Philip Alston, the original owner of the House in the Horseshoe, led a life surrounded by controversy and later mystery. Alston’s attempts at political advancement plunged him into a bitter rivalry that marred his reputation.
Author: Jessica Lee Thompson
Jessica Lee Thompson is the Editorial Assistant for NorthCarolinahistory.org and for the Nathaniel Macon Papers, a special project of North Carolina History Project.
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.”
The story of the House in the Horseshoe, and the men who fought there during an American Revolution skirmish, reveals the nature and influence of the war in the North Carolina backcountry. One of the first “big” houses built in the frontier lands of North Carolina, the House in the Horseshoe still has bullet holes from the fighting that took place in 1781.
After a Confederate victory at Fredericksburg, Lieutenant General James Longstreet was given the assignment to gather supplies and maintain supply lines for the North Carolina area. Longstreet assumed control of the 45,000 men in the North Carolina and Virginia companies on February 25, 1863 and ordered General D.H. Hill, commander of the North Carolina district, and his 12,000 men from the North Carolina division, to regain control of New Bern.
Known for its fearless hunting style and loyalty to owner, the Plott Hound was bred in North Carolina, and is one of four breeds originating in America. In 1989 the North Carolina General Assembly named the Plott Hound the official State Dog.
North Carolina developed four different state seals during the colonial period and there have been six state seals since North Carolina declared its independence. While the Great Seal changed many times throughout North Carolina history, some variations on symbols have remained and appear on the current Great Seal.
Built atop the remnants of the colonial town, Brunswick, Fort Anderson protected the Cape Fear River and supply lines to Wilmington. Wilmington was a critical port for supply lines throughout the Confederacy and to General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in Petersburg and Richmond. Although originally named Fort St. Phillip after the colonial Anglican Church ruins within the fortress, the fort was renamed in honor of Brigadier General George Burgwyn Anderson who died after complications from injuries suffered at Antietam.
The first actively cultivated grape in the United States, the Scuppernong grape was named the official State Fruit by the General Assembly in 2001. The scuppernong grape was named after the Scuppernong River that runs through Tyrell and Washington counties. In 2007, The North Carolina Governor’s office reported that North Carolina ranked tenth nationally in grape and wine production, an industry worth $813 million dollars a year in North Carolina
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.
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.