The subject of Scottish folklore and myth, Flora MacDonald assisted Prince Charles Stuart in his escape from King George II during the Jacobite rebellion. In 1774, Flora and her family moved to the North Carolina colony, and Flora’s husband and son fought for the Loyalists during the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge. The Jacobite heroine returned to her native Scotland in 1779 where she passed away in 1790.
An influential supporter of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, Archibald Maclaine may have been even more influential if not for his defense of Tories within the state. One of the original trustees of the University of North Carolina, Maclaine was known for his belief in the law and order and for his willingness to stand in the minority for issues he supported.
From 1809-12, Nathaniel Macon criticized the political machinations of a few members of Congress, mainly senators, whom he called “Invisibles.” Far from being superheroes swooping in to rescue ordinary Americans, the Invisibles, in Macon’s mind, acted unconstitutionally and harmed the nation.
A place of natural beauty and allure, Macon County is an attractive destination for naturalists and gem enthusiasts. At one time, it was home to the Middle Cherokee. The towns of Cowee and Nikwasi were once important communities for Native Americans, and the Nikwasi Indian Mound remains in the county. Established in 1828, Macon County’s seat of government is Franklin, and the Nantahala National Forest remains the county’s most intricate natural resource.
Ultimas Romanorum–"the last of the Romans": That is what Thomas Jefferson called Nathaniel Macon. Others referred to Macon, not George Washington, as the "real Cincinnatus of America," and some nicknamed the Warren countian "the Cato of Republicanism."
Madison County is located in North Carolina’s mountains along the Tennessee border. It was formed in 1851 out of Buncombe and Yancey Counties, and was named for President James Madison. Marshall, the county seat, was incorporated in 1863.
Wife of the fourth president of the United States, Dolley Madison was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, on May 20, 1768. A Southern belle and a charming social host, Dolley earned the distinction as one of the First Ladies to open up the White House to Washington politicians and foreign diplomats. One of the most intriguing tales of the First Lady remains her escape from the White House during the War of 1812, when she managed to save Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of George Washington.
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.
A one-term governor, Charles Manly was the last Whig to hold the office (1849-1851). He earned a reputation for maintaining his Whig predecessor’s initiatives. He is more famous for his debates with David Settle Reid during the 1848 gubernatorial campaign in which he disapproved of broadening manhood suffrage.
The Marache Club played an influential role in ensuring that Thomas Jefferson won the 1800 presidential election.
The state government has regulated the solemnization of marriages from North Carolina’s earliest days, and although the law continues to prohibit any “minister, officer, or any other person authorized to solemnize a marriage” from performing a ceremony without a license issued by the Register of Deeds, a marriage ceremony conducted without a license–except in a few cases–is nevertheless a valid marriage.
Born in New Jersey in 1738, Alexander Martin was a politician and North Carolinian delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention. He was the only delegate to the Federal Convention who sought election to a state convention and lost.
The Tuscarora dwelled in present-day Martin County before the first English colonists settled the region in the early 1770s. The natives called the land “Squhawky” but after the county’s incorporation and the establishment of Williamston (the county’s seat), the county became known as “Tar Landing.” Due to its location in the Roanoke River, Williamston served as an important trading hub of turpentine, tar, and other products all the way into the twentieth century. An important historic site in the county is the former Confederate garrison, Fort Branch.
A former Congressman with a Ph.D. in chemistry, James Grubbs Martin came to Raleigh to serve as governor of North Carolina from 1985 to 1993. During his gubernatorial terms, Martin focused on roads and education, and the state led the nation in economic development.
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.
In 1735, Maurice Moore was born more than likely in Brunswick County. His father had earned great wealth in South Carolina as a planter along the Lower Cape Fear region yet later moved to Brunswick County, North Carolina. Although from planter pedigree, Maurice Moore became a lawyer. His career choice steered him ultimately into career in public service in which he became one of the colony’s leading young political figures.
Annexed from the Rutherford and Burke counties, McDowell County rests in the mountains of North Carolina. Once the gold producing center during the North Carolina gold rush, McDowell has various historic and cultural attractions throughout its forest-covered land. The Arrowhead Monument, the Carson House, and Andrew Geyser are visited annually by tourists from around the state.
A native of Jackson County, North Carolina, Gertrude D. McKee became the first woman to serve in the North Carolina Senate. Her terms were from 1931-33, 1937-39, and 1943-44. She was known as a “pioneer of welfare programs” in North Carolina that served as models for other Southern states.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy and one of the first African Americans to serve as a postmaster in North Carolina, McLaurin served one term in the N.C. House of Representatives as Republican from New Hanover County (1872-1874).
