Andrew Hunter vs. Col. David Fanning, 22 Sep 1782 [2 May 1782?]
Where: 35.742203203 -79.6963426 Faith Rock
Maps: [map notes]
- Barefoot, p.382-385
- NBBAS:Four p.93-94:
Faith Rock, Deep River, North Carolina
22 September 1782
On September 5th Colonel David Fanning left Charlestown to find his horse
that had been taken from him by Andrew Hunter. Fanning had offered to
trade five horses to Hunter if he returned his horse Red Doe, but Hunter
For two weeks David Fanning rode through the Pee Dee settlements trying
to find Red Doe, but he had no luck. On September 22nd he decided it was
time to go back to Charlestown. General Leslie had been given word to
evacuate Charlestown and Fanning did not want to be left behind.
Traveling beside the Deep River he learned that Hunter had been hiding in
South Carolina waiting for Fanning to leave the country. Fanning sent
one of his men to find directions to Hunter’s house. One of Andrew
Hunter’s friends fooled the Loyalist into thinking that Hunter lived in
an opposite direction than he actually did. Hunter’s friend then rode on
to warn Hunter of Fanning’s presence.
Fanning was not fooled by this and rode through the forest in the
direction that Hunter’s friend was going. When he saw Fanning pursuing
him he jumped off his horse and fired two pistols at the Loyalists. Both
pistols misfired and the man took off running across an open field.
Fanning wrote "I ordered one of my men to fire at him, who shot him
through the body, and dispatched his presence from this world."
Fanning rode up to the house the man was running towards, ready to fight
anyone in it. The two men in the house chose not to fight and instead
told Fanning that Hunter had learned of his presence and had fled with
Red Doe a half an hour earlier. The men also told Fanning that several
ambushes had been set to kill him and his men. Fanning decided it was
not worth being killed or captured and headed back to Charlestown.
Some of Fanning’s men stayed behind and kept an eye out for Hunter. The
Loyalists came across him riding Red Doe near Cox’s Mill. They chased
him and cut off his only escape across Buffalo Ford on Deep River.
Hunter rode into the woods to lose the Loyalists, but when he came out
into the open he saw a giant rock that sloped down into the river at a
sixty-degree angle. He waved to Fanning’s men and then rode down the
steep rock into the river. So amazed were the Loyalists by the
courageous escape that none fired. One of Fanning’s men remarked, "If he
has faith enough to try to escape that way we will not shoot again." The
rock has carried its name ever since, Faith Rock, and is located in
Fanning arrived in Charlestown on September 28th with two other
Loyalists, his slave and two Black children. He boarded the ship New
Blessing on November 6th, 1782 to St. Augustine and left the Carolinas
- Col. David Fanning, 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,, reprinted for Jos. Sabine, 1865, p.59-60
On the 1st of May 1782 I heard of a wagon being in the
road, I imagined she was going down to market, as I heard
of a number of wagons which was to proceed down with
liquor to the market, On the 2d I mounted and persued the
wagon ; which I heard of the day before; as I was about
setting out for Charleston I concluded to have a frolic with
my old friends, before we parted. After riding about ten
miles, I overtook the said wagon, which belonged to a certain man who had been taken prisoner and paroled by the
British ; and had broken his parole. In the mean time, I
was examining his papers I set a centinel over him. He
knowing himself guilty, expected nothing but death. He
took the opportunity, and sprung upon my riding mare,
and went off with my saddle, holsters, pistols, and all my
papers of any consequence to me. We fired two guns at
him; he received two balls throuogh his body but it did not
prevent him from sitting the saddle ; and make his escape.
I took the other man, and caused him to take me to the
man s plantation ; when I took his wife, and three negro
boys, and eight head of horses. I kept his wife for three
days in the woods ; and sent the man to see, if he would de
liver up my mare, and property, containing my papers; for
which he wrote me the following insolent letter.
Date is given as 2 May 1782.
SIR, Colo Fanning, I hope that you do not blame me for
what I did. Hoping you will have mercy on me, as I am
wounded, and let my wife come to me. Your mare shall be
returned to you without fail. Your mare I don t crave, and
I hope you dont covet mine. I beg that you will have pity
on my wife and children. The negroes and horses I am
willing you shall keep until you get your mare I have sent
to a Doctor. But the mare will be back to night. No
more, but you may depend on my word
I also received the following letter from Edwd Williams,
on the subject of the Mare.
SIR, These few lines comes, to let you know that I have
this day seen Mr. Hunter; he is badly wounded and desires
you would let his wife come to him immediately: As to the
rest of his property, you are welcome to keep, until such
time s you get your mare returned, which will be as soon as
possible, as she has gone at this time after the Doctor. But
she shall be returned to you, with all speed, as soon as she
returns. Mr. Hunter also is very ill.
I am your obt humble servant
Colo David Fanning EDWARD WILLIAMS
On the 7th of May, finding I could see no opportunity of
getting my mare, notwithstanding she was one of my princi
pal creatures, and a mare I set great store by, and gave One
Hundred and ten guineas for her. I was obliged to let loose
all his horses, except one, as they was of no account to me,
in the situation I was in; the negroes I kept ; I then pro
ceeded to a Major Garner s truce land in Pedee in South
Carolina, where I had made a truce with the Rebels, some
time before; and I continued there until June, when I left my
wife, horses, and negroes;
as I was entirely a stranger to the
situation of the country and roads, I was obliged to procure
a pilot to proceed to Charlestown; I could not get one for
less than 20 guineas.
- L. Mckay Whatley, "Notes on the History of Randolph County, NC.
Local wisdom in Franklinville has always repeated the claim that Bay Doe’s hoof prints can still be seen, embedded in Faith Rock. The truth of that, as well as the likelihood that any horse and rider could jump off a 60-degree slope into a river normally as shallow as Deep River, must be left to the opinion of visitors.
- May 1782 listing 5/1782 Faith Rock, Deep River. Draw. Per O'Kelley.
- Sep 1782 listing Not found.