North Carolina’s Second Congressional District, widely known as the “Black Second” during the late 19th century, became the state’s first black-majority district in 1872. As reconfigured by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly, based on the 1870 census, the Second District encompassed many of the state’s black-majority counties in the northeastern region, and its Republican voters elected four African American congressmen to a total of seven terms between 1874 and 1898.
Commodore Thomas Council created one of the most popular headache powders in 1906 at his Durham pharmacy. In 1910, it was renamed “B.C. Powder."
A native North Carolinian, James G. Babb was born January 1, 1932. He graduated from Belmont Abbey College in 1959 with a degree in business and later achieved success in the communications industry.
Josiah Bailey was a leading figure in North Carolina’s progressive movement in the early twentieth century. In the 1930s and 1940s, he served as a Democratic U.S. Senator from North Carolina and co-authored the “conservative manifesto,” which defended fiscally conservative policy during the heyday of the New Deal.
John H. Baker served as North Carolina’s first African American sheriff. He served in this office for twenty-four year and proposed one of Wake County’s first charter schools.
A North Carolina native, Ella Baker played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement and in forming the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Shaw University.
A poet and writer of many short stories, including the ones using the “Flim Flam Yarn” title, Guy Owen was launched into fame with comical and popular The Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man. Two years later it was turned into a movie, starring George C. Scott.
The Bankhead Cotton Control Act was passed by the U.S. Congress on April 21, 1934. The act addressed an impediment to the Agricultural Adjustment Administration’s efforts to raise cotton prices. The Agricultural Adjustment Act, which created the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), explicitly made farmer participation in AAA programs voluntary. Most AAA programs compensated farmers for leaving land fallow, reducing supply and triggering a corollary price increase. Nevertheless, as some agricultural economists (such as Mordecai Ezekiel) had foreseen, non-AAA farmers could prevent price increases by flooding the market with cotton.
Graham Arthur Barden represented North Carolina’s Third Congressional District, which covered the Outer Banks and several coastal counties, from 1934 until 1960. His reaction to the New Deal was a typical North Carolinian one: initial support, giving way to deep suspicion.
The Barker House was built in 1782 in Edenton, North Carolina, for Thomas and Penelope Barker. Penelope Barker presided over the notorious Edenton Tea Party on October 25, 1774.
Historians claim the opening of Barringer Gold Mine was a watershed event. Formerly one of the most important gold mines in 1800s North Carolina, the Barringer Gold Mine is remembered now mostly for being the first gold mine in the Southern Piedmont to use lode mining (pure mining from mineral deposits).
Formerly known as Atlantic Christian College, Barton College in Wilson has an institutional and denominational history that dates from 1893.
Similar to the earlier, explorer-naturalist John Lawson, William Bartram traveled and detailed most his 1770s trek throughout the southern colonial wilderness and what would become known as North Carolina. His descriptive Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida was published in 1791. The account became an important account of the early American South. Born in 1739, Bartram died in Bladen County in 1823.
With Georgia and South Carolina under British control, Lord Cornwallis focused all attention on North Carolina. Two Tory commanders, Lt. Col. John Moore and Maj. Nicholas Welch, mounted an early attack on the Patriots in Lincoln County in June 1780. The Patriots, eventually learning the whereabouts of the Loyalists, launched a surprise attack at Ramsour’s Mill on June 20, 1780. At the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill, an outnumbered Patriot force routed the Loyalists.
Bayard v. Singleton is one of the most important early cases involving the exercise of judicial review by an American court. The controversial decision served as a precedent for the later and commonplace practice of judicial review.
Situated on the shores of the Pamlico Sound, historic Beaufort County is one of North Carolina’s oldest counties. It was once a major shipping destination, and presently thrives as a tourist market.
Born in 1862, as the son of a farmer, Belk overcame obstacles in life to later build a retail empire.
The surrender at Bennett’s Place was the conclusion to General William T. Sherman’s successful Carolinas Campaign. Sherman’s forces took control of Raleigh and Sherman met with Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston at a farm called Bennett’s Place just outside of Durham’s Station, North Carolina, to discuss the surrender of all the forces under Johnston’s command. The initial talks occurred on April 17 and 18, 1865 but Secretary of War Edwin Stanton rejected the agreement and attacked Sherman in the press. Sherman and Johnston met again on April 26, 1865 and agreed to a surrender that was acceptable to Sherman’s superiors.
