John Harvey, of Harvey’s Point

John Harvey: Five times speaker of colonial assembly, modertor of provincial Congresses, 1774-1775, leader of Revolutionary movement. Lived 11 mi. S.On May 3, 1775, John Harvey, Speaker of the Assembly, moderator of the Provincial Congress and a politically powerful Revolutionary era leader, died in Perquimans County.

While he had long been of delicate health, he actually died of injuries received from a fall from his horse. He was buried at his home on the shores of the Albemarle Sound in a large tomb that has since washed into the sound. It was last seen, covered in barnacles, in 1908.

Born about 1724 to a privileged family, Harvey entered the political arena by the time he was 21. He served as a justice, member of the Assembly, speaker of the Assembly and as a member of the revolutionary Committee of Correspondence, the body appointed to communicate with other colonies concerning Crown policies deemed detrimental to America, before the advent of the Revolutionary War.

Harvey first adopted the cause of resistance to the tyrannies of the British Crown after the the British government imposed new taxes on the American colonies under the Townshend Acts. Historian R. D. W. Connor called Harvey:

Father of the American Revolution in North Carolina

Like their father, two of Harvey’s sons, Thomas and Miles, went on to serve in the Assembly.

A 1998 story in the New York Times includes some fascinating details on Harvey Point, the family’s Perquimans County property.

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