Saturday, April 16, 2022

Argulus Hercules Henderson

Argulus Hercules Henderson was born before 1734. The earliest record I can find on Argulus is a 1755 North Carolina Taxpayers record for Orange County, North Carolina. He had to be at least 21 years old (or older) in 1755 to make the Census. Orange County was formed in 1752 from Johnston, Bladen, and Granville Counties, just three years prior to Argulus living there.

Argulus wasted no time in becoming a landowner. On July 15, 1760, he was issued a Granville Grant for 320 acres in Orange County, North Carolina, beginning at a Sycamore, a Water Oak, and Sweet Gum by Haw River then running south cross Little Creek 70 chains to a Hickory then east cross a bend of Little Creek 618 chains to a White Oak by Haw River then up the various courses of Haw River to the first station. This land was located in those parts that would become Chatham County in 1771.


Orange County Court minutes from Aug 1760 Ordered that the following persons be appointed a Jury to lay out a Road beginning near Robert Patterson's Plantation, thence to Colling's Ford on Haw River, thence to Hog's Ford on Deep River, thence down Cape Fare (Fear) to the County line:

John Brantley, Richard Braswell, Moses Ginn, Joseph kirk, Charles Clanton, William Petty Sr, James Crawford, Thomas Tucker, Joseph Brantley, Nicholas Copeland, Hercules Henderson, John Stewart, and John Brantley be appointed Overseer of the Lower Part and James Copeland for the Upper part.

Court of Orange County August 1761

Ordered that Argulus Henderson, Simon Fooshe, Thomas Shields, John Stuart (Stewart) and his Tythables, William Marsh Jr, Simon Poe Jr, Stephen Poe, James Poe, Joseph Fooshe, Cornelius Roe, Wm. tucker, Elnathan Davis, Charles Clanton, Benjamin Clanton, Robert Colle, Samuel Marsh, Wm McDaniel & his Tythables, Zachariah Martin Jr, Roger Martin, Thomas North, John Brooks, John Crow, John Mullis, John Webster & Charles Webster, do work on the road from Haw River to Roberson’s Ford, being Wm Petty Sr's District.

A circa 1777 map of Chatham County showing the area of Orange (now Chatham) County.

In the mid-1760s, tensions began rising in the North Carolina colony’s inland region, or back country as it was called, due to excessive taxes and fees. Some of the colonists banded together and formed the Regulator movement and by May 1768, Argulus had joined the movement in Orange County. His name is found on the Regulators' Advertisement No. 9 - Petition from the Regulators concerning public fees. John Henderson, Nath. Henderson, Rich. Henderson, Wm. Henderson, Nath. Henderson (yes, two of them) also signed the same petition. It is not known if these Henderson men were related.

When protests failed to offer any relief from the high taxes, fees and confiscation of property, and colonists saw their taxes being used to build an elaborate home and office complex in New Bern for government officials, the Regulator’s resorted to violence, taking some officials hostage or destroying personal and public property. The Regulator movement culminated at the Battle of Alamance in May of 1771, where many were wounded or killed in battle, and others later hanged by then North Carolina governor William Tryon.  

It is not known if Argulus Henderson was among the Regulators who fought at the Battle of Alamance.

Argulus’s father, James Henderson, wrote his will in Oct 1770 in Onslow County, North Carolina. He gave to his only named son, Argulus Henderson, what looks to be “one new gun.” James names daughters, Lucy Henderson, Bethany Nixon, Betty Jenkins, Nanny Henderson, son-in-law, William Jenkins, and granddaughter, Sarah Nixon.

6 May 1779 Argulus entered Grant number 607 for 300 acres of land on Brooks Creek in Chatham County, North Carolina joining John Stewart and Hackney (probably Joseph Hackney) and includes the improvement James Henderson lives on. He was issued the land on 9 Oct 1783.

It appears that Argulus either fought in or provided support for the Revolutionary War as on 20 Aug 1783, he received a payment of 31 pounds 1 shilling and 8 pence for his claim submitted in the Hillsborough office.

In Oct 1783 Argulus entered a grant for 250 acres beginning at a black oak the south side of the improvement where Ignatius West formerly lived and including the improvement.

In Aug 1784, less than a year later, Argulus sold to James Williams the same tract of land situate lying and being in the county of Chatham beginning at a back oak in the south side of his improvement 250 acres.

I am not able to find Argulus Hercules Henderson on the 1790 Census. He does appear on the 1800 Census for Chatham County, Hillsborough District, North Carolina with the following people in his home:

Free White Persons - Males - Under 10:               1

Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25:              1

Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over:           1

Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15:           2

Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over:       1

Number of Slaves:                                                 9

Argulus wrote his will (shown below) on 6 Sep 1804 in Chatham County, North Carolina naming the following heirs:

Presumably, daughter, Frances Clark

Daughter of Frances Clark, Mary Henderson

Son, Hezekiah Henderson

Son, Abner Henderson

Widow, Molly Henderson

Son, Lewis Henderson

Son, Isaac Henderson

Son, Ezekiel Henderson

Granddaughter, Rachel Henderson

Son, James Henderson, father of Rachel

Granddaughter, Sally, daughter of Isaac Henderson

Son, John Henderson

Presumably, daughter, Elizabeth Nixon

Witnesses: George Milliken, William Brewer, Agnes Milliken

In Nov 1804, Argulus deeds to his son John, the house and plantation where on he now lives, on the east side of the meadow branch lying and being situate on the north side of Brooke’s Creek, 150 acres, joining Nicholas Prince. Argulus reserves lifetime rights to the land.

Argulus died before August 1806 as his will was proved in the August Session of court in 1806 by the oath of William Brewer.

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