AMOS GANDY

Amos Gandy, identified in the will of Edward 2 as his son, is the easiest of the Nash County Gandys to document. Not only was he a large landowner, he also held several high-level appointive posts.

Amos prospered during the economic boom times between the end of the Revolutionary War and the outbreak of the War of 1812. It was during this period that he acquired his land.(59) Nothing we found tells us what he cultivated, but he lived in an area then called the "tobacco belt." It is likely, therefore, that tobacco was at least one of his crops.

Amos Gandy and Redmond Bunn were the two Nash County representatives to the North Carolina House of Commons of the General Assembly in 1808, and Amos served another term in 1810.(60) Amos also served as Sheriff of Nash County in 1802, 1803-1808, and again in 1812. He was commissioned Justice of the Peace (JP) in 1805.(61)

It is understandable, considering the duties of the Justice of Peace in those days, that Amos was important enough to be listed with the honorific designation "Esquire" after his name. The JP was commissioned by the Governor, and was charged with: "keeping the peace and causing offenders against the peace of this state to be apprehended, examined, bailed, or committed according to the nature of the offence..," executing laws related to orphans and guardians, proving and recording deeds, probating wills, granting letters testamentary and of administra tion, granting commissions (for various activities, such as laying off roads, as ordered to be done by the county court), attaching estates, accepting returns of funds up to 5 pounds Proclamation money (amounts greater than 5 pounds were returned to the county court), appointing county court clerks, and nominating sheriffs (which were then commissioned by the Governor ).(62)

We found proof of one of Amos' sons, John 3, who was born between 1784 and 1790 (Amos' oldest child, from Halifax District, Nash Co., Census schedules, was under 16 in 1790 and between 16 and 26 in 1810).(63) Johns succeeded his father as Nash County Sheriff, and married Elizabeth (Betsy) Holland (daughter of Richard and sister of Thomas Holland).(64) Betsy and John moved to Greene County, Alabama, probably in late 1819. Betsy's brother, Thomas Holland, whose widow married Britain' Gandy: Daniel H. Gandy, Wylie H. Gandy, and Richard Gandy, children of Betsy Gandy, sold the last of the Gandy properties in Nash County (175 acres on the North Bank of Sapony Swamp) in November 1857 (65)

Census records indicate Amos may have had other sons, one born before 1794 (Foster?), another between 1794 and 1800, and one between 1800 and 1810. No evidence was found to identify these children or their mother.

Amos, along with countless other North Carolinians, was sorely affected by the deep depression in North Carolina that followed the War of 1812. The severity of the times was indicated by the emigration of thousands of people from the Carolinas. North Carolina lost one-third of her population between 1815 and 1845.(66)' Reports of witnesses talk about people crossing the southern border in droves, on foot or in wagons.

Numerous banks failed, including the Bank of Cape Fear and the Bank of New Bern in North Carolina. In the panic, banks called in their loans and Amos lost almost everything he owned. The Bank of New Bern, Raleigh Branch, called his $800 loan; and the State Bank of North Carolina, "Tarborough" Branch, demanded payment from Amos on two notes, one for $1,500 and the other for $500. Loans to individuals, including Samuel Westray, Peter Arrington, John Arrington, and others, were called. Amos had no choice but to permit a Sheriff's sale of 1,183 acres of his land, including his homestead and 15 slaves.(67) Other sheriff's sales followed, but we had insufficient information to put together a complete record. Another trip to North Carolina will give us the time to do so.

It is not clear from the records we saw when Amos left Nash County or where he went if he left, but John Gandy was living on land "formerly belonging to Amos Gandy" in January 1819.(68) An Amos Gandy also is found on the Nash County Census schedules for 1810 and 1820, but not 1830.