Gerald W. Thomas




Copyright © 2013 by Gerald Worth Thomas.

All rights reserved.














Genealogy—the study of family histories.

History—the story or record of important events that happened to a person or entity (nation, state, county, institution, etc.).

Legend—a story coming down from the past, which many people have believed.

During the summer of 1976 I graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, and took employment with the United States General Accounting Office (the present-day Government Accountability Office, best known as the GAO) at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The GAO is the investigative arm of the United States Congress, and my duties required me to gather, review, and analyze a myriad of government records in carrying out audits and investigations to which I was assigned. Since I resided and worked in close proximity to the National Archives and the Library of Congress, by the late 1970s I began availing myself of the convenience of thousands of historical and genealogical records held at those two premier institutions and began researching my family history. Obviously, my professional training and employment skills helped me immensely in researching and analyzing genealogical and related historical records and synthesizing the resulting information.

My ancestors have predominantly resided in Bertie County, North Carolina, since the mid-eighteenth century. Bertie County, a thoroughly rural environ, is situated in the northeastern sector of North Carolina at the confluence of Albemarle Sound and the Roanoke and Chowan rivers. The county’s several courthouses over the centuries never suffered destruction by fire (as has been the unfortunate fate of various other county courthouses in North Carolina), thereby making numerous records from the colonial and subsequent periods readily available for genealogical research and analysis. With the adept assistance of a relative who was employed by the county at the present courthouse, I was quickly able to document a number of my ancestral lines to the pre-Revolutionary War period.

Shortly after beginning the endeavor into researching my ancestral history, I learned of an oral family legend that is both intriguing and puzzling. The basic legend, undocumented and evidently passed down from generation to generation of family members, apparently for more than two centuries, holds that one of my lineal ancestors of the 1700s—one John Cale—was an Indian in northeastern North Carolina.1

The purpose of this paper is to make available the results of my research into, and analysis of, the family legend. For almost thirty-five years I have sought—at times obsessively and other times intermittently—to uncover records and information to document the veracity (or lack thereof) of the legend.2 As with any dedicated genealogical researcher, my focus and sole objective has been to ascertain if records exist to positively document my ancestry. My quest has taken me hundreds of miles to various locations to seek records and information from institutions and individuals. I have invested literally hundreds of hours in pouring through records at a number of institutions, both governmental (federal, state, and local) and private. Further, I have sought the advice and assistance of persons trained and highly knowledgeable in genealogical and historical research. I have enlisted the assistance of professional researchers to review records at locations in which it was not feasible for me to travel (such as the British National Archives in London and select university libraries). Lastly, during recent years my brother, Stuart O. Thomas—likewise a professional auditor and trained investigator—ably assisted me in researching and critically analyzing various records and documents related to our ancestors, including items that directly pertain to the life and times of John Cale, the subject of the “Indian legend.”

In examining and analyzing the merits of the various aspects of the legend, I have relied on direct, relevant evidence—records and documents related to John Cale that are held in trust in repositories at various institutions, including a significant number of previously undiscovered documents not previously unearthed by the efforts of other Cale family researchers.3 Further, I evaluated certain facets of the various versions of the legend in the context of indirect or circumstantial evidence, since direct documentary evidence does not exist. My evaluation methodology for such facets centered on the likelihood that purported events conveyed in the legend could have occurred in the manner and at the time as conveyed, particularly in regard to historical facts and context. I utilized what I term “a continuum of likelihood” in evaluating the many facets and nuances of the legend. My “continuum” was as follows:

§ not possible—circumstances were such that the event could not have occurred;

§ possible—circumstances were such that the event could have occurred;

§ probable—circumstances were conducive to the event occurring, and it likely occurred;

§ occurred—the event occurred as substantiated by reliable documentation.

The opinions and conclusions presented in this paper are solely mine, based on my examination and analyses of the direct and circumstantial evidence I gathered during my research. I have also drawn upon the views, analyses, and observations of my brother Stuart in preparing this paper. My purpose has not been to question the credibility of any persons who have conveyed accounts of the “John Cale Indian legend,” nor to directly or indirectly generate or construe any disparaging views toward those persons who passed along the stories of John Cale. Moreover, my purpose has not been to criticize, directly or indirectly, the research of others who have delved into the legend.

I am a sixth-generation descendant of John Cale and, as such, I personally would like to elicit as much confirmed, documented information about him and his life as I can. My lineage from John Cale descends through:

· Charney C. Dundelow,4 subsequently known as Charney Cale (early 1780s–1860);

· Duncan L. Cale (1817–1888);

· Amilia Jane Cale (1850–1921);

· John William Thomas (1867–1918); and

· Joseph Duncan Thomas, my father (1909–1971).5

As a final introductory point, I convey to the reader a short discussion drawn from an article published more than fifty-five years ago regarding the difference between history and tradition:

We must first remember constantly the difference between history and tradition. The first rests, however remote the subject-matter may be, on the testimony of witnesses contemporary with the facts described; the latter reposes on the testimony of those who were removed in time and place, or both, from the circumstances and events constituting the subject-matter of the story. History transcribes directly from the eye witness, the ear-witness of the event, or from manuscripts and sculptures made by them; while tradition repeats a narrative which has been transmitted from tongue to tongue, transformed through all the uncertainties of memory and speech, and delivered to the fixedness of literary from only after a lapse of generations.

If a great period of time has elapsed between the one and the other—(that is, between the date of the subject-matter of the story and the date of reducing it to writing)—if the tradition[s] here have been subjected to modification, exaggerations and reflections to which all stories are subject so long as they dwell on the tongues of men [and women], then, indeed, is tradition of small importance considered as material to history. But if, on the other hand, only a single generation or a fraction of a generation has intervened between the date of the event and the record which preserved the story, then we may allow the tradition a weight “almost equal to that of true historical narrative.”6



The passed-down, verbal accounts of “John Cale, the Indian” vary as to specifics and content. Variations are logically inherent in the legend, considering that stories of John Cale have been conveyed through numerous persons of differing ages reportedly for five to six generations of family members over more than 200 years. The current-day versions, as rendered in writing by various parties, are nearly all qualified as being “from memory”—drawn from accounts conveyed to the renderers. The commonality of the various versions is that John Cale was an Indian. However, one variable pertaining to the legend relates to the “tribe” or “nation” to which Cale supposedly belonged. One version purports that John Cale was a member of the Chowan tribe; another asserts that he was a member of the Roanoke tribe; and, thirdly, the most prevalent version conveys that he was a member of the Tuscarora tribe.

Upon the arrival of European explorers and settlers along the Atlantic seaboard, all three tribes resided in the region that subsequently became eastern North Carolina. The Chowans principally resided along or near the upper Chowan River in the present-day area of Chowan, Gates, Hertford, and Bertie counties. The Roanokes occupied Roanoke Island and the nearby mainland—present-day Dare and Hyde counties. The Tuscaroras lived throughout current-day eastern North Carolina from the southeastern to northeastern regions, including Bertie County. The tribe resided along the Roanoke, Tar, Pamlico, and Neuse rivers.7

On November 1, 1934, William Henderson Cale prepared a letter to his two sons, John Carter Cale and William G. Cale, in which he conveyed certain accounts and information related to his and his sons’ ancestry. William Henderson Cale, born on March 4, 1875, was a fourth-generation grandson of John Cale. W. H. Cale noted in his correspondence to his sons that he was “writing from memory the outstanding facts of our family history. You could call it genealogy I suppose.” Regarding the purported Indian aspect of the family history, Mr. Cale wrote:

First generation, John Cale, Indian, lived near Edenton, N.C. His name appears in the old records of Albemarle settlement. He leased to the officers in charge of Albemarle Settlement his interest in the land for a period of 99 years for the sum of $100. This document is to be found among the papers of an old minister who lived in Edenton. The present register of deeds is a relative of this man, and took me to the home of the minister to see the record. Since I am not especially good at remembering names, I shall not attempt to write the name of this minister. . . . John Cale married an English lady of high rank. I am not able to tell you more about the children of this Indian and his English wife than the fact that one of these was a son whom they named Charney. This word in Indian dialect meant beautiful. He died when my father [Dancy Cale] was about eight years old, or not more than 70 years ago. He was 80 when he died. That would make his birth about the year 1775. His father John must have been about 40 to 50 when he was exiled and later killed by the English settlers who at this time had just become independent colonies.8

In November 1980 a lineal descendant of John Cale sent me a letter that included a version of the Indian legend as understood by one of his close relatives. The individual stated that his relative “was interested in the family history and talked with nearly all of his contemporaries.” Moreover, the individual listed five persons who were “major contributors” to the oral information gathered by his relative, four of whom resided in Bertie County in the early to mid-1900s. Per the writer:

The verbal tradition is that John Cale’s Indian name was Caucua Macua. His home was in Bertie Co. on Caucua Macua Creek (now listed on maps and road signs as “Cucklemaker Creek”) near the present location of Ross [Baptist] Church. It is said that the creek was named for him.

The tradition is that he was an Algonquin of the Roanoke Nation and of the Chowan Tribe. It is thought that he took his wife’s father’s name[,] Jean Calis[,] which was Anglecised [sic] to John Cale.

His wife was Elizabeth Marie Calis Doneleaux, the widow of Henre Doneleaux, and a French Huggenott [sic]. She had a son and daughter by Henre who we raised by John.

. . . My . . . [relative] said that “John Cale was shot and killed near the spot where Ross [Baptist] Church now stands. The shooting was done from ambush. The murderer was never caught. The date of the killing is not known, however it is thought to be during the summer of 1792. John Cale is buried in the Cale graveyard on Caucua Macua Creek.”

Elizabeth, John Cale’s widow lived until 1802. She is buried in the Cale graveyard on Cuacua Macua Creek.9

In July 2002, the author of the above-cited letter transmitted a communication to another Cale descendant and family researcher in which he stated that his relative

did extensive research, both in the courthouse in Bertie, and in other places. He was expert at ferreting out info[rmation] from among far flung family branches, by getting people to talk about the family. However, he memorized all of it, and never gave concrete documentation such as wills, birth & death record[s], etc. other than the [Cale] journal and Bible. He would frequently talk about the family at the dinner table, and . . . I scribbled notes of the relationships. To him, what was important was the relationships, not so much the dates. . . . He was great about telling stories about the people, making them seem alive with personality and character. Cucua Macua is the name my . . . [relative] used for John Cale. . . . I’ve never heard anyone in the . . . family call him “Cucklemaker” or “Cuckoldmaker” and only ran into those names after the road signs [in Bertie County] were changed.10

Several members of the Cale family informed me that they had always been told that John Cale was a Chowan Indian. They indicated that this tribal affiliation is deduced from information contained in William H. Cale’s November 1934 letter.11

The most widely espoused version of the family tradition holds that John Cale was a member of the Tuscarora tribe. In recent years several authors of formal publications have included rendered accounts of the legend. One publication divulges that John Cale was a

Tuscarora Indian known as Chief Cucua Mucuca [Mucca], better known as Chief Cucklemaker. The wife of Cucklemaker was the widow of a French fur trader, Henri Duneleaux, that died while living among the Indians. The name of Henri’s widow was Elizabeth Maria Callis Doneleaux. It is believed that Henri and the chief were friends, and the chief married the widow after Henri died. Elizabeth had two children by Henri that the chief accepted as his family when he married her. According to tradition, two children were born to Cucklemaker and Elizabeth after they were married. One of those children was Charney. When Charney was about thirteen years of age, his father, Chief Cucklemaker[,] was ambushed and shot to death about the year of 1792, at the same site where the Ross Baptist Church building now stands. Since Charney was still a child at his father’s death, it is believed by some people that he was either apprenticed to, or adopted by a Cale family, probably John Cale.

The French name[,] Duneleaux[,] became “Dunelow,” or “Dundelow” when used as an English name. According to some of the traditional stories, Charney used his mother’s name[,] “Dunelow[,] and his adopted name[,] “Cale[,]” interchangeably. . . . He died on July 24, 1860. According to family stories, he was buried with . . . his Indian father, and his French mother in the old Indian Graveyard at Cucklemaker Creek. He carried many unanswered questions with him [to his grave].”12

Further elaborations and variants of the basic legend hold that John Cale was an Indian chief and that his original tribal name was “Cucua Macua,” reportedly morphed to “Cucklemaker.” From this variant it is derived that present-day Cucklemaker Swamp was named for the Indian. Moreover, Cale is said to have accumulated substantial land holdings, much of which he came to own through wagers on foot races that he won. His purported wife, Elizabeth Marie Calais Duneleaux—reportedly the widow of Henri Duneleaux—is said to have been a French Huguenot. Additionally, the verbal conveyances indicate that the Indian adopted the French name of Elizabeth’s father, Jean Calais, which was subsequently Anglicized to John Cale. This John Cale and his wife are reported to have had been the parents of two sons—Charney Cale and Tilury Cale.13

The above variation of the “Indian legend” further contends that John Cale was the “last chief of the Roanoke Nation . . . [and was] a descendant of Chief Wanchese,” brother of Chief Manteo. Wanchese and Manteo, as members of the Roanoke tribe, lived along the Outer Banks of present-day North Carolina during the late 1500s—about 200 years prior to John Cale’s birth. The two Indians as documented in North Carolina history encountered and associated with the English colonists along the Outer Banks and Roanoke Island in the late sixteenth century.14

Additionally, a Cale descendant informed me in October 1980 that he had been told by a close relative that “John Cale, the Indian, was originally known as Kucamaka and that he married a French Canadian woman by the name of Cale and took her name.”15 As clearly evident in the varying accounts, specifics differ (a logical anomaly given the conveyance of a story by different persons at different times), but the common denominators in all of the accounts are that (1) John Cale was an Indian; (2) he married a widowed white woman (French or English) and assumed her maiden family name, and (3) John and the widow had a son named Charney.



In order to comprehensively and objectively examine the life and experiences of John Cale, the subject of the “Indian legend” and the focus of this paper, it is necessary to ascertain and consider his surname ancestry to the extent possible from existing records. In or about 1711 a John Cale of undisclosed age emigrated from England to Virginia. The expense of his trans-Atlantic Ocean transportation was funded by Henry Goodman, a resident of Nansemond County, Virginia, who also funded the cost of transportation for five other persons. On April 28, 1711, Goodman patented 256 acres of land near Salem on both sides of Peter’s Swamp in southern Nansemond County for the importation of the six persons. The parcel of land was situated in an area that later became part of extreme northern Chowan Precinct (later County) and present-day Gates County, North Carolina.16 Very likely John Cale became encumbered to Goodman as an indentured servant for a period of years to repay the cost of his transportation to America. This was a common practice in eighteenth-century Virginia.17

Henry Goodman and John Cale contemporaneously were involved in various transactions, dealings, and activities in Chowan County; however, they were not jointly involved in the same transactions and dealings. During the October 1743 session of county court, Henry Goodman served as “Special Bail” for John Brady in a legal matter and swore under oath to the legitimacy of a land transaction between William Bently and Will [William] Goodman. Also during the same month, Henry Goodman acquired from Simon Daniel 100 acres of land at the head and east side of Peters Swamp. In October 1745 he served as witness to John Pipkin’s last will and testament. During the ensuing month, he purchased 150 acres of land from Edward Jernigan, a parcel that adjoined land that Goodman already possessed in Chowan County. During the January 1746 session of the county court, Goodman was ordered to work on a local road. In the July 1747 court session, a petition (of undisclosed purpose) was presented to the justices; Henry Goodman was one of the persons who signed the document. During the early 1750s Goodman served as a juror on several occasions, assisted in proving land transactions between various parties to which he served as a witness, and also was a witness in court for the proving of James Brady’s last will and testament.18

On January 10, 1745, John Cale, a resident of Chowan County, sold fifty acres of land to John Hinton. The tract was situated on the northwest side of Catherine Creek Swamp in Indian Neck and had originally been part of a larger parcel of land granted to the Chowan Indians by the province of North Carolina. The tract had been sold in August 1733 by the Indians to Michael Ward (who subsequently relocated to Bertie County); conveyed by Ward to Thomas Walton Jr. in January 1740, and by Walton to John Cale on November 20, 1744. The subject property was situated in present-day Gates County. The deed was proved in July 1747 Chowan County Court by the oath of Richard Freeman.19 John Cale, who was a party in the November 1744 and January 1745 land transactions, may have been the son of John Cale, the immigrant.

