Culpepper's Rebellion

     1677 - 20 November 1680

    The colony of the Carolinas was settled initially by families that migrated southward from the Virginia colony circa 1653. Charles II formally granted a charter of proprietorship for the lands that would become the two Carolinas, North and South, to a group of eight men: the Duke of Albemarle, John Lord Berkely, Sir William Berkeley, Sir George Carteret, the Earl of Clarendon, Sir John Colleton, Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper (the Earl of Shaftesbury), and the Earl of Craven.

    John Jenkins, governor of the Carolinas, was becoming more and more inneffectual in the opinion of some of the inhabitants of the proprietary colony. As a result, a 'proprietary' party was established by Thomas Miller, a customs official. Miller, supported by other inhabitants of the Albemarle province (i.e. the region that would later become the state of North Carolina), assumed the position of governor, and undertook to govern in the place of Jenkins.

    An 'antiproprietary' party was established on 03 December 1677 to counteract Miller's illegal takeover of the colony. One of its leaders was John Culpepper. The antiproprietary party captured Miller and imprisoned him. But Miller escaped and made his way to England to file a complaint to the royal proprietors. His case was laid before the Privy Council. Before that Council John Culpepper was brought to stand trial on the charge of treason.

    Through the course of Culpepper's trial, it was determined that Miller had indeed overstepped the bounds of his authority. John Culpepper was acquitted.