Remembered as the "Businessman’s Governor," Angus W. McLean implemented sensible fiscal and economic policies during his 1925-1929 term as North Carolina governor. Born into a farming family in Robeson County, McLean was trained as a lawyer by the University of North Carolina. Upon graduating, McLean served North Carolina as an auspicious lawyer, mill-owner, banker, and public servant. In 1925, McLean took the office of governor and streamlined the state’s fiscal management, invested heavily in education and infrastructure, and amassed a surplus of $2.5 million to help North Carolina through the Depression.
“The Father of containerization,” Malcolm P. McLean revolutionized the shipping industry during the 1950s and 1960s and his innovation help increase trade between the United States and China. His big idea: an independent box container (trailer) placed in a truck bed on wheels. These standardized containers were removable from trucks and stackable on barges and provided for more goods to be shipped at cheaper prices. Throughout his entrepreneurial career, McLean adapted to and overcame government regulations.
Protégée of basketball inventor James Naismith, John McLendon was born in Hiawatha, Kansas. At the University of Kansas, McLendon changed the pace of the game from a crawl to a fast-paced, high-action event by implementing the fast break method of basketball. Fast break basketball emphasized teamwork, speed and agility. Although he is credited with improving basketball, McLendon was not permitted to play on Kansas’s varsity team because of his race
Created from parts of Anson County in 1762, Mecklenburg County contains the largest city in North Carolina and was the birthplace of the eleventh President of the United States, James K. Polk.
The Sons of Liberty in North Carolina established six Merchants Committees of Inspection in the colony. Each chapter denounced non-complying merchants and eventually ensured the boycott of English goods. In the end, the committees guaranteed that a stronger anti-tax message traveled across the Atlantic Ocean.
Recognized as the largest women’s private college in the Southeastern United States, Meredith College was created at the behest of Thomas Meredith, founder of the Biblical Recorder, in the late 1800s. Ten female students graduated as the first class in 1902, and in 1909 the college became known as Meredith College in honor of its original founder. Presently, Meredith enrolls almost 2,000 students and offers 32 majors and four graduate programs.
As the first president of the largest African American insurance company in the United States, John Merrick created more than personal wealth and economic opportunities for other blacks in Durham. He worked to bring better healthcare and educational opportunities to his community.
Born in Transylvania County, Augustus Merrimon served as a U.S. Senator from 1873 to 1879 and as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1889 until 1892. After his service in the Confederate Army, Merrimon became a state superior court judge and he was involved in the impeachment of Governor William Holden. Chief Justice Merrimon died in office on November 14, 1892.
In 1872, the father of the orphanage movement in North Carolina, John Mills, founded the Masonic Orphanage, the state’s first orphanage. During the years of the “golden age” of the orphanage movement (1870-1920), sixteen orphanages were founded in North Carolina. Financed through charitable or religious denominations, some orphanages like Methodist Orphanage served the eastern and western regions of the state.
Methodist University was opened in September 1960 after the Methodist Church was offered land and significant funds to build a school in Cumberland County, North Carolina. The first class graduated in May 1964, and Methodist received accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1966. Currently, over 2,200 students attend Methodist University, and its Physician Assistant Studies programs attracts students across the state and nation.
n 1917, midwifery became a licensed practice in the Old North State, yet during the 1930s, government regulations increased and the number of practitioners started dwindling. Today, groups disagree concerning the practice. Some say midwifery fosters competition among medical professionals and thereby lowers prices and serves lower-income North Carolinians. Medical societies, however, have argued that the practice needs professional supervision and regulation.
A Warren County native, William Miller served as North Carolina’s attorney general and governor. His gubernatorial term spanned across the War of 1812 and he purchased the Canova Statue during the Era of Good Feelings.
Home to the prominent crafts school, the Penland School of Crafts, Mitchell County holds an important place in North Carolina mountain culture. The county was established in 1861, and its county seat is Bakersville. Mitchell County has long remained a source of over fifty precious metals and other minerals.
The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads was a small Civil War battle that occurred on March 10, 1865 near Fayetteville. Mounted Confederate cavalry attacked an unprepared Union cavalry encampment. The fighting lasted several hours. Although initially routed the Union soldiers rallied, counter attacked, and retook the camp. The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads opened the road to Fayetteville for Confederate troops, allowed Confederate forces to arrive at Fayetteville first, and provided the Confederates the time needed to cross the Cape Fear River before the arrival of the Union soldiers.
