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Biographical Description

David Taylor (d. 1794) was a resident of Chowan County. A slave patroller, Taylor was responsible for policing the movements and behaviors of enslaved people in the area, ensuring that no enslaved people tried to self emancipate themselves or become violent. In 1777 Taylor became a part of the Gourd Patch Conspiracy's inner circle, joining a group of men who met at the Gourd Patch and planned to violently confront Nathan MayoJohn Lewellen then formed a plan involving Taylor, wherein he wanted Taylor to foment the local enslaved people into starting a rebellion and then call the local military out to put it down, thereby creating a distraction so that Lewellen could seize the powder magazine in Halifax and assassinate Governor Richard Caswell. The plan was canceled when Caswell did not visit Halifax, but the experience may have made Taylor regret his involvement, as shortly afterwards he and his relative Joseph Taylor were the first to testify about their knowledge of the plot to local officials, leading to the unraveling of the conspiracy and the arrest of its most prominent members. In 1778 he signed an oath swearing his allegiance to the State of North Carolina and promised to report any treasonous conspiracies that might threaten North Carolina's independence.

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