Historical Figures Portrayed in the Show
Horn in the West mentions and portrays several key historical figured from the Revolutionary War in North Carolina. In this section you will see these characters discussed. The historical figures go in order of prominence in the show and include photos of their portrayal in Horn in the West if they were physically portrayed.
All quotes come directly from the show.
"This country’ll go on, an this land’ll go on. We’re fightin for freedom, an that means we’re on the right side."
Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania in 1734 and moved to the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina when he was very young. He became an excellent hunter in his youth and when he was 21 he served as a Wagoneer with his cousin Daniel Morgan on the doomed Braddock Expedition during the French and Indian War. After the war he led several expeditions in to the Kentucky Region on behalf of the Colony of Virginia as well as the North Carolina based Transylvania Company. When the American Revolutionary War broke out Boone was in Kentucky and was made a Colonel in the Virginia Militia. He served in the western theater of the war protecting the settlements from attack by the Shawnee and British under General Henry Hamilton out of Fort Detroit. In 1781 he was elected to the Virginia Legislator where he was captured by the British but eventually let free after being interrogated by Banastre Tarleton. After the war he settled in Kentucky but eventually moved to Missouri where he died in 1820 at the age of 85. Daniel Boone is one of the leading characters in Horn in the West. He helps the Stuarts move to the mountains of North Carolina and befriends many of the main characters.
Judge Richard Henderson
"The Governor urged caution in sending settlers into Kentucky; London has not given permission yet; besides, we have a treaty. I can’t send criminals to settle Kentucky!"
Richard Henderson was born in 1735 and became a prominent figure in North Carolina during the late 18th Century. He was born in Virginia, but he and his family moved to North Carolina when he was 10 years old. He had an interest in Law from a young age eventually becoming a lawyer. Henderson made an impression of the newly appointed Royal Governor of North Carolina William Tryon and was made an Associate Justice in the North Carolina Colonial Superior Court. With the outbreak of the Regulator Movement, Henderson was targeted due to his friendship with Tryon. In the 1768 Hillsborough Riot he escaped being attacked when the Regulators stormed the Superior Court, but his home was eventual burned down by the Regulators. After the Battle of Alamance, he was one of the jurists who sentences 12 Regulator leaders to death with 6 of them being hanged. After the Regulator Movement he founded the Transylvania Company and send Daniel Boone to explore the Kentucky Region and in 1775 he brokered a treaty with the Cherokee to purchase a large portion of their lands. When the Revolutionary War broke out he was made a colonel in the North Carolina Militia and helped with recruitment and supply acquisition for the Patriot cause. He died in 1785 at the age of 49. Henderson is a main character in the opening of Horn in the West where we meet him hosting an extravagant party. He helps the Stuarts escape the British while maintaining his loyalty to the Royal Governor
"Hang him at once by order of Governor Tryon himself."
James Few was one of the leaders of the Regulator Movement in North Carolina. He like many others were tired of the being taken advantage of by the British Colonial Government in North Carolina. The Regulators banded together in 1765 and pushed for government regulations, gaining sone headway when some Regulator leaders like Herman Husband were elected to colonial offices. However, in 1768 things took a turn for the worse when the Regulators stormed the North Carolina Colonial Superior Court and attacked its members. In response Royal Governor Tryon issued a riot act which alleviated tensions until 1771. In May 1771 Few and other Regulator leaders began to amass an army at Alamance Creek but were defeated on May 16. Few was captured by Tryon and his North Carolina Militia. Due to the anger the militia felt for the deaths of their comrades at the battle, they took Few and hanged him on the battlefield foe vengeance. Few was one of seven Regulators who were executed for treason against the Crown but the other six were executed after being put on trial. James Few is portrayed in Horn in the West during the opening scene. In the past his actual hanging was portrayed but thus was eventually removed to make the show more family friendly. Today he is dragged off the stage and his death is implied.
"No man is subject to another, save of his own free will"
Nancy Ward was born Nanye’hi’s of the Cherokee Wolf Clan in 1738 and was the niece of Cherokee Chief Attakullakulla. She grew up I a time where conflict was a constant due to wars like Kings George’s War and the French and Indian War. When her first husband was killed in a conflict with the Creek she took up his weapon and helped defeat the Creek earning the nickname the “War Woman” which gave her a voice in her tribe’s council. She eventually married a white trapper and became very acquainted with the European settlers. During the American Revolution she sided with the Patriots even when much of her tribe did not. Her main goal was to always keep a friendship with the white settlers and in her later years she was given the nickname the “Beloved Woman.” Nancy Ward plays a pivotal role in Horn in the West. She brings Dr. Stuart to the Cherokee for him to heal them from Smallpox and serves as a buffer between Dragging Canoe and the settlement.
"Choose your path. But remember, the seed you sow one day you shall also harvest."