“The Golden Opportunity” county, Montgomery is named in honor of Revolutionary War Brigadier General Richard Montgomery. A rural and wooded region, Montgomery County’s primary attracts hunters and fishing and outdoor enthusiasts. It is also home to much of the Uwharrie National Forest—approximately 50,000 acres.
A border county between North Carolina’s Piedmont and Coastal Plain Regions, Moore County was established in 1784. Named after Alfred Moore, a Revolutionary War veteran and U.S. Supreme Court justice, Moore County was annexed from Cumberland County shortly after the American Revolution. Carthage, the county seat, was established in 1796.
Born on September 6, 1863 to free yeoman farmer parents, Aaron McDuffie Moore used educational opportunities to improve his social condition and to better his community.
The second, and to date the last, North Carolinian to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, Alfred Moore was appointed in Fall 1799 to succeed Justice James Iredell after the first Supreme Court justice from North Carolina had died. Before then, Moore had battled Tories and the British during the American Revolutionary War and had served in the North Carolina House of Commons. After being nominated twice by the state Senate to run for U.S. Senator, Moore was defeated both times by Republican opponents: Timothy Bloodworth and Jesse Franklin. Moore was considered one of the state’s outstanding attorneys and leading Federalists.
Labeled the “Lexington and Concord of the South” by many historians, the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge marked the first battle between Patriots and Loyalists in North Carolina during the American Revolution. Although the battle lasted only a short while, Patriot forces were able to prevent British soldiers from taking Moore’s Creek Bridge in present-day Pender County. The battle marked the end of royal government rule in North Carolina.
In the mid-nineteenth century, John Morehead expressed interest in establishing a port city. He and Silas Webb visited Carteret County to determine whether a large port could be developed. Impressed by the location and potential of Shepard’s Point, Morehead purchased six hundred acres of property. With that property, the Shepard Point Land Company was formed, and on November 11, 1857, the first town lots were sold.
Known as the “Father of Modern North Carolina,” John Motley Morehead was the 29th governor of the Tar Heel State from 1841-1845.
As the youngest of five children Edwin A. Morris grew up picking cotton in the early 1900s. This early lesson in perseverance served Morris well as he studied business administration at Washington and Lee University and Harvard Business School in the 1920s.
At times conservative, at times progressive (as defined in the early 1900s), Cameron Morrison rose to political prominence in North Carolina as an ally of Furnifold M. Simmons, Democratic stalwart who dominated the state’s politics in the early decades of the twentieth century. During the late 1800s, Morrison started gaining statewide fame for leading the “Red Shirts." But he is most known for being "The Good Roads Governor" (1921-1925) and opposing the teaching of evolution in public schools. After his gubernatorial career, Morrison served as a United States Senator and Congressman.
Known as the “oldest cultivated vine in America,” the Mother Vine on Roanoke Island is reportedly over 400 years old. Historians debate the exact age of the vine, and one claims that its history rests mainly on unsubstantiated yarns. But one thing is certain: no one knows of another vine in the United States older than the Mother Vine in Roanoke Island.
The tallest peak in the eastern seaboard of the United States, Mount Mitchell towers the Black Mountain Range of North Carolina at a height of 6,684 feet. Mt. Mitchell was once inhabited by the Cherokee, but it was not until the 1830s that Mt. Mitchell was shown to be the tallest mountain in North Carolina. Its discoverer, Professor Elisha Mitchell, passed away while attempting to prove the mountain was the tallest in the state in 1857.
Located at the corner of Cucumber and Vine Street, in Mount Olive, North Carolina, the Mt. Olive Pickle Company has grown to be the largest independent pickle company in the United States.
The snowy winter of 1566-1567 temporarily stopped Juan Pardo’s exploration of modern-day Piedmont and western North Carolina, so he and his Spanish force built Fort San Juan near the Indian town Joara (near present-day Morganton). When the weather permitted, Pardo continued his expedition. But he garrisoned the fort with between twenty to thirty men under the direction of Sergeant Hernando Moyano, whose interest in locating minerals and gold more than likely prompted the only attack against Indians during the Pardo Expeditions.
In the rolling hills of eastern Catawba County, Murray’s Mill is located where it was built in 1913. Three generations of the Murray Family operated the mill before bureaucratic red tape and increasing taxes forced Lloyd Murray, John’s son, to close its doors in 1967.
One of the early communicators of the radio and television era, Edward R. Murrow was born in Guilford County. As a CBS broadcaster during World War II and the Red Scare, he was known for his command of language, signature phrases, and willingness to tackle difficult and controversial issues. He pioneered many programs that became the basis for the future of both radio and television news.