Encyclopedia starting with a

African American

Abbott, Israel Braddock (1840–1887)

1866-1915

A noted labor organizer and popular orator, Abbott was among the most highly regarded African American Republican politicians of the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction eras in North Carolina.  He served as both a New Bern city councilman and state legislator from Craven County, and was twice a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress from the Second District of North Carolina.

Civil War

Abbott, Joseph Carter (1825 - 1877)

1836-1865

  Joseph Carter Abbott was a United States Senator from North Carolina between 1868 and 1871. Carter was also a Union Army colonel during the American Civil War. As a successful newspaperman contributing to many magazines, he had a particular interest in history.

Civil War

Abbott versus Vance U.S. Senate Election

1866-1915

  In 1870 incumbent Joseph Abbott lost the U.S. Senate election to Zebulon Vance.  So Abbott filed a complaint discounting Vance’s eligibility to serve, for the Fourteenth Amendment included a provision that prevented Confederate supporters from holding federal office.  After a year of deliberations, the Senate Elections Committee ruled in Vance’s favor; however, Vance had resigned before the committee issued its verdict.  Matt Ransom was then elected to replace Vance in 1872.

Colonial North Carolina

Act Concerning Marriages (1669)

1664-1775

Settlers wishing to marry soon experienced a problem: only ministers of the Church of England were entitled to perform the rite of marriage and few visited or settled in Carolina.  As a result, the Assembly of Albemarle in 1669 discussed the need to authorize civil officers to perform marriage ceremonies.

Early America

Address to the Freemen of North Carolina (Publicola)

1776-1835

During the ratification debates, many Federalists and Antifederalists assumed pseudonyms when writing essays supporting or opposing the U.S. Constitution’s adoption.  Under the penname Publicola (meaning friend of the people), Archibald Maclaine of Wilmington, a Federalist, printed a reply to George Mason’s objections to the Constitution.  It appeared in installments in the New Bern State Gazette on March 20 and March 27, 1789.

Colonial North Carolina

Affirmations

1664-1775

Affirmations are statements made in lieu of oaths by people who have conscientious scruples against taking oaths. Under modern North Carolina law, this means saying “solemnly affirm” instead of “solemnly swear,” and avoiding any invocation of God in support of one’s statement (North Carolina General Statues 11-1 and 11-4).  Starting its colonial history with a de facto freedom to affirm instead of swear, North Carolina returned to a more restrictive position based on English law, then extended affirmation privileges to certain Protestant groups, and ultimately made affirmations available to anyone with objections to oaths.

Business and Industry

Agricultural Adjustment Administration

1916-1945

Created by the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) was a federal agency tasked with reducing crop yields. Low crop prices had harmed U.S. farmers; reducing the supply of crops was a means of increasing prices. Though the AAA generally benefited North Carolina farmers, it harmed small farmers--in particular African American tenant farmers.

Colonial North Carolina

Alamance, Battle of

1664-1775

On a field in Piedmont North Carolina, Regulators clashed with North Carolina militia on May 16, 1771.  As time would tell, the Battle of Alamance and the swift execution of certain Regulators ended the Regulator movement in Piedmont North Carolina. Yet a distrust of a far, away power remained

Counties

Alamance County (1849)

1836-1865

Located in the heart of North Carolina’s Piedmont region, Alamance County’s rich history, combined with its booming textile industry and significant agricultural production, make it one of the state’s most important counties.

Education

Alexander, Annie Lowrie (1864-1929)

1836-1865

Annie Alexander has a unique place in history: the first female licensed to practice medicine in the South. Annie was strongly influenced by her father, a physician himself, who determined that she should become a doctor after one of his female patients died after refusing medical attention out of fear of being examined by a man. When Dr. Alexander told his wife of his desire to have Annie become a doctor, Mrs. Alexander fretted over bearing the cost of medical training, only to have Annie marry and forgo a career as a physician. Dr. Alexander’s response was blunt: "She must never marry. She'll serve humanity".  

Early America

Alexander, Nathaniel (1756-1808)

1664-1775

A surgeon and Revolutionary War Patriot, Alexander was a Jeffersonian who incorporated Federalist policy into his politics.  He championed internal improvements and played an instrumental role in the repeal of the Court Act of 1806, thereby allowing each county to have a court.  Charlotte Motor Speedway sits on what was his homestead.

Counties

Alexander County

1836-1865

Established from Iredell, Caldwell, and Wilkes counties in 1847, Alexander County was named in honor of William Julius Alexander. Its county seat is Taylorsville, and the city of Hiddenite remains a prime mining community. The largest emerald in North America, named “Carolina,” was found in Hiddenite in 1969.

Counties

Alleghany County (1859)

1664-1775

Alleghany County, one of North Carolina's most northern counties, is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although it is the fifth smallest county in the state, Alleghany County has a rich heritage that is connected to the geography of the region.

Colonial North Carolina

Alston, Philip

1664-1775

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.

Early America

Alston, Willis (1769-1837)

1776-1835

Born in an area that many of North Carolina’s early republic and antebellum statesmen called home—Warren, Halifax, and Edgecombe counties—Willis Alston entered into the political arena with established familial and political connections. He served as a state legislator and senator, and as a U.S. Congressman for 21 years.  Although he was Nathaniel Macon’s nephew, Willis Alston disagreed with his influential uncle on various political issues during Thomas Jefferson’s administration (1801-1809)

Early America

Alston, Willis (When Politics Turned Physical)

1776-1835

An influential early 19th-century N.C. congressman was bloodied during a “fracas” following a heated debate with a colleague.

