Located on the Roanoke River, the town of Halifax developed into a commercial and political center around the time of the American Revolution. A guided walking tour takes you into several authentically restored and furnished buildings. These include the 1760 home of a merchant, the house and law office of a 19th-century attorney, and the 1808 home of a wealthy landowner. The 1833 clerk’s office, a jail, Eagle Tavern, and a unique archaeological exhibit are also featured on the tour.
Subject: Colonial North Carolina
European settlement near the Pamlico River in the 1690s led to the creation of Bath, North Carolina’s first town, in 1705. The town’s location seemed ideal with easy access to the river and the Atlantic Ocean 50 miles away at Ocracoke Inlet.
The Tuscarora, one of the most prominent tribes of eastern North Carolina at the time of European settlement, were a well-developed tribe that spoke a derivative of the Iroquoian language. The tribe established communities on the Roanoke, Tar, and Neuse Rivers, growing crops such as corn, picked berries and nuts. They also hunted big game such as deer and bears. Despite the tribe’s size and numerous warriors, the Tuscarora War (1711-1713) led to the migration of the tribe to New York and the near vanishing of the tribe from North Carolina.
William Tryon, one of the most notorious royal governors of North Carolina, was born in England in 1729. Although he did not receive a formal education, Tryon’s family was well-esteemed, and his wife’s friendship with Lord Hillsborough led to his appointment as lieutenant governor of North Carolina in 1764. Tryon encountered heavy rebellion during the Regulator Movement and he was later relocated to serve as governor of the New York colony. He died on January 27, 1788, in England.
First, there was the Halifax Resolves. Then there was the Declaration of Independence.
America’s difficult economic situation has generated often contradictory reactions and proposed solutions. One part of America blames the big banks. Another points to the government. Still others, with a more subtle insight, find fault with the combination of big government and big corporations. All this reminded me of the protests during the 1760s and early 1770s in Piedmont North Carolina called the Regulator Rebellion.
Though the American army under Baron DeKalb camped for weeks at Buffalo Ford in the summer of 1780 on its way to Camden, and Lord Cornwallis in 1781 spent several days after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse at Bell’s Mill on Deep River, by and large the official history of the Revolutionary War bypassed Randolph County. But far more active and far more destructive was the guerrilla war which took place in the county between neighbors of opposite political persuasions.
The home of Revolutionary War general William Lenoir, Fort Defiance was built in 1792 in what is now Caldwell County. Prior to Lenoir’s ownership, the house was built on a fort site that was used by British colonists.
Wife of the fourth president of the United States, Dolley Madison was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, on May 20, 1768. A Southern belle and a charming social host, Dolley earned the distinction as one of the First Ladies to open up the White House to Washington politicians and foreign diplomats. One of the most intriguing tales of the First Lady remains her escape from the White House during the War of 1812, when she managed to save Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of George Washington.
Governor of North Carolina from 1699-1703, when North Carolina was still under proprietary rule, Henderson Walker is known for being the executive during a time of economic growth and overall peace. However, his efforts to have the Anglican denomination become the official church of the colony angered a few and contributed greatly, some argue, to the later Cary Rebellion.