Balfour's Plantation   Milliken's Plantation   Bryan's Plantation  

Balfour's/Milliken's/Bryan's Plantations.

Murder, *Col. David Fanning vs. Col. Andrew Balfour, 11 Mar 1782.
Raid, *Col. David Fanning vs. William Milliken, 11 Mar 1782.
Murder, *Col. David Fanning vs. Capt. John Bryan , 11 Mar 1782.

Other names:

35.6437482 -79.9003167, Balfour's Plantation
35.7954143 -79.8347556, Milliken's Plantation
35.8293029 -79.8655900, Bryan's Plantation

Maps: [map notes]


  • Barefoot(NC), p.380-382. Balfour family cemetery is 0.3 miles north of intersection of roads 1163 and 1199 (in copse of trees in the middle of a field on right side of the road, in sight of Asheboro Municipal Airport.

  • Guide to North Carolina Highway Historical Markers, 9th Edition, NC Division of Archives and History, Raleigh, 2001, Not found.

  • NBBAS:Four, p.43-44.
    Balfour’s Plantation, New Market, North Carolina
    "Deep River Raid"
    11 March 1782
    Andrew Balfour was the justice of the peace in Randolph County and the colonel of the Randolph County Militia. He had tried to kill Colonel Fanning on several occasions and had also captured and hanged several of Fanning’s men.

    After Balfour attacked Fanning on March 10th Fanning decided to come after Balfour and kill every Whig he could find. Fanning raised twenty-five men on the night of March 10th and rode the “Deep River Raid” against the Whigs of Randolph County "in order to give them a small scorge."

    Fanning’s raiders first rode to Balfour’s plantation. Balfour must have thought he was safe after his attacks against Fanning and his men the day before.

    When they arrived at the house the Loyalists immediately opened fire. Absalom Autry fired at Balfour and broke his arm. Balfour was able to make his way back into the house to protect his daughter and sister. Fanning’s men rushed into the house and pulled Balfour away from the women, then riddled Balfour’s body with bullets. Even Fanning fired his pistol into Balfour’s head. The women were kicked and beaten until they fled to the home of a neighbor.

    Fanning and his men then rode to the house of William Milliken, who lived at Back Creek. Milliken was not home so Fanning burned all of his buildings. Milliken’s wife, Jane, carried a feather bed out of the house, but Fanning’s men threw it back into the fire. Fanning forced Milliken’s son to guide them to Colonel John Collins house. Collins was not home either, so they burned his house.

    Fanning next went to the house of Colonel John Collier. Collier was the Senator for Randolph County and knew that Fanning was in the area. He had placed a young man named Benjamin Fincher on guard near his house. Fanning had his men approach Fincher and act as friends. When they were close both of Fanning’s men fired their muskets into Fincher’s chest, but by some twist of fate both bullets bounced off. The shocked Fincher ran away. John Collier heard the shooting and ran out of the house. Collier was almost killed, but he escaped with three bullet holes in his shirt. Fanning burned Collier’s house and outbuildings.

    Fanning continued his raid by riding to the house of Captain John Bryan of the Randolph County Militia, who . Fanning talked both of Bryan’s daughters into taking him to their father. He told Bryan to come out and give himself up, offering him parole if he would do so. Bryan refused, yelling from the house "Damn you and your parole too. I have had one, and I will never take another." Fanning ordered Bryan’s house set on fire. Bryan asked Fanning to have mercy on his wife and children. Fanning told him that he would show mercy if he came out with his hands up.

    Bryan came out and said, "Here Damn you, here I am." Fanning’s men shot him. One of the balls went into his head and he fell back on his wife. As Bryan’s wife tried to raise him up another one of Fanning’s men stepped forward and shot him in the eye. Since he killed the man he was after Fanning spared Bryan’s wife and did not burn the house. Fanning was weary from a long night’s killing spree and he "lay down in the cradle, and after rocking himself there very comfortably for some time" rose and continued his raid.

  • Note that the mouth of Black Creek is given to indicate approximate location of Milliken's Plantation (with confidence:nil). The creek is about 9 miles long (from Randalman to Farmer) and the plantation could have been anywhere along its length.

  • Fanning, David, The Narrative of Colonel David Fanning (a Tory in the Revolutionary War with Great Britain) : giving an account of his adventures in North Carolina, from 1775 to 1783, 1865, New York : Reprinted for J. Sabin. Edited by Wynne, Thos. H. (Thomas Hicks), 1820-1875, p.50-51.

  • RevWar75:
  • listing:
    3/10/1782 Randolph County. Shown as a draw.
    3/10 - 13/1782 Deep River Raid. Shown as British victory.

    Related sites: Randolph Courthouse, Dougan's Plantation.

    Submitted by: Patrick O'Kelley

    Confidence level: See above.