After Confederate General William J. Hardee delayed Union general William Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign at the Battle at Averasboro, Union forces marched on to Goldsboro for supplies. Meanwhile, C.S.A. General Joseph E. Johnston maneuvered his men into what would be, writes historian Mark A. Bradley, “the Southern Confederacy’s final hurrah.”
Bertie County, established in 1722 from a section of the Chowan precinct, is located in the northeastern part of North Carolina. A county of rich soil and numerous waterways, Bertie was once inhabited by the Tuscarora. Nathaniel Batts was the first white European to traverse modern-day Bertie, and the Batts House remains a testament to his settlement.
In the mid-1700s, Europeans looking for arable land started settling in modern-day Gaston County. Many arrived with land grants from King George II (1683-1760) or migrated from other colonies, such as Pennsylvania and Maryland. The area’s natural resources attracted skilled laborers, such as miners, lumberjacks, and farmers.
Thomas W. Bickett, a native of Monroe and graduate of Wake Forest College, studied law at the University of North Carolina. After a brief tenure in the state House of Representatives, he served as North Carolina attorney general from 1909 to 1917. In 1916 he was elected governor. Inaugurated on January 11, 1917, Bickett’s gubernatorial administration included the beginning of a juvenile court system, the expansion of the state’s roads and improvements in education, and the prison system.
An influential member of the North Carolina GOP during the late 1800s, Bigelow served one term as a Republican member of the N. C. House of Representatives (1881). He was one of 18 African Americans to serve in the 1881 General Assembly. A co-founder of the Yanceyville Colored Graded School, Bigelow also served for two years as Yanceyville’s postmaster, appointed to that post under the Grant administration in 1873.
Born in Martin County in 1811, Asa Biggs grew up in the area to become a lawyer in the Williamson region. Biggs was admitted to the bar in 1831 and a high point of his career occurred when he helped codify North Carolina’s law in 1854. As both a judge and U.S. senator, Biggs remained a Democrat that supported state rights and slavery.
A Coastal Plain county and the third largest in North Carolina, Bladen County is rightfully named the “Mother County.” Of the state’s 100 counties, 55 of them were originally part of Bladen County.
Although the most successful American naval officer of the War of 1812 and commander of the feared Wasp, Blakely never enjoyed the fame that he had for so long desired. It was posthumous.
Antifederalist Timothy Bloodworth’s letters are scarce. Most of what we know is from what his contemporaries remarked and from his comments during the ratification debates. In this letter, Bloodworth expresses his concern regarding the Constitution, comments on politics in New York and Virginia, describes public opinion in North Carolina regarding the Constitution, and calls for a committee to explore amendments.
Antifederalist Timothy Bloodworth’s letters are scarce. Most of what we know is from what his contemporaries remarked and from his comments during the ratification debates. In this letter, Bloodworth expresses a deep concern to preserve liberty, discusses what he considers to be dangers inherent in the U.S. Constitution, and suggests political strategy.
Timothy Bloodworth was an influential Patriot, Anti-Federalist, and Democratic-Republican. Without the advantages of great wealth, a prominent family, or a prestigious education, Bloodworth typified a new generation of working-class politicians during and after the American Revolution, and his ambition, ability, and likable personality made him one of North Carolina’s most durable politicians.
Born at Blount Hall on May 10, 1759, Thomas Blount served during the Revolutionary War and he was captured and sent to England during the conflict. After the war, Blount became a trader in Edgecombe County. Blount served in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, and 12th U.S. Congresses as a North Carolina representative.
As businessman, Revolutionary War veteran, signer of the Constitution, territorial governor, and United States Senator, William Blount spent his lifetime looking for opportunities. No place in the late-eighteenth century United States offered better opportunities for a person with Blount’s disposition and connections than did the trans-Appalachian frontier. Ultimately Blount’s grasp exceeded his resources, leading Blount to devise a desperate plan that failed—and led to his expulsion from the United States Senate.
Stretching nearly 470 miles from the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina is a popular tourist attraction. In 1912, Colonel Joseph Pratt had an idea for a mountainous parkway; however, funding issues contributed to its intermittent construction. The Blue Ridge Parkway was completed in 1987 with the construction of the Linn Cover Viaduct.