No further information is discernible from Chowan County records concerning John Cale. Presumably, he died in the county but left no recorded will, and no estate record has been located for him.20



By the early 1750s a John Cale and a William Cale, presumed brothers, were residing in Bertie County. The two men are posited as the progeny of John Cale, the immigrant to Virginia and subsequent resident of Chowan County, based on several circumstantial actualities. First, the two men were of the proper generation to be John Cale’s sons, inasmuch as both were younger than John Cale, the immigrant, based upon the times that they became involved in land transactions and other activities in Bertie County. Their names appear in various Bertie County records beginning in the early 1750s. Second, John and William both had children who were contemporaries and approximately the same ages, based on the military services of several of their sons during the Revolutionary War and the dates their children were involved in land transactions and other activities. Third, John Cale and William Cale, as residents of the northwestern sector of Bertie County, associated with members of other families—namely Cakes, Outlaws, Wards, Waltons, and Freemans—families with whom their father, John Cale (the immigrant and Chowan Precinct/County resident), lived within close proximity in the area of Catherine Creek and Warwick Swamp in Chowan Precinct/County during the 1710s into the 1740s.21

Members of a number of families—Cale, Cake, Freeman, Outlaw, Ward, and Waltons—resided in the Indian Neck region (present-day Gates County) between Bennett and Catherine creeks in the early to mid-1700s prior to relocating to the Quioccosin Swamp area of Bertie County. Land in this region previously had been owned by Chowan Indians. Map abstracted by author from Beckford topographical map (1907), United States Geological Survey.

John and William first appear in the Bertie County records when they each purchased sizeable tracts of land. On December 12, 1751, John Cale purchased from Richard Brown 272 acres of land in Bertie County. Cale paid £150 for the real estate, which was situated on the northeast side of Quioccosin Swamp and bounded by Quioccosin and Stoney Creek roads and the property line for an original land patent granted to John Early. Less than two years later, on October 13, 1753, William Cale acquired from George Jernigan Sr. and his wife Hannah 200 acres of land. Cale paid slightly more than £37 “current money of Virginia” for the tract, which was situated on a “prong of Wild Cat [Swamp]” and was also partially bounded by a patent line.22 The two parcels of land were within relatively close proximity to each other, a few miles south-southwest of the present-day community of Powellsville.


Quioccosin Swamp flows northwestwardly across the northern area of Pell Mell Pocosin, a few miles south and southwest of present-day Powellsville. Map abstracted by author from Powellsville topographical map (1982), United States Geological Survey.

In less than a decade, both John and William acquired additional lands in the same vicinity of their original purchases. On January 23, 1759, John Cale purchased from Bumit Bell 100 acres on the west side of Blount’s Pocosin. Cale paid £16 for the property, which adjoined lands of Luke White Sr., James Burroughs, and Burwell Bell. William Cale acquired a 200-acre plantation from Edmond Hodgeson on March 12, 1762. Cale paid £25 for the tract, known as Honey Creek, which had originally been owned by Richard Ward. The plantation adjoined lands of William Colthred, Patience Warren, and William Wood, as well as William Freeman’s line. It was situated along Cabin Branch along Quioccosin Road. Two years later, on February 29, 1764, William sold 65 acres of land on Cabin Branch to Joshua Freeman at a price of £6.23 Life appeared well for the Cale brothers, each having accumulated respectable acreages of land as they were rearing their families.

But life in the colonial Bertie County backwoods could be fragile and fleeting. By the fall of 1768, William Cale—in the prime of his life—had died. His passing left his widow, Sarah, with a family of six children—five daughters (Elizabeth, Rachel, Sealah, Ann, and Grace) and one son, John. In September 1768 the Bertie County justices appointed Sarah Cale to be the administrator of her husband’s estate. Her security bond was set at £500 and was paid by Jonathan Standley and Ralph Outlaw. Sarah, within a few days of being appointed administrator, submitted to the county court an inventory of her husband’s estate. The justices, on motion, ordered that the submitted inventory be recorded in the county’s records. Six months later, in March 1769, the county justices ordered Joshua Freeman, Jonathan Standley, and Ralph Outlaw to divide William Cale’s estate among his widow and children. Standley and Outlaw subsequently valued the estate—comprised of real and personal property—at approximately £70. Each child was allocated items valued at £7.15.7, whereas Sarah received property valued at £23.6.9. However, during the same session of court the justices also ordered Sarah Cale to sell her husband’s estate to pay debts.24

John Cale outlived his brother, William, by a few years and died prior to July 1775. On July 22, 1775, Dempsey Cale (John’s son) sold 100 acres of land to his brother John. The parcel was part of the land that Bumit Bell sold to John Cale in January 1759. Dempsey’s brothers, Jacob Cale and Jeremiah Cale, along with a family associate, Walter McFarlane, witnessed the transaction.25



At the young age of thirteen—the time in a young colonial-era male’s life when he would have been taking on more responsibility from his father on the family plantation and beginning to evolve into a responsible man—John Cale lost his father. Life on a rural plantation in Bertie County in the late 1760s was trying and stressful, even for families headed by a strong adult male. For John Cale, the only male (albeit a young teenaged boy) in a family of seven, the stress must have been even more pronounced. Moreover, life in colonial America was becoming increasingly stressed for the citizens, as during this period relations between the thirteen American colonies and their mother country, Great Britain, were devolving toward eventual war. Within the province of North Carolina, civil strife and consternation were brewing between farmers of the Piedmont back country, known as the Regulators, and royal officials. The times were tense and stressful within the province—even neighbors and family members in Bertie County were, at times, involved in confrontations, assaults, and even murder.

North Carolina colonial law mandated that unmarried male children under the age of twenty-one who were orphaned by the deaths of their fathers were to be placed in court-appointed indentured apprenticeships. The orphans’ mentors were officially their guardians. County justices were required to assign a guardian to each orphan. Each appointed guardian was responsible for “regulating” the education (i.e., teaching the orphan the skills of a trade) and managing the orphan’s estate during the period of apprenticeship. Therefore, on September 26, 1768, the Bertie County justices ordered that John Cale be bound as an apprentice to Robert Cake to learn the “Art and Calling of a Cooper” [barrel maker].26

Cake, the son of John Cake Sr., resided in the area in which Cale and his family lived, but he apparently turned out to be a less-than-desirable tutor and father figure for John Cale. In September 1769 a Bertie County grand jury indicted Robert Cake for assaulting Jonathan Baker “with force and arms” on August 18, 1769. The case was continued through the successive quarterly sessions of county court until March 1770, when Cake was found guilty of the charge. Cake, upon being convicted, was not in the custody of the sheriff; therefore, on March 28, 1770, the Bertie County justices issued a warrant to the sheriff for the arrest of Cake. The case was eventually closed in September 1770.27

Bertie County justices subsequently withdrew John Cale from the tuition of Robert Cake. On Christmas Day 1771 county justices appointed Joshua Freeman to be John Cale’s guardian until Cale arrived at “full age” (twenty-one). Freeman, along with his brother John and Ralph Outlaw, remitted to the court £1,000 as security for Joshua to fulfill his legal responsibilities as a guardian.28 John Cale was sixteen years old when he was placed under the tutelage of Joshua Freeman, having been shuffled off from his home and immediate family and assigned to two guardians within a little over three years following his father’s death. His life was unsettled.

In March 1773 Bertie County court officials brought a “case” against Joshua Freeman in the county’s Orphan Court. No information regarding why the case was filed, nor its ultimate disposition, is discernible from the court docket, which includes only the notation “The Court vs. Joshua Freeman, guardian of John Cail.”29 Most likely the case dealt with some civil issue related to Freeman’s guardianship of Cale.

Freeman, in accordance with North Carolina law, managed John Cale’s estate, which consisted of a meager amount of personal property and a plantation. Freeman rented the plantation on behalf of Cale for the years 1772 and 1773. Rental income for the two years was £2.5.1 and £2.0.0 respectively. Freeman charged £1.5.0 for various expenses related to management of the property, resulting in about £4 of surplus funds going into Cale’s estate.30

At the time that Joshua Freeman was appointed John Cale’s guardian, he (Freeman) was in the midst of a land-buying passion in the northwestern sector of Bertie County. His continuum of real estate acquisitions began in March 1760 when he purchased 210 acres on Quioccosin Swamp from William Wood. The tract had originally been owned by Michael Ward and conveyed by Ward to Wood in March 1750. (As noted above, Michael Ward had previously resided in Chowan County, where he purchased land from Chowan Indians—land that John Cale (of Chowan County) eventually purchased and subsequently sold.) Freeman next purchased 65 acres from William Cale (discussed above) in February 1764. In March 1768 he purchased at a court-directed sheriff’s sale 340 acres of land belonging to Benjamin Warren and directed by the court justices to be sold to “satisfy” a judgment writ. Two months later Joshua Freeman bought 250 acres on Quioccosin Swamp from William Freeman. In September 1768 Joshua bought 100 acres at another court-directed sheriff’s sale. The property belonged to William Colthred, who had been sued by John Bazemore in Bertie County court and had lost the resulting judgment. The court’s judgment was to be satisfied by the sale of Colthred’s property. The land, located on Quioccosin Swamp, adjoined Freeman’s acreage and had also previously been owned by Michael Ward. Less than three years later (June 1771) Freeman acquired more than 206 acres from Thomas Ward.31 Clearly, Joshua Freeman was intent on amassing a large landholding.

By the spring of 1774, Joshua Freeman had decided to acquire his apprentice’s “plantation.” At that time, John Cale was nineteen years old. On June 4, 1774, Freeman and Cale consummated a transaction in which Freeman paid £32 for 135 acres on Cabin Branch, a tributary of Quioccosin Swamp. The tract had been purchased by John’s father, William, a dozen years previously.32 The acquisition adjoined Freeman’s land, thereby increasing his consolidated acreage in the Quioccosin Swamp area. Freeman paid the young Cale about 4.7 shillings per acre—a price that appears to have been “fair value” based on the prices Freeman paid for his previous land purchases in the area, including the parcels from the two sheriff’s sales. The price paid by Freeman also represented an equivalent of about sixteen years’ rental income for the plantation. Young John Cale likely felt that he had come into a substantial amount of money; he would not be tending his deceased father’s “plantation.”

John Cale apparently completed his apprenticeship under the oversight of Joshua Freeman. As Cale reached the age of twenty, the American Revolutionary War ignited in Massachusetts in April 1775 after more than a decade of tumultuous and tense relations between the thirteen American colonies and Great Britain. British soldiers and Massachusetts minutemen had engaged each other on April 19, first at Lexington and later at Concord. The news likely reached residents in Bertie County on Thursday, May 4, having been received in the morning of that day by officials in neighboring Chowan County. The political and economic differences between the British and the American colonists had culminated in an armed confrontation. At Lexington a nervous Massachusetts minuteman or British soldier had touched off a shot, and the American Revolutionary War had commenced.33

Hard times were about to descend upon Bertie County, and the young John Cale. The American colonies had gone to war with their mother country Great Britain, and wartime demands and sacrifices would be extreme for Bertie County citizens (as well as for most North Carolina residents). John Cale would be caught up in the wartime sacrifices.

As the year 1776 opened, the threat of war hung over North Carolina, a colony in which a substantial number of residents were loyal to King George III. A considerable number of persons who were loyal to King George III took up arms against the colony’s revolutionary Whig patriots. Royal governor Josiah Martin, from his exile aboard a British warship in the Cape Fear River, planned to move with a force of British regular soldiers and loyalist militia against the Whig citizenry in southeastern North Carolina. Martin intended to organize as many as 9,000 Tories (loyalists), Regulators (backcountry dissident farmers), and Highland Scots to crush the revolutionaries. Martin intended to move with his men in arms about the middle of February.34

North Carolina’s patriot leaders assembled a confronting force comprised of more than 1,100 minutemen and the First North Carolina Regiment (Continental Line), the whole under the overall command of Col. James Moore. The minutemen contingent was raised primarily in Dobbs, Pitt, Johnston, and Craven counties and was commanded by Cols. Richard Caswell and Alexander Lillington. Additionally, a supporting force composed of minutemen from Bertie and Martin counties was organized to march to the Duplin-Sampson county area under the command of Col. William Williams of Martin County. The number of troops in Williams’s command is not evident from available records, but the Bertie County component—a company under the command of Capt. Charles Worth Jacocks—totaled forty-six members, including Jacocks. John Cale—about twenty-one-years of age, perfect for minuteman service—signed up as a member of Jacocks’s company. Timothy Walton, a near neighbor and surely an acquaintance of Cale, also served under Captain Jacocks.35

Jacocks organized his command, along with requisite supplies, provisions, equipment and means of transportation (wagons, carts, and haul animals) at Windsor. Jacocks and his Bertie County minutemen marched away from the town about February 19 or 20, destined for southeastern North Carolina. In the early morning of Tuesday, February 27, the North Carolina patriots and Josiah Martin’s loyalists fell upon each other in close-quarters combat at Moore’s Creek Bridge, eighteen miles from Wilmington. In a brief, decisive battle, Moore’s forces overwhelmed the loyalists, during which the carnage was horrendous—dozens of loyalists were killed and an estimated 850 were taken prisoner. Colonel Williams’s Bertie-Martin contingent was not involved in the battle, having arrived on the scene after the affair had concluded.36 Therefore, Pvt. John Cale saw no combat during the foray, but possibly the excitement and anticipation of combat may have moved the young man to decide to offer his services to the North Carolina Continental Line.

Cale enlisted, most likely in Windsor, in the First North Carolina Regiment on April 16, 1777, for two and one-half years. While he had not seen any hostile action during his short stint as a minuteman in 1776, Cale’s tenure as a “regular soldier” would be different. At the time of Cale’s enlistment, the North Carolina Continental Line regiments were assigned to Gen. George Washington’s command of the Continental Army. Army recruits raised in North Carolina were assembled at Halifax (about fifty miles from Windsor) and immediately marched north to join their units (regiments). Therefore, Pvt. Cale was quite likely present with his regiment at the battles of Brandywine (September 11, 1777) and Germantown (October 4, 1777), Pennsylvania, both crushing defeats of General Washington’s American army.37

Private Cale endured the horrible winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, along with other soldiers from Bertie County. General Washington’s Continental Army arrived at Valley Forge on Thursday, December 18, and remained at the encampment for six months. During their stay at Valley Forge the soldiers suffered intolerably for the want of clothes, food, and warm, dry shelter. The winter of 1777–1778 in southeastern Pennsylvania was brutal. Bitter cold, wind, and snow made life miserable and dangerous for the poorly clad and inadequately provisioned Continental troops. Undernourished and poorly clothed, living in crowded, damp quarters, the army was ravaged by sickness and disease. Bertie County’s Continental soldiers at Valley Forge suffered tremendously during the northern winter. A number of the county’s sons perished at the camp. The army began departing the encampment on June 18. Fortunately, Private Cale survived the ordeal, as did fellow county resident and regimental comrade, Pvt. Henry Dundelow.38

Private Cale remained in the First North Carolina Regiment, participating in the unit’s marches, combat, and other actions. His term of enlistment (two and one-half years) was slated to continue until about the middle of October 1779, but on December 31, 1778, he was discharged from the regiment “before [his] time [was] out.” The limited information in his military service record and related files do not disclose the reason that Cale was discharged prior to the completion of his term of enlistment. His nine-plus-months early release appears paradoxical, considering that he was discharged in New York in the dead of winter, at a time when the North Carolina Continental Line regiments direly needed able-bodied men to fill their ranks.39 Prematurely discharging a twenty-three-to-twenty-four-year-old trained, experienced soldier does not seem logical, unless some overriding condition existed to prevent Private Cale from satisfactorily performing his military duties.

Upon his discharge from the army, John Cale returned to Bertie County, most likely walking most of the distance from the north. He was now a war veteran and a survivor of a highly stressed tenure in the Continental Army. The Revolutionary War had been ongoing for almost four years, and times were hard and tumultuous for the residents of the Bertie County backwoods. Goods and certain commodities were in short supply, if available at all. Prices for basic goods were highly inflated, another wartime impact. Time and time again, country militia officers mustered their men and called for volunteers, and, failing to attain sufficient numbers of volunteers, resorted to drafts, to serve in detached units on the “war fronts.” But, for John Cale, the time had come to settle down, marry, and raise a family. Sometime between October 1779 and early August 1782, he married Winnefred Outlaw, the daughter of a near neighbor, John Outlaw (and granddaughter of Ralph Outlaw.)40

John and Winnefred’s life together was apparently short-lived. Winnefred, possibly after giving birth to two children, may have died within a couple of years following her marriage to John. She was living in early May 1783, as she was named (“Winneford Kail”) in the division of her father’s estate dated May 10, 1783, but her name disappears from Bertie County records thereafter.41` One logical reason for her “disappearance” shortly after marrying is that she may have died during childbirth, a fairly common occurrence in the era in which she lived. John and Winnefred may have had two children, but none who likely survived to maturity.42 John Cale most probably was a widower before he reached the age of thirty.

