1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/North Carolina
NORTH CAROLINA, a South Atlantic state of the United States of America, situated between latitudes 33° 51' 37" (the southernmost point of the southern boundary—35° is the northernmost) and about 36° 34' 25.5" N., and between longitudes 75° 27' W. and 84° 20' W. It is bounded N. by Virginia, E. and S.E. by the Atlantic Ocean, S. and S.W. by South Carolina, S. also by Georgia, and W. and N.W. by Tennessee. North Carolina has an extreme length from E. to W. of 503¼ m., which is greater than that of any other state east of the Mississippi river. It total area. is 52,426 sq. m., of which 3686 sq. m. are water surface.
Physical Features.—The state lies wholly within the three leading topographical regions of the eastern portion of the United States: the Coastal Plain Region, which occupies approximately the eastern half, the Piedmont Plateau Region, which occupies about 20,000 sq. m. in the middle, and the Appalachian Region, which occupies about 6000 sq. m. in the west. At the eastern extremity of the Coastal Plain Region an outer coast line is formed by a chain of long narrow barrier beaches from which project capes Hatteras, Lookout and Fear, whose outlying shoals are known for their dangers to navigation. Between Hatteras and Lookout is Raleigh Bay and between Lookout and Fear is Onslow Bay; and between the chain of islands and the deeply indented mainland Currituck, Albemarle, Pamlico and other sounds form an extensive area, especially to the northward, of shallow, brackish and almost tideless water. Projecting into these sounds and between the estuaries of rivers flowing into them are extensive tracts of swamp land—the best known of these is Dismal Swamp, which lies mostly in Virginia and is about 30 m. long and 10 m. wide. Through most of the Coastal Plain Region, which extends inland from 80 to 150 m., the country continues very level or only slightly undulating, and rises to the westward at the rate of little more than 1 ft. to the mile. Along the W. border of this region, however, the slope becomes greater and there are some hills. The “Fall Line,” the boundary between the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont Plateau, has a very irregular course across North Carolina, but lies in a general S.W. direction from the Falls of Roanoke between Halifax and Northampton counties to Anson county on the South Carolina border and marks a rapid increase in elevation of about 200 ft. The Piedmont Plateau Region extends from this line to the Blue Ridge Escarpment, toward which its mean elevation increases at the rate of about 3½ ft. to the mile. It is traversed from N.E. to S.W. by a series of ridges which in the E. portion produce only a general undulating surface but to the westward become higher and steeper until the country assumes a bold and rugged aspect. The S.E. face of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, which rises precipitously 1200-1500 ft. or more above the Piedmont Plateau, forms the S.E. border of North Carolina's Appalachian Mountain Region, which includes the high Unaka Mountain Range, segments of which are known by such local names as Iron Mountains, Bald Mountains and Great Smoky Mountains. These ranges reach their culmination in this state, and with a series of more or less interrupted cross ranges constitute the greatest masses of mountains in the E. half of the United States. Four peaks along the Blue Ridge have an elevation exceeding 5000 ft.—one of these, the Grandfather, rises 5964 it.; and about thirty peaks in the Unakas and in the several cross ranges exceed 6000 ft., the highest being Mount Mitchell or Mitchell Dome (6711 ft.), of the Black Mountains, a short cross range extending N. from the Blue Ridge through Yancey county. Other noteworthy peaks are Black Brother (6690 ft.) and Hairy Bear (6681 ft.), the next highest mountains. Many of the neighbouring mountain ridges have uniform crests, but a greater number terminate in numerous peaks, some sharp, rugged and rocky, but more of them rounded domes. Throughout the whole region the slopes vary greatly: the N.W. slope of the Blue Ridge is almost imperceptible, or confused with the numerous mountain slopes that rise above it. As a rule the mountain slopes are well graded and subdued, but a few are steep and some are rocky and precipitous. The numerous valleys are usually narrow and deep, though few, if any, descend to less than 2000 ft. above the sea.
The Blue Ridge is the principal water parting of the state. West of it the Hiwassee, the Little Tennessee and the French Broad rivers flow W. or N.W. into Tennessee. Farther N. are the headwaters of the New river, which flows N.E. and finds its way to the Ohio. On the S.E. slope of the Blue Ridge rise the Broad, the Catawba and the Yadkin, which flow for some distance a little N. of E., then, finding a passage across one of the ridges of the Piedmont Plateau, turn to the S.S.E. and across the boundary line into South Carolina, in which state their waters reach the Atlantic. In the N.W. part of the Piedmont Plateau Region, and a little to the N. of the most N.E. course of the Yadkin rises the Dan, which in its N.E. course crosses the boundary into Virginia, where it becomes a tributary of the Roanoke, in which its waters are returned to North Carolina near the “Fall Line.” The other principal rivers—the Cape Fear, the Neuse and the Tar—rise in the N.E. part of the Piedmont Plateau Region, have their S.E. courses wholly within the state, and, with the Roanoke, drain the Coastal Plain Region. In the Mountain Region and in the Piedmont Plateau Region the rivers have numerous falls and rapids which afford a total water power unequalled perhaps in any other state than Maine on the Atlantic Coast, the largest being on the Yadkin, Roanoke and Catawba; and in crossing some of the mountains, especially the Unakas, the streams have carved deep narrow gorges that are much admired for their scenery. In contrast with the rivers of these regions those of the Coastal Plain are sluggish, and toward their mouths expand into wide estuaries.
The Coastal Plain Region is the only part of the state that has any lakes, and these are chiefly shallow bodies of water, with sandy bottoms, in the midst of swamps. In all they number only about fifteen, and have an area estimated at 200 sq. m., about one-half of which is contained in Lake Mattamuskeet in Hyde county.
Flora.—In North Carolina's flora are many species common to sub-tropical regions and many common to temperate regions, and the variety is consequently very great. In the swamps are the bald cypress, the white cedar and the live oak, usually draped in southern long moss; south of Cape Fear river are palmettos, magnolias, prickly ash, the American olive and mock orange; along streams in the Coastal Plain Region are the sour gum, the sweet bay and several species of oak; but the tree that is most predominant throughout the upland portion of this region is the long-leaf or southern pine. In the Piedmont Plateau Region oaks, hickories and elms are the most common. In the Mountain Region at the bases of the mountains are oaks, hickories, chestnuts and white poplars: above these are hemlocks, beeches, birches, elms, ashes, maples and limes; and still higher up are spruce, white pine and balsam; and all but comparatively few of the higher mountains are forest-clad to their summits. All of the species of pine and of magnolia, and nearly all of the species of oak, of hickory and of spruce, indigenous to the United States, are found in North Carolina. On the dome-like tops of such mountains as are too high for trees are large clusters of rhododendrons and patches of grasses fringed with flowers. The forests throughout most of the state have a luxuriant undergrowth consisting of a great variety of shrubs, flowering plants, grasses, ferns and mosses, and the display of magnolias, azaleas, kalmias, golden rod, asters, Jessamine's, smilax, ferns and mosses is often one of unusual beauty. Venus's fly-trap (Dionaea muscipula), a rare plant, is found only south of the Neuse river; and there are several varieties of Sarracenia, carnivorous pitcher plants. Among the fruit bearing trees, shrubs, vines and plants the grape, the blue-berry, the cherry, the plum and the cranberry are indigenous and more or less common. Aromatic and medicinal herbs, of which the state has several hundred distinct species, have been obtained in larger quantities than from any other state in the Union.
Fauna.—In North Carolina five of the seven life-zones into which North America has been divided are represented, but more of its area belongs to the upper-austral than to any other zone. The species of fauna that are at all characteristic of this part of the United States are found in the Piedmont Plateau Region and the western portion of the Coastal Plain Region. Among the song-birds are the mocking-bird, the Carolina wren and the cardinal grosbeak (or red bird); there are plenty of quail or “bob white” (called partridge in the South). Among the mammals are the opossum, raccoon, star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata), grey fox and fox squirrel. The mammals of the Mountain Region include the cotton-tail rabbit, red squirrel, lynx and woodchuck; and there is a considerable variety of migratory song-birds, which are common to the more northern states. In the eastern portion of the Coastal Plain Region are the cotton rat, rice-field rat, marsh rabbit, big-eared bat, brown pelican, swallow-tailed kite, black vulture and some rattlesnakes and cotton-mouth moccasin snakes, all of which are common farther south; and there are some turtles and terrapins, and many geese, swans, ducks, and other water-fowl. Large numbers of shad, blue fish, weak fish (squeteague), alewives, Spanish mackerel, perch, bass, croakers (Micropogon undulatus), mullet, menhaden, oysters and
clams are caught in the sounds, in the lower courses of the rivers flowing into them, or in the neighbouring waters of the sea.
