Stretching nearly 470 miles from the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina is a popular tourist attraction. In 1912, Colonel Joseph Pratt had an idea for a mountainous parkway; however, funding issues contributed to its intermittent construction. The Blue Ridge Parkway was completed in 1987 with the construction of the Linn Cover Viaduct.
Author: Jonathan Martin
B. Everett Jordan, born in 1896, served in the United States Senate from 1958 until 1973. Before his work in politics, Jordan managed his family’s textile business, Sellers Manufacturing Company Jordan was appointed to fill Senator Kerr Scott’s seat after his death in 1958, serving in several different committee until he lost reelection in 1973. He passed away from cancer in 1974.
During the Whig Era of North Carolina politics in the 1830s, several groups, politicians, and citizens promoted anti-slavery sentiment. One such politician was North Carolina Supreme Court Justice William J. Gaston who wrote two opinions that favored both slaves and black freedmen in the 1830s. The two cases, State v. Will (1834) and State v. Manuel (1838), became hallmarks of the antebellum anti-slavery movement.
Raleigh’s Central Prison opened in 1884 to house a growing inmate population that overwhelmed the county jail systems. Inmate labor built the penitentiary, and one of the head architects of the $1.25 million Gothic-style complex was W. O. Wolfe, author Thomas Wolfe’s father. As of 2012, the prison contains nearly 1,000 inmates with a staff of 700.
Robert Vance and Samuel Carson, two North Carolina natives and politicians, dueled on November 5, 1827. Although the General Assembly had outlawed the practice of dueling in 1802 after the Stanly-Spaight duel of 1802, Vance and Carson agreed to settle a political dispute with pistols. During the duel, Carson shot and wounded Vance who died a day later. Although Carson became somewhat of a pariah in North Carolina, he later helped create the Republic of Texas.
Once the strongest Algonquian tribe in North Carolina, the Chowanoac, or “people at the south,” thrived in areas that now make up the Bertie, Chowan, Gates, and Hertford Counties. Ralph Lane and other English explorers first encountered the tribe in 1586. Between 1666 and 1676, several conflicts led to the downfall of the once powerful Native American group. By the 1750s, the Chowanoac had sold most of their land holdings to English colonists.
With Georgia and South Carolina under British control, Lord Cornwallis focused all attention on North Carolina. Two Tory commanders, Lt. Col. John Moore and Maj. Nicholas Welch, mounted an early attack on the Patriots in Lincoln County in June 1780. The Patriots, eventually learning the whereabouts of the Loyalists, launched a surprise attack at Ramsour’s Mill on June 20, 1780. At the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill, an outnumbered Patriot force routed the Loyalists.
An eastern Siouan tribe that once resided in the southeastern part of North Carolina and upper sections of South Carolina, the Waccamaw lived, hunted, and fished along the rivers and swamps of the region. The Yamassee and Tuscarora Wars proved detrimental to the Waccamaw, a tribe that remained in relative obscurity until the late eighteenth century. Although the federal government has yet to recognize the tribe, North Carolina has recognized the Waccamaw, and some 1,500 members reside in Bladen and Columbus Counties.
Born at Blount Hall on May 10, 1759, Thomas Blount served during the Revolutionary War and he was captured and sent to England during the conflict. After the war, Blount became a trader in Edgecombe County. Blount served in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, and 12th U.S. Congresses as a North Carolina representative.
On July 12, 1833, Frankie Silver was hanged for the murder of her husband. Nearly 10,000 people traveled to Burke County to witness her execution. She was the first woman executed in North Carolina by hanging. Numerous ballads, articles, and documentaries have added to Silver’s myth and legend.