John’s life turned criminal, a chronic issue that plagued him during the ensuing five or more years. North Carolina colonial and early state laws were heavily influenced by the Church of England (Anglican Church). That body had first been recognized by the North Carolina colonial legislature in 1715 as the only established church to have public encouragement. Because of the rural nature of North Carolina’s population, Anglican churches and ministers were rare in colonial North Carolina. But the influence of the church on North Carolina legislators was evident. Adultery and fornication were considered hideous offenses by the church. An act passed by the colonial assembly in 1741 “for the better Observation and keeping of the Lord's Day, commonly called Sunday; and for the more effectual Suppression of Vice and Immorality,” specifically stipulated that “fornication”—voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried people—was a violation of law. The statute mandated that those persons duly convicted of “commit[ting] Fornication” were each (man and woman) to be fined twenty-five shillings for each and every offence.43 Fornication and adultery (voluntary sexual intercourse by a man with a woman who is not his wife or woman with a man who is not her husband) were considered serious criminal offenses in North Carolina.44

At some point, likely in 1782 or early 1783, John Cale and Ann Dundelow—the wife or very recent widow of Hugh Dundelow—engaged in an adulterous relationship, a criminal act. Ann’s husband, Hugh, had enlisted for twelve months in the First North Carolina Regiment on April 15, 1781. A little more than eight months later, on January 24, 1782, Hugh died while serving in South Carolina. Hugh and Ann had one very young son, John, at Hugh’s death. The date about which John Cale and Ann Dundelow began their illicit relationship is not documented. Therefore, it is impossible to ascertain from existing records whether or not they began the relationship while Hugh Dundelow was still alive, but away from Bertie County in the army, or after he died. In any event, by February 1783 Bertie County justices had been made aware of the relationship. During that session of county court, a grand jury indicted Cale and Dundelow as “persons living in open Adultery contrary to the good order of Society[,] to the evil example of the good People in [the] County and against the Peace and Dignity of the Said State.” Thomas Ward, a justice of the peace and prominent resident in the area in which John Cale resided (and who had previously sold land to John’s guardian, Joshua Freeman), testified under oath and furnished the incriminating information to the jury. Timothy Walton, another neighbor and former minuteman comrade of Cale, served as the jury’s foreman. Members of the grand jury were: William Fleetwood, Josiah Perry, Hardy Hayes, John Allen, Henry Averett, Benjamin Ward, Thomas Neal, Hardyman Abbington, Jesse Garrett, John Outlaw, William Ruffin, Jeremiah Fleetwood, Joel Brown, and Moses Freeman. On February 7, 1783, Stevens Gray, Clerk of Bertie County Court—after receiving the grand jury’s “true Bill” of indictment—issued a warrant “commanding” the county sheriff, John Wolfenden, to arrest Ann Undelow [Dundelow] and John Kale [Cale] and detain them to face charges of “Living in Adultery” at the forthcoming May 1783 session of county court.45 John Cale must have been irritated—two acquaintances and neighbors had acted to indict him on a criminal charge related to breaking the legal bonds of matrimony.

In response to the issuance of the arrest warrant, Sheriff Wolfenden was not able to locate and detain John Cale or Ann Dundelow. Accordingly, it was noted on the warrant that the subjects were “Not to be found.” Both Cale and Dundelow had decided to evade the authorities and avoid dealing with the “Bill of Indictment” for adultery issued pursuant to the county’s “grand Inquest.” The respective entry in the county court docket for May 1783 notes: “The State vs. Ann Unelow & John Kell[,] pres[entment] adultery[,] not to be found.46


Arrest warrant for Ann Undelow [Dundelow] and John Kale [Cale], February 7, 1783, Bertie County.

Source: Bertie County Criminal Papers, State Archives.

John and Ann continued to successfully evade the authorities, apparently while living in the Bertie County backwoods of northern Pell Mell Pocosin. For more than fifteen months the Bertie County sheriff, and presumably the constable of the district in which Cale and Dundelow were hiding, were unable to arrest the two and bring them to justice in Windsor.47 The following table presents entries in the county court docket related to John Cale and Ann Dundelow’s indictment and their evasion of justice through May 1784.









(punctuation added)

May 1783

The State vs. Ann Unelow & John Kell—pres[entment] adultery; not to be found.

August 1783

The State vs. Ann Undlow & John Kale—present[ment] for adultery.

November 1783

The State vs. Ann Unolow & John Kale—presentment for adultery; not to be found.

February 1784

The State vs. Ann Undelow & John Kale—presentment for adultery; alias [a second writ issued of the same nature issued in the same cause, as when a summons has been issued].

May 1784

The State vs. Ann Undelow & John Cale—presentment for adultery


On an undisclosed and unascertainable date about 1782 or 1783, Charney Dundelow—the illegitimate son of Ann Dundelow and John Cale—was born. Charney’s precise date of birth cannot be calculated from information in existing records, but the estimated range of his birth date can be derived from subsequent census enumerations of Charney’s household (as a grown man) and military pension depositions he submitted to the federal government.49

Eventually, Ann Dundelow, after evading arrest for between fifteen and eighteen months, could no longer avoid capture. On May 20, 1784, Stevens Gray signed another in a continuing series of quarterly arrest warrants for Cale and Dundelow. On this occasion Sheriff Wolfenden successfully executed the warrant against Ann, detaining her on an undisclosed date. She would now be coerced to appear before the Bertie County justices to deal with the criminal charge. Her time in avoiding prosecution was surely tiring and stressful. Apparently she had been hiding while simultaneously caring for two young children—a son, John Dundelow, by her deceased husband, Hugh, and an illegitimate son, Charney Dundelow, most surely the progeny of John Cale. If Ann did not have the two children in her custody during her period of evading the Bertie County authorities, then logically her friends and/or relatives (or perhaps those of John) assisted in the children’s care. During the August 1784 session of court, Ann appeared before the justices to answer the charge of adultery. Her accomplice, John Cale, did not appear—he was still in hiding from the sheriff. The justices decided for undisclosed reasons not to proceed with the case against Ann. Their decision was to “Not prosique” [not prosecute] and they discharged her and did not again pursue the charge.50 She could return peaceably to her home and children. But the charges against John Cale remained in effect; he was still an indicted man and wanted by the Bertie County justices.

John continued to hide from the authorities, likely utilizing his survivor skills gained from the hard times he endured in the army during the Revolutionary War. Further, to assist him in hiding, John easily could have had help from others (relatives and/or friends). Additionally, the degree of effort used by the sheriff to ferret Cale out of hiding in the “big woods” of Pell Mell Pocosin is not ascertainable from information in Bertie County criminal and court records. Cale surely remained in his home area until sometime about early April 1785, when then-sheriff William Cherry finally arrested him. Cale was slated to appear during the May session of county court to face the charge of adultery, but “no return [was] issued.” Cale had apparently escaped, since on the first day of the court session, Monday, May 9, 1785, Clerk of Court Gray issued another arrest warrant for Cale. John Cale had spent thirty-eight days in confinement but now was again roaming the countryside, lurking and hiding from law officers.51

Living on the land, slipping up to relatives’ and friends’ abodes during the cover of darkness for food and information, sleeping in the woods, barns, sheds and other outbuildings, and hiding in the woods during the daylight, likely had been, and continued to be, John Cale’s existence for more than two and one-half years. After such a period of stress and suspense from constantly looking over his shoulder he may have become desperate and, to a degree, vindictive.

Under the concealment of nighttime darkness on Monday, October 3, 1785, John Cale burglarized a store that belonged to Timothy Walton, his former minuteman comrade and the foreman of the grand jury that indicted him for adultery. Walton was a near neighbor of Cale and a prominent member of the community in and about Quioccosin Swamp, with a significant number of influential contacts in the county. Cale stole various items, including a pair of boots, leather gloves, and a saddle cloth—all items that he likely desired and needed with the cooler weather of autumn and the approaching winter. Paradoxically, Cale—who had largely evaded arrest on an adultery charge for many months—was caught and arrested for the larceny of Walton’s goods within a few days. By October 15 John Cale was in the custody of the county sheriff when Walton, John Brittain, and Wright Wiggins testified before Peter Clifton, a Bertie County justice. Walton stated that “on the third day of this Inst. [instant, or current month] October in the Night his store house was Broke Open & Sundry Goods & money taken.” Brittain and Wiggins jointly swore that “one Saddle Cloth, one pr. Cloth Boots & one pair of Leather Gloves . . . [were] taken in Custody of John Kail was & is part of the Goods Stolen out of sd Walton’s Store.”52

John Cale, arrested and incarcerated in the Bertie County jail, now potentially faced two criminal charges—adultery and petit larceny. He likely felt like a caged wild animal as he sat in the dreary county jail in Windsor, awaiting his fate before the court. But his stay in the lockup would not last long. Godwin Jernigan (also known as Godwin Jernigan Hodom) soon broke him out of the jail. By the middle of November, John’s sister, Grace Cale, was before Bertie County officials stating “on oath” what she knew about the jailbreak. On November 16, 1785, Grace Cail testified that Godwin Jernigan Odom (Hodom) “acknowledged that he had assisted John Kail to break the Goal of this County and make his escape.” Court officials issued a warrant to the sheriff to arrest Godwin Jernigan Odom and “bring him before” one or more justices of the court to respond to the information provided by Grace Cale.53 Apparently, Godwin was not charged with a criminal violation but was wanted to attend and testify at a hearing before a county justice(s) regarding Grace Cale’s statements.

Godwin Jernigan and Grace Cale were close acquaintances. More than two years earlier, on August 10, 1783, Godwin and his brother, George Jernigan (also known as George Jernigan Hodom), had posted a £1,000 bond on behalf of Grace, a single woman, who was pregnant. The child, when born, would be a bastard, and Godwin and George were committed to defray any expenses related to “the Birth, Maintinance & bringing up of said child.” Specifically, the two men were “from time to time & at all times hereafter, [to] Acquit, discharge & save harmless, the Church Wardens & Parishioners [of Bertie County] . . . from all Cash Charges & Troubles of the said child.” Logically, it is possible that either Godwin or George may have been the unborn child’s father.54

By the summer of 1785 some undisclosed issue had arisen between Grace and Godwin, as she filed a civil complaint or suit against him. On August 8, 1785, Stevens Gray, clerk of court, issued a summons to John Thomas, Phereby Hedgpeth, Priscilla Jernigan Hodom (sister of Godwin), and Selah Cale (sister of Grace and John Cale) to appear at the November 1785 session of court. The four individuals were to appear in court and to tell the truth “in a certain Matter of Controversy . . . then and there to be tried” between Grace Cale (the plaintiff) and Godwin Jernigan Hodom (the defendant).55

In a quite interesting and somewhat unusual development—between the date that Stevens Gray issued the summons to witnesses in Grace Cale’s “legal matter” against Godwin Jernigan Hodom and the holding of the court session in which the matter was to be tried—Godwin assisted in breaking John Cale out of jail. Therefore, during the November 1785 session of Bertie County court, Godwin Jernigan Hodom was on the civil docket as a defendant in Grace’s grievance and was also to appear before the county justices to give his response to an allegation that he “assisted” in breaking John Cale out of the county jail.

Given the close acquaintance and prior association between Godwin and Grace, it would seem plausible that she “influenced” him to break her brother, John, out of the county jail. However, such a scenario also would seem suspect given the fact that she had initiated civil proceedings against the man. The civil action might have been related to Godwin’s formal obligation for support and maintenance of Grace’s bastard child. So, the question arises— did Godwin assist John Cale in breaking out of the county jail simply because he was a friend? Existing Bertie County court and criminal records do not divulge any information as to why Godwin “assisted” in Cale’s breakout.

The Bertie County court dockets are silent on the court’s handling of Godwin for breaking John Cale out of jail. Apparently Godwin was not charged with a criminal offense, as no arrest warrant and no entry regarding an appearance in court exist in the pertinent docket(s). Grace Cale’s civil action against Godwin was not tried during the November 1785 session of court but was continued until the February 1786 term. Godwin’s brother George provided a security bond for Godwin to appear at the next session. The case was successively continued through all quarter sessions of the court until May 1787, when the case was dismissed with Godwin being ordered “to pay all costs.”56 Three months later, during the August 1787 term of court, Godwin paid the costs associated with the civil action brought against him by Grace. He was assessed a total of £2.15.9: clerk’s costs—£1.16.3; H. Hall and J. Rolack, attorneys—£1.5.0; William Cherry, sheriff—£0.9.4; and tax—£0.5.0. Deputy Sheriff Solomon Cherry noted that Godwin “Satisfied” the financial obligations.57

John Cale may have become somewhat notorious with at least some of the residents of the Pell Mell backwoods—committing fornication and adultery with a young widow; evading the authorities for an extended period of time; stealing from the man who had overseen the formulation of the original criminal indictment against him; and then breaking out of jail once he was captured. One criminal act fed another, all related and intermingled—and yet, after more than two and one-half years, he had avoided facing justice on adultery in Bertie County court.

Quite possibly, John Cale exuded an attitude of disdain and contempt for the legal system and the authorities appointed to enforce it. Were these the actions about which a legend of a backwoods criminal might originate? Indeed, his deeds were unlawful, immoral, and scandalous in the view of many of the genteel members of Bertie County society. Some of the backwoods residents likely reveled in his frustrating the authorities; others most surely scorned him.

After being broken out of confinement, John Cale’s freedom “on the land” did not last long. During the November 1785 session of court, officials issued another arrest warrant for Cale. On December 9 Sheriff William Cherry arrested him for a date with justice during the next session of court, February 1786. John Cale would not escape again—Sheriff Cherry and the Windsor jailer sufficiently restrained him to keep him incarcerated. During the February 1786 court session a Bertie County grand jury, with Christian Reed serving as its foreman, indicted Cale on the charge of petit larceny for the burglary of Timothy Walton’s store. Members of the jury were: William Hunter, Aaron Spivey, Elisha Ashburn, Charles Sowell, James Wood Jr., John Belote, Frederick Wimberly, John Rutland, Edward Acre, James Leggett, John Jenkins, Thomas Rascoe, John Allen, and David Garrett.58

John Cale, incarcerated in the Bertie County jail in Windsor, could find no means to escape. He languished in the jail awaiting trial as days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. On May 19, 1786, the county justices authorized the county trustee to pay £8.5.0 to Sheriff Cherry for providing provisions to Cale, “a prisoner . . . from 12th Decr [1785] to the first day of April [1786].” Nine months later, Cale was still incarcerated in the Windsor dungeon when, on February 21, 1787, the justices approved a twenty-one shillings, ten pence, payment to Cherry “for keeping John Kale a prisoner in goal [jail].” Cherry was next paid in May 1787 for jailing Cale. The county’s justice and law enforcements officials likely wanted Cale to linger in jail, as they lethargically moved on his charges, continuing his cases from one quarterly session to the next.59

Entries in the county’s criminal docket reflect that the justices were in no hurry to try Cale on the adultery and larceny charges. The relevant entries for quarterly court sessions subsequent to the time that John Cale was detained and incarcerated in the county jail through August 1787 are presented in the following table.






Quarterly Session


(punctuation added)

February 1786

The State vs. John Kale—presentment for adultery; Ex’d [executed] in goal [jail], Wm Cherry, Sher.

The State vs. John Kale—Indt [indictment]for Pettit Larceny.

May 1786

The State vs. John Kale—presentment for adultery.

The State vs. John Kale—Indt [indictment] for Pettit Larceny.

August 1786

The State vs. John Kale—presentment for adultery.

The State vs. John Kale—Indt [indictment] for Pettit Larceny.

November 1786

The State vs. John Kale— presentment for adultery.

The State vs. John Kale—Indt [indictment] for Pettit Larceny.

February 1787

The State vs. John Kale—presentment for adultery; cont’d [continued].

The State vs. John Kale—judgt[judgment] for Pettit Larceny; cont’d [continued].

May 1787

The State vs. John Kale—presentment [for] adultery.

The State vs. John Kale—Indt [indictment]for an assault [petit larceny?].