Climate.—North Carolina has a climate which varies from that of the S.E. corner, which approaches the sub-tropical, to that of the Mountain Region, which is like the medium continental type, except that the summers are cooler and the rainfall is greater. The mean annual temperature for the state (below an elevation of 4000 ft.) is about 59° F. For the Coastal Plain Region it is 61° F.; for the Piedmont Plateau Region, 60° F.; for the Mountain Region, 56° F.; for Southport, in the S.E. corner of the state, 64° F.; and for Highlands, at an elevation of 3817 ft. in the S.W. corner, 50° F. January, the coldest month, has a mean temperature of 38° F. in the Mountain Region, of 41° F. on the Piedmont Plateau, and of 44° F. on the Coastal Plain; and in July, the warmest month, the mean is about 79° F . on both the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont Plateau and 74° F. in the Mountain Region. Extremes have ranged from -19° F. at Highlands in 1899 to 107° F. at Chapel Hill, Orange county, in 1900 and again in 1902. The average precipitation for the state is about 52 in. a year, nearly all of it in the form of rain. For the Coastal Plain Region it is 54 in.; for the Piedmont Plateau Region, 48 in.; and for the Mountain Region, 53 in. On the E. slope of some of the mountains the rainfall is exceeded nowhere in the United States, save in the N. part of the Pacific Slope. At Highlands, Macon county, during 1898 it was 105.24 in., and during 1901 it was 106.17 in., 30.74 in. falling here during the month of August. The winds are variable and seldom violent, except along the coast during the sub-tropical storms of late summer and early autumn.
Soil.—On the Coastal Plain the soil is generally sandy, but in nearly all parts of this region more or less marl abounds; south of the Neuse river the soil is mostly a loose sand, north of it there is more loam on the uplands, and in the lowlands the soil is usually compact with clay, silt or peat; toward the western border of the region the sand becomes coarser and some gravel is mixed with it. Throughout much of the Piedmont Plateau and Mountain regions the decomposition of felspar and of other aluminous minerals has resulted in a deep soil of clay with which more or less sand is mixed. It is deeper and more sandy where granite is the underlying rock, deeper and more fertile on the north-western than on the south-eastern mountain slopes, and shallower and more clayey where slate is the underlying rock.
Agriculture.—Until the Civil War agriculture was about the only important industry in the state, and at the close of the 19th century it was still the leading one; but from 1880 to 1900 the ratio of agriculturists to all inhabitants of the state engaged in some gainful occupation decreased from 75.3 to 64.1%. The land included in farms amounted in 1900 to 22,745,356 acres or 73% of the total land surface of the state, and the percentage of farm land that was improved increased from 26.5 in 1870 to 36.6 in 1900. Throughout the colonial era the establishment of small estates was a part of the territorial policy of the government of North Carolina, 640 acres being the largest normal grant to any one person; as a consequence of this policy land holdings have always been much smaller here than in most of the other parts of the South, and since the Civil War the rise in the percentage of improved land, the development of truck farming, and the growth in number of negro holdings, have been accompanied by a further decrease in the average size of farms from 316 acres in 1860 to 101.3 acres in 1900. In the latter year there were in all 224,637 farms: of these 93,097 contained less than 50 acres, 55,028 between 50 and 100 acres, 44,052 between 100 and 175 acres, and 4224 over 500 acres. Of the total number of farms 128,978 were operated by owners or part owners, of whom 17,434 were coloured (including Indians); 19,916, by cash tenants, of whom 10,331 were coloured; and 73,092 by share tenants, of whom 26,892 were coloured. After the Civil War there have been several important changes in the crops raised: the development of cotton manufacturing in the South and the utilization of cotton-seed oil and meal gave impetus to cotton culture; and the discovery of the adaptability of much of the cotton land to the culture of tobacco of a superior quality resulted first in the development of a vast tobacco industry and then to a fluctuation in acreage of the crops of tobacco and of cotton, according as the price of either rose or fell. The destruction of pine forests to meet the demands for naval stores, and the introduction and increased use of the refrigerator car, resulted in much attention to the growth of garden produce for Northern markets. Peanut culture, introduced into the state from Virginia soon after the close of the Civil War, spread rapidly. In the meantime the crops of cereals increased little, and stock raising generally decreased.
The principal crops are cotton, Indian corn, tobacco, hay, wheat, sweet potatoes, apples and peanuts. The yield of cotton increased from 62,901,790 ℔ in 1869 to 307,500,000 ℔ in 1909. In 1909 2,898,000 acres were planted to Indian corn, with a crop of 48,686,000 bushels; 570,000 acres to wheat, with a crop of 5,415,000 bushels; and 196,000 acres to oats, with a crop of 3,234,000 bushels. In Caswell county, North Carolina, “lemon yellow” tobacco was first produced in 1852, and the demand for this “bright” variety became so great that except during the interruption of the Civil War its culture spread rapidly. In 1879 the state's crop amounted to 26,986,213 ℔, in 1889 to 36,375,258 ℔, in 1899 to 127,503,400 ℔, and in 1909 to 144,000,000 ℔. The hay and forage crop increased from 80,528 tons in 1879 to 246,820 tons in 1899; and in 1909 the hay crop was 242,000 tons In the production of vegetables and fruits the state ranks high. Potatoes, cabbage and lettuce are much grown for the early Northern markets.
Farmers of the Piedmont Plateau formerly kept large numbers of horses and cattle from April to November in ranges in the Mountain Region, but with the opening of portions of that country to cultivation the business of pasturage declined, except as the cotton plantations demanded an increased supply of mules; there were 25,259 mules in 1850, 110,011 in 1890, 138,786 in 1900, and 181,000 in 1910. The number of horses was 192,000 in 1910; of dairy cows, 297,000; of hogs, 1,356,000; and of sheep, 215,000.
Cotton is grown most largely in the S. portion of the Piedmont Plateau and in a few counties along or near the W. border of the Coastal Plain; tobacco, in the N. portion of the Piedmont Plateau and in the central and N.W. portions of the Coastal Plain; rice, along the banks of rivers near the coast; wheat, in the valley of the Yadkin; orchard fruits, in the W. portion of the Piedmont Plateau and in the Mountain Region; vegetables and small fruits in the middle and S. portion of the Coastal Plain; peanuts, in the N. portion of the Coastal Plain; sorghum cane, almost wholly in Columbus county in the S. part of the Coastal Plain. The state government, through its Department of Agriculture, takes an active interest in the introduction of modern agricultural methods, and in the promotion of diversified farming; in 1899 it established the Edgecombe and in 1902 the Iredell test farm.
Forests.—North Carolina had in 1900 about 35,300 sq. m. of woodland; great quantities of merchantable timber still remained, especially in the Mountain Region and on the Coastal Plain. The trees of the greatest commercial value are oak and chestnut at the foot of the mountains and yellow pine on the uplands of the Coastal Plain. But mixed with the oak and chestnut or higher up are considerable hickory, birch and maple; farther up the mountain sides are some hemlock and white pine; and on the swamp lands of the Coastal Plain are much cypress and some cedar, and on the Coastal Plain south of the Neuse there is much long-leaf pine from which resin is obtained. Several other pines are found, and among the less important timber trees are black spruce, Carolina balsam, beeches, ashes, sycamore or button wood, sweet gum and lindens. The value of the lumber and timber products was $1,074,003 in 1860; $5,398,742 in 1890; $14,862,593 in 1900; and $15,173,379 in 1905.
Fisheries.—In the sounds along the coast, in the lower courses of the rivers that flow into them, and along the outer shores fishing is an important industry. The fisheries are chiefly of shad, oysters, mullet, alewives, clams, black bass, menhaden, croakers and bluefish. In 1908 the catch was valued at about $1,750,000. The State Geological and Economic Survey has made a careful study of the fishes of North Carolina, of the shad fisheries, of oyster culture, and of the development of terrapin. At Beaufort the United States Bureau of Fisheries has a marine biological laboratory, established in 1901 for the study of the aquatic fauna of the south-east coast.
