Encyclopedia starting with p

Business and Industry

P&P Chair Company

1916-1945

An Asheboro furniture plant, P&P Chair Company, manufactured the world famous Carolina Rocker (later known during the 1960s as the Kennedy Rocker ).

Civil War

Page, Walter Hines

1836-1865

Born in Cary, North Carolina in 1855, Walter Hines Page profoundly influenced American culture in the early twentieth century during his tenure at several national periodicals, most notably the Atlantic Monthly.

Churches

Palmer, Paul ( ? - 1747)

1664-1775

Known as the “father of Free Will Baptists in North Carolina,” Paul Palmer started the first Baptist church in the colony of North Carolina. 

African American

Palmer Memorial Institute

1866-1915

Nineteen-year old Charlotte Hawkins Brown, an African American educator, started the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina in 1902 to educate elementary and high school students in rural North Carolina.  Named after Brown’s benefactor and friend, Alice Freedman Palmer, the Institute began in an old blacksmith shed. 

Counties

Pamlico County

1866-1915

The Pamlico Indians resided in present-day Pamlico County before European settlers arrived in the mid-1600s. Formally established in 1872, the county’s seat is Bayboro, named for the Bay River. One important tourist attraction is the Oriental Regatta, a highly acclaimed sailboat race.

Colonial North Carolina

Pardo Expeditions

Before Englishmen set foot in North Carolina, Spanish explorer Juan Pardo constructed Fort San Juan near modern-day Marion--"the earliest site of sustained interaction between Europeans and Indians in North America," writes one historian.  In the end, however, Pardo's two expeditions failed to gain land for Spain.

Counties

Pasquotank County (1668)

1664-1775

As one of North Carolina’s earliest settled counties, Pasquotank County’s expansive history and beautiful topography contribute to make this county a gem of the state’s Coastal Plains region.

Colleges and Universities

Peace College (William Peace University)

1836-1865

Located in Wake County near the State Capitol building, Peace College was founded in 1857. Today it is a co-ed university named William Peace University.

Civil War

Peace Party (American Civil War)

1836-1865

Since the beginning of the American Civil War, a percentage of North Carolinians were Unionists or wanted peace.  Peace advocates were not necessarily Unionist.  They did not want peace because they loved an inseparable Union; they instead reacted to wartime circumstances and formed the Peace Party to preserve an antebellum status quo.

African American

Pearsall Plan

1946-1990

The United States Supreme Court’s ruling in the Brown v Board of Education (1954) declared racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. Following the Brown ruling, North Carolina enacted legislation that undermined the Supreme Court ruling. In August 1954 and in response to the Brown decision, Governor William B. Umstead created a “Governor’s Special Advisory Committee on Education,” with Thomas Pearsall, a prominent Rocky Mount farmer and businessman and former North Carolina Speaker of the House, as chairman. 

New Deal/ Great Depression

Pelley, William Dudley

1916-1945

William Dudley Pelley (1885-1965) was a notorious American fascist who lived for a decade in Asheville, North Carolina. As leader of the Silver Shirts, Pelley preached a toxic brew of anti-Semitism, nationalism, and mysticism.

Counties

Pender County (1875)

1776-1835

Site of first Patriot victory of the American Revolutionary War, Pender County has a unique history in North Carolina. Established in 1875, Pender’s county seat is Burgaw, and other communities include Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Rocky Point. The oldest house in North Carolina, the Sloop Point Plantation, stands in Pender County.

Business and Industry

Penland School of Crafts

1916-1945

Located in Mitchell County, the Penland School of Crafts has long been heralded as a haven for young craftsmen and women from around the world. Since its inception in the late 1920s, Penland has offered courses ranging from weaving to glassworking to silversmithing. Today, 1,200 people attend the school annually, and a vibrant, local crafts culture surrounds the school.

Colonial North Carolina

Penn, John (1741-1788)

1664-1775

Patriot, Continental Congress member, and North Carolina signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Penn and his contributions to the American Revolution and the early days of a fledgling nation have been overlooked.  Penn was one of three North Carolinians who signed the Declaration of Independence, and his efforts on the North Carolina Board of War were instrumental in undermining Cornwallis's military campaigns in the South.

Counties

Perquimans County (1668)

1664-1775

“The land of beautiful women,” Perquimans County was once home to the Yeopim and Weapemeoc.  During the early colonial era, several rebellions occurred in the county despite the large Quaker presence within the region.  Established in 1668, Perquimans is home to the oldest colonial structure in North Carolina, and its seat of government is Hertford.

Sports and Entertainment

Perry, Gaylord

1916-1945

One of the best pitchers to play in the major league of baseball, Gaylord Perry was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. Born in Williamston, the right-handed pitcher was known for his fastball, his competitive spirit, and for “doctoring” up the baseballs he threw. Perry holds the distinction as the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in both major leagues, and he ranks #6 on the all-time list of strikeouts with over 3,500.