August 1787

The State vs. John Kale—presentment for adultery.

The State vs. John Kale—Indt [indictment] for Pettit Larceny.


The county justices, although obviously sluggish to bring John Cale to trial, acted within the parameters of existing North Carolina law. In December 1777 the state legislature enacted a statute that indirectly allowed for the extended incarceration of individuals who had previously escaped from jail. The statute stipulated that if any person escaped from the custody of county law enforcement officials, upon the person’s capture the sheriff was “forthwith to convey [the person] to the Prison . . . in the County” and “there [the person was] to be kept in safe Custody until he or she be thence discharged by due Course of Law.”61 Apparently jail breakers were not to be afforded the benefits of bail. Since the Bertie County justices had not tried Cale or dropped the criminal charges, the “due Course of Law” (totally under the control and discretion of the justices) had not occurred and therefore Cale remained in the county lockup.

John Cale had sat in the Bertie County jail for twenty months and, yet, time and time again, his cases had been ignored and/or continued by the justices. The court and criminal records reflect no reasons for the justices’ non-handling of Cale’s charges. However, cases such as his (adultery and petit larceny) were fairly common within the county and routinely tried and closed by the court. By the November 1787 session, John was nearing two years in jail; the adultery charge against him had been levied four years and nine months previously. His associate in the crime, Ann Dundelow, had made one appearance before the county justices and been released, her adultery charge apparently dropped. Yet, John was most likely being held by the authorities as an act of control and power, and possibly vindictiveness—he had frustrated and perhaps taunted them by hiding out for a lengthy time, and now they were likely wielding their version of “backwoods justice.” They unilaterally controlled his pitiful existence in the Windsor dungeon.

In a closely associated matter on November 20, 1787, justices William Gray, Thomas Collins, and David Outlaw ordered that Charney Dundelow (John Cale’s biological son) be bound unto Benjamin Edwards to learn the “art and Mystery” of a cooper. This act of the court likely removed Charney from the home of his mother, Ann, and placed him in the home of Edwards, who resided in the Buck Swamp area of Bertie County.62 Charney would now be living about fifteen miles from the immediate area of Quioccosin Swamp and northern Pell Mell Pocosin.

The removal of Charney from Ann Dundelow’s household followed the earlier assignment of her other son, John Dundelow (legitimate son of Hugh Dundelow and Ann, and Charney’s half-brother), as an apprentice. On February 21, 1786, justices William Gray, Peter Clifton, and Timothy Hunter ordered that John be bound to Jesse White also to learn the trade of a cooper. White resided in the area of Pell Mell Pocosin, and thus John had not been relocated as far from Ann’s abode as Charney subsequently would be.63

Finally, during the November 1787 term, county justices dismissed the charges against John Cale. The court docket notes only that both criminal cases—adultery and petit larceny—“need not be put on the Docket again.” Strangely, after holding Cale in jail for nearly two years, the court justices moved not to prosecute him.64 The existing county court and criminal records reflect no reason(s) or explanation(s) for their decision. Further, a question arises—was the assignment of Charney Dundelow, John’s out-of-wedlock son, as an apprentice to Benjamin Edwards, as well as the justices’ decision not to proceed with the prosecution of John during the same session of court, a happenstance? The answer is not revealed, nor inferred, in relevant court records. However, to the author, the fact that John’s out-of-wedlock son was placed in a new home during the same court session in which the adultery charge against him was obviously dropped (a charge that had been active for more than four and one-half years) is likely more than merely coincidental.

During the extended period from December 1785 to November 1787 (the period of time in which John Cale was jailed), eight quarterly sessions of Bertie County court were held, at which twenty-two Bertie County justices attended and presided, including Justice Thomas Ward —the jurist who swore under oath to a grand jury that Cale and Ann Dundelow were involved in an adulterous relationship. Therefore, the twenty-two justices—individually and as a consenting body—obviously did not desire to proceed with John Cale’s criminal charges. The following table presents the justices and court sessions at which they presided during the subject time frame.






















Armistead, Anthony





Armistead, William





Benson, William


Bryan, William







Campbell, James



Clifton, Peter








Collins, Thomas









Eason, Abner






Gray, William







Hardy, Humphrey





Hunter, Timothy




Jacocks, Jonathan




Jordan, William



Lockhart, George





Oliver, Andrew



Outlaw, David







Powell, Cader





Pugh, William



Ryan, George




Standley, David




Turner, Simon







Ward, Thomas**








* Court sessions generally lasted for a varying number of days. Justices rarely attended on all the days in any given session. Most often, three justices attended each day’s meeting of court.

** Thomas Ward resigned his justiceship in November 1786.

John Cale suddenly and inexplicably “disappeared” from Bertie County public records subsequent to November 1787. His name no longer appears as a principal party in court, or in criminal, land, estate, or various miscellaneous records and documents. A bastardy bond dated August 16, 1805, for which Charney Cale (originally named Charney C. Dundelow) was charged with being the father of a bastard child of Frances Curry, had “John Kail” originally written in the document four times. Two of the “John Kail” entries had been lined through and “Charney Cale” inserted above them.66 The two changes are interesting in that they may have reflected the fact that the preparer of the document, most probably the clerk of court, subconsciously associated Charney Cale with John Cale.

John Cale’s ultimate fate, the circumstances related thereto, and the date thereof, are not known. On December 4, 1811—more than twenty-four years after the criminal charges against John Cale had been dropped—John’s sisters (heirs at law), Grace Cale and Rachel Cale, enlisted the services of Ralph Outlaw to submit a petition to the North Carolina General Assembly to obtain a military land warrant in their names on behalf of their brother’s military service during the Revolutionary War. On December 11, 1811, the North Carolina Senate resolved that the “Secretary of State be directed to issue a Warrant to the Heirs of John Cale Dec’d for so much land as they may be entitled to, for the military services of their said ancestor in the Revolutionary War.” Three days later, the House of Commons similarly resolved and concurred with the Senate resolution.

However, a problem had arisen that prevented the state from issuing a military land warrant to Grace and Rachel. On December 21, the Committee on Military Land Warrants—to which was referred the joint resolution of the state legislature directing the secretary to issue a warrant to the John Cale’s heirs—reported “that the claimants have not produced satisfactory evidence to substantiate their claim and recommend that same be not issued.” Both the House and Senate concurred with the committee’s proposal.67

More than eight years later, on February 15, 1820, in Bertie County, Grace Cale, “one of the only heirs to John Kail a Continental soldier,” appointed William Harrell or Darling Cherry as her attorney [power of attorney] to seek a military land warrant based on John Cale’s military service. Also in Bertie County, Ezekiel White gave a sworn statement that Gracy Kail is “one of the only heirs and person properally [properly] entitled to [a] Military land warrant for the services of John Kail.” White also noted that “he was very well acquainted with” John Cale, a “Continental soldier in the Revolutionary War.” Six months later, Grace Cale’s attempt to obtain a military land warrant based on her brother’s wartime service was still pending when, in Martin County, Ezekiel White submitted another sworn declaration, this one on behalf of Grace and her sister Sealah. On August 20, 1820, White stated that “Gracy Kail and Cealy Kail is the Two own [only] sisters and the Two only heirs and all [of] the heirs to John Kail who was a Continental Soldier . . . and . . . the said John Kail had no Brothers at all . . . he believes that the said Gracy Kail and Cealy Kail is the persons entitled to a Military Land Warrant for the services of him the said John Kail.” Seventeen days later (September 6, 1820), the state of North Carolina issued a military land warrant for 228 acres to “the heirs.” John Cale’s patriotic service during the Revolutionary War was finally rewarded in the form of a land warrant to his only two surviving sisters, who were then likely seventy or more years old.68 It is noteworthy that Charney Cale (Charney C. Dundelow) was residing in Bertie County in 1820 and was himself a veteran of the War 1812. However, since Charney was the bastard son of John Cale, he was not an “heir at law” and thus legally not entitled to a land warrant based on his father’s military service.



Competent and thorough evaluation of the “John Cale Indian legend” in the context of documented history necessarily draws upon the analyses of relevant events and the related documents and records that were generated as permanent accounts of the events. To this end none of the public documents that relate to John Cale’s life were generated in regard to a family tradition. Documents and records generated by or involving multiple persons generally present a higher degree of accuracy and authenticity (unless the documents/records were prepared solely for fraudulent purposes and collusion among parties was involved). Also, the nearer to the actual occurrences of events that related documents or records are prepared, the higher the degree of their accuracy, pertinence, and relevance, provided that the individuals generating the documents or providing the input are objective and truthful. Given these basic considerations, the documents and records (criminal records, court dockets, bastardy bonds, apprentice and guardian bonds, and other public documents) that my brother Stuart and I compiled and analyzed in connection with the “John Cale Indian legend” are considered reliable for consideration in evaluating the merits of the legend. The documents were prepared to fulfill mandatory legal requirements and therefore are objective and independent of the persons who subsequently originated and conveyed the “legend.”

Since relevant and objective documentation reveals that John Cale was of English descent and was not an Indian, any facets of the legend regarding an Indian affiliation or lineage become irrelevant. Thus, John Cale could not have been a member of any Indian tribe (Chowan, Roanoke, or Tuscarora); he could not have been an Indian chief; his original name could not have been “Cucua Mucua”; he could not have been a descendant of Chief Wanchese (of Sir Walter Raleigh’s “Lost Colony” affiliation); he could not have leased Indian land (for a period of ninety-nine years) to the North Carolina colonists; and he could not have been the youngest son of a purported Tuscarora Indian, Chief Casiah (Cashie). Moreover, John Cale did not marry a French widow, assume her father’s name (“Jean Calis”), and subsequently Anglicize the name to “John Cale.”

Further, the non-Indian aspects of the legend are not factual, particularly those elements related to the history of the name of Cucklemaker Creek, to Henry Dundelow, to a “Tilury Cale,” to John Cale’s large (purported Indian) landholdings along Cucklemaker Creek, and to Charney C. Dundelow (also known as Charney Cale) being the son of an Indian.

Cucklemaker Creek

Present-day maps of Bertie County show the existence of a small stream, Cucklemaker Creek, generally flowing southwardly into Hoggard Mill Creek at its confluence with Flat Swamp Creek. Cucklemaker Creek originates in Bertie County about two miles from Quioccosin Swamp, south of the Cremo Road.69 Various individuals residing in the area of the creek believe that the stream’s name is of Indian origin, as conveyed in the “John Cale Indian legend.” However, Bertie County land records reveal that the name of the tributary is of English origin, dating back at least to the early eighteenth century.70

Specifically, on April 5, 1720, Isaac Hill received a patent for 145 acres of land located in Chowan Precinct (an area that in 1722 became Bertie Precinct) and present-day Bertie County. The tract was partially bounded by Cuckold Makers Creek. Additionally, on February 3, 1759, Burwell Bell received a land grant of 600 acres in Bertie County on Cuckold Makers Swamp. Further, on March 7, 1761, John Cake was granted 670 acres, likewise located on Cuckold Makers Swamp.71

Documentary evidence reveals that Cuckold Makers Creek (present-day Cucklemaker Creek) was named at least three decades prior to John Cale’s birth and was still known and recorded in Bertie County land records as “Cuckold Makers” even when John Cale was a young child. Therefore, “Cucklemaker” is not a derivation of a phonetically interpreted Indian name (Cucua Mucua), but rather it is a variation of “Cuckold Maker,” an English name, that has been transformed over three hundred years to its current variation.

The principal events of the “John Cale, Indian legend” supposedly occurred in the vicinity of Ross Baptist Church and nearby Cucklemaker Creek. Map abstracted by author from Windsor North topographical map (1982), United States Geological Survey.


Henry Dundelow

Henry Dundelow’s name first appears in Bertie County public records in the spring of 1774. On May 10, 1774, Bertie County justices ordered that Thomas Jones, seven years old and the orphan of Mourning Jones, be bound to Dundelow to learn the trade of a bricklayer. Less than a month later (June 6), Dundelow witnessed a promissory noted between George Keen and Peter Clifton. His name appears in the 1774 tax list for the county, as well as the 1775 list in which his listing included one white person (obviously Henry) and one “wench.”72

By early 1775 Henry Dundelow, a relatively newcomer to Bertie County, was encountering legal issues in his dealings with other individuals. In February 1775 he had filed a suit against William Jenkins, which appeared that month on the docket of the county court of pleas and quarter sessions. During the May 1775 quarterly session of court, James Wiggins sued Dundelow, a case that was continued and carried over to the August 1775 and subsequent sessions of the court.73

Hugh Dundelow, Henry’s brother, first appears in Bertie County records in May 1776 when county justices ordered him to work on a road under the oversight of Jeremiah Lester. In August 1777 Hugh swore to the statutorily mandated oath of allegiance to the state of North Carolina. By the late 1770s Hugh resided on the north side of Pell Mell Pocosin on land that James Sowell owned and sold to Peter Clifton on August 14, 1779.74

On January 26, 1777, Henry enlisted as a private to serve in the First Regiment of the North Carolina Continental Line. He enlisted for three years and served in Capt. Howell Tatum’s company. Colonel Thomas Clark commanded the First North Carolina. Dundelow was promoted to corporal in early 1779 and was honorably discharged on January 27, 1780, having fulfilled his three-year term of enlistment.75

As previously noted, on April 16, 1777, John Cale enlisted in the First North Carolina Regiment. Cale served in the regiment simultaneously with Henry Dundelow (and other Bertie County men). Obviously, Privates Dundelow and Cale, serving as regimental comrades from the same community, were acquaintances. John Cale was discharged from the service on December 31, 1778.76

Henry Dundelow returned to Bertie County following his discharge from the Continental Line. Soon after returning to the county he again became embroiled in lawsuits, both as a plaintiff and a defendant. During the February 1781 and August 1781 quarterly sessions of county court, Dundelow was a plaintiff in a case against John Oxley for defamation. The court in the August term found for the defendant (Oxley)—“not guilty.” Subsequently, in November 1782 and February 1783, Dundelow was back in court, as a defendant in a suit brought by “Nicca” [Nicholas] Weston, apparently for breach of “contract” or “agreement.” In February 1783 a Bertie County jury awarded a judgment to Weston in the amount of £ Henry Dundelow clearly was encountering difficulties in his business dealings with others.

As Henry Dundelow was dealing with his personal issues in Bertie County, Hugh Dundelow was serving in the Continental Army. On April 15, 1781, Hugh enlisted as a private in the First North Carolina regiment, the same unit in which Henry Dundelow and John Cale had previously served. He enlisted for a twelve-month term of service and served in Capt. Tilman Dixon’s company. Hugh, along with other Bertie County Continental soldiers, was marched to South Carolina. While serving in that state, Pvt. Hugh Dundelow died on January 24, 1782. The cause of his death is not disclosed in existing military records.78

Hugh’s premature demise left his wife Ann (now a young widow) alone to scratch out a living in rural Pell Mell Pocosin while caring for their infant son John. About the time of his enlistment, on April 25, 1781, Hugh had purchased from Joseph Collins 100 acres of land in Pell Mell Pocosin situated immediately on the east side of Guyshall Swamp (present-day Whiteoak Swamp).79 As previously noted, Ann Dundelow engaged in an adulterous relationship with John Cale. No records have been found to indicate that Hugh Dundelow and John Cale had any affiliations while simultaneously residing in Bertie County.

On August 13, 1783, Bertie County justices appointed Henry Dundelow to be the administrator of Hugh’s estate.80 At the time of this appointment, John Cale and Ann Dundelow, Hugh’s widow, had been criminally indicted for engaging in fornication and adultery.

Henry prepared an inventory of Hugh’s estate, including the 100 acres of land, on September 10, 1783. He submitted the document to the justices at the November 1783 session of the county’s court. In November 1784 court, Henry, as the administrator of Hugh’s estate, won a jury judgment from Joseph Collins (from whom Hugh had acquired the 100 acres of land) and was awarded £4.12.0. However, Henry Dundelow’s own financial problems persisted; he was insolvent by August 1785. He never completed the administration of his brother’s estate. By February 1786 the county justices decided to withdraw their order of administration and ordered Elisha Rhodes to take possession of all of the “goods and chattels of Hugh Dunnelo, dec’d.”81

Within a few years, Henry Dundelow left Bertie County and temporarily relocated to Halifax County, where he was enumerated in the 1790 federal census as the sole member of his household. On September 18, 1790, he enlisted in Halifax County as a private in the United States Army. He was assigned to a company commanded by Capt. Joseph Montfort, a Halifax County native and a veteran army officer of the Revolutionary War. Montfort’s company served in the First Regiment United States Infantry, which was assigned to the present-day region of Ohio and Pennsylvania to fight Indians and protect settlers. Pvt. Henry Dundelow died of sickness on January 8, 1793, at the army encampment at Legion Ville (near present-day Pittsburgh).82

Documents and records related to Henry Dundelow provide no evidence that he (or Hugh Dundelow) was the son of a Frenchman, Henri Duneleaux I. Additionally, there is no documentary evidence that Henry was married to an Elizabeth Marie Calis, supposedly the daughter of a “Jean Calis.” Moreover, there is no evidence that anyone assumed the name of “Jean Calis” and subsequently Anglicized it to John Cale. Lastly, Henry Dundelow was apparently skilled as a bricklayer (the occupation he was ordered to teach to Thomas Jones in 1774) and not a “French fur trader,” as purported in the “legend.”