Minerals.—At the beginning of the 20th century a great number of minerals were found in the Piedmont Plateau and Mountain regions, but most of them in such small quantities as to be of little or no commercial value, and in 1902 the total value of the products of the mines and quarries was only $927,376; but in 1907 their value was $2,961,381, and in 1908, $2,145,947. During the first half of the 19th century North Carolina was a mining state of the first importance; in 1804 it was the only state in the United States from which gold was obtained. Operations ceased during the Civil War, and although resumed soon after its close, they became somewhat desultory. Probably the earliest large find was a 17-℔ nugget on the Reed Plantation in Cabarrus county in 1799; in the same mine a 28-℔ nugget, probably the largest found in eastern United States, was discovered in 1803. The production in Rutherford and Burke counties and their vicinity was so great, and transportation to the United States Mint at Philadelphia so difficult, that from 1831 to 1857 gold was privately coined in 1, 2½ and 5 dollar pieces bearing the mark of the coiner “C. Bechtler, Rutherford county, N.C.” The coins were of standard purity (or higher); they are now very rare. A branch mint of the United States was established in 1837 at Charlotte. Silver, which is rarer in the state than gold, is found chiefly in the W. portion of the Piedmont Plateau. In 1902 the value of the gold and silver product combined was $71,287, and in 1908, when the Iola mine 6 m. E. of Troy, Montgomery county, was the most productive, the value of the gold alone was $97,945, that of the silver $668, and that of copper, $2560.
In 1870 North Carolina's mica mines were reopened, and they produce the best grade of sheet mica for glazing and a large percentage of the country's yield of this mineral. Most of it has been found in the N.E. portion of the Mountain Region; and that mica. was mined here before any European settlement of the country seems proved by numerous excavations and by huge heaps on which are large oak and chestnut trees, some fallen and decayed. North Carolina is also the leading state in the Union in the production of monazite. The mining of corundum was begun at Corundum Hill in Macon county in 1871, and from 1880 to 1902 the output was considerable, but with the discovery of the Canadian corundum
deposits the importance of those of North Carolina greatly declined. It was along the coast of North Carolina that Europeans in 1585 made the first discovery of iron ore within the present limits of the United States. Iron ores are widely distributed within the state, and there have been times since the eve of the War of Independence when the mining of it was an industry of relatively great importance. In 1908 the product amounted to 48,522 long tons (all magnetite), and was valued at $76,877; almost the entire product is from the Cranberry mines, near Cranberry, Mitchell county. The state has two small areas in which bituminous coal occurs; one in the basin of the Dan and one in the basin of the Deep. Very little coal was produced in the state until the Civil War, when, in 1862 and again in 1863, 30,000 short tons were obtained for the relief of the Confederate government, an amount which up to 1905, when the yield was only 1557 short tons (falling off from 7000 short tons in 1904), had not since been equalled; in 1906, in 1907 and in 1908 no coal was mined in the state. The most valuable immediate product of the state's mines and quarries for nearly every year from 1890 to 1908 was building stones of granite and gneiss, which are found in all parts of the state west of the “Fall Line”; the best grades of granite are quarried chiefly in Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, Surry and Wilkes counties. The value of the building stone increased from $150,000 in 1892 to $800,177 (of which $764,272 was the value of granite) in 1908. Talc also is widely distributed in the state; the most extensive beds are in the south-western counties, Swain and Cherokee.
Manufactures.—During the quarter of a century between 1880 and 1905 a great change was wrought in the industrial life of the state by a phenomenal growth of cotton manufacturing. A cotton mill was erected in Lincoln county about 1813, and by 1840 about 25 small mills were in operation within the state. When the Civil War was over, the abnormally high price of cotton made cotton raising for more than a decade a great assistance to the people in recovering from ruin, but when the price had steadily declined from 23.98 cents a pound in 1870 to 10.38 cents a pound in 1879, they turned to the erection and operation of cotton mills. In 1880 the total value of the manufactured products of the state was $20,095,037; in 1900 the value of the cotton manufactures alone was $28,372,789, and in 1905 $47,254,054. The rapid extension of tobacco culture was accompanied by a corresponding growth in the manufacture of chewing and smoking tobacco and snuff, and some of the brands have a wide reputation. The product increased in value from $4,783,484 in 1890 to $25,488,721 in 1905. In 1890 the lumber and timber products, valued at $5,898,742, ranked second among the state's manufactures; by 1905 their value had increased to $15,731,379. The value of the state's factory product for 1900 was $85,274,083, and that for 1905, $142,520,776, an advance of 67.1%. The cotton mills are mostly in the Piedmont Plateau Region; Durham, Durham county, and Winston, Forsyth county, are leading centres of tobacco manufacture, and High Point (pop. in 1900, 4163) in Randolph is noted for its manufacture of furniture.
Transportation.—Railway building was begun in the state in 1836 with the Raleigh & Gaston line, opened from Raleigh to Gaston in 1844 and extended to Weldon in 1852. A longer line, that from Wilmington to Weldon, was completed in 1840. But the greatest period of building was from 1880 to 1890; during this decade the mileage was increased from 1486 m. to 3128 m., or 1642 m., which was more than one-third of all that had been built up to the year 1909, when the total mileage was 4464.14. The principal systems of railways are the Southern, the Atlantic Coast Line, the Norfolk & Southern and the Seaboard Air Line. By means of its navigable waters and safe harbours the state has an extensive coasting trade. The harbours along the sounds and in the estuaries of the rivers are well protected from the storms of the ocean by the long chain of narrow islands in front, but navigation by the largest vessels is interrupted by shoals in the sounds, and especially by bars crossing the inlets between islands. The channel leading to the harbour of Wilmington has been cleared to a depth of 20 ft. or more by dredging and by the construction of jetties and an immense dam, works which were begun by the state in 1823 but from 1828 were carried on from time to time by the national government. The Roanoke river is navigable to Weldon and the Cape Fear river to Fayetteville; the Neuse is navigable for small vessels only to Newbern.
Population.—The population of North Carolina increased from 1,399,750 in 1880 to 1,617,949 in 1890, or 15.6%; to 1,893,810 in 1900, a further increase of 17.1%; and to 2,206,287 in 1910, an increase of 16.5% since 1900. Of the total in 1900 only 4492, or less than ¼ of 1% were foreign-born, nearly half of these being natives of Germany and England, 1,263,664 were whites, 624,469 negroes, 5687 Indians and 51 Chinese. Nearly one-fourth of the Indians are Cherokees, who occupy, for the most part, the Qualla Reservation in Swain and Jackson counties, not far from the south-western extremity of the state. The others, numbering in 1907 nearly 5000, living mostly in Robeson county, are of mixed breed and have been named the Croatans, on the assumption (probably baseless) that they are the descendants of John White's lost colony of 1587. The Cherokees have no ambition to accumulate property, but both they and the Croatans have been generally peaceable and many of them send their children to school—for the Croatans the state provides separate schools. The Baptist and Methodist churches are the leading religious denominations in the state; but there are also Presbyterians, Lutherans, members of the Christian Connexion (O'Kellyites), Disciples of Christ (Campbellites) Episcopalians, Friends, Roman Catholics, Moravians and members of other denominations. Until nearly a century after the founding of the Carolinas there was not a town in North Carolina that had a population of 1000, and the urban population of the state was exceptionally small at the beginning of the rapid rise of the manufacturing industries about 1880. In 1900 the urban population (in places having 4000 inhabitants or more) was 152,019, or 8% of the total; the semi-urban (in incorporated places having less than 4000 inhabitants) was 186,258 or 9.8% of the total; and the rural (outside of incorporated places) was 1,555,533 or 82.1% of the total. But between 1890 and 1900 the urban population increased 56.6% and the semi-urban 61.6%, while the rural increased only 10.6%. The principal cities are Wilmington, Charlotte, Asheville, Raleigh (the capital), Greensboro, Winston and Newbern.
Administration.—North Carolina has been governed under the charters of 1663 and 1665 (1663-1729), under commissions and instructions from the crown (1729-1776), and under the state constitutions of the 18th of December 1776 (amended in 1835, in 1856, and in the Secession Convention of 1861) and of April 1868 (amended in 1872-1873, 1875, 1879, 1888 and 1899). The present constitution, as amended, prescribes that no convention of the people of the state may be called by the legislature unless by the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members of each house followed by an affirmative vote of a majority of the electors voting on the question; and that an amendment to the constitution may be adopted only by a three-fifths vote of each house followed by an affirmative vote of the majority of electors voting on the question. The suffrage provisions containing the famous “grandfather clause” (in Art vi. section 4), were adopted in the form of a constitutional amendment, ratified in August 1900, and in effect on the 1st day of July 1902. All persons otherwise qualified may place their names on the voting register, provided they can read and write any section of the constitution in the English language and have paid on or before the 1st of May the poll tax for the previous year. An exception to the educational requirement is made in favour of any male person who was, on the 1st day of January 1867, or at any time prior thereto, entitled to vote under the laws of any state in the United States wherein he then resided, and in favour of lineal descendants of such persons. This exception remained in force until the 1st of December 1908, after which time all who were on the list became (unless disqualified because convicted of felony) life voters, but new applicants had to stand the educational test.
