction of the South Carolina settlements. The war began on April 15, 1715, the Yamassee beginning the attack without the assistance of their allies, and the plantations and settlements were assailed all along the border. Martial law was immediately proclaimed in the province, volunteers were organized, and calls for assistance were sent to North Carolina, Virginia, New England, and England, the two former responding with men and ammunition. Several bloody engagements were fought which turned in favor of the Carolinians. The Yamassees received reinforcements and renewed their incursions, but Governor Craven showed such a superior force that the Indians fled beyond the Edisto and were subsequently driven far back into the interior.
Overthrow of the proprietors.—The responsibility of defence against Indians, and pirates who infested the coast devolved upon the settlers, the proprietors showing little ability to assist. The assembly now took matters in its own hands and changed the method of elections, so that many large landholders were practically disfranchised. The acts were not approved by the proprietors and the slumbering discontent in the province soon approached rebellion. The situation was made worse by the refusal of the proprietors to allow the distribution of the Yamassee lands, and by an order that tracts be set aside for themselves. Rumors spread that another Spanish invasion threatened and Governor Johnson sought means of meeting it, but when he asked advice as to how funds might be raised, he was informed that the duty which had been imposed after the Yamassee War was still in force and that other legislation was unnecessary. The colonists answered the governor's call to arms but soon showed that they were against him. When Johnson refused to act in the name of the king instead of the proprietors, he was set aside. The proprietary government had been in ill favor with the English government for some time. Its incompetence in the Yamassee War had convinced the Board of Trade that a change was necessary, and it upheld the popular movement. In 1729 an act of parliament established royal governments in both North and South Carolina.
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