“Tilury Cale”

According to a variation of the legend, the purported Indian “John Cale” and his alleged wife (“Elizabeth Marie Calis”) had a son named “Tilury Cale.” However, there is no documentation that indicates there was ever an individual named “Tilury Cale” who resided in Bertie County from the mid-1700s to the early 1800s. Rather, the name “Tilury Cale” and its place in the verbal legend clearly resulted from someone’s misinterpretation of the handwriting in a family Bible that might have belonged to Charney Cale, son of Silvey Cale.

Silvey Cale was the illegitimate daughter of Grace Cale and a niece of John Cale (the subject of this paper). Silvey had two children who were also born out of wedlock: Freeman Cale (born about 1812) and Charney Cale (born January 17, 1816). On March 15, 1816—two months after Charney was born—Grace Cale, in a deed of gift for “the love[,] good will and affectation” she possessed for her “loving daughter,” gave to Silvey all of her personal property. Included were: a mare and her colt, 5 cattle, 12 hogs, 2 ewes and lambs, 2 feather beds and furniture, 1 cart and wheels, plantation tools, and various cooking utensils. Grace stipulated that after Silvey’s death the items were to descend to her daughter’s two sons, “Freeman Kail and Charney Kail.” Ralph Outlaw, a Cale family acquaintance, was one of the witnesses to the transaction.83 At the time of the gift transfer, Grace Cale was more than sixty years old and possibly seventy or older.

In 1843 Charney Cale made the following entry in a Bible: “Charney Cale son of Silvey Cale was born Jany 17th 1816[.] I am now 27 years old[.]”84 Charney’s handwriting of his mother’s name in the entry “Silvy” obviously was misinterpreted as “Tilury” by certain member(s) of the family. As a result, it was supposed that a “Tilury Cale” was the son of “John Cale the Indian.” However, the supposition was clearly false.

Charney Cale’s handwritten entry in a Bible, indicating that he was the son of Silvy [Silvey] Cale, has been misinterpreted by some Cale family researchers to cause them to conclude that Charney was the son of a nonexistent “Tilury Cale.” Photocopy provided to author by a Cale descendant.

John Cale’s Landholdings

According to the “Indian legend,” John Cale allegedly acquired substantial landholdings, primarily by being awarded sizeable tracts of land solely as prizes for winning foot races. Further, he allegedly “made his home” near or along Cucklemaker Creek, in the proximity of the present-day community in the vicinity of Ross Baptist Church. According to a variation of the legend, he “enjoyed prosperity.”

As with other facets of the Indian legend, there exists no documentary evidence—deeds or tax listings—that John Cale acquired title to any land by winning “foot races.” Since recorded land records and other documentation show that John Cale, the father of Charney Dundelow, owned no land near Ross Baptist Church and did not reside in that area, these facets of the legend are without merit. As discussed previously, John Cale—the father of Charney Dundelow/Charney Cale and bastard son of Ann Dundelow—lived a troubled and trying life and was not prosperous. Existing evidence indicates that he, as an adult, was clearly impoverished, living a significant period of time during his adult life on the run from local law officers and resorting to thievery. In the view of the author, the facet of the legend regarding “foot races” is obviously a product of storytelling.

Charney Dundelow (subsequently known as Charney Cale), John’s son, accumulated a very sizeable amount of land in the vicinity of Cucklemaker Creek. While recorded deeds do not totally account for all of the land that Charney eventually owned, the missing documentation was most likely the result of Charney’s not ensuring that his deeds were all recorded in the Bertie County land records (i.e., deed books). North Carolina law stipulated that deeds were to be presented to the county court, proved, and recorded within one year of the transaction. However, numerous persons living in the backwoods of the county in the 1700s and 1800s did not always travel to Windsor to have their deeds proved and recorded.85

Charney C. Dundelow, also known as Charney Cale

As previously noted, Ann Dundelow named her bastard son (for whom John Cale was the father) Charney Dundelow—the name under which he was identified when he was assigned as an apprentice to Benjamin Edwards in November 1787. During his life Charney was known as “Charney C. Dundelow” and “Charney Cale,” at times using the two names alternately. Conclusively, Charney used both surnames on his own volition. On October 24, 1804, as Charney Cale, he married Elizabeth Harmon in Bertie County. Less than three months later, on January 15, 1805, as Charney C. Dundalow, he was charged by Frances Curry with being the father of her unborn bastard child. Another bastardy bond for Curry dated February 28, 1805, likewise denotes Charney C. Dundelow as the father of Curry’s unborn child. However, a third bond for Curry, dated August 16, 1805, indicates that Charney Cale (as discussed previously, “Charney Cale,” inserted in two places on the document for lined-out “John Cale”) was her child’s father. On August 23, 1808, Dundelow enlisted under the name of Charney Cale as a private in the Third Regiment United States Infantry. He served a five-year tour of duty. On January 25, 1814, he purchased land in Bertie County as Charney C. Dundelow. Bertie County tax lists for 1814 and 1815 show his name as Charna Cale and Charney Cale respectively. During late 1814 into early 1815, he served as Charney C. Dundelow in a company of detached militia comprised predominantly of Bertie County men and assigned to the Norfolk, Virginia, area (War of 1812). On November 10, 1816, he again purchased land in Bertie County as Charney C. Dundelow. Once he reached the age of about thirty-five years, Charney no longer used the Dundelow surname in his dealings and transactions. On February 11, 1857, Bertie County justice Patrick H. Winston remarked in a letter to a federal government pension official that Charney was “known as Charney Cale and Charney C. Dundalow. The Dundalow has not been used for many years.”86 Most likely, Charney’s middle name was “Cale” when he used the moniker “Charney C. Dundelow.”




In the opinion of this researcher, the verbal tradition of “John Cale the Indian” as it has evolved to the current time through variations of the legend is quite evidently the result of (1) storytelling by members of generations of John Cale’s descendants and others and (2) the erroneous analyses and interpretations of various documents and records. As noted in this paper, no original documentation has been discovered to validate and verify any “Indian” aspect of John Cale’s life as portrayed in the “legend.” Contrarily, sufficient, clear, and reliable documentation exists to substantiate that the events related to John Cale’s life as portrayed in the various iterations of the legend, could not have occurred—and did not occur. Not one item of documentary evidence has been found to prove or even infer that John Cale, the biological father of Charney C. Dundelow/Charney Cale, was an Indian.

No records have been discovered that indicate a French widow, Elizabeth Marie Calis Duneleaux [Dundelow], ever existed in Bertie County. While the absence of any records does not prove that an individual of the cited name did not reside in the county, the documented facts related to John Cale’s relationship with a “Dundelow widow” clearly prove that his adulterous relationship was with Ann Dundelow, the wife/widow of Hugh Dundelow and not with an Elizabeth Marie Calis Duneleaux, purported widow of Henri Duneleaux [Henry Dundelow]. Documentation also indicates that Ann Dundelow surely had a son born out of wedlock whom she named Charney Dundelow. No evidence, direct or circumstantial, indicates that John Cale and Ann Dundelow ever married.

It appears that Charney would have had little to no interaction with his out-of-wedlock father, John Cale. During the first five years or so of Charney’s life, his father was in constant hiding from Bertie County law and justice officials or incarcerated for a significant period in the county jail in Windsor. When Charney was about five years old, he was apprenticed to Benjamin Edwards—outside the community in which Ann Dundelow resided and presumably to which John Cale would have returned upon his apparent release from the county lock-up about November 1787. Thereafter, John Cale “disappears”—perhaps he relocated to an unknown place to escape his notorious reputation and past life; maybe he died of natural causes; or it could be that he was killed (although no documents are found in Bertie County’s criminal papers, coroner’s inquisitions, or court records to suggest a “suspicious death”). Presumably, Charney Dundelow would have been reared in Benjamin Edwards’s household to fulfill his court-appointed apprenticeship.

Although Charney Dundelow clearly had little or no positive interaction with, and influence from, his biological father, the evidence is clear that Charney knew the identity of his father. While he was, in the early years of his life, known as Charney Dundelow—the name given to him as an infant by his mother—he subsequently used the surname of his father—“Cale.” No other explanation, in consideration of discovered documentation, is logical in regard to Charney’s eventually assuming the Cale surname and exclusively living by that name during the last forty-five years or so of his life. (Charney died in 1860.) Since Charney’s mother’s maiden name is not known, Charney actually was known in his early life not by his biological “bloodline” but by the married name of his mother. I am of the opinion that Ann (maiden name unknown) Dundelow was a resident of Bertie County when she married Hugh Dundelow before the end of the 1770s. No marriage record exists for their union.

An additional observation relates to the surname “Calis,” conveyed so prevalently in the “Indian legend.” No records have been discovered for a “Jean Calis” or an “Elizabeth Marie Calis” in Bertie County. A Zedeciah Callis was listed in the 1790 federal census for Bertie County; his household included one white male aged sixteen years or older (most surely Callis) and nine slaves.87 Public documents and records (deeds, a will, court minute references, etc.) for a Zedeciah Callis are nonexistent in Bertie County public records and North Carolina colonial and early state records.

The “John Cale Indian legend,” contains a number of incongruent variations, the most prevalent being that the different versions assert that “John Cale” was a Chowan, a Roanoke, or a Tuscarora Indian. Since documentation proves that John Cale was not an Indian, the purported affiliation of “John Cale” with the three tribes in the various verbal accounts clearly indicates that the accounts were a product of “storytelling.” Storytelling, an activity most often undertaken as much for entertaining audiences (family members and others) as for conveying factual information was (and still is today) a common pastime in rural Bertie County. In my view, storytelling serves to explain much of the contents of the various versions of the “legend.” Storytellers, prone to embellishing and sensationalizing the accounts of their ancestors, do not consult historical facts as they relate the tales. For this reason, incongruent accounts and nonfactual information are often inserted into the stories, and the resulting tales are many times not consistent with relevant, recorded history.

The Cales and Dundelows were residents in Bertie County prior to John Cale and Ann Dundelow’s adulterous relationship and the birth of Charney Dundelow (early 1780s). It stands to reason that with both surnames established within in the county (and further, within the same local proximity within the county)—and not affiliated with Indians—at least some of the individuals who conveyed versions of the legend took the liberty to generalize facets without supporting documentary foundations and historical references. For example, “Dundelow” is a name found in Great Britain and one which, to some persons, likely sounded like a French name. Also, “Charney,” noted by William Henderson Cale in his November 1934 correspondence as “Indian dialect,” meaning “beautiful,” is a British name, the surname of which boasts a formal coat of arms. And Cucklemaker, as previously discussed, is of English origin.

Given the documented inaccuracies of the “Indian legend,” the questions naturally arise: Who originated the legend? When was a version of the legend first conveyed? And, why was the legend started? Obviously, answers to these questions cannot be derived, but relying upon logic and human nature, the legend would seem to have been initiated to convey a more positive portrayal of John Cale and his life. Charney C. Dundelow/Charney Cale’s children never knew their grandfather—he was deceased prior to their births—therefore, any accounts and stories pertaining to John Cale (their grandfather) would likely have been passed along to the children by Charney or another close family contemporary (of which there were few). But, also likely, the Indian aspects of the legend could have been augmented by a family member(s) in a subsequent generation. Americans in later generations have generally viewed Indian ancestry more positively than were the views toward Native Americans held by English colonists, including early North Carolinians.

As with other considerations, English settlers and colonists held a disdainful, prejudiced, and discriminatory attitude toward Indians, including mixed-breed persons. Indians, blacks, (slave and free), and mulattoes (slave and free) were not given the same rights and privileges in colonial North Carolina as those available to citizens of English descent. The minorities were statutorily not allowed to vote. Also, North Carolina law stipulated that “Negroes, Indians, Mulattoes, and all of mixed Blood, descended from Negro or Indian Ancestors to the Third Generation, Bond or Free, shall be deemed and taken to be incapable in Law to be Witnesses in any Cause whatsoever, except against each other.” In other words, Indians had virtually no legal rights in the eyes of the colony’s (later state’s) judicial system. Equally discriminating were additional laws related to mixed-blood relationships and the children (mulattoes, mustees, quadroons, etc.) born therefrom. Colonial legislators had enacted laws “for Prevention of that abominable Mixture and spurious issue” of white persons intermarrying with “Indians, Negroes, Mustees, or Mulattoes.” Laws stipulated that any “white Man or Woman, being free,” who intermarried “with an Indian, Negro, Mustee, or Mulatto . . . or any Person of Mixed Blood, to the Third Generation, bond or free,” was required to pay £50 to the county in which they resided.88 Personal relationships between whites and any minorities (including “mixed breed” individuals) were strongly condemned, both from a societal point of view and financially. Fifty pounds was an extremely substantial penalty to be levied against an eighteenth-century white man or woman for marrying a nonwhite person.

In addition, given the English-descent residents’ extremely strong negative biases and prejudices toward Indians, none of the documents and records uncovered relating to John Cale and his bastard son Charney Dundelow/Charney Cale indicate that they were of Indian blood (full or mixed). Oftentimes, bastardy bonds, apprentice bonds, guardian bonds, and other records of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries noted if persons were nonwhite. In all instances in which the preparers of documents or records related to John Cale and Charney C. Dundelow/Charney Cale had the opportunity to declare that the individuals were nonwhite, the preparers did not do so—including the enumerator’s Charney’s households in federal censuses through 1860. (Censuses often required the enumerators to obtain and record information related to the “race” of each household’s members.) The logical explanation for this fact: John Cale and his bastard son Charney were not of Indian descent.

William Henderson Cale, in his account of “John Cale,” wrote that Cale’s name appeared in “the old records of Albemarle settlement” and that he leased “his interest in the land for a period of 99 years for the sum of $100.” William H. Cale inferred that he had seen a document in the possession of an Edenton minister that substantiated the purported transaction. In regard to Mr. Cale’s conveyance, I (and other Cale family researchers) have not been able to identify the unnamed minister referenced in the 1934 letter. I have reviewed the Rev. Robert Brent Drane’s papers at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), but no Indian deed or other “Indian” document related to a “John Cale” was to be found in the collection. (Reverend Drane (1851–1939) was an influential Episcopal minister in Edenton during the early 1900s.). I am of the opinion that Mr. Cale may have seen a copy of a Chowan County deed in which Chowan Indians (James Bennett, John Bennett, Thomas Riddin, and William Cole) on July 1, 1771, leased more than 11,300 acres to Thomas Garrett for ninety-nine years. Mr. Cale may also have seen a copy of the January 1745 deed (mentioned previously) in which John Cale sold to John Hinton land that had formerly belonged to Chowan Indians.89 The two documents, if seen by Mr. Cale, may have led him to write—“from memory”—that John Cale, an Indian, leased for ninety-nine years his interest in Indian land.

Despite the documented factual inaccuracies and historical incongruence of the “legend,” there are a few similarities between John Cale’s documented existence and the legend. First, John Cale engaged in an adulterous relationship with a Dundelow widow (Ann, the widow of Hugh, and not Elizabeth, the purported widow of Henri (Henry)). Second, John’s relationship with the Dundelow widow led to the birth of Charney Dundelow, subsequently known as Charney Cale. Third, John Cale evaded the Bertie County sheriffs (John Wolfenden and William Cherry) to avoid arrest. Fourth, John committed thievery—breaking into Timothy Walton’s store (but not stealing horses). No other elements of the legend are similar or parallel to documented facts. Therefore, given the few similarities between fact and fiction regarding the life of John Cale, it is plausible that the legend of John Cale originated about his troubled life during the Revolutionary era of North Carolina and Bertie County history and evolved through more than 200 years of storytelling to a grander tale about an “Indian” that scarcely resembles fact.90

In considering the evolution of the “legend,” human nature dictates that often descendants attempt to personify their ancestors is a more positive portrayal than in which they may have actually lived. For example, William H. Cale indicated in his account that John Cale married an English lady of “high rank.” Such personification is logical by a descendant, such as Mr. Cale, who portrays an ancestor’s societal standing more positively than documentary evidence supports. Of course, Mr. Cale may have been told by others that his unidentified ancestor was of “high rank.” According to available records, Ann Dundelow was not an individual of “high rank” in Bertie County society during her lifetime.

