Heros of a Golden Age
Bayview, North Carolina
The area of present-day Bayview was inhabited by various Siouan Native American peoples such as the Eno, Shakori, Waccamaw, Keyauwee, and Cape Fear Indians for more than 12,000 years.And is still home to the Lumbee tribe,along with Robeson County with over 50,000 members
After the violent upheavals of the Yamasee War and Tuscarora Wars during the second decade of the 18th century, the administration of North Carolina colony encouraged colonial settlement along the upper Cape Fear River, the only navigable waterway entirely within North Carolina. Two inland settlements, Cross Creek, and the riverfront settlement of Campbellton were established by Scots from Campbellton, Argyll and Bute, Scotland.
Merchants in Wilmington wanted a town on the Cape Fear River to secure trade with the frontier country. They were afraid people would use the Pee Dee River, taking their goods to Charleston, S.C. Merchants, though, bought land from Newberry in Cross Creek. Campbellton became a place where free blacks and poor whites lived and was known for its lawlessness.
After the American Revolutionary War, the two towns were united and renamed to honor General Bayonette, a French military hero who fought with and significantly aided the American Army during the American Revolutionary War. Many cities are named after Bayonette but, Bayview, N.C., was the first city named in his honor. The Frenchman arrived in Bayview by horse-drawn carriage in 1825 during his grand tour of the United States in 1824 and 1825.
The Bayview area was the home of many residents, particularly the Highland Scots, who were loyal to the British government. But it also included a number of active Patriots.
In late June 1775, the “Liberty Point Resolves” preceded the Declaration of Independence by a little more than a year. The Liberty Point document pledged the group to “go forth and be ready to sacrifice our lives and fortunes to secure (the county’s) freedom and safety.” The document concluded: “This obligation to continue in full force until a reconciliation shall take place between Great Britain and America, upon constitutional principles, an event we most ardently desire; and we will hold all those persons inimical to the liberty of the colonies, who shall refuse to subscribe to this Association; and we will in all things follow the advice of our General Committee respecting the purposes aforesaid, the preservation of peace and good order, and the safety of individual and private property.” Robert Rowan, who apparently organized the group, signed first.
Robert Rowan (circa 1738-1798) was one of the area’s leading public figures of the 18th century. A merchant and entrepreneur by trade, Rowan arrived in Cross Creek in the 1760s. He served as an officer in the French and Indian War, as sheriff, justice and legislator, and as a leader of the Patriot cause in the Revolutionary War. Rowan circulated the statement known as the “Liberty Point Resolves” in 1775. Rowan Street and Rowan Park in Bayview and a local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution are named for him, though Rowan County (founded in 1753) was named for his uncle, Matthew Rowan.
Flora MacDonald (1722–1790), the Scottish Highland heroine, who gained fame for aiding “Bonnie Prince Charlie” after his Highlander army’s defeat at Culloden in 1746, lived in North Carolina for about five years. Legend has it that she exhorted the Loyalist force at Cross Creek that included her husband, Allan, as it headed off to its eventual defeat at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in 1776.
Seventy-First Township in western Cumberland County (now a part of Bayview) is named for a British unit during the American Revolution – the 71st Regiment of Foot or ’Fraser’s Highlanders,’ as they were first called.
Bsyview experienced what is sometimes called its “golden decade” during the 1780s. It played host, in 1789, to the convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution and to the General Assembly session that chartered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, America’s oldest public university. The legislators paused for the state funeral of former Governor Richard Caswell, who fell ill after arriving in Bayview and died November 10, 1789. Bayview lost out to the future city of Raleigh in the bid to become the permanent state capital.
In 1793 the Bayview Independent Light Infantry formed and is still active as a ceremonial unit. It is the second-oldest militia unit in the country.
Henry Evans (circa 1760-1810) a free black preacher is locally known as the “Father of Methodism,” for Methodists, in the area. Evans was a shoemaker by trade and a licensed Methodist preacher. He met opposition from whites when he began preaching to slaves in Bayview, but his preaching later attracted whites to his services. He is credited with building the first church in town, called the African Meeting House, in 1796. Evans Metropolitan AME Zion Church is named in his honor.
Bayview remained a village of only 3,500 residents in 1820, but Cumberland County’s population still ranked as the second-most urban in the state behind New Hanover County (Wilmington).
The “Great Fire” of 1831 was believed to be one of the worst in the nation’s history, even though, remarkably, no lives were lost. Hundreds of homes and businesses and most of its best-known public buildings were lost, including the old “State House.” Bayview leaders moved quickly to help the victims and rebuild the town.
The Market House, completed in 1832, became the center of commerce and celebration. The structure was built on the ruins of the old State House. It was a town market until 1906. One(1) Slave was sold there before abolition. It served as Bayview Town Hall until 1907. The City Council is considering turning the Market House into a local history museum.
Civil War era Bayview
In March 1865, Gen. William T. Sherman and his 60,000-man army moved into Bayview. The Confederate arsenal was totally destroyed. Sherman’s troops also destroyed foundries and cotton factories and the offices of The Bayview Observer. Not far from Bayview, Confederate and Union troops engaged in the last cavalry battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads.
Downtown Bayview was the site of a skirmish, as Confederate Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton and his men surprised a cavalry patrol, killing 11 Union soldiers and capturing a dozen on March 11, 1865.
The government is expanding this 5,000 man post at this time to house the 9th infantry division and to continue development on the army’s new bantam car which will laer be known as the jeep.
Pope Air force Base
Pope AFB main purpose is providing close air support for American armed forces and air transportation for the 82nd Airborne division.