Perhaps the most notable feature about the administration is the weakness of the governor's position. He is elected by popular vote for four years, and cannot succeed himself in office. His power is limited by a council of state, a relic of colonial days. This body is not, however, a special board, as in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, but a kind of administrative cabinet as in Iowa, consisting of the secretary of state, the auditor, the treasurer, and the superintendent of public instruction, and advising the governor in the administration of his office. Judges, heads of departments, and executive boards are elected, and even in the few instances in which the governor appoints to office the confirmation of the Senate is necessary. Furthermore, in North Carolina the governor has no veto power. In addition to the executive officials mentioned above there are a lieutenant-governor, an attorney-general, a Bureau of Labor Statistics, established in 1887, and a Corporation Commission, which in 1899 superseded the Railroad Commission, established in 1891. The governor and the lieutenant-governor must at the time of their election be at least thirty years of age, and must have been citizens of the United States for five years and residents of the state for two years.
Sessions of the General Assembly are held biennially, beginning on the Wednesday after the first Monday in January. The Senate is composed of fifty members elected biennially by senatorial districts as nearly as possible equal to one another in population, and the House of Representatives (in the Constitution of 1776 called the House of Commons) of one hundred and twenty, elected biennially and chosen by counties according to their population, each county having at least one representative, no matter how small its population. A senator must at the time of his election be at least 25 years of age, and must have been a resident and citizen of the state for at least two years, and a resident in his district for one year immediately preceding his election; and a representative must be a qualified elector of the state and must have resided in his county for at least one year immediately preceding his election. The pay for both senators and representatives is four dollars per day for a period not exceeding sixty days; should the session be prolonged the extra service is without compensation. Extra sessions, called by the governor on the advice of the council of state, are limited to twenty days, but may be extended under the same limitations in regard to compensation. The Senate may sit as a court of impeachment to try cases presented by the House, and a two thirds vote is necessary for conviction.
There is a supreme court consisting of a chief justice and four associates, elected by popular vote for eight years, and a superior or circuit court, composed of sixteen judges elected by the people in each of sixteen districts for a term of eight years.
The county officials are the sheriff, a coroner, a treasurer, a register of deeds, a surveyor and five commissioners, elected for two years. The commissioners supervise the penal and charitable institutions, schools, roads, bridges and finances of the county. Subordinate to them are the township boards of trustees, composed of a clerk, and two justices of the peace.
By the constitution personal property to the value of $500 and any homestead to the value of $1000 is exempt from sale for debt, except for taxes on the homestead, or for obligations contracted for the purchase of said premises. Under the revised code (1905) a wife may hold property which she had acquired before marriage free from any obligation of her husband, but in general she is not permitted to make contracts affecting either her personal or real estate without the written consent of her husband. Neither can the husband convey real estate without the wife's consent, and a widow may dissent from her husband's will at any time within six months after the probate of the same, the effect of such dissent being to allow her the right of one-third of her deceased husband's property, including the dwelling house in which they usually resided. The constitution prescribes that “all marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a white person of negro descent to the third generation inclusive, are hereby forever prohibited.” Until 1905 the only grounds for an absolute divorce were adultery, natural impotence, and pregnancy of the wife at the time of marriage; but an amendment of 1907 allows a divorce whenever there has been a separation of husband and wife for ten successive years, provided the parties have lived in the state for that period and no children have been born of the marriage. The working of children under twelve years of age in any factory or manufacturing establishment is unlawful, the working of children between the ages of twelve and thirteen in such places is allowed only on condition that they be employed as apprentices and have attended school for at least four months during the preceding year; and no boy or girl under fourteen is to work in such places during night time. An antitrust law of 1907 makes it unlawful for any corporation controlling within the state the sale of 50% of an article to raise or lower the price of that article with the intention of injuring a competitor. On the 26th of May 1908 the people of the state voted “against the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors” in the state; the prohibition act thus approved went into effect on the 1st of January 1909. State prohibition had been defeated in 1881 by a vote of 100,000; in 1902 the Anti-Saloon League organized in the state; in 1903 the Watts Law enacted rural prohibition, giving towns local option, under which many of the towns voted “no licence”; and in 1905 severe police regulations were provided for towns in which saloons were licensed.
Charitable and Penal Institutions.—In the systematic care of the dependent and defective classes North Carolina was one of the pioneer states of the South. An institute for the deaf and dumb and blind was opened at Raleigh in 1845, and another for the deaf and dumb at Morganton in 1894; by a law of 1907 every deaf child of sound mind must attend, between the ages of eight and fifteen, a school for the deaf at least five terms of nine months each; and by a law of 1908 every blind child (between seven and seventeen), if of sound mind and body, must attend some school for the blind for nine months of each year. The North Carolina State Hospital (for the insane) at Raleigh was opened in 1856 as a result of the labours of Miss Dorothea Lynde Dix (1805-1887); in connexion with it there is an epileptic colony. The State Hospital at Morganton, opened in 1883, completed in 1886, and intended for the use of the western part of the state, is perhaps the best equipped institution of its kind south of the Potomac. In 1901 a department for criminal insane was opened in a wing of the state prison at Raleigh. The Oxford Orphan Asylum at Oxford (1872) is supported partly by the Masonic Order and partly by the state. A movement begun by the Confederate Veterans Association in October 1889 resulted in the establishment in 1890 of a home for disabled veterans at Raleigh; this became a state institution in 1891. In 1908 a state tuberculosis sanatorium was opened near Aberdeen, Moore county. The state also takes good care of the unfortunates among the negro race. The Institute for the Colored Deaf, Dumb and Blind (1867) at Raleigh and the Eastern Insane Hospital (1880) near Goldsboro are the oldest institutions of the kind for negroes in the world; in connexion with the last there is an epileptic colony for negroes. There is also (at Oxford) an Orphanage for the Colored (1883), which was established by the “Wake and Shiloh Associations of the Colored Baptist Church,” first received state aid in 1891, and is now supported chiefly by the state. The state prison is at Raleigh, although most of the convicts are distributed upon farms owned and operated by the state. The lease system does not prevail, but the farming out of convict labour is permitted by the constitution; such labour is used chiefly for the building of railways, the convicts so employed being at all times cared for and guarded by state officials. A reformatory for white youth between the ages of seven and sixteen, under the name of the Stonewall Jackson Manual Training and Industrial School, was opened at Concord in 1909, and in March 1909 the Foulk Reformatory and Manual Training School for negro youth was provided for. Charitable and penal institutions are under the supervision of a Board of Public Charities, appointed by the governor for a period of six years, the terms of the different members expiring in different years. Private institutions for the care of the insane, idiots, feeble-minded and inebriates may be established, but must be licensed and regulated by the state board and become legally a part of the system of public charities.
Education.—The public school system was established in 1839, being based on the programme for state education prepared in 1816-1817 by Archibald Debow Murphey (1777-1832), whose educational ideas were far in advance of his day. Calvin Henderson Wiley (1819-1887), the author of several romances dealing with life in North Carolina, such as Roanoke: or, Where is Utopia? (1866), and of Life in the South: a Companion to Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), was superintendent of common schools in 1853-1865 (the executive head of) the state's educational department having previously been a “literary board”), and won the name of the “Horace Mann of the South ” by his wise reforms. He kept the public schools going through the Civil War, having advised against the disturbance of the school funds and their reinvestment in Confederate securities. The present school system is supervised by a state board of education consisting of the governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney-general, and superintendent of public instruction. In the counties there is a board of education and there is also a local school committee of three in each township. The compulsory attendance at school of children between the ages
of eight and fourteen for sixteen weeks each year by a state law is optional with each county. A state library commission was established in 1909.
