James O’Kelly, a fiery, revivalist preacher in Virginia and North Carolina from 1775-1826, preached religious liberty. He decried slavery, using republican rhetoric in An Essay on Negro Slavery, and criticized Methodist polity in The Author’s Apology for Protesting Against the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1794, he created the Republican Methodist denomination, which became the Christian Church in the South in 1802. O’Kelly moved to North Carolina in 1787 and died in Chatham County in 1826.
One of four black congressmen elected from North Carolina’s Second District— called the “Black Second” for its black-majority population—during the late 19th century, O’Hara was easily the state’s most flamboyant and controversial black officeholder of the era. He was elected to two terms in Congress (1883–1887) despite lingering charges of bigamy and corruption, and a controversy over his actual birthplace and his claim to U.S. citizenship.
Located in Wilmington, Oakdale Cemetery is the largest in the city, and many prominent Wilmingtonians are buried there. Oakdale is also known for being North Carolina’s first rural cemetery.
Oakwood Cemetery was founded in 1869 by the Raleigh Cemetery Association. The cemetery encompasses 102 acres and is Raleigh’s oldest private non-profit cemetery.
Many times North Carolina law has required people to prove their words or actions with a solemn official statement when, for example, testifying in court or assuming public office. Such official statements must be given by a solemn oath or by affirmation. First passed in 1777, the North Carolina oath statute describes oaths as “most solemn appeals to Almighty God.” The affiant is declared to invoke divine “vengeance” on himself if he lies. The proper format for oaths and the issue of sworn testimony eligibility have been contentious issues in the history of the Tar Heel State.
Located on Oberlin Road and nestled in between office buildings and condominiums, the 142-year-old cemetery is the burial ground for generations of Oberlin Village’s earliest residents.
After the Civil War, parcels of southern land were subdivided and sold to former slaves. Historic Oberlin Village was comprised of such parcels and became one of Raleigh’s first freedmen communities.
The Occaneechi is a small tribe of American Indians residing in the Piedmont North Carolina and southern Virginia. Today, the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation numbers seven hundred and is the smallest tribe recognized by North Carolina.
Considered by some critics to be an Ernest Hemingway spinoff, Robert Ruark’s The Old Man and the Boy (1957) is the North Carolina writer’s most famous work. In it, he remembers his North Carolina boyhood and the life lessons learned from his maternal grandfather
Francis Oliver was a Baptist preacher from Duplin County, North Carolina and a delegate at the 1788 state convention to ratify the federal constitution. An Anti-Federalist, Oliver vigorously defended individual liberty and upheld republican values.
Onslow County, formed in 1734 and named after Sir Arthur Onslow, is a southern coastal county in North Carolina. Its seat of government is Jacksonville, and it is home to the largest Marine base in the world, Camp Lejeune. The first time Europeans encountered Native Americans may have occurred in Onslow County.
Home of the University of North Carolina and several corporations in the Research Triangle Park district, Orange County holds an important place in the state’s history. The Occaneechi originally inhabited the region in villages that lie along a bustling trade route. Hillsborough (the seat of government), Chapel Hill, and portions of Mebane are all currently within Orange County.
The Outer Banks are a series of barrier islands that stretch nearly 200 miles along the North Carolina coast. Beginning at the Virginia border, the Outer Banks pass through Currituck, Hyde, Dare, and Carteret counties. The large Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound separate the outer islands – Bodie, Roanoke, Hatteras, and Ocracoke – from mainland North Carolina.
The first popularly elected Senator of North Carolina, Lee S. Overman served in the U.S. Senate for almost thirty years. Overman, born in Salisbury, graduated from Trinity College in 1874, and later served as secretary to both Governor Vance and Jarvis. Elected to the Senate in 1903, Overman remained an ardent Democrat, supporting President Wilson during the height of World War I and supporting the creation of the Department of Labor.
John Owen served two, one-year terms as a North Carolina governor, after he had served in the House of Commons, as a state senator, and on the Council of State. He is known for being an advocate for primary public education and internal improvements and for warning against what he considered abolitionist attempts to spark civil unrest. He is the brother of James Owen, slaveowner of Omar Ibn Said, author of the only known American slave narrative written in Arabic.