Faith Rock

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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 refused.

    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 Franklinville.

    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 forever.

  • 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.

    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.

    Date is given as 2 May 1782.

  • 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.

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • May 1782 listing   5/1782 Faith Rock, Deep River. Draw. Per O'Kelley.
  • Sep 1782 listing   Not found.

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