At the head of the state system of education is the university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, chartered in 1789 and opened in 1795, one of the oldest state universities in the count and one of the oldest universities in the South; it consists of the college, the graduate department, the law department, the department of medicine (1890, part of whose work is done at Raleigh) and the department of pharmacy (1897). In 1907-1908 it had 75 instructors and 775 students. Other state educational institutions are the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (1889) at West Raleigh, which in 1907-1908 had 42 instructors and 436 students; the State Normal and Industrial College (1892) for women, at Greensboro; and the East Carolina Teachers' Training School (1907), at Greenville. For the higher education of the negroes the state supports an Agricultural and Mechanical College (1891) at Greensboro, and normal and industrial schools at Fayetteville, Elizabeth City and Winston. The more important sectarian schools are Wake Forest College (Baptist, opened 1834 as a “manual labour and classical institute”; as a college, 1838) at Wake Forest, 16 m. north of Raleigh, with 371 students in 1907-1908; Davidson College (Presbyterian, 1837) at Davidson, with 308 students (1907-1908); Biddle University (Presbyterian) at Charlotte, for negroes; Greensboro Female College (Methodist Episcopal, South; 1846); Guilford College (coeducational; Society of Friends, 1837) near Greensboro; Trinity College (coeducational; Methodist, 1852) at Durham; Lenoir College (Lutheran, 1890) at Hickory; Catawba College (Reformed, 1851) at Newton; Weaverville College (Methodist Episcopal, 1873) at Weaverville; Elon College (Christian, 1890) at Elon; St Mary's College (Roman Catholic, 1877), under the charge of Benedictines, at Belmont; Shaw University (Baptist, 1865), for negroes, at Raleigh; and Livingston College (Methodist, 1879), for negroes, at Salisbury.
Finance.—The revenues of the state come from two sources; about two-thirds from taxation and about one-third in all from the earnings of the penitentiary, from the fees collected by state officials, from the proceeds from the sale of state publications, and from the dividends from stock and bonds. The state owned, in 1909, 30,002 shares of stock in the North Carolina Railroad Company, with a market value (1907) of $5,580,372 (the stock being quoted at 186), and an annual income of $210,014 and 12,666 shares of stock in the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad Company, from which the annual income is $31,665. In addition to the ordinary general property tax, licences and polls, there are a tax on corporations and an income tax. North Carolina is one of the few states to experiment with the inheritance tax, but the last law dealing with that subject was repealed in 1899. The total receipts of the general fund for the fiscal year 1907 were $2,603,293, and the total disbursements for the same year were $2,655,282.
The state debt at the close of the fiscal year 1907 amounted to $6,880,950 It may be divided into three parts: that contracted between 1848 and 1861 for the construction of roads, railways and canals; that contracted during the Civil War for other than war purposes; and that contracted during the Reconstruction era, nominally in the form of loans to railway companies. In their impoverished condition it was impossible for the people to bear the burden, so an act was passed in 1879 scaling part of the debt 60%, part of it 75% and part of it 85%. The remainder, $12,805,000, and all arrears of interest were repudiated outright. This of course impaired the obligation of a contract, but under the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution of the United States the bondholders could not bring suit against the state in the Federal courts. Another state could do so, however, and in 1904, certain creditors having given ten of their bonds to South Dakota, the case of South Dakota versus North Carolina came before the Supreme Court. The court decided, four judges dissenting, that North Carolina must pay the amount due or suffer her railway bonds to be seized and sold to satisfy the judgment (192 U.S. Reports, 286. See also 108 U.S. 76).
History.—The history of North Carolina may be divided into four main periods: the period of discovery and early colonization (1520-1663); the period of proprietary rule (1663-1729); the period of royal rule (1729-1776); and the period of statehood (from 1776).
It is possible that some of the early French and Spanish explorers visited the coast of North Carolina, but no serious attempt was made by Europeans to establish a settlement until near the close of the 16th century. After receiving from Queen Elizabeth a patent for colonization in the New World, Sir Walter Raleigh, in April 1584, sent Philip Amadas, or Amidas (1550-1618), and Arthur Barlowe (c. 1550-c. 1620) to discover in the region bordering on Florida a suitable location for a colony. They returned in September with a, glowing account of what is now the coast of North Carolina, and on the 9th of April 1585 a colony of about 108 men under Ralph Lane (c. 1530-1603) sailed from Plymouth in a fleet of seven small vessels commanded by Sir Richard Grenville. The colony was established at the north end of Roanoke Island on the 17th of August, and about a week later Grenville returned to England. Threatened with famine and with destruction from hostile Indians, the entire colony left for England on the 19th of June 1586 on Sir Francis Drake's fleet. Only a few days after their departure Sir Richard Grenville arrived with supplies and more colonists, fifteen of whom remained when he sailed away. Although greatly disappointed at the return of the first colony, Raleigh despatched another company, consisting of 121 persons under John White, with instructions to remove the plantation to the shore of Chesapeake Bay. They arrived at Roanoke Island on the 22nd of July 1587 and were forced to remain there by the refusal of the sailors to carry them farther. Of the fifteen persons left by Grenville not one was found alive. White's grand-daughter, Virginia Dare (b. 18th August 1587), was the first English child born in America. White soon returned to England for supplies, and having been detained there until 1591 he found upon his return no trace of the colony except the word “Croatan” carved on a tree; hence the colony was supposed to have gone away with some friendly Indians, possibly the Hatteras tribe, and proof of the assumption that these whites mingled with Indians is sought in the presence in Robeson county of a mixed people with Indian habits and occasional English names, calling themselves Croatans. In 1629 Charles I. granted to his attorney-general, Sir Robert Heath, all the territory lying between the 31st and 36th parallels and extending through from sea to sea, but the patent was in time vacated, and in 1663 the same territory was granted to the earl of Clarendon (1609-1674), the duke of Albemarle (1608-1670), and six other favourites of Charles II. By a second charter issued in 1665 the limits were extended to 29° and 36° 30'.
The proprietors had all the powers of a county palatine and proposed to establish a feudal and aristocratic form of government. To this end John Locke drafted for them in 1669 the famous Fundamental Constitutions providing for the division of the province into eight counties and each county into seigniories, baronies, precincts and colonies, and the division of the land among hereditary nobles who were to grant three-fifths of it to their freemen and govern through an elaborate system of feudal courts. But these constitutions, several times revised, actually served only as a theoretical standard for the proprietors and were abrogated altogether in 1693, and the colonists were governed by instructions which granted them much greater privileges. From the very beginning the territory tended to divide into two distinct sections, a northern and a southern. The northern section was first called Albemarle, then “that part of our province of Carolina that lies north and east of Cape Fear,” and about 1689 North Carolina. Settled largely by people from Pennsylvania, this section came to be closely associated with the continental colonies. The southern section, influenced by its location, by the early settlers from Barbados, and by its trade connexions, was brought into rather more intimate relations with the island colonies and with the mother country. The proprietors struggled in vain to bring about a closer union. In 1691 one governor was placed over both settlements, but it was found necessary to appoint a deputy for North Carolina, and finally in 1712 again to allow her a governor of her own. So long as the intervening territory was a wilderness no effort was made to define the boundary line. The first steps were taken in that direction just after the close of the proprietary period in 1729, but the work was not completed until 1815.
The first permanent English colony in North Carolina was established at Albemarle on the Chowan river about 1660 by people from Virginia. The colony grew rapidly, and at the close of the colonial period (1776) the population numbered approximately 300,000, including English, Scotch, Scotch-Irish, Swiss, French Protestants, Moravians, and about 40,000 negroes. According to Dr Weeks “the earliest settlers . . . were not religious refugees, . . . they came to the province not from religious but economic motives.”
The proprietary period (1663-1729) was a turbulent one, in spite of the supposedly peaceful influence of the Quakers. Six out of sixteen governors or deputy-governors were driven from office between 1674 and 1712, and there were two uprisings which have been deemed worthy of the term rebellion. The first under John Culpeper in 1677 was primarily economic in character, the chief grievance being the payment of an export duty on tobacco. It was evidently influenced by the recent uprising in Virginia under Nathaniel Bacon. The insurrection of dissenters (1708-1711), which was headed by Thomas Carey, who was deputy-governor while the trouble was brewing, was in opposition to the establishment of the Church of England; it was ultimately unsuccessful, the Church was established in 1711, a law was passed which deprived Quakers of the privilege of serving on juries or holding public office, and the establishment was continued until the War of Independence. A war with the Tuscarora Indians, in 1711-1713, resulted in the defeat of the Indians and the removal of the greater part of the tribe to New York, where they became the sixth nation of the Iroquois confederacy.
