Joseph Robinson Aids Fletchall

To counteract the influence of those gentlemen and, if possible, to obliterate the impressions made by them, Col. Fletchall engaged the services of a man by the name of Robinson, This Robinson was a young man of classical education and respectable talents. He had been educated in Virginia for the ministry in the Presbyterian Church, but rendered himself peculiarly odious to that denomination by an attempt to obtain orders in the established church in the Province by fraud for one Cotton, an illiterate and abandoned wretch. The nature of the transaction was reported to the proper authority and Cotton and Robinson fled from the country.

Robinson was sent by Fletchall to Charlotte to confer with Lord William Campbell, the Royal Governor, as to the best means of keeping the people in a quiet and loyal state. Campbell sent a parcel of pamphlets, called cutters, to Fletchall for distribution among the people. The scope of these pamphlets was to show the sin of resisting the laws and policy of the Lord's anointed, the evils that would result, and to offer encouragement to support the measures of the British crown. On his return Fletchall called public meetings in dif­ferent parts and put up Robinson to address the people in support of those measures which he wished to see triumphant.

One of these took place at the Dining Creek Meeting House. The assemblage was larger than could be accommodated in the building. Robinson therefore took his stand upon a rock in the woods, read one of the cutters and was commenting upon its contents. He alluded to the case of Saul and David to show the miseries that result from rebellion. He heaped abusive epithets upon the Con­tinental Congress, George Washington, and the principles they advocated. He stated that when the rascals had involved the people in inextricable difficulties they would run away to the Indians, Spaniards and islands. When this last sentence was uttered Samuel McJunkin remarked: “I wonder where Preachers Joe Robinson and Cotton will then be.” At this remark Robinson was over­whelmed with shame, descended abruptly from his rostrum and went off.  As he was going he was heard to say: “I would have carried my point if it had not been for that old Irish Pres­byterian, but he has defeated me.”

Fletchall, however, continued his efforts to lull the apprehensions of the people as to the measures of the Royal Government, and to induce the belief that their interests and loyalty were identical. And it is not surprising that his success was considerable.


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