1776-1835

Timeline

Colleges and Universities

The UNC System: Part I

1776-1835

Today, the University of North Carolina System consists of 17 separate campuses located throughout the state. It is governed by a Board of Governors elected by the General Assembly. It even includes two special high schools. But the university began with just one campus, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The university was...

Agriculture

Gristmills: North Carolina’s First Public Utilities

1664-1775

Gristmills—mills that use water power to grind corn and wheat into flour—were a “familiar feature of the 19th century countryside,“ wrote Grimsley T. Hobbs in 1985. His book, Exploring the Old Mills of North Carolina, includes detailed, hand-illustrated descriptions of 39 of the most interesting mills remaining in the 1980s.[1] A few mills continued to...

Colonial North Carolina

Joel Lane, Raleigh’s “Founding Father”

1664-1775

Joel Lane (1739 or 1740–1795) was a North Carolina political figure active in the colony’s preparation for the American Revolution. After the war ended, he was one of the many North Carolina Anti-Federalists. Anti-Federalists opposed ratification of the U. S. until James Madison promised to add a Bill of Rights. Lane is probably best known,...

African American

Sweet Potatoes in North Carolina History

1664-1775

North Carolina produces more sweet potatoes than any other state in the United States and has been a leader since 1971.[1] In 2021 its production represented 64 percent of total U.S. production.[2] The potatoes are grown primarily in central and eastern North Carolina. The largest producers are currently the counties of Sampson, Nash, Wilson, and...

Colonial North Carolina

Lotteries in Early North Carolina

1664-1775

We think of lotteries as modern, but they were a popular way of raising money in early North Carolina—in colonial times and especially during the Early Republic after the American Revolution. Between 1759 and 1834, North Carolina’s legislature authorized 101 lotteries, according to a tally by Alan D. Watson. In a lottery, people buy low-priced...

Sports and Entertainment

Clogging: North Carolina’s Official Folk Dance

1664-1775

Clogging is the official folk dance of North Carolina (declared so by the state legislature in 2005).[1] It is a style of dancing that originated in the Appalachian mountains, so North Carolina shares it with other states such as Tennessse and Virginia. All clog dancing involves “fancy footwork”—there are many variations on stepping, shuffling, sidestepping,...

Commentary
Political History

How North Carolina Came to Be Shaped As It Is Today

1664-1775

When did North Carolina become known as North Carolina and acquire its modern shape? We must go back to Jan. 24, 1712, when Edward Hyde became the first governor of what became known as North Carolina, or more specifically, he was the first official governor under the Lords Proprietors. Carolina was then divided into two...

Political History

NC Signers of the Declaration of Independence

1776-1835

North Carolina played an important role in the beginning of the United States. Three North Carolinians signed the Declaration of Independence: William Hooper, John Penn, and Joseph Hewes.

Political History

North Carolina Constitution Is an Important Governing Document

1776-1835

I often have wondered how many North Carolinians have taken the time to study or at least generally refer to the North Carolina Constitution. Most likely, more than a few from the Old North State would be surprised to learn that such a document exists. In this regard, North Carolinians probably are not alone. Most...

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.

Early America

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

N.C.’s Samuel Johnston Played Important Role in Founding

1664-1775

His work influenced politics and law in the years leading up to and following the Revolutionary War.