Pre-1585

Timeline

Early America

Chowanoac

1664-1775

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.

Early America

Waccamaw

1664-1775

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.

Colonial North Carolina

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina

1664-1775

North Carolina developed four different state seals during the colonial period and there have been six state seals since North Carolina declared its independence. While the Great Seal changed many times throughout North Carolina history, some variations on symbols have remained and appear on the current Great Seal.

Primary Documents

Timothy Bloodworth to John Lamb (July 1, 1789)

1664-1775

Antifederalist Timothy Bloodworth's letters are scarce.  Most of what we know is from what his contemporaries remarked and from his comments during the ratification debates.  In this letter, Bloodworth expresses a deep concern to preserve liberty, discusses what he considers to be dangers inherent in the U.S. Constitution, and suggests political strategy.

Business and Industry

State Fruit: Scuppernong Grape

1664-1775

The first actively cultivated grape in the United States, the Scuppernong grape was named the official State Fruit by the General Assembly in 2001. The scuppernong grape was named after the Scuppernong River that runs through Tyrell and Washington counties. In 2007, The North Carolina Governor’s office reported that North Carolina ranked tenth nationally in grape and wine production, an industry worth $813 million dollars a year in North Carolina

Primary Documents

Timothy Bloodworth to John Lamb (June 23, 1789)

1664-1775

Antifederalist Timothy Bloodworth's letters are scarce.  Most of what we know is from what his contemporaries remarked and from his comments during the ratification debates.  In this letter, Bloodworth expresses his concern regarding the Constitution, comments on politics in New York and Virginia, describes public opinion in North Carolina regarding the Constitution, and calls for a committee to explore amendments.

De Soto Expedition

Pre-1585

Although scholars disagree regarding the exact path of Hernando De Soto’s expedition in the Southeast, all agree that the Spaniard passed through Piedmont and western North Carolina. 

Lucas Vasques de Ayllon (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.

Exploration in North Carolina (Spanish)

Pre-1585

Sixty years before England established settlements on the North Carolina coast, the Spanish had explored the land, interacted with Native Americans, and constructed forts.  The Spanish effort to claim the land eventually failed, and by the late 1580s, England had only to battle the Indians for control of the land.

Colonial North Carolina

Mother Vine

1664-1775

Known as the “oldest cultivated vine in America,” the Mother Vine on Roanoke Island is reportedly over 400 years old.  Historians debate the exact age of the vine, and one claims that its history rests mainly on unsubstantiated yarns.  But one thing is certain: no one knows of another vine in the United States older than the Mother Vine in Roanoke Island.

Colonial North Carolina

Roanoke Island

Pre-1585

In 1584, 1585, and 1587, Sir Walter Raleigh funded expeditions to Roanoke Island (located on what is now called the Outer Banks).  On March  25, 1584,  Queen Elizabeth I issued a charter allowing Raleigh to “discover, search, find out, and view such remote heathen and barbarous Lands, Countries, and territories … to have, hold, occupy, and enjoy.”