Primary Documents

Person, Thomas Letter 1 (August 6, 1789)

1776-1835

Former Regulator, Thomas Person describes his love of Liberty, comments on North Carolina popular opinion regarding the Constitution, suggests political strategy to ensure that amendments are added to the Constitution, and criticizes what he considers to be Hugh Williamson's aristrocratic ways. 

Colonial North Carolina

Person County (1792)

1664-1775

Person County was established in 1792 from Caswell County, and the county seat is Roxboro. After the Civil War, the newly constructed Norfolk and Western Railroad opened Person to the rest of the state and nation and its communities soon became homes to sizable and important manufacturers.  Within a state that has produced several national college basketball teams, Person County is the place in which, interestingly, the lowest scoring basketball game in the state’s history.

Sports and Entertainment

Petty, Richard (1937 - )

1916-1945

Referred to as the King of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), Richard Petty remains the driver in stock car racing history with the most wins. Petty was born to a racing family in Level Cross (Randolph County), North Carolina, in 1937, and as a twenty-one year old, he started racing. Known also for his trademark racing techniques, such as drafting, and charming personality, Petty won seven championships and was voted the most popular driver in NASCAR for nine years.

Colleges and Universities

Pfeiffer University

1836-1865

 Pfeiffer University is a private Methodist university located in Misenheimer, North Carolina in Stanly County. In the quest for academic excellence, Pfeiffer University offered over the years new programs while remaining dedicated to its Christian beginnings.

African American

Pickford Tuberculosis Sanitarium

1866-1915

A mutual benefit society, the Pickford Tuberculosis Sanitarium opened in 1896 in Southern Pines, North Carolina with a specific mission: to treat African Americans with tuberculosis.  The sanitarium survived solely from the generous donations from blacks and whites.  

Business and Industry

Piedmont & Northern Railway

1916-1945

The Piedmont & Northern (P&N) Railway fueled the growth of North Carolina’s textile industry. Running from Spartanburg to Greenwood in South Carolina and from Gastonia to Charlotte in North Carolina, the P&N shipped cotton, textiles, and other goods throughout the Piedmont region. But an ambitious plan to make the railroad a regional powerhouse was foiled by the federal government.

Early America

Pilot Mountain

Known as Jomeokee, “Great Guide” or “Pilot,” to the Saura who once inhabited the region, Pilot Mountain remains a towering landmark in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Northern settlers used the mountain as a guide on their journey down the Great Wagon Road. In 1968, Pilot Mountain became the fourteenth state park of North Carolina.

Sports and Entertainment

Pinehurst Resort

  Located in the Sandhills of Moore County, North Carolina, Pinehurst Resort hosts many prestigious golf tournaments including the North and South Open, PGA Tour and the U.S. Open. According to Golf Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler, Pinehurst is often referred to as one of the world’s top golf destinations.

Business and Industry

Pine Tree

1836-1865

The state contains a variety of pines, including the loblolly, eastern white, and the table mountain pine, but the state’s most known pine tree might be the long leaf pine.

Places

Pisgah, National Forest

1866-1915

Founded in 1915, the 500,000 acre Pisgah National Forest covers over 15 counties, and its roots originate at the construction of the Biltmore Estate. Carl A. Schench, selected by George Vanderbilt, founded the nation’s first forestry school in the region, but the school failed to stay open. Vanderbilt’s widowed wife sold a portion of the present Pisgah forest to the national government in 1915, making Pisgah the oldest national forest in North Carolina.

Colonial North Carolina

Pitt County (1760)

1664-1775

Named in honor of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham and proponent for colonial independence, Pitt County was part of the five county split of Beaufort County in 1760. The county is home to East Carolina University and the Greenville Museum of Art, and it is host to several annual cultural events. Greenville, the county’s seat, is named after Nathanael Greene, the famed Continental Army General.  

Business and Industry

Plank Roads

1776-1835

To bring wealth and awake their state from its supposed economic slumber in the antebellum era, North Carolinians advocated the use of plank roads in the late 1840s.  These wooded highways were purported to be an improvement over rough, dirt roads and a necessary step to create an intrastate (an eventually interstate) trade network of plank roads, railroad hubs, and seaports.  Such an effort was considered much needed, as one historians puts its, because plank roads could free “citizens from the bondage of primitive roads.” 

Business and Industry

Plank Roads Were An Economic Engine Before the Civil War

1776-1835

During the 1840s, North Carolinians embraced the use of plank roads to improve the state’s economy. These wooden highways — built mainly with private funds — were purported to be an improvement over rough, dirt roads and a necessary step to create an intrastate (and eventually an interstate) trade network of plank roads, railroad hubs, and seaports.

