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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Confiscation Acts

by John L. Bell, 2006

Confiscation Acts were passed by the North Carolina General Assembly from 1776 through the 1780s to confiscate the property of Loyalists. This was done to punish and control the Loyalists as well as to obtain income for the state. Most of the confiscated real estate was sold in 1786 and 1787 and netted the North Carolina about £600,000. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 had provided that Congress would recommend to state legislatures the restitution of confiscated property. It also stipulated that there would be no future confiscations. The states virtually ignored both provisions. The judicial case of Bayard v. Singleton arose over the issue of confiscation and established the principle of judicial review in North Carolina.


Carole Watterson Troxler, The Loyalist Experience in North Carolina (1976)

Additional Resources:

Henry E. McCulloh to James Iredell. London, Feb. 5th, 1783. Papers of James Iredell: Volume 2. Raleigh [N.C.]: Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources. 1976. p. 372-374.