Moreover, the legend as it exists today contains examples of generic Indian history—Wanchese/Manteo affiliations; Indian-white clashes (none occurred in northeastern North Carolina during and after the 1750s); and not paying white men’s taxes. Further, the legend is subject to change merely from the proliferation of theories and postulations introduced in the absence of dedicated and focused research to uncover existing relevant documents and facts. Finally, certain facets of the legend have clearly been augmented in the past quarter-century, a period of time during which this researcher has gathered and maintained “all” information of which he became aware regarding the legend. Again, such augmentation and embellishment is natural for a story that is oft repeated by various parties and which, in recent years, has been partially used as a message for political purposes by certain entities. The “John Cale Indian legend” of today is not entirely the story that first originated.

An additional observation regarding the legend: Indians used white (English) names long before John Cale was born. By the early 1700s, North Carolina Indians were using English names. Chief Hancock, a Tuscarora Indian, was a key figure in the Tuscarora War in North Carolina (early 1710s). King Tom Blount (Blunt) was the leader of Bertie County’s Tuscarora Indians in the early 1700s. James Strawberry, an Indian, murdered Elizabeth Knott in Bertie County in May 1757. During the 1760s and 1770s (the period in which “Cucua Mucua” purportedly lived), a significant number of Tuscarora Indians—“chieftains”—sold or leased land in Bertie County using English names, including William Cain, William Blount, Tom Smith, John Smith, James Hicks, John Hicks, John Randal, William Pugh, Walter Gibson (and others). Finally, Chowan Indians in Chowan County used English names—such as Bennett, Cole, Riddin, Hoyter, and Robbins—years before John Cale was born and continuing into the period of his life. John Cale was never named “Cucua Mucua.”91

Stories and tales told solely from remembrance are often interpretive and selective as to their contents. But one aspect of John Cale’s life may coincidentally “support” his purported name. John Cale had an adulterous relationship with Hugh Dundelow’s wife/widow, Ann. Even if the relationship began subsequent to Hugh’s death in the army, John Cale was still a “CUCKOLD MAKER” in the view of his colonial neighbors. Hugh Dundelow was the “Cuckold” inasmuch as his wife was unfaithful!

In September 1986 a descendant of John Cale who had undertaken research into the “Indian legend” had contemplated publishing an article about him but never did, having “rather lost heart” in the effort. According to a letter dated September 15, 1986, written to a close relative, the individual had enlisted a “Mormon researcher” to look into the legend. The researcher “ruled out” the possibility that John Cale was an Indian.92

In February 1988 Elizabeth V. Moore, a resident of Edenton known to be well versed and knowledgeable of the Chowan Indians, responded to a query I had submitted to her regarding my questioning the veracity of the “John Cale Indian legend.” Miss Moore stated: “I quite agree with you in questioning the accuracy of your tradition that John Cale was of Indian ancestry. . . . The family ‘history’ . . . is very much like most of those I have seen, nearly all hearsay.”93

We who conduct research into the lives of our ancestors do so desiring to unlock the secrets of our ancestors’ identities—their lives, existence, and contributions to society in the context of history. When one embarks on ancestral research, obviously he/she does not know not what unknown facts he/she will discover. I am convinced, based on the documentary evidence that I and my brother (Stuart) have gathered and analyzed, that John Cale and Ann (maiden name unknown) Dundelow were our lineal ancestors. Reflectively, if John and Ann had not engaged in an adulterous relationship –—be it a criminal activity per the laws of eighteenth-century North Carolina—my brothers and I, as well as hundreds (likely thousands) of other lineal descendants, would never have existed on this Earth. This is a sobering reflection and conclusion as one evaluates the context of their own life in relation to family history. As a sixth-generation grandson of John Cale and Ann Dundelow, my bloodline and hereditary composition are only 1.56 percent to each of them (1-in-64). The documented life of John Cale is fascinating, interesting, and tragic. John Cale was my ancestor; I am grateful for his existence and that of Ann Dundelow and the relationship in which they engaged more than 225 years ago.94

In conclusion, I am fully cognizant that, despite the dedicated and focused research I undertook in examining the merits of the “Indian legend” and the highly relevant and enlightening documents and records I discovered, various unanswered questions and mysteries still exist relative to John Cale. Perhaps additional documents are yet to be discovered by researchers in repositories at institutions, or even in the possession of individuals, that will impart further definitiveness and clarity on John Cale’s life two and a quarter centuries after he “disappeared” from Bertie County. I am also acutely aware that given the emotional attachment and involvement that many descendants of John Cale have to the 225-plus-year-old legend—as passed to them by close family members—they may possibly reject the findings, observations, and conclusions that I have included in this paper. That is well, for I am of the opinion that the information presented in this paper will enlighten persons who are interested in John Cale, particularly those individuals for whom he is a lineal ancestor.95

And finally, I am most confident that the “legend of John Cale the Indian,” will continue to exist perpetually in Bertie County lore, particularly that of the Cale family!




OF BERTIE COUNTY, 1750s–1800s96

Between the mid-1750s and the mid-1770s, three individuals named “John Cale” resided in Bertie County. Two of the individuals are discussed in this paper—(1) the John Cale who first acquired land in the county in the early 1750s and (2) John Cale, orphan of William Cale (subject of this paper). A third John Cale, the son of the John Cale who first resided in the county, acquired land, married Selah Parker of Chowan County in 1785, and died in Bertie County in 1805. All three men were related to one another.

Additionally, three men named “Charney Cale” resided within Bertie County: (1) Charney C. Dundelow, subsequently known as Charney Cale; (2) Charney Cale Jr., son of Charney C. Dundelow/Charney Cale, and (3) Charney Cale, son of Silvey Cale. Upon reaching adulthood, Charney Cale Jr. relocated to Yadkin County, North Carolina, where he died in July 1861. Silvey Cale’s son Charney, too, departed Bertie County and moved to Autauga County, Alabama, where he remained until his death about the fall of 1873. All three Charney Cales were related.




1. The name Cale is variously spelled in records and documents of the 1700s and 1800s as: “Cail,” “Caile,” “Kail,” “Kaile,” “Kale,” and “Kell.” Within this paper the author uses “Cale,” except for quotations and note citations.

2. During the three-plus decades of research, the author also undertook researching and writing four books pertaining to Bertie County history: Divided Allegiances: Bertie County during the Civil War (1996); Bertie in Blue: Experiences of Bertie County’s Union Servicemen during the Civil War (1998); Destitute Patriots: Bertie County in the War of 1812 (2012); and Rebels and King’s Men: Bertie County in the Revolutionary War. The latter title is scheduled to be published by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Office of Archives and History, in 2013. Additionally, the author assisted in researching and co-authoring with Weymouth T. Jordan Jr. an article titled “Massacre at Plymouth: April 20, 1864,” which was published in the North Carolina Historical Review in April 1995.

3. Results of research into the “John Cale Indian legend” by a number of other parties have, in recent years, been published in Stanley Hoggard, Ross Baptist Church, The First Seventy-Five Years, 1800–1875, The People, The Community [place, publisher, and copyright date not disclosed], 31–32 (hereafter cited as Hoggard, Ross Baptist Church); Stanley Hoggard, Ross Baptist Church Community: Old Landmarks, Trails and Tales—Commemorating 200 Years of Country, Church, and Family Life in Central Bertie County, North Carolina, 1804–2004 [place, publisher and copyright date not disclosed], 46–49 (hereafter cited as Hoggard, Ross Baptist Church Community); K. Paul Johnson, Pell Mellers: Race and Memory in a Carolina Pocosin (Palm Coast, Fla.: Backintyme Publishing, 2008), 24–25 (hereafter cited as Johnson, Pell Mellers); Christine Cale Johnson, “The Legend of Cucklemaker, an Indian Chief,” in Bertie County, North Carolina Heritage, 1722-2010 (Waynesville, N.C.: County Heritage, 2010), 45.

As discussed within this paper, the author’s research discovered various records and documents—particularly Bertie County court records and criminal papers, and Revolutionary War records and papers—that contain highly relevant and pertinent information related to the life and experiences of John Cale, and therefore, secondarily to the veracity of the “Indian legend.” Obviously, the pertinent records and documents had not been uncovered by the research of the above-cited persons. Had such records been discovered, the author is of the opinion that those individuals’ published narratives would surely have included the context of, and impact on, the interpretations and facets of the “Indian legend.” The author further notes that he reviewed information posted by various individuals on Internet sites, most of which represent information replicated from the sources sited earlier in this note. The information from the sites reviewed by the author universally does not include information from the categories of highly relevant records and documents, and upon which the contents and conclusions in this paper rely.

4. Following are various spellings of “Dundelow” as noted in records and documents: Dondalow, Donehugh, Dualow, Dunalo, Dunalow, Dundelow, Dunelaw, Dunelo, Dunnelloe, Dunnelow, Dunnlow, Dunolow, Dunonelo, Odonalan, Odonaloe, Odonaly, Odonely, Undlow, Undelow, and Unolow.

5. Charney Cale (originally known as Charney C. Dundelow) married Elizabeth Harmon on October 4, 1804; Duncan L. Cale married Harriet Hoggard on March 21, 1841; Amilia Jane Cale married William David Thomas on May 8, 1866; John William Thomas married Martha Frances Jernigan on May 11, 1892; and Joseph Duncan Thomas married Effie Geraldine Hoggard on September 24, 1938, and were my parents. The author has three brothers—Garland Victor Thomas (born July 1939), Jasper Duncan Thomas (December 1942), and Stuart Owen Thomas (May 1955). The author was born in Windsor, Bertie County, on March 9, 1952. Information in this note is from the genealogical files of the author and his brother, Stuart O. Thomas.

6. “The Difference Between History and Tradition,” North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal 9 (March 1957): 268.

7. Ruth Y. Wetmore, First on the Land: The North Carolina Indians (Winston Salem: John F. Blair, Publisher, 1975), 57, 68–69; Theda Perdue and Christopher Arris Oakley, Native Carolinians: The Indians of North Carolina, [first printing] (Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Office of Archives and History, 2010), 28, 75; National Park Service, www.nps.gov/fora/historyculture/theroanoketribe.htm.

The author notes that the Chowan Indians are variously referred to in records and publications as “Chowanoc,” “Chowanoke,” and “Chowanor.” For the purposes of this paper, the author uses the term “Chowan,” except in quotes.

8. William H. Cale to John Carter [Cale] and William G. [Cale], November 1, 1934 (photocopy). Cale descendant 1 provided a photocopy of the cited letter to the author on January 17, 1981. The author personally visited the individual (Cale descendant 1) expressly to seek information on the Cale family history, including the “John Cale Indian legend.” The actual identity of the person whom the author visited and who provided the photocopy of the letter has been withheld as a courtesy offered in exchange for candid interchange of information grounded more in legend or tradition than in provable fact. Hereafter, the author similarly withholds the names of individuals who provided to him family accounts of the Indian legend. William Henderson Cale (writer of the cited letter) descended from John Cale through Charney Cale (Charney C. Dundelow), Duncan L. Cale, and Dancy Cale (1852–1931)—the latter being William H. Cale’s father. Genealogical information on William Henderson Cale was derived from the files of the author and Stuart O. Thomas.

William H. Cale mentioned “the Albemarle settlement” in his letter. It is unclear whether Mr. Cale referred to “Albemarle County” or “Chowan County,” which was formed from part of the area originally included in Albemarle County. Albemarle County was formed in 1664 and consisted of the region north of present-day Albemarle Sound and east of the Chowan River. By 1668 Albemarle County had been divided into four precincts—Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank, and Perquimans. Chowan Precinct was named in honor of the Chowanor Indians who lived in the northeastern part of the colony of North Carolina. No description of the boundaries of the precinct were recorded when it was established. By 1700 the precinct included the area of present-day Chowan County and the region west of the Chowan River, including present-day Bertie County. In 1722 Bertie Precinct was formed from Chowan Precinct and included the area west of the Chowan River, south of the Virginia-North Carolina boundary, and north of the Morattuck River (present-day Roanoke River). Bertie Precinct had no defined western boundary but “continued as far as the limits of this [the colonial] government.” In 1739 all precincts in the colony of North Carolina were designated as counties. See David Leroy Corbitt, The Formation of the North Carolina Counties, 1663–1943 (Raleigh: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1987), xxiii, xvii, 25, 65 (hereafter cited as Corbitt, Formation of North Carolina Counties).

9. Cale descendant 2 to author, November 11, 1980.

10. Cale descendant 2 to Cale descendant 4 (e-mail), July 6, 2002, forwarded by Cale descendant 4 to author, July 25, 2002. In this communication, Cale descendant 2 noted that his relative “often repeated” the “story of the marriage [of Cucua Mucua/John Cale] to Elizabeth Calais Donleaux, and her children.” He further elaborated that his relative’s “research showed that her maiden name had been Elizabeth Marie Calais, her father’s name was Jean [C]alais, and that she was a widow when she arrived here from France. Her husband had been named Henre Donleaux.”

11. Cale descendant 1 and Cale descendant 3, separate telephone interviews with author, March 28, 1983.

12. Hoggard, Ross Baptist Church, 31–32; Johnson, Pell Mellers, 24–25. Johnson’s version is primarily a replicated, abbreviated version of that presented in Hoggard, Ross Baptist Church.

The author notes that Cale descendant 2 informed Cale descendant 4 that the “story about John Cale being shot from ambush was also one of my . . . [relative’s] stories. . . . My . . . [relative] did NOT mention . . . [that John Cale was] ‘shot because he would not take part in the Indian/White clashes,’ nor did he mention anything about the children carrying food to him while he was hiding out—that’s the first I’ve heard of that story. He did state that being Indian, John refused to pay taxes, and that the sheriff had arrested him on several occasions and confiscated some of John Cale’s horses to pay the taxes. He said that John had escaped from jail, and recovered the horses on multiple occasions, and that the sheriff finally gave up. . . . [Relative] said that the tradition was that John Cale was the last chief of the Roanoke people and that he descended from Wanchese, Manteo’s brother.” Cale descendant to Cale descendant 4 (email), July 6, 2002, forwarded by Cale descendant 4 to author, July 25, 2002.

13. Hoggard, Ross Baptist Church Community, 46–49. This publication presents a lengthy narration of a number of various facets and elements of the legend, including “theories” related to the existence of John Cale, an Indian. The author has included in this paper those points relevant to the legend that pertain to Cale’s birth (purportedly as an Indian), his status, his reported marriage, and his children. Mr. Hoggard states (p. 59) that “We don’t believe all the stories we have heard about Cucklemaker, but we believe that some of the stories should be considered.” For additional details and Mr. Hoggard’s complete narration, see the cited source, pages 46–67.

14. Hoggard, Ross Baptist Church Community, 54–55.

15. Cale descendant 1 to author, October 1, 1980.

16. P. William Filby and Mary K. Meyer, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, First Edition, Volume 1, 1982–85 Cumulative Supplement, 3 vols. and yearly supplements (Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1981), X:435; Nell Marion Nugent, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 3 vols. (Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1979), 3:119. The information contained in the Nugent publication was derived from “Abstracts from Patent Book No. 10.” The relevant abstract follows: “Henry Goodman, 256 acres (NL [new land]), Up. Par. [Upper Parish] Nansemond County, near a place called Salem, on both sides of Peters Swamp. 28 April 1711, page 29, importation of 6 persons: John Cale, William Page, Eliza Lane, Francis Hazlowin, Charles Baker, and William Macon.” Regarding the formation of Chowan Precinct/County and Gates County, see Corbitt, Formation of North Carolina Counties, 65–66, 105–106.

