When Fanning First to Orange Came
DESCRIPTION: "When Fanning first to Orange came He looked both pale and wan, An old patched coat upon his back An old mare he rode on. Both man and mare wa'nt worth five pounds... but by his civil robberies He's laced his coat with gold."
EARLIEST DATE: 1826 (Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette); the version in Cohen supposedly comes from 1765
KEYWORDS: robbery gold political
1738?-1818 - Life of Edmund Fanning
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
BrownII 277, "When Fanning First to Orange Came" (1 text)
Cohen-AFS1, p. 231, "When Fanning First to Orange Came (1 short text)
cf. "From Hillsborough Town the First of May" (subject)
cf. "Said Frohock to Fanning" (subject)
cf. "Who Would Have Tho't Harmon" (subject)
NOTES [464 words]: One of four "regulator" songs in Brown. The regulators were a group of protesters against high taxes and fees, found mostly in North Carolina though some also were active in South Carolina.
J. Franklin Jameson, Dictionary of United States History 1492-1895, Puritan Press, 1894, p. 549, described the group this way:
Regulators, the name given to a body of insurgents in North Carolina just before the Revolution. Heavy taxes and fees aroused the resistance of the back-country people against Governor Tryon in 1766. The rebellion spread, but Tryon signally defeated the armed bands at Almances, on the Haw, in 1771. His successor, Martin, compromised with the "Regulators."
Frank McLynn, 1759,: The Year Britain Became Master of the World, 2004 (I use the 2005 Pimlico paperback edition), p. 389, lists the rise of the Regulators as one of several "direct or indirect responses to the definitive appearance of Britain as the first global superpower." I assume he is referring to the colonials' anger over the taxes needed to support superpowerdom.
The notes in Brown say that Regulators formally organized in 1766, when William Tryon (1725-1788) was governor of North Carolina (1765-1771) ; he defeated them at Almance in 1771. That was Tryon's way; as governor of New York (1771-1778) he was equally harsh. His successors then turned to compromise.
Brown states that Fanning, a Yale graduate of 1757, was a favorite of Tryon's; after moving to North Carolina, he went from being a local attorney to a Superior Court clerk and legislator. He also built a reputation for extreme avarice, making him a particular target for the regulators (and vice versa). A loyalist during the Revolution (commanded the King's American Regiment of Foot), he died in London.
Jameson, p. 229, gives this biography of Fanning: "Fanning, Edmund (1737-1818), at first a clerk of the North Carolina Supreme Court and a legislator. In 1777 he commanded a corps of loyalists, and fled to Nova Scotia at the close of the war, having been notorious for his barbarity as a leader of partisan warfare."
Jameson' biography of Tryon (p. 664) reads as follows: "Tryon, William (1725-1788), norn in Ireland, was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of North Carolina in 1764. He was Governor from 1765 to 1771. He suppressed the revolt of the 'Regulators' with great cruelty. He became Governor of New York in 1771, and continued in office until 1778. He was detested by the patriots for his inhumanity and the destruction of Danbury, Fairfield and Norwalk, Conn."
Makes it rather easier to understand why the Regulators were as upset as they were....
Cohen's notes say that this song was first recorded in 1765. But note Fanning's dates. He was hardly worth writing about in 1765. I think there is an error somewhere. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.7
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.