The New International Encyclopædia/North Carolina

NORTH CAROLI′NA (popularly called the ‘Old North State,’ also the ‘Turpentine State’). A South Atlantic State of the United States. It lies between 33° 50′ and 36° 33′ north latitude, and between 75° 27′ and 84° 20′ west longitude. It is bounded on the north by Virginia, on the east and southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by South Carolina and Georgia, and on the west by Tennessee. Its extreme length from east to west is 503¼ miles, and its extreme breadth 187½ miles, the average breadth being about 100 miles. Its area is 52,250 square miles, including the large coast lagoons, the land surface covering 48,580 square miles, or 31,091,200 acres. Its gross area is, according to the latest official figures, exactly equal to that of Alabama, and is exceeded by 23 of the other States. In land area North Carolina ranks 25th.

Topography. The State may be divided into three distinct topographical belts, the Appalachian mountain region in the west, the Piedmont plain in the middle, and the coastal plain in the east, the dividing lines between these running obliquely across the State from southwest to northeast. The mountain belt, taken as a whole, consists of a high plateau covering about 6000 square miles and lying at an average elevation of 2000 to 5000 feet. It is bounded on the east by the Blue Ridge, which rises in a steep and rugged escarpment from the Piedmont plain to a height of nearly 4000 feet above sea level in the north, becoming lower southward. On the west the plateau is bounded by the Great Smoky Mountains, whose crest separates North Carolina from Tennessee. Between these ridges the plateau itself is much dissected by river valleys running in all directions, and broken up into cross ranges and irregular mountain groups. These are generally rounded, forest-covered heights, but there are several pointed peaks, and some precipitous slopes and rocky cliffs. More than twenty-five peaks are over 6000 feet high. Their summits are generally bare. The highest is Mount Mitchell, in the group known as the Black Mountains, the culminating point of the Appalachian system and the highest peak in the eastern half of the continent. It rises from the centre of the plateau in North Carolina to a height of 6711 feet above the sea.

The portion of the State east of the mountain belt is about equally divided between the Piedmont and the coastal plains. The former reaches its widest development in this State, of whose area it includes nearly one-half. It slopes gradually from an elevation of 1000 feet at the foot of the Blue Ridge to less than 500 feet where it merges into the coastal plain. Its surface is undulating, rugged, and hilly near the mountains, but gradually levels toward the east. It is partly forested, but consists largely of cultivated land, being the most populous and best developed region of the State. The coastal plain occupies the eastern belt stretching from 100 to 150 miles from the coast. It is level and sandy, consisting in parts of pine barrens, and everywhere is less than 500 feet in elevation. It merges through low swamps into the shallow coast lagoons, of which Pamlico and Albemarle sounds are the largest. They are bounded on the ocean front by narrow sand beaches.

NIE 1905 North Carolina.jpg


County Map
 County Seat.   Area in 

1890. 1900.

