NC MRF History Tour - April 21, 2007

Alamance Battleground

The first of five scheduled NC MRF History Tours was held on April 21st in Burlington, NC. The tour started in Apex and traveled to the Alamance County Battlefield and the scene of Pyle's Defeat. Thirty-one riders came out for this tour.

Visitors to Alamance Battleground view the field of battle, which is marked by a granite monument given as a memorial in 1880. An audiovisual presentation of the battle is offered in the visitor center. Located on the grounds of the site is the Allen House, a log dwelling characteristic of those lived in by frontier people on the western fringes of the colony.

During our visit, we watched the audiovisual presentation and then we were lucky enough to get a personalized guided tour of the battlegrounds from local historian Bill Thompson. Bill also did a live fire demonstration of a period black powder musket for us. From there, we rode to the scene of Pyle's Defeat where we learned how Light Horse Harry Lee defeated a force three times his size. After the tour was over, we headed out and enjoyed friendship over a BBQ lunch at Carolina Bar-B-Q & Seafood.

We would like to thank the riders who came out for this tour. These riders understand the importance of protecting the things they love. Riding our motorcycles is important to all of us and these riders have shown their love for motorcycling by financially supporting the MRF on this history tour. Twenty-three riders donated $10 each to allow us to make a $230 Freedom Fighter donation. That donation will go directly towards our fight at the federal level for fair motorcycle related legislation. Three riders also joined the MRF during this tour and three riders renewed their membership bringing the total raised for the MRF to $445.

To view the MRF's legislative agenda go HERE. If you are not already an MRF member, please consider joining. The MRF is completely focused on supporting street motorcycling.

The next NC MRF History Tour be a 110+ mile ride to the House in the Horseshoe on Saturday, May 19, 2007. There will be a total of five NC MRF History Tours during 2007.

We would like to thank long-time MRF Individual Sustaining Member Bruce Harris for his dedication to the MRF, his time and effort in organizing and planning this History Tour, and his enthusiasm for creating fun, alternate riding opportunities for North Carolina's riders.

The Battle of Alamance

During the years preceding the American Revolution many North Carolina people experienced strong feelings of discontent with the way the provincial government conducted the affairs of the colony. Their quarrel was not with the form of government or the body of laws but with abuses by government officials. Grievances affecting the daily lives of the colonists included excessive taxes, dishonest sheriffs, and illegal fees. It was in the western counties that the War of the Regulation began.

In 1768, an association of "Regulators" was formed. Wealthier colonists considered them to be a mob. The Regulators never had an outstanding leader, though several men were prominent in the movement. One leader, Herman Husband, a Quaker and disciple of Benjamin Franklin, circulated political pamphlets seeking to effect peaceful reform.

Discouraged over failure to secure justice through peaceful negotiations, the reformers took a more radical stand. Violence, lawlessness, and terrorism reigned. When punitive measures were taken against them, the Regulators defiantly refused to pay fees, terrorized those who administered the law, and disrupted court proceedings.

It fell to Royal Governor William Tryon to bring the back country revolt to a speedy conclusion. In March 1771, the governor's council advised Tryon to call out the militia and march against the rebel farmers. Volunteers for the militia were mustered. After resting on the banks of Alamance Creek in the heart of Regulator country, Tryon gathered his army of approximately one thousand men. Five miles away, the army of Regulators, almost three thousand strong, had assembled.

The Battle of Alamance began on May 16, 1771 after the Regulators rejected Tryon's suggestion that they disperse peacefully. Lacking leadership, organization, and adequate munitions, the Regulators were no match for Tryon's militia. Many Regulators fled the field of battle, leaving their bolder comrades to fight on.

The rebellion of the Regulators was crushed by military defeat. Nine members of the militia were killed and sixty-one wounded. The Regulator losses were much greater, though exact numbers are not known. Tryon took fifteen prisoners, of whom seven were executed later.

The War of the Regulation illustrates the dissatisfaction of a large segment of the population during the time before the American Revolution. The boldness with which reformers opposed royal authority provided a lesson in the use of armed resistance, which revolutionaries employed a few short years later in the War for Independence.

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Special thanks to Bruce for taking these pictures.