Born on May 16, 1891, in Beaufort County, North Carolina, Herbert Bonner served for nearly 25 years in the U.S. Congress. As a representative of the state’s First District, Bonner sought to create jobs via federal programs for his constituents. Bonner also chaired the Committee on Election of President, Vice President, and Representatives and the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Bonner passed away after his fight with cancer on November 7, 1965.
A former planter turned brigand, Stede Bonnet was a second generation Barbadian who sailed throughout the Caribbean and the North Atlantic committing piracy. His leadership and management styles were atypical for a buccaneer. He was known as the “Gentleman Pirate.” More than once, he docked at a spot in the Cape Fear Inlet to careen periodically his Revenge. It was here that he was initially captured and then transferred to Charleston, South Carolina to be prosecuted.
Known mainly for inventing “Brad’s Drink,” later called Pepsi-Cola, Caleb Bradham’s business career reached its apogee a couple years before World War I. The effects of the government’s rationing of sugar during the Great War cost Bradham immensely. Although Pepsi-Cola declared bankruptcy in 1924, the New Bern resident had created a product that North Carolinians and Americans (and now the world) still enjoys.
Thomas Bragg served as the governor of North Carolina from 1855-1859. Bragg’s terms have been noted for the broadening of manhood suffrage and for internal improvements, most notably the North Carolina Railroad.
Braxton Bragg was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. He fought primarily in the western theatre. Prior to the Civil War, Bragg fought in Florida during the Second Seminole War (1835-42) and under Zachary Taylor’s command in the Mexican American War (1846-48).
Criticized for his inability to win battles during the Civil War (1861-1865), North Carolinian Braxton Bragg, writes historian William S. Hoffman, was the man of the hour during the Mexican War (1846-1848).
Like the Wachovia Corporation and several other American banks, Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T) started as a simple, private bank. As mergers and takeovers occurred throughout the years, BB&T made strides in the banking realm of North Carolina and eventually the American South. With over 1,800 branches and 30,000 employees in 12 states and Washington, D.C., the BB&T Corporation, stationed in Winston-Salem, N.C., ranks as the eleventh largest banking corporation in the United States as of March 31, 2011.
A Jacksonian turned Whig politician, John Branch served as three terms as Governor of North Carolina and championed internal improvements in the Tar Heel State. He later held federal posts, including Secretary of Navy, Congressman, and territorial governor of Florida. After the scandalous Eaton Affair, a disenchanted Branch left the Democratic Party to help create a new Whig Party in North Carolina.
James Gloster Brehon was an influential physician and scientist from Warrenton, North Carolina. Originally born in Ireland, he moved to the United States and participated in the Revolutionary War as a surgeon. One of Brehon’s great legacies was his role in the foundation of the Warrenton Academy in Warrenton, North Carolina.
Newscaster David McClure Brinkley helped pioneer the two-anchor format on NBC and revolutionize the format of the Sunday news interview programs with his ABC series, This Week With David Brinkley.
Curtis Hooks Brogden served the state of North Carolina for half a century as a state representative, state senator, state comptroller, U.S. Congressman, lieutenant governor, and finally as the 42nd governor.
The Brookings Plan was a collection of reforms proposed by the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank. Searching for economic solutions to the state’s financial problems, Governor O. Max Gardner commissioned the plan shortly after the onset of the Great Depression.
J. Melville Broughton was elected to the North Carolina governorship amidst rising anxiety over the war in Europe. Broughton, nonetheless, successfully introduced extensive legislation that improved public education, mapped out the state’s natural resources, and created the Good Health program. His greatest legacy is considered to be extending the school term from six to nine months. Broughton is the only governor to be a Wake County native.
Born in Caswell County, Bedford Brown grew up on his family farm and later attended the University of North Carolina. Brown served in the North Carolina House of Commons and Senate before his service in the U.S. Senate (1829 – 1840). After his resignation, Brown worked on his family farm at Rose Hill.
