The Gourd Patch Conspiracy
The Gourd Patch Affair, or the Lewellen Conspiracy, was a failed uprising against North Carolina's Patriot government in the summer of 1777. A group of Martin, Tyrrell, Pitt, and Bertie County farmers met in a pumpkin patch and crafted a secret plot. Their aim? Assassinate North Carolina's governor, overthrow the state government, and protect the Protestant religion.
In the end their plot was discovered and the ring's leader, John Lewellen, was the first man ever granted clemency by the State of North Carolina.
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The Gourd Patch Conspiracy began as a religious organization dedicated to the ideals of preserving Protestantism, something Albemarle farmers thought their new patriot leaders were trying to attack.
As membership grew, Lewellen and others formed a more radical plan. They planned to seize ammunition and assassinate the governor in Halifax, but it was not long before their secret got out.
After the conspiracy's leading members were arrested, they were tried in the Edenton District Court of Oyer and Terminer. State officials had to decide: what was the cost of treason?