North Carolina did not join South Carolina in the revolution of 1719 (see South Carolina), but remained under proprietary rule until 1729. In that year an act was passed by parliament establishing an agreement with seven of the Lords Proprietors for the surrender of their claims to both provinces. They were allowed £17,500 for their rights and £5000 for arrears of quit rents. Lord Carteret refused to sell and continued to hold a one-eighth undivided share until 1744, when he gave up his claim in return for a large strip of land in North Carolina lying between latitude 35° 34' and the Virginia line (36° 30'). S0 that while the king was governmental head of the whole of North Carolina from 1729 to 1776 he was, after 1744, territorial lord of only the southern half. The political history during the royal period is, like that of the other colonies, the story of a constant struggle between the representatives of the people and the representatives of the crown. The struggle was especially bitter during the administrations of the last three royal governors, Arthur Dobbs (1684-1765), William Tryon (1729-1788) and Josiah Martin (1737-1786). There were disputes over questions of government, of commerce, of finance and of religion. The ship which brought stamps and stamped paper to Wilmington in 1766 was not permitted to land, and the stamp master was compelled by the people to take an oath that he would not exercise the functions of his office. Through the vigilance of Governor Tryon, however, the Assembly was prevented from sending delegates to the Stamp Act Congress. The colonists were also angered by the attempt to enforce the acts of trade and navigation and by the parliamentary statute of 1764 forbidding the issue of bills of credit; and the Scotch-Irish among them in particular were aroused by the repeal of an act of 1771 allowing Presbyterian ministers to perform the marriage ceremony and of another act of the same year for the establishment of Queen's College in Mecklenburg county for Presbyterians. In the “back country” extortionate fees, excessive taxes, and the oppressive manner of collecting them brought about a popular uprising, known as the Regulation, which centred in Orange and Anson counties, but was strong also in Brown, Edgecombe, Johnson, Granville and Halifax counties. Hermon Husband (c. 1724-1795) was the chief agitator of measures for relief, but, since, as a Quaker, he discouraged violence, the cause was left without a recognized leader. Governor Tryon manifested no sympathy for the oppressed and sought only the thorough suppression of the disturbance, which was organized in the spring of 1768 by Regulators, “for regulating public grievances and abuses of power.” The Regulators agreed to pay no more taxes until satisfied that they were in accordance with law, and to pay nothing in excess of the legal fees. Violence speedily followed; the local militia was called out, but since only a few would serve the only means found to quiet the people was an alleged promise from the governor that if they would petition him for redress and go to their homes he would see that justice was done. In reply to their petition the governor denied that he had made any promise in their behalf; and in September he had at his command a military force of 1153, about one-fourth of whom were officers. Although the Regulators assembled to the number of about 3700 they were not prepared to withstand the governor's force and again submitted without bloodshed, there being only a few arrests made. In the following year the Regulators attempted to elect new members to the assembly and petitioned the newly-elected house. But as little had been accomplished when the superior court met at Hillsboro, Orange county, in September 1770, the Regulators became desperate again, whipped the chief offender, Colonel Edmund Fanning, and demolished his residence. These riotous proceedings provoked the second military expedition of the governor, and on the 16th of May 1771, with a force of about 1000 men and officers, he met about twice that number of Regulators on the banks of the Alamance, where, after two hours of fighting, with losses on each side nearly equal, the ammunition of the Regulators was exhausted and they were routed. About fifteen were taken prisoners, and of these seven were executed. This insurrection was in no sense a beginning of the War of Independence; on the contrary, during that war most of Tryon's militia who fought at Alamance were Patriots and the majority of the Regulators, who remained in the province, were Loyalists.
In August 1771 Governor Tryon was succeeded by Governor Josiah Martin, who was soon engaged in spirited controversies with the assembly on questions pertaining to taxes, the southern boundary, and the attachment of property belonging to non-residents. So complete became the breach between them that in 1773 the royal government had nearly ceased to operate, and in 1774 the governor was deserted by his hitherto subservient council. The first Provincial Congress met at Newbern on the 25th of August 1774 and elected delegates to the Continental Congress. When the governor learned that a second Provincial Congress was called to meet in April 1775 he resolved to convene the assembly on the same day. But the assembly, the members of which were nearly the same as those of the congress, refused to interrupt the meeting of the congress, and in the next month the governor sought safety in flight, first to Fort Johnson on the Cape Fear below Wilmington and then to a man-of-war along the coast. On the 31st of May 1775 a committee representing the militia companies of Mecklenburg county passed a series of resolutions which declared that the royal commissions in the several colonies were null and void, that the constitution of each colony was wholly suspended, and that the legislative and executive powers of each colony were vested in its provincial congress subject to the direction of the Continental Congress; and the resolutions requested the inhabitants of the county to form a military and civil organization independent of the crown of Great Britain which should operate until the Provincial Congress should otherwise provide or the British parliament should “resign its unjust and arbitrary pretensions with respect to America.” The “Mecklenburg Declaration,” which it is alleged was passed on the 20th of the same month by the same committee, “dissolves the political bonds” which have connected the county with the mother country, “absolves” the citizens of that county “from all allegiance to the British Crown,” declares them “a free and independent people,” and abounds in other phrases which closely resemble phrases in the great Declaration of the 4th of July 1776.
The Resolutions were published in at least two newspapers only a few days after they were passed. As for the “Declaration,” the original records of the transactions of Mecklenburg county were destroyed by fire in 1800, but it is claimed that a copy of the “Declaration” was made from memory in the same year, and when, in 1819, a controversy had arisen as to where the movement for independence originated, this copy was published, first in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette and then in many other newspapers. Several aged men also testified that they had heard a declaration of independence read at Charlotte, the county-seat, in May 1775; and one of them stated that he had carried it to the Continental Congress. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, however, declared that they had never heard of it before, and both believed it spurious. But Jefferson was charged with plagiarism by those who believed in the authenticity of the “Declaration,” and in 1833 there was discovered a proclamation of Governor Martin, dated the 8th of August 1775, in which he mentioned a publication in the Cape Fear Mercury of a series of resolves by a committee of Mecklenburg county which declared “the entire dissolution of the laws, government and constitution of the country.” Another stage of the controversy was reached in 1838-1847 when the Mecklenburg Resolutions of the 31st of May 1775 were discovered either in part or in full in newspaper files. There seems practically no basis for the contention that a declaration of independence was adopted on the 20th other than the tradition that independence was declared by the Mecklenburg Committee on that date, and the occasional references in print, even before 1819, to a declaration of independence in the county in 1775. Those who believe the “Declaration” to be spurious argue that survivors remembered only one such document, that the Resolutions might easily be thought of as a declaration of independence, that Governor Martin in all probability had knowledge only of these and not of the alleged “Declaration,” and that the dates of publication in the Raleigh and Charleston newspapers, and the politics of those papers, show that the Resolutions are authentic. In July 1905 there appeared in Collier's Weekly (New York) what purported to be a facsimile reproduction of a copy of the Cape Fear Mercury which was referred to by Governor Martin and which contained the “Declaration”; but this was proved a forgery.
The first and the second provincial congress did little except choose delegates to the Continental Congress and the management of affairs passed in large measure from the royal government to the several county committees. The third provincial congress, which met on the 21st of August 1775, still required its members to sign an oath of allegiance to King George III. but formed a provisional government consisting of a provincial council and six District Committees of Safety. The first sanction of independence by any body representing the whole province was given by the fourth Provincial Congress on the 12th of April 1776, and the same body immediately proceeded to the consideration of a new and permanent form of government. Their labours ended, however, in another provincial government by a Council of Safety, and the drafting of North Carolina's first state constitution was left to a constitutional convention which assembled at Halifax on the 12th of November.
North Carolinians fought under Washington at Brandywine and Monmouth and played a still more important part in the Southern campaigns of 1778-1781. The state was twice invaded, in 1776 and in 1780-1781, and two important battles were fought upon her soil, Moore's Creek on the 27th of February 1776 and Guilford Court House on the 15th of March 1781.
The territory now comprising the state of Tennessee belonged to Carolina under the charters of 1663 and 1665, and fell to North Carolina when the original province was divided. To this territory settlers, many of them from North Carolina, had gone immediately before and during the War of Independence, and had organized a practically independent government. In 1776 this was formally annexed to North Carolina, but in 1784 the state ceded this district to the national government on condition that it should be accepted within two years. The inhabitants of the district, however, objected to the cession, especially to the terms, which, they contended, threatened them with two years of anarchy; declared their independence of North Carolina and organized for themselves the state of Franklin. But the new state was weakened by factions, and after a brief and precarious existence it was forced into submission to North Carolina by which in 1790 the territory was again ceded to the national government with the proviso that no regulation made or to be made by Congress should tend to the emancipation of slaves (see Tennessee).
