James ""The Regulator"" Few

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James ""The Regulator"" Few's Geni Profile

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James Few

Birthplace: Baltimore County, Maryland
Death: May 17, 1771 (24-25)
Alamance County, North Carolina (Hung without trial by British Royal Governor William Tryon)
Place of Burial: Note: The Plaque is placed at Few Chapel Cemetery in Dickson Co., TN, not where James is buried
Immediate Family:

Son of William Few, Sr. and Mary Few
Husband of Sarah (Wood) Munson/Few
Father of Sarah Garvin and Colonel William Few
Brother of Benjamin Few; William Few, Jr., Signer of the US Constitution; Ignatius Few; Elizabeth Bush and Hannah Howard

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About James ""The Regulator"" Few

James Few the Regulator was hung without trial by British Royal Governor William Tryon, after the battle of Alamance before the Revolutionary War. This act is thought by most historians to be the actual first casualty of what later became the Revolutionary War. After the hanging of James Few the Regulator, the remainder of the family moved from North Carolina close to the Quaker settlement at Wrightsboro, in Richmond County, Georgia.



James, son of William Few, Sr. and Mary Wheeler, Married Sarah Wood, parents unknown, 1770, Orange Co., NC. To this marriage twins were born: William and Sarah.

This is from Tryon's own record: Friday 17, May, Alamance Camp; Army Halted. This evening the dead were interred with Military Honors, and an "outlaw named FEW", taken at the battle , was hanged at the head of the Army. This gave great satisfaction to the men, and at this time it was necessary sacrifice to appease the murmuring of the Troops, who were importunate that public justice should be immediately executed against some of the outlaws that were taken in the action, and in opposing of whom they had braved so ;many dangers and suffered such loss of lives and blood, and without which satisfaction some refused to march forward while others declared they would give no quarter for the future. The Battlefield in on highway 62 off of I-85 at Burlington, North Carolina. James was hanged with out a trial. He left his wife Sarah and two Children 3 months old. James was captured at the Battlefied of "The Regularors War" 16 May 1771. After James was hanged the family moved to Georgia where they fought the British. James's brother William Few,Jr, signed the United States Constitution for the State of Georgia.

Sandra Jayne Savage Ruyle 6th Great Granddaughter of James Few.

Family links:

 Sarah Few Garvin (1771 - 1855)*
 William Few (1771 - 1856)*
  • Calculated relationship

Note: The Plaque is placed at Few Chapel Cemetery in Dickson Co., TN, not where James is buried

Burial: Unknown



James Few, Regulator, was born in Maryland, the son of William Few, Sr., and Mary Wheeler Few. He was the brother of William Few, Jr., who became a U.S. senator and judge. In 1758 the family moved to North Carolina and settled near Hillsborough. James Few married, probably in 1769, Mary Howard, and also settled near Hillsborough where he was a farmer and carpenter. The couple had twin children, William and Sally, born 9 Feb. 1771.

Few's role in the Regulator disturbances is not clear. In 1768 his father had signed a bond for two leading Regulators, William Butler and Herman Husband. On the other hand, James Few's brothers William and Benjamin seem not to have been seriously involved. James Few was indicted in the May term of court in 1771 in New Bern for participation in the Regulator riot of the previous September. Because he had never been arrested, he was technically an outlaw at the time of the Battle of Alamance on 16 May 1771. After the battle, in which Governor William Tryon's forces defeated the poorly organized Regulators, Few was hanged on or near the field of battle. Six other Regulators were hanged later after a military trial. The reason for Few's immediate hanging seems to be that he was the one "outlaw" taken during the battle, although several other theories have come down as local traditions. One of these is that Few was a religious fanatic, at least partially insane, who fought with such fury on the battle-field that the governor's troops demanded his life when he was captured. Another is that he was an enemy of Edmund Fanning, a government official in Hillsborough, who insisted that he be executed. Whatever the cause, Few's hanging seems to have been an unnecessary assumption of power on the governor's part, and even his apologists do not condone it.

Following the Battle of Alamance, William Few, Sr., moved his family to Georgia, taking with him the twin children of James and Mary Few. James's son William became prominent in Georgia and was the great-grandfather of William Preston Few, twentieth century president of Duke University.

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James ""The Regulator"" Few's Timeline

Baltimore County, Maryland
February 9, 1771
February 9, 1771
Orange County North Carolina, USA
May 17, 1771
Age 25
Alamance County, North Carolina
Note: The Plaque is placed at Few Chapel Cemetery in Dickson Co., TN, not where James is buried