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State Dance: Clogging and Shagging

While several states have an official dance, North Carolina is among the few with two official state dances. In 2005, the General Assembly passed a bill making clogging the official folk dance of North Carolina and shagging as the official popular dance of North Carolina. Both dances were chosen for the entertainment value that they bring to “participants and spectators in the State.”

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Address to the Freemen of North Carolina (Publicola)

During the ratification debates, many Federalists and Antifederalists assumed pseudonyms when writing essays supporting or opposing the U.S. Constitution’s adoption.  Under the penname Publicola (meaning friend of the people), Archibald Maclaine of Wilmington, a Federalist, printed a reply to George Mason’s objections to the Constitution.  It appeared in installments in the New Bern State Gazette on March 20 and March 27, 1789.

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Edenton, A Speech at

On November 8, 1787 in Edenton at the Chowan County Courthouse, Hugh Williamson called for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.  In February 1788, his speech was published in the New York Daily Advertiser and later in other publications, including Pennsylvania Packet, Charleston Columbian Herald, and Philadelphia American Museum. 

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Esse Quam Videri

The Latin phrase Esse Quam Videri, “to be rather than to seem,” was chosen as the North Carolina state motto by jurist and historian, Walter Clark.

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Spencer Samuel

Born in Virginia in 1738, Samuel Spencer played important roles in several chapters of the history of North Carolina. He served as the de facto executive of North Carolina after the American Revolution broke out. Shortly thereafter, he was elected a superior court judge in North Carolina, remaining on the bench until his death. He is, however, best known as the leader of the antifederalist faction at the Hillsborough Convention of 1788.  

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The Justice and Policy of Taxing the American Colonies in Great Britain Considered

Nine years before James Iredell penned To The Inhabitants of Great Britain and challenged Sir William Blackstone’s parliamentary sovereignty argument, Judge Maurice Moore, an associate justice of the superior court of Salisbury and father of future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Alfred Moore, undermined Great Britain’s legal defense for increased economic regulation. 

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Principles of an American Whig

Noted for its similarities to the Declaration of Independence, “Principles of An American Whig” (1775) was written by North Carolinian and later United States Supreme Court Justice James Iredell.  The essay reveals that a budding American independence movement had been blossoming into political maturity.

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To The Inhabitants of Great Britain

In “To the Inhabitants of Great Britain” (1774), North Carolinian and future Supreme Court Justice James Iredell challenged William Blackstone’s legal interpretations and opposed what he described as Parliament’s attempt “to exercise a supreme authority” over the colonies.

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Act Concerning Marriages (1669)

Settlers wishing to marry soon experienced a problem: only ministers of the Church of England were entitled to perform the rite of marriage and few visited or settled in Carolina.  As a result, the Assembly of Albemarle in 1669 discussed the need to authorize civil officers to perform marriage ceremonies.