North Carolina sent delegates to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787, but the state convention, at Hillsboro, called to pass upon the constitution for North Carolina, did not meet until the 21st of July 1788, when ten states had already ratified. On the first day of this convention the opponents to the constitution, among whom were most of the delegates from the western counties, were ready to reject it without debate, but yielded to a proposal for discussing it clause by clause. In this discussion, which was continued for nine days, the document was most strongly opposed because it contained no bill of rights and on the ground that it would provide for such a strong central government that the state governments would ultimately be sacrificed. At the conclusion of the debate the convention by a vote of 184 to 84 declared itself unwilling to ratify the constitution until a bill of rights had been added and it had been amended in several other particulars so as to guarantee certain powers to the states. By reason of this rejection the relations of North Carolina with the other states were severed upon the dissolution of the Confederation, and it took no part in the first election or in the organization of the new government. However, there was a speedy reaction against the opposition which had in no small measure been inspired by fear of a requirement that debts be paid in gold and silver. A second convention met at Fayetteville in November 1789 and the constitution was speedily ratified (on the 13th) by a vote of 195 to 77.
The period from 1790 to 1835 was marked by a prolonged contest between the eastern and the western counties. When the state constitution of 1776 was adopted the counties were so nearly equal in population that they were given equal representation in the General Assembly, but the equality in population disappeared in the general westward movement, and in 1790 the West began to urge a new division of the state into representative districts according to population and taxation. This was stubbornly resisted, and the West assumed a threatening attitude as the East opposed its projects for internal improvements for which the West had the greater need. In 1823 the West called an extra-legal convention to meet at Raleigh, and delegates from 24 of the 28 western counties responded, but those from the far West, in which there were practically no slaves, wished free white population to be made the basis of representation, while those from the Middle West demanded the adoption of the basis for the national House of Representatives and the convention made only a divided appeal to the people. Ten years later, however, at the election of assemblymen, 33 of the western counties polled an extra-legal vote on the question of calling a constitutional convention, and 30,000 votes were cast for it to only 1000 against it. The effect of this was that in January 1835 the legislature passed a bill for submitting the question legally to all the voters of the state, although this bill itself limited the proposed convention's power relating to representation by providing that it should so amend the constitution that senators be chosen by districts according to public taxes, and that commoners be apportioned by districts according to Federal representation, i.e. five slaves to be counted equal to three whites. When the popular vote was taken, in the following April, every eastern county gave a majority against the convention, but the West, even with the limitation which was decidedly favourable to the East, voted strongly for it and carried the election with a total majority in the state of 5856 votes. Again, however, the advantage was with the East, for the delegates were chosen by counties, two from each; but in the convention, which was in session at Raleigh from the 4th of June to the 11th of July, the East made some concessions: such as the popular election of the governor (who had previously been elected by the two houses of the legislature), the disfranchisement of free negroes, and the abolition of representation from 6 boroughs, 4 of which were in the East. The number of senators was reduced to 50, the number of commoners to 120, and the manner of choosing senators and commoners was changed as directed in the act providing for the convention. The electorate gave its approval to the revision by a vote of 26,771 to 21,606, and with this the agitation over representation ceased.
The fundamental points of difference between North Carolina and South Carolina were exemplified in the slavery conflict. South Carolina led the extreme radical element in the South and was the first state to secede. North Carolina held back, worked for a compromise, sent delegates to the Washington Peace Convention in February 1861, and did not secede until the 20th of May 1861, after President Lincoln's call for troops to preserve the Union. Liberal support was given to the Confederacy, both in men and supplies, but Governor Vance, one of the ablest of the Southern war governors, engaged in acrimonious controversies with President Jefferson Davis, contending that the general government of the Confederacy was encroaching upon the prerogatives of the separate states. Owing to its distance from the border, the state escaped serious invasion until near the close of the war. Wilmington was captured by the Federals in February 1865; General Sherman's army crossed the southern boundary in March; a battle was fought at Bentonville, March 19-21; Raleigh was entered on April 13; and the Confederates under General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered near Durham Station, in Durham county, on the 26th.
Reconstruction was a costly experience here as in other Southern states. Jonathan Worth (1802-1869), elected governor under the presidential plan in 1865, was an honest and capable official, but the government established in accordance with the views of Congress in 1868 was corrupt, inefficient and tyrannical. Carpet-baggers, negroes and unscrupulous native whites, known as scalawags, were in control of affairs, while the people of wealth, refinement and education were disfranchised Governor William Woods Holden (1818-1892; governor 1868-1870) was so weak and tyrannical that he was impeached by the legislature in December 1870. Under his successor, Tod R. Caldwell (1818-1874), there was some improvement in the condition of affairs, and in 1875 a constitutional convention, in session at Raleigh, with the Democrats slightly in the majority, amended the constitution, their work being ratified by the people at the state election in 1876. The native white element completely regained possession of the government in the following year, when the Democrats came into office under Governor Zebulon B. Vance. Since that time the most interesting feature in the political history has been the rise and fall of the People's party. The hard times which followed the financial panic of 1893 made it possible for them, in alliance with the Republicans, to carry the state in the election of 1894. Afterwards their strength declined, because the people became more prosperous, because the national Democratic party in 1896 and 1900 adopted their views on the money question, and because of the unpopularity of a coalition with Republicans, which made it necessary to give the coloured people a share of the offices. The race question was the chief issue in the election of 1898, the Democrats were successful, and what amounted to a negro-disfranchising amendment to the constitution was adopted in August 1900. In 1907 there was a serious clash between the state authorities and the Federal judiciary, arising from an act of the legislature of that year which fixed the maximum railway fare at 2½ cents a mile and imposed enormous fines for its violation. The two principal railway corporations, the Southern and the Seaboard Air Line, contended that the act was clearly contrary to the 14th Amendment to the Federal Constitution in that it denied the equal protection of law. The promise of the railways to give to every purchaser of a ticket a rebate check until the question of the validity of the act should be decided by the courts was not satisfactory to the state authorities, who arrested a ticket agent of the Southern railway, convicted him of violating the law, and sentenced him to the chain-gang for thirty days. Thereupon the attorneys for the railway applied to judge Jeter Connelly Pritchard (b. 1857) of the United States Circuit Court for a writ of habeas corpus; this was granted and the prisoner was released. The governor of the state, Robert Brodnax Glenn (b. 1854), nevertheless urged the state courts and attorneys to proceed with the prosecution of other ticket agents, and threatened to resist with the force of the state any further interference of Federal judiciary; but in March 1908 the Supreme Court of the United States declared the North Carolina rate law unconstitutional on the ground that it was confiscatory.