Attakullakulla or “Little Carpenter” was born in 1705 and became Chief of the Cherokee Overhill’s Clan. When he was 30 years old he was sent as one of six ambassadors to England to discuss a trade treaty. He was a major supporter of friendship with the white settlers even allowing the construction of Fort Dobbs on Cherokee land during the French and Indian War. He was instrumental in negotiating a treaty with Richard Henderson for the purchase of a large section of Cherokee land in Kentucky. He tried to prevent the outbreak of war with the settlers in 1776 which led to the Cherokee defeat in the Cherokee War of 1776. Attakullakulla was one of the Cherokee leaders who helped negotiate peace with the settlers in 1777. He died in 1779 at the age of 74. In Horn in the West Attakullakulla is who sends Nancy Ward to bring Dr. Stuart to his village to treat Smallpox. He serves as the mediator when debate breaks out between on whether the Cherokee should go to war with the settlers.
"The whites never keep their word. They have no honor. This they have proven."
Dragging Canoe was born in 1738 and was the son of Cherokee Chief Attakullakulla. He was considered one of the best Cherokee Warriors of his time and eventually became his tribes War Chief. Dragging Canoe was completely against white settlement of Cherokee land. in 1776 he was one of the many Cherokee leaders who wanted a war to push the settlers out of Cherokee lands. This war became the Cherokee War of 1776 which was a loss for the Cherokee. However, he did not lay down his arms after the peace treaty and he and his followers broke away from the Cherokee creating the Chickamauga Tribe. Dragging Canoe died in 1792 due to a heart attack caused by dancing and celebrating all night. In Horn in the West Dragging Canoe is a major antagonist in league with Captain Mackenzie. His main goal is to remove all white settlement from Cherokee land by war.
"That man over there with Daniel Boone is Sam Phillips. He joined the Over-Mountain Men led by Col. John Sevier as they were headed south"
Sam Philips was a South Carolinian who was captured by the British in September 1780 at Gilbert Towne North Carolina. His captor was Major Patrick Ferguson, who was acting under orders to clear out any rebel forces from the North Carolina Backcountry before Lord Cornwallis’s main invasion of the colony. Ferguson had Philips beaten nearly to death then ordered him to travel from settlement to settlement giving them Ferguson’s warning at if they did not lay down their arms, he would lay waste their country with fire and sword. Philips gave the warning which led to the formation of the Overmountain Men who chased down Ferguson and defeated him at Kings Mountain South Carolina on October 7, 1780 though Philips himself was not at the battle. In Horn in the West Philips is portrayed and interrupts Jack and Mary’s wedding celebration. He gives Dr. Stuart Ferguson’s warning which forces the settlers to fight for their safety.
Royal Govorner William Tryon
"Thus it was that on the 16th day of May, 1771, in the meadows and woodlands of Orange County, the colonial militia, under Governor William Tryon, was fighting a grim battle against a band of rebellious subjects known as “THE REGULATORS.”
William Tryon was born in England in 1729. He joined the British Military in 1751 and served in the European Theater of the Seven Years War was appointed the Royal Governor of the Colony of North Carolina in 1764 when Arthur Dobbs resigned, arriving early in October of 1764 though Dobbs was still in office. Dobbs was set to leave in May 1765, though Tryon gained the officer early when Dobbs died in March 1765. By this point in his career Tryon a Major General in the British Army. During his governance of North Carolina, he planned to centralize the colonial government of the colony by constructing a large government building called Tryon Palace in New Bern. To construct the palace, he raised taxes slightly in the colony. Another glairing issue was extremely corrupt officials in the backcountry. This enraged the citizens primarily in Orange County. In 1768 these citizens calling themselves Regulators rioted in Hillsborough beating public officials in the streets. Tryon surpasses the rioting by issuing the Johnston Riot Act, but this only lasted for a short time. In May 1771, the Regulators assembled an army at Alamance Creek. Tryon marched the North Carolina Militia to Alamance and defeated the Regulators in battle on May 16. After the battle He was appointed Royal Governor of New York. Tryon remained in this office until 1777 as well as commanded troops in New York during the Revolutionary War. He and the Major of New York David Matthews planned an assassination attempt on General George Washington, but it failed and led to the excitation of one of his accomplices Thomas Hickey who was a member of Washington’s Lifeguard. After the war he returned to his home where he died in 1788 at the age of 58. Tryon is an occasional role in Horn in the West. There is a variation in the scrip that changes the Judge Henderson scenes to include Tryon though this switch has not been made in several years.
Royal Governor Josiah Martin
"The new governor is Josiah Martin, a man dedicated to what Captain MacKenzie would call law and order."
