Beaufort Town Charter

In 1875 the NC legislature revoked the town charter and the county commissioners were ordered to establish a "Board of Trustees" to administer the municipality. 

The following 11 citizens had asked for the revocation of Beaufort's charter in the post-Civil War period, in order to escape the indebtedness of the pre-Civil War Caldwell Bonds: W.F. Howland, J. Henry Davis, William Geffroy, C.S. Bell, William J. Potter, Ralph Howland, John D. Davis, W.S. Robinson, Thomas, S. Forlaw, G.A. Hatsel and Henry C. Waters.

John and James Rumley led another group of citizens who opposed this, believing that the town should live up to its obligations. On March 1, 1875, John Rumley communicated with Sen. Bell that the news of the revocation had "caused much uneasiness and dissatisfaction among the property-holding citizens of this town."  On March 2, 1875, Appleton Oaksmith, who had been elected to the NC House of Representatives, received a letter from James Rumley stating the argument against revocation. Mr. Rumley notes the long history of incorporation of Beaufort, stating that the revocation cannot give permanent relief from the debt and asks Oaksmith, "... does it not appear to you that the Act revoking the charter, for the purpose of obtaining relief from the debt heretofore contracted by the corporation, will be unconstitutional?"

The charter was restored in 1877. Interesting to note that some of the men who opposed the Rumleys later participated in recognizing James Rumley's life (eulogy).

Posted on on Wallace2FamilyTree. Morehead City-Beaufort, NC News dated May 1993.

Appleton Oaksmith