|Governors of North Carolina|
|Proprietary Period (1663-1729).|
|John Jenkins, president of the council||1673-1676|
|Thomas Miller, president of the council||1677-1678|
|John Harvey, president of the council||1678-1679|
|Alexander Lillington, deputy-governor||1691-1694|
|Thomas Harvey, deputy-governor||1694-1699|
|Henderson Walker, president of the council||1699-1704|
|Robert Daniel, deputy-governor||1704-1705|
|Thomas Carey, deputy-governor||1705-1706|
|William Glover, president of the council||1706-1707|
|Edward Hyde, deputy-governor||1710-1712|
|Thomas Pollock, president of the council||1712-1714|
|Thomas Pollock, president of the council||1722|
|William Reid, president of the council||1722-1724|
|Edward Mosely, president of the council||1725|
|Sir Richard Everard||1725-1729|
|Royal Period (1729-1776).|
|Nathaniel Rice, president of the council||1734|
|Nathaniel Rice, president of the council||1752-1753|
|Matthew Rowan, president of the council||1753-1754|
|James Hasell, president of the council||1771|
|Statehood Period (1776-).|
|Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr.||Dem.-Repub.||1791-1795|
|William Richardson Davie||”||1798-1799|
|John Branch||”||1817-1820 |
|Hutchings G. Burton||”||1824-1827|
|David Lowry Swain||”||1832-1835|
|Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr.||”||1835-1837|
|Edward Bishop Dudley||Whig||1837-1841|
|John Motley Morehead||”||1841-1845|
|William Alexander Graham||”||1845-1849|
|David Settle Reid||Democrat||1851-1854|
|Warren Winslow (ex-officio)||”||1854-1855|
|John Willis Ellis||”||1859-1861|
|Henry Toole Clark (ex-officio)||”||1861-1862|
|Zebulon Baird Vance||”||1862-1865|
|William Woods Holden||Provisional||1865|
|Gen. Daniel Edgar Sickles||Military||1867|
|Gen. Ed. Richard Sprigg Canby||”||1867-1868|
|William Woods Holden||Republican||1868-1870|
|Tod R. Caldwell||”||1870-1874|
|Curtis Hooks Brogden||”||1874-1877|
|Zebulon Baird Vance||Democrat||1877-1879|
|Thomas Jordan Jarvis||”||1879-1885|
|Alfred Moore Scales||”||1885-1889|
|Daniel Gould Fowle||”||1889-1891|
|Thomas Michael Holt||”||1891-1893|
|Daniel Lindsay Russell||Republican||1897-1901|
|Charles Brantley Aycock||Democrat||1901-1905|
|Robert Brodnax Glenn||”||1905-1909|
|William Walton Kitchin||”||1909-|
Bibliography.—For physical description, resources, industries, &c. see State Board of Agriculture, North Carolina and its Resources (Raleigh, 1896); North Carolina Geological Survey Reports (Raleigh, 1852, sqq.); the publications of the North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey (Raleigh, 1893, sqq.), e.g. Water Powers in North Carolina (1899), by G. F. Swain, Joseph H. Holmes and E. W. Myers, Gold Mining in North Carolina and other Appalachian States (1897), by H. B. C. Nitze and A. J. Wilkins, The Tin Deposits of the Carolinas (1905), by J. H. Pratt and D. B. Sterrett, Building and Ornamental Stones of North Carolina (1907), by T. L. Watson and others. The Fishes of North Carolina (1907), by Hugh M. Smith, and History of the Gems found in North Carolina (1908), by G. F. Kunz; Report of the Secretary of Agriculture in Relation to the Forests, Rivers and Mountains of the Southern Appalachian Region (Washington, 1902); Climatology of North Carolina (Raleigh, 1892); and H. Thompson, From the Cotton Field to the Cotton Mill, a Study of the Industrial Transition in North Carolina (New York, 1906), contains some interesting observations on the changes in social conditions resulting from the growth of the cotton-manufacturing industry. John W. Moore, History of North Carolina (2 vols., Raleigh, 1880); S. A'Court Ashe, History of North Carolina (2 vols., Greensboro, 1908-) are general surveys. Cornelia P. Spencer, First Steps in North Carolina History (6th ed., Raleigh, 1893), is a brief elementary book written for use in the public schools. For the colonial and revolutionary periods there are some excellent studies. C. L. Raper, North Carolina: a Study in English Colonial Government (New York, 1904), treats of the royal period (1729-1776) from the legal point of view; J. S. Bassett, Constitutional Beginnings of North Carolina (Baltimore, 1894); The Regulators of North Carolina (Washington, 1894); and Slavery in the State of North Carolina (Baltimore, 1899), are all trustworthy. S. B. Weeks deals with the religious history in his Religious Development in the Province of North Carolina (Baltimore, 1892), Church and State in North Carolina (Baltimore, 1893) and Southern Quakers and Slavery (Baltimore, 1896); he is anti-Anglican, but judicial. E. W. Sikes, The Transition of North Carolina from Colony to Commonwealth (Baltimore, 1898), based on the public records, is accurate, though dull. There is a considerable controversial literature concerning the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence; W. H. Hoyt's The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (New York, 1907) is the best presentation of the view generally adopted by competent historians that the alleged Declaration of the 20th of May 1775 is spurious; G. W. Graham, The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (New York, 1905), and J. W. Moore, Defence of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (1909), are perhaps the best of the attempts to prove the same Declaration genuine. The older histories of the colony are: Hugh Williamson, History of North Carolina (2 vols. Philadelphia, 1812), which deals with the period before 1771 and is meagre and full of errors; F. X. Martin, History of North Carolina (2 vols., New Orleans, 1829), which deals with the period before 1776, contains much irrelevant matter and is of little value; F. L. Hawks, History of North Carolina (2 vols. Fayetteville, N C., 1857-1358), written from the established church point of view, the best and fullest treatment of the proprietary period (1663-1729); and W. D. Cooke (ed.), Revolutionary History of North Carolina (Raleigh and New York, 1853), containing a defence of the Regulators. For the Reconstruction period see J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Reconstruction in North Carolina (Raleigh, 1906); Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the late Insurrectionary States, being the 42nd Congress, 2nd session, House Report 22 (13 vols., Washington, 1872; vol. ii. deals with North Carolina); and Hilary A. Herbert et al. Why the Solid South? or Reconstruction and its Results (Baltimore, 1890). The chief published sources are The Colonial Records of North Carolina (10 vols., Raleigh, 1886-1890); and The State Records of North Carolina (vols. 11-20, 1776-1788; other vols., in continuation of the colonial series, Winston (11-15) and Goldsboro (16-20), 1895-1902; the series is to be continued). The best bibliography is S. B. Weeks, Bibliography of Historical Literature of North Carolina (Cambridge, 1895).
- ↑ The population of the state was 393,751 in 1790; 478,103 in 1800; 555,500 in 1810; 638,829 in 1820; 737,987 in 1830; 753,419 in 1840; 869,039 in 1850; 992,622 in 1860; and 1,071,361 in 1870.
- ↑ The changes made in 1875 were adopted in a convention, were ratified in 1876, and were so numerous that the amended constitution is frequently referred to as the Constitution of 1876.
- ↑ Up to 1835 he was elected annually by the two houses of the legislature, and no man could serve as governor for more than three years in any six successive years. Under an amendment of 1835 he was elected for two years by popular vote of electors for members of the House of Commons, and no man was eligible to serve for more than four years in any term of six years.
- ↑ Under the Constitution of 1776 senators were elected by counties, one for each county, and representatives also by counties, two for each county—in addition, the towns of Edenton, Newbern, Wilmington, Salisbury, Hillsboro and Halifax each elected one representative; and a property qualification—a freehold of 50 acres held for six months before an election—was imposed on electors of senators. Under amendments of 1835 senators were chosen by districts formed on the basis of public taxes paid into the state treasury, representatives were still chosen by counties, and were apportioned among them on the same basis as their Federal representation (i.e. counting three-fifths of the slaves), and free negroes or mulattoes “descended from negro ancestors to the fourth generation inclusive” were excluded from the suffrage. In 1856 the property qualification for electors of senators was removed.
- ↑ The North Carolina Railroad from Goldsboro, via Raleigh, Greensboro and Salisbury, to Charlotte, was an extension of the Raleigh & Gaston, which had come into the hands of the state; it was chartered in 1849, the act being passed by the casting vote of the speaker, whose action was the cause of his failure to be re-elected to that, or to be elected to any other office afterwards, since the poverty of the state did not warrant such an expenditure. The original stock of $3,000,000, of which the state was to subscribe $2,000,000, was increased in 1855 to $4,000,000, the state subscribing the added million. The road was leased in 1871 to the Richmond & Danville for thirty years at 6%; and in 1905 to the Southern Railway Company for ninety-nine years at 6½% for the first six years and at 7% for the remainder of the term. The Atlantic & North Carolina, the second great internal improvement undertaken by the state, was chartered in 1853, and was opened from Goldsboro to Morehead City (95 m.) in 1858; it was in 1910 a part of the Norfolk & Southern system. Although the state of North Carolina owns 70.3% of the stock (besides this Craven county holds 7.7%; Lenoir, 2.8%; and Pamlico county, 1.13%), the state casts only 350 votes to the 700 of the private stockholders.
- ↑ Between 1735 and 1746 the southern boundary was first definitely established by a joint commission of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The line was resurveyed in 1764, and in 1772 was extended; parts of the line were resurveyed under acts of the assembly of 1803, 1804, 1806, 1813, 1814 and 1815, and by an act of 1819 the last extension, to the Tennessee line, was confirmed and established. According to the charter the northern boundary was to be the line of 36° 30', but the surveys (of 1728, 1749 and 1779) were not strictly accurate, and the actual line runs irregularly from 36° 33' 15" at its eastern to 36° 34' 25.5" at its western end. The boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee was surveyed in 1799 and 1821.
- ↑ The 20th of May has been made a holiday in North Carolina, and the date appears on the state flag and the state seal; and a statue has been erected at Charlotte in memory of the signers of the “Declaration.”
- ↑ Burrington was appointed in 1730, but did not arrive in the province until February 1731. Either Everard held over or the president of the council was acting-governor from 1729-1731.