Alamance C 1  Graham 494  18,271   25,665 
Alexander A 2  Taylorsville 297  9,430 10,960
Alleghany A 1  Sparta 223  6,523  7,759
Anson B 3  Wadesboro 551 20,027 21,870
Ashe A 1  Jefferson 399 15,628 19,581
Beaufort F 2  Washington 819 21,072 26,404
Bertie E 1  Windsor 712 19,176 20,588
Bladen D 3  Elizabethtown 1,013   16,763 17,677
Brunswick D 3  Southport 812 10,900 12,657
Buncombe B 4  Asheville 624 35,266 44,288
Burke C 4  Morganton 534 14,939 17,699
Cabarrus B 2  Concord 387 18,142 22,456
Caldwell C 1  Lenoir 507 12,298 15,694
Camden F 1  Camden 218  5,667  5,474
Carteret F 3  Beaufort 538 10,825 11,811
Caswell C 1  Yanceyville 396 16,028 15,028
Catawba A 2  Newton 408 18,689 22,133
Chatham C 2  Pittsboro 785 25,413 23,912
Cherokee A 4  Murphy 451  9,976 11,860
Chowan F 1  Edenton 161  9,167 10,258
Clay A 4  Hayesville 185  4,197  4,532
Cleveland A 2  Shelby 485 20,394 25,078
Columbus D 3  Whiteville 937 17,856 21,274
Craven E 2  Newbern 685 20,533 24,160
Cumberland  C 2  Fayetteville 1,008   27,321 29,249
Currituck F 1  Currituck 273  6,747  6,529
Dare G 2  Manteo 405  3,768  4,757
Davidson B 2  Lexington 563 21,702 23,403
Davie B 2  Mocksville 264 11,621 12,115
Duplin E 3  Kenansville 830 18,690 22,405
Durham D 1  Durham 284 18,041 26,233
Edgecombe  E 2  Tarboro 515 24,113 26,491
Forsyth B 1  Winston-Salem  369 28,434 35,261
Franklin D 1  Louisburg 471 21,090 25,116
Gaston A 2  Dallas 359 17,764 27,903
Gates F 1  Gatesville 356 10,252 10,413
Graham A 4  Robbinsville 302  3,313  4,343
Granville D 1  Oxford 504 24,484 23,263
Greene E 2  Snowhill 258 10,039 12,038
Guilford C 1  Greensboro 674 28,052 39,074
Halifax E 1  Halifax 681 28,908 30,793
Harnett D 2  Lillington 596 13,700 15,988
Haywood A 4  Waynesville 541 13,346 16,222
Henderson B 4  Hendersonville 362 12,589 14,104
Hertford E 1  Winton 339 13,851 14,294
Hyde F 2  Swanquarter 596  8,903  9,278
Iredell B 2  Statesville 592 25,462 29,064
Jackson A 4  Webster 494  9,512 11,853
Johnston D 2  Smithfield 688 27,239 32,250
Jones E 3  Trenton 403  7,403  8,226
Lenoir E 2  Kinston 436  14,879   18,639 
Lincoln A 2  Lincolnton 296 12,586 15,498
McDowell B 4  Marion 437 10,939 12,567
Macon A 4  Franklin 531 10,102 12,104
Madison B 4  Marshall 431 17,805 20,644
Martin E 2  Williamston 438 15,221 15,383
Mecklenburg B 2  Charlotte 590 42,673 55,268
Mitchell B 3  Bakersville 362 12,807 15,221
Montgomery C 2  Troy 489 11,239 14,197
Moore C 2  Carthage 798 20,479 23,622
Nash D 2  Nashville 584 20,707 25,478
New Hanover  E 3  Wilmington 199 24,026 25,785
Northampton E 1  Jackson 523 21,242 21,150
Onslow E 3  Jacksonville 645 10,303 11,940
Orange C 1  Hillsboro 386 14,948 14,690
Pamlico F 2  Bayboro 358  7,146  8,045
Pasquotauk F 1  Elizabeth City 231 10,748 13,660
Pender D 3  Burgaw 883 12,514 13,381
Perquimans F 1  Hertford 251  9,293 10,091
Person C 1  Roxboro 386 15,151 16,685
Pitt E 2  Greenville 644 25,519 30,889
Polk B 4  Columbus 258  5,902  7,004
Randolph C 2  Ashboro 795 25,195 28,232
Richmond C 3  Rockingham 466 23,948 28,408
Robeson C 3  Lumberton 1,043   31,483 40,371
Rockingham C 1  Wentworth 573 25,363 33,163
Rowan B 2  Salisbury 483 24,123 31,066
Rutherford B 4  Rutherfordton  547 18,770 25,101
Sampson D 2  Clinton 921 25,096 26,380
[1]Scotland C 3  ....... ... ...... ......
Stanly B 2  Albemarle 413 12,136 15,220
Stokes B 1  Danbury 472 17,199 19,866
Surry B 1  Dobson 531 19,281 25,515
Swain A 4  Bryson City 560  6,577  8,401
Transylvania B 4  Brevard 371  5,881  6,620
Tyrell F 2  Columbia 397  4,225  4,980
Union B 3  Monroe 561 21,259 27,156
Vance D C  Henderson 276 17,581 16,684
Wake D 2  Raleigh 841 49,207 54,626
Warren D 1  Warrenton 432 19,360 19,151
Washington F 2  Plymout 334 10,200 10,608
Watauga A 1  Boone 330 10,611 13,417
Wayne D 2  Goldsboro 597 26,100 31,856
Wilkes A 1  Wilkesboro 718 22,675 26,872
Wilson F 2  Wilson 392 18,644 23,596
Yadkin B 1  Yadkinville 334 13,790 14,083
Yancey B 4  Burnsville 302  9,490 11,464

Hydrography. The greater part of the State belongs to the Atlantic slope, but the western mountain region beyond the Blue Ridge belongs to the Mississippi basin, being drained by the headstreams of the Tennessee River, chief among which are the Little Tennessee and the French Broad River. The eastern slope of the Blue Ridge in this State is the watershed for nearly all the Atlantic rivers of both North and South Carolina, all of them having a generally southeast course. In the northern half of the State the Roanoke, the Tar, and the Neuse enter Albemarle and Pamlico sounds through deep and wide estuaries. The southern portion is drained by the Cape Fear River, and the western part of the Piedmont plain by the Yadkin or Great Pedee and the Catawba, both of which flow into South Carolina. The large rivers of the coastal plain, especially their magnificent estuaries, offer facilities for communication, and on the Piedmont plain they furnish a vast amount of water-power.

