Questions about Solomon #2's Death
Solomon died leaving no will and a lot of questions for us to try to answer.
Why did Solomon sell his land in Randolph County and move to Richmond County in August 1771? Although the majority of Solomon's Randolph County neighbors and all three of his brothers participated in one way or another in the Regulator Movement, we have found no proof that Solomon was ever involved. The War of the Regulation was found May 16, 1771 and during the weeks and months following, Governor Tryon and his troops stormed through Randolph County looking for all of the Regulators, burning homes, destroying crops, and doing everything possible to keep any future opposition to the Crown from rising again. Did Solomon decide to leave Randolph County in August 1771 because of the violence and anti-British political atmosphere surrounding him?
Usually when someone died without a will (intestate), the court would appoint a family member, usually male, administrator of the estate. Yet, as you can see form Solomon's estate record, Benjamin Beard was appointed administrator and Joseph Hinds was the bondsman. Solomon had several adult sons living with and/or near him when he died: Solomon Jr., John, Jonathan, Francis, Phineas and Theophilus. Why wasn't one of them appointed the administrator?
Carefully study the estate document listing Solomon's "inventory of estate". Note it states "one horse taken by General Harrelton's men" and "a rifle gun taken by Thomas Jennings" and another horse "taken by" with no name filled in - a mystery person. this is very interesting. Upon Solomon's death, all of his estate - by law - should have gone to his family including those sons listed above. Why did other people get the horses and rifle? Remember, the Revolutionary War was going on. We couldn't find any record of a British or American General named Harrelton, but we did find documentation proving there was an American General who lived in Richmond County, NC, named H. W. Harrington. One of the men under General Harrington's command was an American soldier and patriot, Thomas Jennings. Why would an American General and and American soldier take possession of Solomon's horses and rifle?
Is it possible that Solomon was also an American Patriot, possibly killed "in the line of duty", and his military comrades took possession of his horses and rifle on the battlefield? Per military documents, there were no battles occurring in Richmond County in the fall of 1782. Was he killed during a small skirmish? A skirmish during which he was fighting beside Thomas Jennings under the command of General Harrington? There is no record proving Solomon ever fought for or supported the American Revolution.
Or is it possible that Solomon was a British Tory? Is it possible that Solomon left Randolph County because of his pro-British leanings, which were frowned upon by the majority of Randolph County's residents. Did he leave Randolph County hoping to find peace, only to find himself in the middle of the Revolution anyway? Was Solomon killed because he was a Tory? Did the soldiers who killed him take possession of his horses and rifle as "the spoils of war"? Does this explain why the court - and American court - did not appoint his sons as his administrator(s)? Did the court frown upon the sons of a British Tory?
If you can help answer these questions or have information about Solomon's Revolutionary War service, please contact Linda