James Mayo (d. 1780) was a resident of Martin County. He and his brother Nathan 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, James and his brother were ardent supporters of independence. Moreover, while it is clear that Nathan served as a lt. colonel in the Martin County Regiment of the North Carolina State Militia, James may have served a a captain in the regiment as well. At some point during the summer of 1777, members of the Gourd Patch Conspiracy feared that James Mayo had grown suspicious of John Lewellen, thinking him a loyalist, and had plans to arrest him. In response, Lewellen and his son William made plans to ambush James Mayo along the road and kill him. The conspirators did not accomplish their plan however, and were later arrested before either Mayo brother was harmed.
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