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North Carolina History Project Encyclopedia

NorthCarolinahistory.org features an edited, evolving, and comprehensive encyclopedia of the Tar Heel state. It has been produced for educational and research purposes. All entries are non-polemical, and new entries are frequently added.

Use the alphabetical banner and the general and categorical search engines to find entries. Extensive help and suggestions for using the encyclopedia, and other site features, are available at the Site Help page.

Featured Entry

Plank Roads Were An Economic Engine Before the Civil War

During the 1840s, North Carolinians embraced the use of plank roads to improve the state’s economy. These wooden highways — built mainly with private funds — were purported to be an improvement over rough, dirt roads and a necessary step to create an intrastate (and eventually an interstate) trade network of plank roads, railroad hubs, and seaports.

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