Colonial North Carolina

American Revenue Act

1664-1775

After the French and Indian War (also known as The Seven Years War) ended in 1763, Great Britain essentially stopped the period of salutary neglect by increasing regulation over the American colonies. The passage of the American Revenue Act demonstrates how the empire tightened its regulatory grip on the American economic activities.

African American

Anne Atkins

1836-1865

Despite being widowed at a young age and paying increased property taxes, Anne Atkins improved her family’s financial situation during the late 1800s.

Counties

Anson County (1750)

1664-1775

Known for its bucolic setting and an extensive history, Anson County, tucked away in the south-central Piedmont region, is one of North Carolina’s oldest and most important counties.

Political Documents

Anti-Federalism

1776-1835

Anti-Federal was the name given to the men and the movement opposing the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.  Ironically, Anti-Federals wanted a more federal government than the Federals; the term resulted from a Federal political strategy to present Anti-Federals as opponents of limited government.  Before they ratified (approved) the Constitution, Anti-Federals wanted a Bill of Rights to be included.

Business and Industry

Apex, Town of.

1836-1865

Originally named “Apex” because it was the highest point on the Chatham Railroad line between Richmond, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida, the town of Apex still exemplifies its motto: “Peak of Good Living.”   Although a little over 30,000 people reside there, and many industries have moved to the area, Apex remains a quaint place to live.

Colleges and Universities

Appalachian, State, University

1946-1990

Located in the western mountains of North Carolina in Boone, Appalachian State University was once a school dedicated to prepare teachers. Appalachian, or then Watagua Academy, was formed by the Dougherty brothers in 1899. Appalachian experienced great growth by the 1940s, and it was inducted into the University of North Carolina school system in the 1970s. Appalachian State University currently enrolls over 17,000 students, offering over 140 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Religion

Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World

1776-1835

Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World was “the most powerful piece of [anti-slavery] propaganda written by a black.”   It was published in three installments in 1829.  In it, Wilmington native David Walker encouraged slaves to revolt against their masters.  In 1830, North Carolina’s legislature banned the pamphlet from being distributed within the state.

A Publisher's Confession

1866-1915

Written by Walter Hines Page in 1905, A Publisher's Confession details the faults and errors of his literary peers. Writing anonymously, Hines was able to disclose his personal views of publishers.

Federalist

Ashe, Samuel (1725-1813)

1776-1835

The Judge presiding over the landmark case Bayard v. Singleton (1785), Ashe served three one-year terms as Governor and was an ardent Federalist at the beginning of his term.  He soon supported state’s rights and Jeffersonian ideals.

African American

Asheboro Colored Graded School

1866-1915

At the southwest corner of Central School, now known as “East Side Homes,” is a marble stone that predates the 1926 construction of Asheboro’s oldest existing African American school.  It reminds passersby about the first African American school in the Piedmont town.

Education

Asheborough Female Academy

1776-1835

Much scholarly attention has been given to Alexander Murphy’s visions for public education in antebellum North Carolina and to the common school system in mid-nineteenth-century North Carolina; however, private schools existed in the period, too.  One such school was the Asheborough Female Academy.

Counties

Ashe County (1799)

1776-1835

A northwestern corner county in the mountains of North Carolina, Ashe was formed from sections of Wilkes County in 1799, and its seat of government is Jefferson. From 1784 to 1788 Ashe and several other counties formed an independent state known as Franklin. However, the state lasted only a short time due to continual attacks by surrounding Native Americans and the indifference of the national government.

Cities

Averasboro (Town of)

1776-1835

On the Cape Fear River during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, only Fayetteville's and Wilmington’s populations outnumbered Averasboro’s.  Yet population and commercial growth were not inevitable.  Only a cemetery surrounded by a grove and a Civil War museum remind anyone that the port town once existed.

Civil War

Averasboro, Battle of, Part I (A Prelude)

1836-1865

The Battle of Averasboro (also called Averysborough, Smith’s Mill and Black River) was the first deliberate, tactical resistance to the infamous march on federal forces through Georgia and the Carolinas. The battle was fought on the plantation lands of the John Smith family four miles south of the Cape Fear River village of Averasboro.

Places

Averasboro, Battle of, Part II (Day One)

1836-1865

The Battle of Averasboro (also called Averysborough, Smith’s Mill and Black River) was the first deliberate, tactical resistance to the infamous march on federal forces through Georgia and the Carolinas. The battle was fought on the plantation lands of the John Smith family four miles south of the Cape Fear River village of Averasboro.

Civil War

Averasboro, Battle of, Part III (Day Two)

1836-1865

The Battle of Averasboro (also called Averysborough, Smith’s Mill and Black River) was the first deliberate, tactical resistance to the infamous march on federal forces through Georgia and the Carolinas. The battle was fought on the plantation lands of the John Smith family four miles south of the Cape Fear River village of Averasboro.

Counties

Avery County

1916-1945

A county in North Carolina’s “High Country,” Avery was established in 1911 and earned the county the distinction as the hundredth-county in the state. One of the highest counties in the eastern United States, Avery County is in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is home to the man-made Linn Cove Viaduct and the natural-wonder Grandfather Mountain. Year after year, numerous tourists visit Avery, bringing over $50 million into the county’s economy annually.

Ayllon, Lucas Vasques de (1475-1526)

Pre-1585

A lawyer and nobleman from Spain, Lucas Vasques de Ayllon sponsored the first Spanish explorations (three total) of what became North Carolina.  He also discovered Chesapeake Bay and established San Miguel de Guandape, a settlement near what would be Jamestown.  The wild horses of Shackleford Banks (near Beaufort) are reminders of Ayllon's explorations and failed attempts to settle in the land.