“When Fanning First to Orange Came”


"When Fanning first to Orange came He looked both pale and wan, An old patched coat upon his back An old mare he rode on. Both man and mare wa'nt worth five pounds... but by his civil robberies He's laced his coat with gold."


One of four "regulator" songs in Brown. The regulators were a group of protesters against high taxes and fees, found mostly in North Carolina though some also were active in South Carolina.

The Regulators formally organized in 1766, when William Tryon (1725-1788) was governor of North Carolina (1765-1771) ; he defeated them at Almance in 1771. That was Tryon's way; as governor of New York (1771-1778) he was equally harsh. His successors then turned to compromise.

Fanning, a Yale graduate of 1757, was a favorite of Tryon's; after moving to North Carolina, he went from being a local attorney to a Superior Court clerk and legislator. He also built a reputation for extreme avarice, making him a particular target for the regulators (and vice versa). A loyalist during the Revolution (commanded the King's American Regiment of Foot), he died in London. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1738?-1818 - Life of Edmund Fanning

Cross references


  1. BrownII 277, "When Fanning First to Orange Came" (1 text)
  2. BI, BrII277


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1826 (Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette)
Keywords: robbery gold political
Found in: US(SE)