Josiah Martin was born in 1737 and would be the last Royal Governor of North Carolina. He arrived in North Carolina in 1771 and took over where Tryon left off. He and the North Carolina general assembly butted heads on many issues. He also inherited the scars and financial issues left by the Regulator Movement. After the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Martin became a target with his home in New Bern being burned down by the Patriots in 1775. He took up residence in Fort Johnston on the Cape Fear River and sent his family to safety in New York. Unfortunately, Fort Johnston as attacked and burned down as well forcing Martin to flee finish his governorship on the HMS Cruizer. In February of 1776 he ordered the formation of an army that was to be comprised of loyalist Scotts Highlanders, former Regulators, and local Loyalist militia to take down the rising Patriot army in Wilmington. This army was soundly defeated at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge on February 22, 1776. Martin was forced to flee to New York where he remained until the British Southern Campaign began in 1780 where he attempted and failed to recontrol North Carolina twice. He returned to England after his failure where he died in 1786 at the age of 49. Josiah Martin is not physically portrayed in Horn in the West but he is mentioned as Tryon’s replacement and is said to agree with Mackenzie’s ideas about law and order.
Lord Charles Cornwallis
"Lord Cornwallis has occupied Charlotte, and he has split the southern colonies in half."
Lord Charles Cornwallis was born in England in 1738. He was the son of a British Lord and when he was of age he went to the military school of Eaton eventually joining the British Army. He started his military career in the European theater of the Seven Years War eventually purchasing the rank of Colonel in the 33rd Regiment of Foot. After the war he joined the House of Lords where he voted against the many taxes being implemented on the colonies. When the Revolutionary War broke out he has rose through the ranks to become a Lieutenant General in the British Army. His first campaign in the Colonies was the failed assault on Charles Towne South Carolina in 1776. After that he served in many of the Northern Campaign but left the Colonies in 1778 to care for his ailing wife. After her passing he returned to the Colonies as British General Sir Henry Clinton’s second in command. After the Fall of Charles Towne in 1780 Cornwallis was made commander of the Southern British Army and led a successful campaign defeating the Continental Army at the Battle of Camden. In October 1780 he had a minor setback with the Loyalist defeat at Kings Mountain but suffered more losses with the defeat of the British at the Battle of Cowpens in January 1781 and his costly Victory at Guilford Courthouse in March 1781. He would then invade Virginia where in October 1781 he was besieged by a combined French and American force at Yorktown where he finally surrendered. After the war he went on to become Military Governor of Ireland and then India where he died in 1805 at the age of 67. Lord Cornwallis is only briefly mentioned in Horn in the West. He is said to be in Charlotte, but the ripples of his campaign can be felt in the latter part of the shows second act.
Major Patrick Ferguson
"Captain MacKenzie and Major Ferguson were searching for Over-Mountain Men."
Patrick Ferguson was born in Scotland in 1744. He started his military career as a young man fighting in the European theater of the Seven Years War. He had a fascination with firearms eventually perfecting the breech loading rifle which was dubbed the “Ferguson Rifle.” He entered the Revolutionary War as a captain in his own rifle corps and saw action at the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777. During the battle he had the chance to kill a high-ranking Continental Officer but refused to fire when the officer turned his back on them. Later in the battle Ferguson was shot in the right arm causing him to lose use of it and while recovering he found out that the officer he nearly killed was none other than General George Washington. When the war moved south in 1780 he was a Major in the British Army and made inspector of the Loyalist militia in the south. Lord Cornwallis sent him to flush out any rebels in the North Carolina backcountry before invading the Colony. To do so Ferguson issued a proclamation that told the settlers “If you do not desist from your opposition to the British Arms I will march my army over the mountains, hang your leaders, and lay waste your country with fire and sword!” This enraged the settlers who rose up against him called themselves the Overmountain Men. The chased Ferguson for over 200 miles to a place called Kings Mountain where they engaged with Ferguson in battle on October 7, 1780. Ferguson was killed in the battle and his forces were defeated. He was only 36 years old. Ferguson is not portrayed in the show, but his proclamation is read to the settlers by Dr. Stuart and he is mentioned several times in the second half of the second act.
Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarelton
"The British Cavalry has won an important victory in South Carolina. Now they are mopping up - going from house to house shooting and hanging all rebels, and their families."
Banastre Tarleton was born in England in 1754. He went to school to become a lawyer but eventually joined the military. He was commissioned as a captain in the 17th Light Dragoons where his first military campaign was during the New York Campaign of 1776. Tarleton eventually captured Continental General Charles Lee. He was given command of the Loyalist Provincial unit called the British Legion in 1777. When the Southern Campaign began Tarleton, and the British Legion were moved south striking a major blow to the Continental Army at the Waxhaws Massacre in May 1780. During the battle Tarleton and his forces cut down surrendering Continentals giving Tarleton his immortal reputation as being brutal on the battlefield. He was soundly defeated at the Battle of Cowpens in January 1781 and wounded on his right hand leading to the loss of two fingers at Guilford Courthouse in March 1781. After the war he served in Parliament and died in 1833 at the age of 79. Tarleton is never mentioned in Horn in the West but was the inspiration for the show’s main villain Captain Mackenzie though his victory at Waxhaws is mentioned briefly.