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Some weaknesses in this study

Gap Analysis of the Flower Swift Study

This study and analysis has many weaknesses. One of the objectives is to see what can be done solely on the internet. However, clearly there are gaps in my knowledge and the knowledge of the people willing to correspond with me.

  • The proposition that the residents of upper New River are long-time allies of the Cherokee is somewhat speculative and is based primarily on genealogy and migratory patterns and the knowledge that many of the men had been hunters on Cherokee land (e.g. I can to some degree answer these questions: Who migrated with the Riddles and Roberts and other Tories? Who married them?, Which families are thought to have intermarried with the Cherokee?). Is friendship with the Cherokee really the cause of the mutiny in Cox and Osborne’s companies? Alternative explanation: why fight in a losing cause where the enemy is threatening to hang you (the mutiny occurred about the time of the British victories in South Carolina).
  • The mutineers? Tories or just refusing to fight? Of the men named as mutineers some appear on later Cox and Osborne militia rosters – so they do not appear to be dedicated Tories. The men named as being actual Tories in other documents do not appear on any militia rosters after 1777 and many not on any roster (possibly because they are not from the area covered by these companies).
  • I believe that the people who were dedicated to the Tory cause were never on the Cox and Osborne militia rolls (e.g. James/Cornelius Roberts, Sizemores, Perkins etc.). However, maybe they lived outside the area covered by these companies and are on Wilkes (now Ashe and Alleghany) Co., NC musters?
  • Where are the militia rosters for the Andrew Baker company and other militia companies in adjoining North Carolina? Do they exist?
  • Some of the mixed race Saponi-Europeans appear on militia rosters in 1777 but are not seen after 1779. Mixed race names of this group are Riddle, Collins, Bunch, Bollins, Goins, Gibson, and maybe Sizemore (according to Saponi and Riddle genealogy web pages and a detailed note I read on the New River History Forum and my knowledge of the settlers of Newman’s Ridge, Hancock Co., TN and detailed studies on Melungeons published on the web by a Historian with the Federal government’s Indian Bureau). Does this mean that they switched sides? Sizemores were consistent Tories, but I am not so sure about the Riddles, Collins and Bunch families. The documents in the Sevier vs. Wm Riddle law suit in 1779 might exist and throw some light on this? Wm Riddle’s brother John seems to have collected a pension for his service in the Revolution.
  • Reports of trials of men who rebelled (e.g. John and James Blevins) have filtered to me through the New River History Forum. Are there more reports in existence that I have not read?
  • Three to five men that appear on the Draper Swift militia roster appear to be part Croatan/Lumbee Indian and 1 or 2 of the names are in the Quaker part of the list. Is it known that there was a Croatan community in Surry (now Stokes?) Co., NC and is it known what side they participated on in the Revolution? Was Timothy Spencer part of this community? Are the Quakers known to have made Croatan converts in the Piedmont (or earlier in SE North Carolina)?
  • There is document, found by Draper, where an order is given to disarm the Cox, Osborne and Swift companies (?). I have not found this document and am not sure of its date.
  • An in-depth genealogical study of the Cox, Baker and Osborne companies would shed more light on the Swift company. For instance, the Phipps and Long family seem to have very similar backgrounds to the men in the Swift company (Quaker and Regulator). Apparently the Phipps family was one of the families that remained on the American side in the mutiny (James Cox pension application). Similarly an in-depth genealogical study of the people who were consistent Loyalists might shed some light.
  • The identification of William Rankin on the list with William Rankin the Regulator of Guilford is highly speculative. It assumes that he kept his property in Guilford while hiding out in Virginia after Governor Tryon made him an outlaw following the Battle of Alamance 1771. Alternatively, he could be hiding out with this group in 1781 because it is known that General Cornwallis used his farm as the camp for his troops just prior to the Battle of Guilford. However, the fact that this William Rankin is marked as a Quaker on the list is puzzling, if it is him, because he is believed to be Presbyterian. I was unable to find any person named Rankin anywhere in this time period in any Quaker records on the Internet – I need to take a quick peek at Hinshaw. When it comes down to it, the only real connection between this man and the Quakers at Chestnut Creek is Alamance 1771 and process of elimination with men named William Rankin on Worldconnect (he seemed most likely).

Key books have been published that I have not read (and should):

  • Carroll County 1765-1815 The Settlements by Alderman
  • I have not Mary Kegley’s books on colonial southwest Virginia
  • Annals of Southwest Virginia 1769-1800, by Lewis C. Summers, Kingsport Press, Kingsport, Tn, 1927 (unread)
  • Draper’s account of the Revolutionary War in the area (he wrote a book)
  • The county and regional histories of Ashe, Alleghany and Wilkes counties
  • The account of the Revolution published in any Carroll County History
  • Any in-depth study of the Revolution in the Randolph, Alamance, Guilford and Iredell counties – the counties of origin of the people on the Swift muster.
  • I have not acquired the pension applications of Daniel McCoy, Henry Morgan (I have seen the abstract), William Erwin, Nathan Blevens (son of James Blevens) or Morgan Morgan (who probably served elsewhere as he is not on the Draper list or list 3 – this could help date list 1). Nor have I seen any paper work surrounding the Bounty Land Warrant acquired by Charles Morgan in Grayson County in 1790.
  • I wonder if any obituaries or records exist of the key players in Alamance 1771 such as Harmon Cox and William Rankin.
  • A trip to Guilford College to peruse the Quaker records of Cane Creek, Deep River and Westfield MM for relevant entries could add to this study.