17. During the colonial period the majority of the people residing in the northeastern region of North Carolina, including Bertie County, were of British descent. The region had been settled predominantly by persons who migrated from southeastern Virginia in the late 1600s and 1700s. Many of the settlers were descendants of the yeomen farmer class in England, who, having been (or their parents having been) indentured servants, agreed to labor for periods of time to repay whoever advanced the money for their passage to Virginia. Once their terms of indenture were served, they were at liberty to work for themselves and strike out on their own. Desiring to avoid any stigma that might have been attached to their previous social status, many of the former servants departed Virginia and started new lives in North Carolina. William S. Powell, North Carolina: A History (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), 37 (hereafter cited as Powell, North Carolina).

18. Weynette Parks Haun, Chowan County, North Carolina County Court Minutes (Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions) 1730 thru 1745, Book I (Durham: the compiler, 1983), 71, 73, 77, 127; Weynette Parks Haun, Chowan County Court Minutes, Book II, 1735–1738, 1746–1748 (Durham: the compiler, 1983), 93, 105 (hereafter cited as Haun, Chowan County Court Minutes, II); Weynette Parks Haun, Chowan County, North Carolina, Court Minutes, 1749–1754, Book III (Durham: the compiler, 1992), 20, 23, 35, 40, 51, 65, 84, 138; Chowan County, Office of the Register of Deeds, Edenton, Deed Book A1, p. 242, Simon Daniell [Daniel] to Henry Goodman, October 25, 1743, Deed Book H1, p. 54, Edward Jernigan to Henry Goodman, November 23, 1745. Hereafter, deeds are cited by the pertinent county register of deeds and deed number (“X-1”).

19. Chowan County Office of the Register of Deeds, deed E-226; Haun, Chowan County Court Minutes, II:105.

During the 1600s and 1700s, the Chowan Indians resided east of the Chowan River in the area of Bennett and Catherine creeks (present-day southern Gates County). Catherine Creek forms a portion of the boundary between Gates and Chowan counties.

20. The author reviewed existing Chowan County wills and estate records at the Chowan County Office of the Clerk of Court and the North Carolina State Archives. He was unable to identify a will or an estate record for John Cale.

21. Various Chowan Precinct/County deeds document the residences of the Cake, Freeman, Outlaw, Walton, and Ward families in the Catherine Creek-Warwick Swamp area during the first half-century of the 1700s.

22. Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deeds H-251, H-54. Quioccosin Swamp and Wildcat Swamp are situated about two miles and six miles respectively from the crossroads community of Powellsville.

23. Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deeds I-312; K-156; K-455.

24. William Kail’s [Cale] estate record, Bertie County Estate Records, North Carolina State Archives (hereafter cited as Bertie County Estate Records); Weynette Parks Haun, comp., Bertie County, North Carolina County Court Minutes, 1763 thru 1771, Book III (Durham: the compiler, 1978), 55, 72, 73, 77 (hereafter cited as Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, III). The document contained in William Cale’s estate record delineating valuations of the allocation of the estate among his widow and children by Jonathan Standley and Ralph Outlaw is undated. There is no document in the file for an inventory sale by Sarah, William Cale’s widow and the estate’s administrator. William Cale most likely died during the late spring or summer of 1768, as it was customary during the colonial period in Bertie County for the justices to appoint an administrator during the first term of the county’s quarterly court of pleas and quarter sessions following the demise of an individual who had left no will.

25. Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deed M-243.

26. William L. Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina, 10 vols. (Raleigh: State of North Carolina, 1886–1890), 23:577 (hereafter cited as Saunders, Colonial Records); apprentice bond for John Cale, September 26, 1768, Bertie County Apprentice Papers, State Archives; Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, III:72.

Robert Cake was the brother of the author’s lineal ancestor, Ann Cake, who married Anthony Filgo in Bertie County. The author descends from Ann Cake through Mary Filgo, Mary Layton, Rev. Moses L. Mizell, Crystal Emeline Mizell, John Thomas Hoggard, and Effie Geraldine Hoggard (the author’s mother). Genealogical information from the files of the author and Stuart O. Thomas.

As was the case with other families that lived in the Quioccosin Swamp area of Bertie County, the John Cake family had originally resided in Chowan Precinct in the 1710s to 1730s. John Cake had owned land near Catherine Creek in present-day Gates County. Chowan County Office of the Register of Deeds, deeds B1-365, C1-49; James Robert Bent Hathaway, ed., The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register (1900), 2:453.

27. Criminal papers relating to Robert Cake, 1769–1770, Bertie County Criminal Papers, folder 1761–1770, State Archives (hereafter cited as Bertie County Criminal Papers and pertinent folder).

28. Guardian bond, Joshua Freeman, guardian to John Cail, December 25, 1771, Bertie County Guardian Bonds, State Archives; Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, III:120.

29. See entries for the March 1773 session of court, Bertie County, State Docket County Court, 1778–1798, Orphan Docket, 1773, State Archives (hereafter cited as Bertie County State Docket). Both dockets are contained in a singular volume, and entries in the dockets were made chronologically by quarterly session of the court.

30. Account of the estate of John Kaile, orphan of William Kail, undated (but likely May 1774), Bertie County Estate Records; Weynette Parks Haun, Bertie County, North Carolina Court Minutes, 1772–1780, Book IV (Durham: the compiler, 1979), 28 (hereafter cited as Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, IV). The cited account indicates that John Cale owned only the following items of personal property: 3 hogsheads (large barrels or casks), 1 tin pot, 2 pewter dishes, 2 old pewter basins, 15 pewter spoons, 1 flesh fork, 1 pair of marking [branding] irons, and 1 bottle. Joshua Freeman noted in the document: “This is all the Estate of John Kaile That . . . Came To my Hands.”

31. Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deeds K-16, K-455, L-132, L-134, L157, L259.

32. Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deeds M-130, K-156. With the acquisition of John Cale’s land, Joshua Freeman had accumulated more than 1,300 acres in the Quioccosin Swamp sector. Before his death in the mid-1790s, Freeman would accumulate more than 2,600 acres (4.1 square miles) in the area.

33. Accounts of the affairs at Lexington and Concord reached Edenton about mid-morning on May 4, 1775, delivered by an express rider from Nansemond County, Virginia. Chowan County and Edenton officials immediately dispatched a rider to deliver the papers to Craven County officials, with a request for the recipients to “disperse the material passages” throughout their region. The accounts reached Beaufort County, New Bern, and Bath on May 6; Onslow County and New River on May 7; Wilmington and Brunswick on May 8; and Little River at the boundary between North Carolina and South Carolina on May 9. Saunders, Colonial Records, 9:1235–1238.

34. Powell, North Carolina, 62–63; Jeffrey J. Crow, A Chronicle of North Carolina during the American Revolution, 1763–1789 (Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, 1975), 26 (hereafter cited as Crow, A Chronicle of North Carolina); Hugh F. Rankin, The North Carolina Continentals (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1971), 29 (hereafter cited as Rankin, North Carolina Continentals).

35. Powell, North Carolina, 63; Crow, A Chronicle of North Carolina, 27; Rankin, North Carolina Continentals, 38; Saunders, Colonial Records, 10:472; Weynette Parks Haun, comp., North Carolina Revolutionary Army Accounts, Secretary of State, Treasurer’s & Comptroller’s Papers, Journal “A” (Public Accounts), 1775–1776 (Durham: the compiler, 1988), 58 (hereafter cited as Haun, Army Accounts, Journal A). The author used Ms. Haun’s work to identify the members of Captain Jacocks’s company.

Minutemen were members of teams of select individuals from the colonial militiaduring the American Revolutionary War. They provided a more mobile and rapidly deployable force than did general militia units, and they enabled the colonies to respond immediately to war threats—hence the name. Generally younger and more adaptable than the overall militia, minutemen served essentially to provide early response to enemy incursions and other crises. Although the terms militia and minutemen are sometimes used interchangeably today, in the eighteenth century there was a decided difference between the two. Militias were men in arms most often formed to protect their towns from invasion and ravages of war. Minutemen comprised smaller, more elite forces, which were required to be able to assemble quickly and be readily mobile.

36. Haun, Army Accounts, Journal A, 58–61; Powell, North Carolina, 63; Crow, A Chronicle of North Carolina, 27; Rankin, North Carolina Continentals, 48–49.

37. Walter Clark, ed., The State Records of North Carolina, 16 vols. (11–26) (Raleigh: State of North Carolina, 1895–1906), 16:1098 (hereafter cited as Clark, State Records); Marybelle Delamar, “Transcriptions of Petitions to the General Assembly of North Carolina Relating to Revolutionary War Military Service, 1788–1833,” 694, State Archives (hereafter cited as Delamar Transcripts); roll of Col. Thomas Clark’s company, First North Carolina Battalion [Regiment], September 8, 1778, Revolutionary War Rolls, M246 (microfilm), roll 79 [North Carolina], National Archives (hereafter cited as Revolutionary War Rolls); Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, M881 (microfilm), roll 781, National Archives; Gracy Kail [Cale], sister and heir of John Cale, power of attorney to William Harrell and Darling Cherry to seek a military land warrant based on John Cale’s Revolutionary War service, February 15, 1820, in Bertie County, Secretary of State Revolutionary War Military Papers, folder 365.1, State Archives (hereafter cited as State Military Papers). Rankin, North Carolina Continentals, 94–95, 97–98, 100–101, 110–111, 114–115, 117–118. Cale’s name is also variously shown in records as “John Kail.”

38. Rankin, North Carolina Continentals, 121–122, 136; General Orders, December 16, 1777, June 18, 1778, W. W. Abbott et al., eds., The Papers of George Washington, 20 vols. to date (Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1985–2010), 12:613–614, 15:429–431; Clark, State Records, 16:1039; Delamar Transcripts, 593; roll of Capt. Howell Tatum’s company, First North Carolina Battalion [Regiment], September 8, 1778, Revolutionary War Rolls; muster roll of Capt. Howell Tatum’s company, First North Carolina Regiment, for the period November 1779 through February 1780, dated March 27, 1780, Military Collection, Troop Returns, Box 5, State Archives (hereafter cited as Troop Returns). Volume 16, pages 1002 through 1197, of Clark’s State Records contains a roster of North Carolina Continental Line troops. Dundelow’s name is recorded in the roster as “Henry Dondalout.”

39. Clark, State Records, 16:1098; Delamar Transcripts, 694; roll of Col. Thomas Clark’s company, First North Carolina Battalion [Regiment], September 8, 1778, Revolutionary War Rolls; Gracy Kail [Cale], sister and heir of John Cale, power of attorney to William Harrell and Darling Cherry to seek a military land warrant based on John Cale’s Revolutionary War service, February 15, 1820, in Bertie County, State Military Papers, folder 365.1.

40. John Outlaw dated his will October 1, 1779, and the document was proved in Bertie County court in May 1780. He named his daughter, Winnefred Outlaw, in the will. By August 5, 1782, John Cale and Winnefred Outlaw had married, as they jointly signed a deed on that date as John Cale and Winnefred Cale. Further, John Outlaw’s estate was formally divided on May 10, 1783, among his children, namely Jacob Outlaw, James Outlaw, and Winnefred Kail. Bertie County Office of the Clerk of Court, John Outlaw’s will, B-155, October 1, 1779; Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deed N-51; John Outlaw’s estate record, Bertie County Estate Records.

Ralph Outlaw was a lineal ancestor of the author. The author descends from Outlaw through: Elizabeth Outlaw, Mary Miers (Myers), Nathaniel Jernigan, James Randolph Jernigan, Martha Frances Jernigan, and Joseph Duncan Thomas (the author’s father). Genealogical information from the files of the author and Stuart O. Thomas.

41. 41. John Outlaw’s estate record, Bertie County Estate Records. The most common explanation for the death of a woman within a relatively short period after marrying is that she died during childbirth. Although undocumented, such would explain the disappearance of Winnefred Outlaw Cale’s name from Bertie County records.

42. The author concluded that John Cale and Winnefred Outlaw Cale likely had no children who reached maturity since in 1820, John’s sisters (Grace and Sealah) and his “only” legal heirs, applied for, and received, a military land warrant from the state of North Carolina for John’s military service during the Revolutionary War. State Military Papers, folders 365.1, 365.2, 365.3, 365.4, 365.5.

However, two young Cale children—Bersheba and William—might possibly have been John and Winnefred’s progeny. Both were placed under the guardianship of John Outlaw, Winnefred Outlaw Cale’s brother. On November 11, 1782, and May 14, 1783, in Bertie County court, Bersheba Kail was bound to John Outlaw. William Kale was bound to Outlaw in May 1786 to learn the trade of a cooper. Bersheba Kail guardian bonds, Bertie County Guardian Bonds, State Archives; Weynette Parks Haun, Bertie County, North Carolina County Court Minutes 1781 thru 1787, Book V (Durham: the compiler, 1982), 25, 104 (hereafter cited as Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V). If Bersheba and William Cale were John Cale’s legitimate children, then they were apparently deceased by 1811, since John Cale’s sisters, Grace and Rachel – legal heirs of John – applied for a military land warrant based on John’s Revolutionary War military service.

43. Clark, State Records, 23:173–175.

44. The act also required that it be publicly read at least twice a year in churches and chapels, on the first or second Sunday in April, and on the first or second Sunday in September.

45. Hugh Dundelow’s name is shown in the roster of North Carolina Continental Line troops as “Hugh Donally” and “Hugh O’Donally.” Clark, State Records, 16:1048, 1131; John Butler, declaration dated May 17, 1820, in Bertie County, State Military Papers, folder 89.5; Bertie County grand jury indictment of Ann Undelow and John Kale, February 1783; Arrest warrant for Ann Undelow and John Kale, February 7, 1783, Bertie County Criminal Papers, folder 1781–1784; Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V:32.

The North Carolina General Assembly appointed Thomas Ward as a justice of the peace in December 1776 under the auspices of the new state government. Ward served as a justice until he resigned in November 1786. See Clark, State Records, 18:18, 24, 254, 23:992. Thomas Ward was an associate of John Outlaw, Winnefred Outlaw Cale’s father. In his will, Outlaw designated Ward to be an executor of his estate. Further, Ward was an associate of Joshua Freeman, John’s Cale’s former guardian, having sold a 206-acre tract of land to Freeman on June 21, 1771. Bertie County Office of the Clerk of Court, John Outlaw’s will, B-155, October 1, 1779; Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deed L-259.

46. Arrest warrant for Ann Undelow and John Kale, February 7, 1783, Bertie County Criminal Papers, folder 1781–1784; entries for the May 1783 session of court, Bertie County State Docket.

47. Pell Mell Pocosin in the 1700s was a vast forest, mostly comprised of pine trees. Here and there in the pocosin were small clearings, according to old deeds. The pocosin covered most of north-central Bertie County and was bounded by Wills Quarter Swamp (present-day Hoggard Mill Creek) on the east, Loosing Swamp on the west, Cashie River and its tributaries on the south, and Stoney Creek and Hertford County (formed 1759) on the north. Pell Mell Pocosin was also called Piney Woods and Big Woods (the latter a name to which it is still referred by local residents today).

48. Entries for the May 1783, August 1783, November 1783, February 1784, and May 1784 sessions of court, Bertie County State Docket.

49. The enumeration of Charney Cale and his family in the 1850 federal census—conducted on August 31, 1850—discloses that Charney was sixty-seven years old. Therefore, according to the information, he would have been born sometime in 1782 or 1783. A little over three months later, on November 21, 1850, Charney stated in a military pension affidavit that he was sixty-eight years old, suggesting that he had recently had a birthday and further indicating that he would have been born between August and November 1782. However, in a subsequent military pension affidavit dated March 17, 1852, Charney stated that was seventy years old, indicating that he could have been born between about late 1781 and sometime in 1782. Finally, in a pension affidavit dated May 18, 1855, he stated he was seventy-two years old—reflecting an estimate date of birth of 1782 or 1783. Given all of these dates and reported ages, the author concluded that Charney C. Dundelow (subsequently known Charney Cale) was born in the latter half of calendar year 1782 or the first half of calendar year 1783. Sandra Lee Almasy, comp., Bertie County, North Carolina, 1850 Census, Free Population & Slave Schedules (Joliet, Il: Kensington Glenn Publishing, 1991), 45; Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, Bertie County, Population Schedule, Charney Cale’s household (enumerated as dwelling 205, family 205); Charney Cale, affidavits dated November 21, 1850, March 17, 1852, May 18, 1855, pension file for Charney C. Dundalow/Charney Cale, Federal Pension Case Files, Record Group 15, National Archives, Washington, D.C. (hereafter cited as federal pension files).

50. Entries for the August 1784 session of court, Bertie County State Docket.

51. Arrest warrant for John Kale, May 9, 1785, Bertie County Criminal Papers, folder 1785–1787; Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V:78; entries for the May 1785 session of court, Bertie County State Docket.

