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Biographical Description

Nathan Mayo (1742-1811) was a resident of Martin, Pitt, and later Edgecombe Counties. He and his brother James were near neighbors of John Lewellen, and it's possible that the Gourd Patch Conspiracy first stemmed from a disagreement between Lewellen and the Mayo brothers. Related through their mother to the locally-prominent Johnston family, Nathan and his brother were ardent supporters of independence, and Nathan even served as a officer in the Martin County Regiment of the North Carolina Militia. Nathan Mayo was among the list of people that the Gourd Patch Conspirators wanted to kill, and as a justice of the peace for Martin County, Mayo subsequently collected depositions from several of the former conspirators. In August of that year Mayo murdered his neighbor Thomas Clark in a drunken dispute after Clark voiced loyalist sentiments. Mayo was later acquitted for the crime. When John Lewellen was later found guilty of treason in September and sentenced to hang, Mayo personally took Lewellen's wife Mary to Governor Caswell to ask for a pardon on her husband's behalf. As further evidence of the Lewellen-Mayo feud being forgiven, Lewellen later named Mayo at one of the executors to his will. Further, Lewellen's daughter Susannah married Nathan's son Frederick, and the pair named their son John Lewellen Mayo. When Frederick died, the widowed Susannah remarried, this time to her brother-in-law Nathan Mayo Jr.