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Jenoure, Joseph (or James)

by William S. Price, Jr., 1988

d. October 1732

Joseph (or James) Jenoure, colonial official, first occurs in the records of North Carolina in the 1720s. A resident of Edenton, he appeared before Governor Richard Everard and the Council on 28 May 1728 to deny a charge that he had spoken scandalously of one of Everard's daughters. By July, Jenoure had gotten into deeper trouble with the governor. At the General Court that month he and eleven other men were charged with rioting at Everard's house. The mob had been armed with swords and clubs, and at least two men were injured, one of whom was the governor's servant. The case was continued through several sessions until the charges were dismissed on Everard's order in April 1729. The exact causes of the conflict between Jenoure and the governor are unknown, but they probably involved the notorious blank patent controversy under Everard.

It may have been Jenoure's animosity to Everard that persuaded George Burrington to nominate him to North Carolina's first royal Council in August 1730. At the same time he was named surveyor general, one of the most remunerative offices of the colony, but it is unlikely that such a perquisite was Burrington's to bestow. Clearly, Jenoure had powerful friends in England.

Jenoure's animosity to Everard's allies continued, for, with John Lovick and Edmund Gale, he disrupted Edmund Porter's vice-admiralty court in January 1731. Such actions endeared him to the volatile Burrington, and he was sworn as a councillor on the new governor's first day in office, 25 Feb. 1731. He was a frequent attendant at Council sessions and a firm supporter of Burrington. Jenoure nominated his friend John Lovick to a vacancy on the Council in the summer of 1731, and Lovick eventually became the governor's most trusted ally. Jenoure also supported Burrington's move to oust Edmund Porter from the upper house in January 1732.

When he died, Jenoure named a wife, Anne, and a son in his will. Shortly after his death, his house burned and most of his papers as surveyor general were destroyed. The confusion surrounding Jenoure's first name stems from the fact that he is referred to as Joseph by all records originating in North Carolina and as James by all those originating in England.


J. Bryan Grimes, North Carolina Wills and Inventories (1912).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vols. 2, 3 (1886).

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