A History of Hinton's Quarter, North Carolina

Johnston County, North Carolina was formed in 1746 from Craven County. It was named in honor of Gabriel Johnston, the second Royal Governor of North Carolina, 1734-1752. It is in the eastern section of the state and is bounded by Wilson, Wayne, Sampson, Cumberland, Harnett, Wake, and Nash counties.

The first court was held at the home of Francis Stringer at the Ferry of Neuse River. Court was held at Hinton's Quarter on the south side of Neuse River, 1759-1760, and probably before that date. In August of 1771, it was held at John Smith's. From 1771 to 1776, the county seat was called simply Johnston Court House. In 1771, the town of Smithfield was established "where the court house, prison, and stocks now stand." Smithfield is currently the county seat of Johnston County.

A resolution adopted by the Johnstonians demanded a trial by jury for all persons accused of treason. Earlier, in 1768, when the Johnston County court house was at Hinton's Quarter, just east of what is now Clayton, three Johnston County residents accused of conspiracy to defy the colonial government were ordered to have their heads locked in the Johnston County pillory, their ears cut off, and their bare backs lashed 40 times.

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