52. Sworn statement (joint) of Timothy Walton, John Brittian [Brittain], and Right Wiggans [Wright Wiggins], October 15, 1785, Bertie County Criminal Papers, folder 1785–1787.

Timothy Walton, a prominent and influential citizen of Bertie County, would later represent the county in the North Carolina Senate (1796) and the House of Commons (1813). He was further elected to serve in the senate in 1815, but he resigned on December 9 and a new election was ordered. See John L. Cheney Jr., ed., North Carolina Government, 1585–1979: A Narrative and Statistical History (Raleigh: North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, 1981), 234, 264, 348, 1061–1062.

53. Arrest warrant for Godwin Jonakin [Jernigan] Odom [Hodom], November 16, 1785, Bertie County Criminal Papers, folder 1785–1787. The warrant states that “Whereas Information hath been made to me by oath by Grace Cail that one Godwin Jonakin Odom acknowledged that he had assisted John Kel [Cale] to break the Goal [jail] of this County and make his escape.”

Godwin Jernigan, also known as Godwin Jernigan Hodom (Odom), was the son of George Jernigan Sr. and Fereby Odom. Apparently, Godwin was born out of wedlock and used both Jernigan and Hodom as his surname at various times. His three brothers (Samuel, Lewis, and George) and sister (Priscilla) also used the names Jernigan and Hodom. Godwin Jernigan (alias Hodom) was a lineal ancestor of the author. The author descends from him through: Nathaniel Jernigan, James Randolph Jernigan, Martha Frances Jernigan, and Joseph Duncan Thomas (the author’s father). Genealogical information from the files of the author and Stuart O. Thomas.

James Warren, constable for the town of Windsor (and likely the county jailer), was authorized by the county justices on November 16, 1785, to be paid £2.12.0 by the county trustee “for ironing John Kail.” See Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V:91.

54. Grace Cale bastardy bond, August 10, 1783, Bertie County Bastardy Bonds, State Archives, (hereafter cited as Bertie County Bastardy Bonds).

A bastard was defined as a child born out of wedlock or of adultery. In other words, a bastard was any child that was born from the result of a sexual encounter between a man and a woman who were not married and had committed the act of fornication. However, a bastard may also have been born to a couple that involved a married man or woman and an unmarried man or woman. In such cases, people had committed adultery. In the eyes of the law, any child conceived by a couple that was not legally married was a bastard child. In English and colonial America, bastard children legally had no standing in society. North Carolina law stipulated that county justices, upon becoming aware that a single woman was pregnant, could have the woman brought into court and demand that she divulge the identity of the unborn child’s father. If the woman refused to provide the identity of the father, then she was subject to being fined and required to give sufficient security (i.e., “bastardy bond”) to keep the child from being “chargeable” to the county. A woman who refused to identify her bastard child’s father and/or refused to provide the required security was subject to being jailed. Clark, State Records, 23:174–175.

55. Summons for John Thomas, Selah Kail, Phereby Hedgpeth, and Priscilla Jernigan Hodom, August 8, 1785, Bertie County Criminal Papers, folder 1785–1787.

56. Entries for November 1785, February 1786, May 1786, August 1786, November 1786, and May 1787 sessions of court, Bertie County Trial, Appearance and Reference Docket, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1778–1788, State Archives (hereafter cited as Bertie County Trial and Appearance Docket).

57. Entries for August 1787 term of court, Bertie County Execution Docket, December 1767–May 1790, State Archives.

Godwin’s brother George Jernigan (also known as George Jernigan Hodom) was a constable in the district in which Godwin, Grace Cale, John Cale, and Ann Dundelow resided. He had served as a constable since May 1780. In August 1783 he was ordered to appear in court for malpractice as a constable, but his appointment as a law officer was not revoked. George provided security for Godwin in the subject legal matter. Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, IV:116; Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V:18, 45, 80, 93; entries for November 1785 term of court, Bertie County Trial and Appearance Docket.

58. Arrest warrant for John Kail, November 2?, 1785, Bertie County Criminal Papers, folder 1785–1787; Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V: 96. The date of the warrant is partially obliterated due to a worn spot in the paper. The warrant was issued between November 20 and November 29.

59. Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V:105, 127, 137.

60. Entries for the February 1786, May 1786, August 1786, November 1786, February 1787, May 1787, and August 1787 sessions of court, Bertie County State Docket.

61. Clark, State Records, 24:43, 97.

62. Bertie County Court Minutes, V:145. The section of Bertie County known as Buck Swamp is situated roughly northwest of Windsor, between the town and present-day Lewiston.

63. Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V: 95.

64. Entries for the November 1787 session of court, Bertie County State Docket.

65. Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V:87, 89, 90, 93 94, 96, 98, 101, 103, 104, 106, 107, 109, 114, 117, 118, 120, 122, 123, 126, 128, 129, 131, 134, 136, 138–142, 144, 145, 147.

66. Frances Curry bastardy bond, August 16, 1805, Bertie County Bastardy Bonds.

67. Delamar Transcripts, 694; North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 5, 1979, 5:26.

68. State Military Papers, folders 365.1, 365.2, 365.3, 365.4, 365.5.

69. North Carolina Atlas & Gazetteer (Freeport, Maine: DeLorme Mapping, 1993), 24, 46.

70. In September and October 2012, the author met with several persons who resided near Todd’s Crossroads in Bertie County, a community situated close to Cucklemaker Creek, to discuss “John Cale.” The author advised the persons that he had ascertained that “Cucklemaker” was not an Indian name but was originally an English name, “Cuckolds Maker.” Each person was “surprised,” given the phonetic sounding of the name, that it was not of Indian origin.

71. Margaret M. Hofman, Province of North Carolina, 1663–1729, Abstracts of Land Patents (Weldon: Roanoke News Company, 1979), 146; Margaret M. Hofman, The Granville District of North Carolina, 1748–1763, Abstracts of Land Grants, 5 vols. (Weldon: Roanoke News Company, 1986), 1:15, 16.

72. Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes,IV:19; George Keen to Peter Clifton, promissory note, June 6, 1774, Bertie County Promissory Notes, folder 1771–1775, State Archives; Bertie County 1774 Tax Lists, General Assembly Papers (G.A. 11.1), State Archives; Laura Willis, Bertie County, North Carolina Tax Lists for 1775, 1778, 1779 (publication facts missing), 3, 11.

73. Bertie County Trial and Appearance Docket, entries for February 1775, May 1775, August 1775, and August 1778 court sessions.

74. Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, IV:63; Bertie County Miscellaneous Records, Revolutionary War folder, State Archives; Stephen E. Bradley Jr., The Deeds of Bertie County, North Carolina 1772–1785 (Keysville, Va.: the compiler, 1992), 51.

75. Clark, State Records, 16:1039; Delamar Transcripts, 593; roll of Capt. Howell Tatum’s company, First North Carolina Battalion [Regiment], September 8, 1778, Revolutionary War Rolls; muster roll of Capt. Howell Tatum’s company, First North Carolina Regiment, for the period November 1779 through February 1780, dated March 27, 1780, Troop Returns, Box 5.

76. Clark, State Records, 16:1098; Delamar Transcripts, 694; Roll of Col. Thomas Clark’s company, First North Carolina Battalion [Regiment], September 8, 1778, Revolutionary War Rolls. Gracy Kail [Cale], sister and heir of John Cale, power of attorney to William Harrell and Darling Cherry to seek a military land warrant based on John Cale’s Revolutionary War service, February 15, 1820, in Bertie County, State Military Papers, folder 365.1.

77. Entries for February 1781, August 1781, November 1782, and February 1783 terms of court, Bertie County Trial and Appearance Docket.

78. Clark, State Records, 16:1048, 1131.

79. Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deed M-533. The deed, as recorded, indicates that Hugh Dundelow purchased the land on April 25, 1782—three months after he died as a soldier in the North Carolina Continental Line. The deed also indicates that the transaction was proved in county court in February 1782 and ordered to be recorded. Further, Bertie County court minutes reveal that a land transaction between Joseph Collins and Hugh Dundelow was proved during that session. Therefore, the author concluded that the April 25, 1782, date is erroneous and should be April 25, 1781—the date on which Hugh Dundelow actually acquired the land. See Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V:16.

80. Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V:42; David B. Gammon, Records of Estates, Bertie County, North Carolina, 1734–1788 (Raleigh: David B. Gammon, 1993), 2:27.

81. David B. Gammon, Records of Estates, Bertie County, North Carolina, 1784–1744, 1762–1790 (Raleigh: David B. Gammons, 1993), 1:923; estate record (inventory) for Hugh Dundelow, Bertie County Estate Records; Haun, Bertie County Court Minutes, V:48, 68, 85, 98; entries for November 1784 court session, Bertie County Trial and Appearance Docket.

82. 1790 North Carolina Census: First Census of the United States, North Carolina Volume, 66 (Halifax County). This volume is available at the National Archives, Washington, D.C. Compiled service record for Henry Dundelow, Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served from 1784–1811, M905 (microfilm), Roll 1, National Archives; Patrick Riley to Cale descendant 4, June 25, 2002 (e-mail), and copy forwarded from Cale descendant to author, June 25, 2002.

83. Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deed W-530; bastardy bond for Silvey Cail, December 21, 1811, Bertie County Bastardy Bonds. The cited bastardy bond indicates that Aquily [Aquilla] Freeman was the father of the child with whom Silvey was at the time pregnant. Therefore, most surely Aquilla Freeman was the father of Silvey Cale’s bastard son Freeman Cale.

84. Handwritten entry by Charney Cale in The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (New York: D. Fanshaw for the American Bible Society, 1830), page facing title page, photocopy, provided to author by Cale descendant 2.

85. Charney C. Dundelow/Charney Cale, at his death in July 1860, owned 1,959 acres in two tracts. One tract, referred to in his land division (dated October 13, 1860) as the “Piney Woods Tract” and situated along and about Cucklemaker Creek, contained 1,036 acres. The second tract, referred to as the “Goggan Tract,” contained 922.5 acres. The number of acres noted in Charney’s recorded deeds for his acquisitions and dispositions significantly do not add up to the total number of acres he owned at his death. Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deeds W-415, W-294, Y-160, BB-246, BB-247, CC-70, CC-104, CC-105, DD-5, HH-33, MM-72, MM-200 (land division). Regarding North Carolina law for recording land transactions in counties’ public records, see Clark, State Records, 23:185.

86. Bertie County marriage bonds, Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds; bastardy bonds for Frances Curry, January 15, 1805, February 28, 1805, August 16, 1805, Bertie County Bastardy Bonds; Gerald W. Thomas, Destitute Patriots: Bertie County in the War of 1812 (Raleigh: Office of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 2012), 174, 189; Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deeds W-415, Y-160; Bertie County 1814 Tax List, State Archives; Patrick H. Winston to Dear Sir [federal pension office official], February 11, 1857, pension file for Charney C. Dundelow/Charney Cale, Federal pension files.

87. First Census of the United States, 1790, Bertie County, Population Schedule, Zediciah Callis’s household, National Archives; Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790, North Carolina (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1908; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1998), 12.

88. Clark, State Records, 23:160, 25:433–449; Saunders, Colonial Records, 2:214.

89. Chowan County Office of the Register of Deeds, deeds E-226, P1-21.

90. While conducting genealogical research, I learned of another “tale” pervasively conveyed in the Cale family, that, like the “John Cale Indian legend,” is lightly grounded in actual events and persons who resided in Bertie County during a war—the Civil War. The story is of the “Castellow Haint,” an entertaining, passed-down tale that centers on the Civil War service of David Castellow, a native of Bertie County who enlisted in the Union army, his mother with a “mean streak,” and two sisters—one preferred by the mother. (“Haint” is a term used by Bertie County residents, loosely interpreted as “haunted person” or “ghost.”) The central characters of the tale lived in Bertie County. Like the “Indian legend,” a few basic elements are grounded in fact, but most of the tale—concerning ghosts, apparitions, haunted houses, and significant amounts of buried money—are clearly the product of storytelling for entertainment. There is definite parallelism between the “John Cale Indian legend” and the “Castellow Haint”—tales conveyed through generations of the Cale family.

The story of “The Castellow Haint,” as told by a member of the Cale family, was secretly recorded in Chowan County during the 1950s with a hidden cassette recorder. A member of the family provided a duplicate copy of the recording to the author in 1980. The author transcribed the recorded story and disseminated copies of the transcription to various members of the Cale family and to Bertie County historian Harry Lewis Thompson. Mr. Thompson included the tale in his book Bertie Folklore: Tales from Bertie County, North Carolina (Plymouth, N.C.: Beacon Printing and Imaging, 1999), 29–41. The book contains various stories that have been passed down through generations of persons in Bertie County.

Legends and family tales are obviously not constrained to Bertie County’s history and lore. Donna E. Kelly, administrator, Historical Publications Section, North Carolina Division of Archives and History, notes: “North Carolina is a place where history has been enriched by legends and folklore. Tales of mystery and the supernatural, stories about the famous and the infamous . . . have become intertwined with historical facts—all add spice to the flavor of the Tar Heel State’s development. Questions often arise about the origin of these . . . tales.” See Richard Walser, North Carolina Legends (Raleigh: Office of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1980, 2007), vii.

91. Saunders, Colonial Records, 1:879, 899–900, 2:iv; Indictment of James Strawberry, 2nd Tuesday in October [1757], Indians—1697–1769, Treaties, Petitions, Agreements and Court Cases, Colonial Court Papers, Group 7, CCR.192, State Archives; Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deeds M-314, M-315, M-316; Chowan County Office of the Register of Deeds, deeds E-82, O1-161, P1-21.

92. Cale descendant 5 to Cale descendent 3, September 15, 1986, photocopy provided to the author. The author was never provided a copy of the Mormon researcher’s results. In November 2012 the author called the Family Research Center, Church of the Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, to ascertain if the “Mormon researcher” might have filed a copy of his research results with the church. A research assistant at the enter checked available indexes and concluded that no report of research on a “John Cale, Indian” of Bertie County had been filed. The assistant further advised the author that researchers for the church are not required to submit copies of their results to the church. If the party(s) for whom the research is conducted desires to provide a copy to the church, then they may. Assistant, Family Research Center (Mormon), telephone conversation with author, November 7, 2012.

93. Elizabeth V. Moore to author, February 15, 1988.

94. Ann Dundelow continued to reside in Bertie County and apparently remarried, to an individual named Hale (Hail). On May 17, 1820, she appeared in Bertie County court as “Anne Hail” and submitted a sworn statement that she “lawfully married” Hugh Dundelow and that John Dundelow was her son and the “only heir” of “said Hugh.” Ann submitted the statement in order for her and John to obtain a military land warrant from the state of North Carolina based on Hugh’s military service during the Revolutionary War. The state of North Carolina issued a 640-acre military land warrant to the “heirs of Hugh Donally [Dundelow] on May 30, 1820. Anne Hail, sworn statement dated May 17, 1820, Committee on Military Land Warrants to Sec. of State William Hill, May 30, 1820, regarding issuance of military land warrants, Revolutionary War Military Papers, folders 89.6, 89.12, State Archives. The author discovered no records to document the date on which Ann died.

John Dundelow likewise resided in Bertie County, where he married Rhody Cowand in 1803. John and Rhody raised a family of five children (Elmore, Mary, John, Lucinda, and Winnefred) and are the ancestors of the “Dunlow” families of Bertie County. John died prior to November 27, 1840, when his daughter, Lucinda, sold her interest in the lands that had belonged to her father, who had “died.” Bertie County Office of the Register of Deeds, deed HH-47; genealogical information from the files of the author and Stuart O. Thomas.

95. In September 2012 the author gave a “dinner talk” to a group of Bertie County natives on the contents of his books on Bertie County in the Civil War, the War of 1812, and the Revolutionary War. An estimated forty or so persons attended the dinner. Near the conclusion of the author’s remarks, he switched topics to genealogy and asked the attendees for a “show of hands” by those who had heard of the “John Cale Indian legend.” Only a couple of persons acknowledged that they had ever heard of the legend, and those persons resided in the general area of Cucklemaker Creek. The author, having been so involved in researching and documenting the life of John Cale, mistakenly was of the opinion that “everyone” in Bertie County had to have heard about “the Indian.” He now realizes that the “John Cale story” is of interest to most individuals only if John Cale was their lineal ancestor; the “story” is of definite interest to the author!

96. Genealogical information on the several John Cales and Charney Cales was obtained from the research files of the author and Stuart O. Thomas.