Josiah Martin, the last royal governor of North Carolina, was born in Ireland in 1737. Due to his family’s connection to the British crown, Martin replaced Governor Tryon in 1771 as royal governor of North Carolina. Martin assumed a difficult position because Patriot colonists in North Carolina had long resented overwhelming British taxation and the War of Regulation remained fresh in the colonist’s minds. In May 1775, Martin fled the Tryon Palace in New Bern, and he joined Lord Cornwallis in his efforts to regain control of the North Carolina colony.
North Carolina’s Executive Mansion is not only home to the Governor, it is the “people’s house.” The building is also a meeting space, historic site, and an elegant event location. In addition, thousands of visitors visit during public tour season and during the holiday open house.
European settlement near the Pamlico River in the 1690s led to the creation of Bath, North Carolina’s first town, in 1705. The town’s location seemed ideal with easy access to the river and the Atlantic Ocean 50 miles away at Ocracoke Inlet.
Adventurer John Lawson booked passage for the New World and sailed from Cowes, England on May 1, 1700. An acquaintance who had been to America assured Lawson "that Carolina was the best country I could go to," and the young traveler was eager to see Britain’s colony in the New World. After a harried ocean voyage lasting nearly three months, Lawson’s ship put in at New York Harbor. In late August, following a brief stay in New York, Lawson sailed for the bustling colonial port of Charleston. By December, the young adventurer had been given a daunting task. The Lords Proprietors — wealthy Englishmen appointed by the Crown to govern the settlement of Carolina — assigned John Lawson to conduct a reconnaissance survey of the interior of the province. The Carolina backcountry at that time was an unknown and forbidding place. There were no adequate maps, and little was known about the Native American inhabitants of the region — including their attitude toward English settlers.
The Tuscarora, one of the most prominent tribes of eastern North Carolina at the time of European settlement, were a well-developed tribe that spoke a derivative of the Iroquoian language. The tribe established communities on the Roanoke, Tar, and Neuse Rivers, growing crops such as corn, picked berries and nuts. They also hunted big game such as deer and bears. Despite the tribe’s size and numerous warriors, the Tuscarora War (1711-1713) led to the migration of the tribe to New York and the near vanishing of the tribe from North Carolina.
William Tryon, one of the most notorious royal governors of North Carolina, was born in England in 1729. Although he did not receive a formal education, Tryon’s family was well-esteemed, and his wife’s friendship with Lord Hillsborough led to his appointment as lieutenant governor of North Carolina in 1764. Tryon encountered heavy rebellion during the Regulator Movement and he was later relocated to serve as governor of the New York colony. He died on January 27, 1788, in England.
Willie Mangum, born in 1792 in Durham County, served as a North Carolina Senator for nearly 20 years. Mangum studied at the University of North Carolina in 1815, and was admitted to the state bar in 1817. In 1823, Mangum was elected to the national House of Representatives, and in 1830 he became a N.C. Senator. During President John Tyler’s tenure, Mangum served as the Senate president pro tempore.
Americans more often than not discuss the meaning of the Constitution through the lens of Supreme Court decisions and the famous Federalist essays of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. That is only part of the story, and in the case of the Supreme Court, a subjective and politically tainted chapter.
The site of the first Moravian settlement in North Carolina, Wachovia, or Wachau, was the 100,000 acre tract in present-day Forsyth County. The name Wachovia was derived from Der Wachau, the name of Count Zinzendorf’s estate where the early Moravians lived in Eastern Europe. Today, most may associate the land name with the former Wachovia Corporation.
Wake County was formed in 1771, and its county seat is Raleigh (also the capital city of North Carolina). Named after Governor Tryon’s wife, Margaret Wake Tryon, Wake County is home to the State Capitol building, the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, and several colleges and universities. Several important political leaders were born in Wake County, including the seventeenth president Andrew Johnson (1808-1875).