The end of slavery in 1865 appeared to offer African Americans in North Carolina new and challenging opportunities. Some became landowners, educators, politicians, and businessmen. Yet by 1900 "jubilation" had become "Jim Crow," and African Americans once again found themselves treated as second-class citizens. During this period, however, leaders emerged, who dedicated themselves to improving African Americans’ status and quality of life. One such person was Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown.
Named in honor of the Duke of Brunswick, King George I, the county of Brunswick is the southernmost county in North Carolina. The county was formed in 1764 from parts of New Hanover and Bladen Counties, and the region’s beaches and ocean communities attract many tourists to the area.
The buggymobile, a horse-less contraption that used a gasoline engine, was considered expensive and silly when it was first invented. It soon became, however, one of the most innovative and popular transportation devices.
The Durham Bulls, North Carolina’s premier minor league baseball team, played their first game in 1902 as the Durham Tobacconists. Durham attorney William Bramham helped organize the team and popularize minor league baseball in North Carolina. The Durham Bulls is named after the Bull Durham tobacco-advertising icon, and as of 2012, the Bulls are the Class-AAA affiliate team of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
During his long life (almost 103 years), Dr. Jefferson Davis Bulla practiced medicine for 77 years and refused to turn away patients who had not the means to pay for services.
Home to the city of Asheville and the Biltmore Estate, Buncombe County was founded in 1791, and it is named in honor of the Revolutionary Colonel Edward Buncombe. The county is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and its history and culture attractions are well-known.
Designated as a National Civil Engineering Landmark in 2001, the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge is the only remaining wooden example of the Improved Lattice Truss patented by Brigadier General Herman Haupt and one of only two original covered bridges remaining in North Carolina.
Originally from Siam but later residents of Surry County, Eng and Chang Bunker became the reference for the medical condition when twins are conjoined. Born in 1811, the two were joined together at the chest by a thin band of flesh and remained that way until their 1874 death.
Named in honor of Dr. Thomas Burke, the county of Burke was organized by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1777. The “Western State Capital,” Burke is a western, mountain county that has the highest number of government employees (500) outside of Raleigh. The region is also well known for its numerous state parks, and the South and Blue Ridge Mountains that pass through the county.
A native of Ireland, Thomas Burke served as the third governor of North Carolina under the 1776 constitution. He played an instrumental role in the committee that submitted the Halifax Resolves to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. A one-term governor, he was imprisoned by Loyalists, taken to Charleston, South Carolina, escaped and resumed the governorship, and then resigned in 1782.
Born in Ireland in 1747, Thomas Burke protested the Stamp Act, served in the North Carolina provincial congresses, at the Halifax Convention, and at the Continental Congress, and served as Governor of North Carolina. His perseverance at the Continental Congress was instrumental for the inclusion of Article II in the Articles of Confederation. If he had lived, Burke undoubtedly would have been an Antifederalist during the ratification debates and a formidable intellectual foe for James Iredell.
The so-called Burlington dynamite plot refers to the attempted bombing of two Burlington textile mills and the legal battle that followed. Six Burlington workers were arrested and accused of plotting to dynamite the mills. Their trial became a media circus that attracted the attention of communists, college students, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.
At an early age, Otway Burns had the sea in his veins. He later became a daring privateer during the War of 1812–one of the more famous American privateers in the nation’s history. As a state legislator during the 1820s and 1830s his opinions regarding the status of African Americans and the development of western North Carolina upset his constituents.
A three-term governor, Hutchins G. Burton is noted for encouraging a system of public education to ensure that young North Carolinians received at least a rudimentary education. He also served as the state’s attorney general (1810-1816) and as a U.S. House of Representative (1819-1825).
Most remembered as the architect of political Fusion in North Carolina during the 1890s and for gaining Populist support for the 1896 presidential candidacy of William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925), Marion Butler was born in Sampson County, North Carolina.
Matthew Calbraith Butler was a member of the southern gentry and a Confederate General from South Carolina during the American Civil War. He served under the command of General Wade Hampton and his valor and good judgment earned him numerous promotions. Butler served at the First Battle of Bull Run, the Confederate Peninsula Campaign, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Brandy Station, the Overland Campaign, Petersburg, and the Carolinas Campaign. During the Carolinas Campaign, Butler was a major general and one of the leading officers in the Confederate Cavalry. After the war, Butler became a United States Senator from South Carolina and eventually the vice president of the Southern Historical Association.