Business and Industry

Plantation Duty Act (1673)

1664-1775

Although the Lord Proprietors supported the Act’s passage, many North Carolinians protested (or ignored) the new law. The Albemarle region of North Carolina offered the stiffest resistance.

Places

Plott Hound: The State Dog

1664-1775

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.

Revolution Era

Plymouth, Battle of

1836-1865

Declared one of the most successful joint ventures by the Confederate Army, the Battle of Plymouth was fought in April 1864. General Robert F. Hoke led ground forces while the CSS Albermarle, a newly constructed ironclad, provided naval support.

Cities

Polio in North Carolina

1916-1945

Reaching its peak in the 1940s and 1950s, poliomyelitis (polio), also known as infantile paralysis, infected and crippled hundreds of children across North Carolina.  The disease terrorized the general public, and, in response, North Carolinians successfully mobilized their money and time to assist polio victims statewide.  North Carolina's mandate on polio vaccines, coupled with its citizens' philanthropic efforts, played a significant role in eradicating the disease from the state's population.

Political History

Polk, James K. (1795-1849)

1776-1835

Two presidents dominated the landscape of mid-19th century America—Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln. Sandwiched between them, however, was James K. Polk, a remarkable and highly effective president. Indeed, he was the only one of any stature to serve after Jackson and before Lincoln. Generally speaking, Polk is thought of as a war president; but he was more than merely a president who presided over war against a foreign country (Mexico). Polk emerged as the champion of “manifest destiny,” the belief that the United States enjoyed a special dispensation and even imperative to extend its boundaries westward, even all the way to the Pacific coast. To carry out such a mandate, providential or otherwise, Polk used war and diplomacy to push the borders across the continent to the southwest as well as the northwest. Convinced that such efforts would excite and unify the nation, he seemed unprepared for the divisions created by his bold territorial initiatives.

Polk, Leonidas L. (1837-1892)

1866-1915

Polk, Leonidas Lafayette (1837-1892).  Agrarian leader, editor, and first North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, Leonidas L. Polk was one of the most influential figures in late nineteenth-century North Carolina.

Counties

Polk County

1776-1835

Formed in 1855, the county is not named after James K. Polk.  Its namesake is William Polk, a North Carolina Revolutionary War hero.

Political History

Pool, John (1826-1884)

1836-1865

As a U.S. Senator during Reconstruction, John Pool played a major role in establishing the Republican Party in North Carolina and implored North Carolinians to accept a moderate plan of political and social reconstruction.

Sports and Entertainment

Poole, Charlie

1866-1915

A native of Randolph County, Charlie Poole grew up in Alamance County in a cotton mill village and later became one of the best banjo musicians in the Southeast and a Columbia Records superstar before his premature death.  He started the country group North Carolina Ramblers and was known for his three-finger style banjo playing.

Sports and Entertainment

Poor No More (1959)

1946-1990

Robert Ruark's second novel did not sell as well as his first, Something of Value.  Most critics disapproved of the long manuscript, with its controversial topics and vivid descriptions.  After spending approximately four years on the work, Ruark had a different opinion.   

Colonial North Carolina

Port Act

1664-1775

The Port Act was the tipping point that ignited revolutionary passions and talk concerning independence among North Carolinians. 

Transportation

Preddy, George E. (1919-1944)

1916-1945

A native son of Greensboro, North Carolina, George E. Preddy became one of America’s top flying aces during World War II.  At the end of the war, he had the third-highest ranking among American pilots.  Historians speculate that he might have emerged as the nation’s premier ace had not his plane been shot down by friendly fire on Christmas 1944.

Federalist

Principles of an American Whig

1664-1775

Noted for its similarities to the Declaration of Independence, “Principles of An American Whig” (1775) was written by North Carolinian and later United States Supreme Court Justice James Iredell.  The essay reveals that a budding American independence movement had been blossoming into political maturity.

Business and Industry

Progressive Farmer

1866-1915

Originally devoted to agricultural issues in the Tar Heel State, the Progressive Farmer started publication in Winston, North Carolina, on February 10, 1886.  Farmer, Confederate veteran, newspaperman, and former North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, Leonidas L. Polk (1837-1892) founded the journal.

Political History

Provincial Convention (1775)

1664-1775

Although North Carolina’s royal governor, Josiah Martin, called the convention illegal, colonists ignored his claim and assembled in New Bern.  There, the convention pledged to support the resolutions adopted by the First Continental Congress.

Transportation

Psigah Covered Bridge

1916-1945

Pisgah Covered Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Randolph County and one of only two remaining covered bridges in North Carolina.

Business and Industry

Public Works Administration

1866-1915

Established by Title II of the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Public Works Administration (PWA) was a massive U.S. government spending program aimed at improving the nation's infrastructure. Though the PWA was not vested with the sweeping powers of the National Recovery Administration, it affected nearly every county in the United States and indelibly altered North Carolina.