Monday, March 26, 2018

Richard Caswell

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Richard Caswell, his name is worth of such a country. His example is left to urge us to follow his acts of honor and patriotism.

Like Washington, Caswell was true and loyal to the government under which he lived. But as soon as the Colonies threw off the British yoke, so soon did he renounce his allegiance to King George and cast his destiny with the colonies. In their struggle for independence, and as early as 1774, we see his name in the first public meeting held in North Carolina.

He was a patriotic statesman, a courageous, vigilant, successful soldier, a parallel to Washington. Nathaniel Macon said of him: "Governor Caswell was one of the most powerful men that ever lived in this or any other country." I said his name was worthy of such a country. What has North Carolina done to perpetuate his memory save to name a county for him? For the three years he was Governor of this Commonwealth he did not receive ONE Dollar. Had such a statesman and patriot lived in Virginia, or anywhere else except in North Carolina, his last resting place would have been marked with a monument worthy the man.

How is it with Governor Richard Caswell? His remains lie buried in a private graveyard near the banks of the Neuse River, two miles west of Kinston, in Lenoir county, with nothing to mark their last resting place save what nature has supplied -- that is a monument in the shape of an oak tree, which has grown up just over his breast. The grave is not even enclosed, but is open to the ravages of hogs, cattle and other stock. Shame on the Masonic Fraternity, shame on us North Carolinians, that we have so long left undone a duty that we owe to the memory of Richard Caswell!

Now, Messrs. Editors, as the State which he served so faithfully as soldier, statesman and Governor, and for which services the State paid him nothing; as the Masonic fraternity over which he presided as Grand Master, and which annually appropriates fifty to seventy-five dollars for painting the portraits of living Grand and Past Grand Masters, have up to this time taken no step towards erecting even a marble slab to mark his grave: I hope I may be pardoned for suggesting to THE PEOPLE OF CASWELL that this being the centennial year of the existence of the county, and November being the month, they have a celebration of some kind, at which time let steps be taken to raise a small amount to place a monument of some kind, if no more than a granite shaft, to mark the grave of him for whose honor the county was named, and as THE WOMEN OF NORTH CAROLINA are ever ready to lend a helping hand in all laudable enterprises, and the fair daughters of Caswell county being no less so, I call upon them to move in the matter, for so surely as they take it in hand, so surely will it be accomplished. Will they do it?

"Caswell County Letter," Leigh, R. A. The Weekly Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), 16 October 1877, Tuesday, Page 1.

Richard Caswell Burial?

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