THE NARRATIVE OF COLONEL DAVID FANNING (A Tory in the Revolutionary War with Great Britain); Giving an Account of His Adventures in North Carolina from 1775 to 1783 As Written by Himself
Orig. pub. New York 1865. Reprinted 1973. Print on Demand Edition 2021. (ii), (XXVI), 86 pp. Item #184
David Fanning was the most notorious and successful of the Loyalist partisan leaders in the Southern colonies. Born in Amelia County, Virginia, he grew up in Johnston County, North Carolina. In 1764 he and his older sister were orphaned and bound to guardians. By 1773 he had journeyed to South Carolina and settled on Raeburn's Creek where he farmed and traded with the Indians. At the beginning of the Revolution, Fanning was an officer in a local militia unit in the South Carolina upcountry. In 1775, that region leaned in favor of the Loyalists and Fanning joined that effort. When hostilities began, the South Carolina Whigs with support from North Carolina defeated the Loyalists in the "Snow Campaign" of December 1775. Shortly after, Fanning was captured and this would be the first of fourteen times he was captured over the next three years. In 1779, he was granted a conditional pardon from South Carolina Governor John Rutledge. Following the British victory at Charleston in 1780, he again became active in the Loyalist cause. His Loyalist units dominated central North Carolina. North Carolina historian Samuel A. Ashe described him as "one of the boldest men, most fertile in expedients, and quick in execution, that ever lived in North Carolina." Ultimately, he married, and at the close of hostilities, he and his wife made their way to Florida and then to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.