Climate. North Carolina lies in the warmer part of the temperate zone. The climate becomes almost sub-tropical in the southeastern corner. The mean temperature near the coast is 61°, and in the mountains 56°; the mean summer temperatures for the two regions are 77° and 72°, and the winter temperatures 45° and 40°. The normal maximum is about 100°, and the minimum for the central part of the State 10°, though such cold is rare. In the mountains the winters are more severe, but the Blue Ridge protects the rest of the State from the cold northwest waves. The rainfall is abundant and very evenly distributed, both in regard to seasons and localities, though the central region receives somewhat less rain than the coast and mountain regions, and the summer somewhat more than the other seasons. The annual average for the State is 53.3 inches. The average snowfall is about five inches, but snow rarely remains on the ground more than one or two days. The prevailing winds are from the northeast and southwest. The State lies outside the path of the cyclonic storms, and tornadoes are extremely rare; but the sub-tropical storms from the southwest sometimes endanger navigation along the coast.

Flora. North Carolina, being the meeting ground of the temperate and sub-tropical floras, and having all varieties of climate from sub-tropical to sub-arctic, is unrivaled by any State cast of the Mississippi in the variety of its plant life, and is probably surpassed by no region of similar area elsewhere. In the swamps along the coast the prevailing tree is the bald cypress, with the white cedar and live oak. Here also are numerous bulrushes and several species of carnivorous plants (Sarracenia and Drosera). In the sandy parts of the coastal plain the long-leaf pine (Pinus Australis) is predominant, together with the loblolly-pine (Pinus tæda) and scrub oak. Composite and leguminous plants are here abundant, as well as blueberries, sumacs, alders, a profusion of wild grapes and other vines, and, in the south, palmettos. In the Piedmont plain the indigenous species have been largely supplanted by those introduced by settlers. Oaks, hickories, and elms are predominant in the forests of this plain. In the mountains the forest of the common northern trees covers a remarkable and typical northern undergrowth of gorgeous shrubbery, magnolias, rhododendrons, and similar species.

For Fauna, see that section under United States.

Geology and Mineralogy. The main geological surface formations are coincident with the topographical belts described above; in fact, the latter are a result of the former, and the coastal plain is a geological rather than a topographical division. It consists of Cretaceous and Tertiary sands, gravels, clays, and marls covering the underlying bedrock of granites and limestones. The remainder of the State, the Piedmont plain and the mountains, has as its principal feature an immense belt of granites and gneisses running across the State from southwest to northeast, and flanked on the east by a narrower belt of crystalline schists and other slates. Between the latter and the coastal plain deposits is a still narrower belt of more recent formation—the Triassic red sandstone. The great Smoky Mountains in the extreme west and the southern portion of the Blue Ridge consist of rocks of the Ocoee formation. The red sandstone formation contains coal deposits, and also yields the most valuable building stones. The crystalline rocks, which are much folded, tilted, and broken, are penetrated in many places by quartz veins, some of which are auriferous. Other veins are impregnated with copper ores, and valuable iron deposits are also found both in the granite and slate belts, while ores of silver, lead, and zinc are also found, sometimes associated with gold.

Mining. Gold-mining began early in the nineteenth century, yet the industry shows little signs of extensive development, and the annual output remains small. The State is noteworthy for its production of corundum and mica, there being few other regions in the country where these are found. In 1900 the corundum mined for the year was valued at $102,715, and represented all that was mined in the United States during that year. Both corundum and mica are found in the counties west of the Blue Ridge. In 1900 the ores mined included the red and brown hematite and the magnetite varieties of iron ore, their respective outputs being 55,844 tons, 259,863 tons, and 20,479 tons. Coal-mining has been carried on in Chatham County since 1889, but the output is small. Granite quarried in 1900 was valued at $257,962—much in excess of any other year between 1890 and 1900. The production of talc and soapstone is rapidly increasing, the value in 1900 being $75,308. Some sandstone and phosphate rock are also obtained. In 1900 the value of brick and tile was estimated at $797,112. A little pottery is also produced.

Fisheries. Fishing is the most important industry in the eastern part of the State. North Carolina is naturally adapted for this pursuit by its sounds and other coastal bodies of water, fresh and salt. The annual catch is more than twice that of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida (Atlantic Coast side) combined. In 1897, the last year in which fishery statistics were compiled, there were 12,045 men engaged in the industry. The value of the product reported was $1,316,017. Shad and oysters are by far the most prominent, the value of the former being $362,811. Of the many other varieties the more important are squeteague, alewife, mullet, striped bass, clams, and bluefish. The seine fisheries of the Albemarle Sound section are the most important in the State. Vessel fishing is not yet extensive.

Agriculture. Agriculture is the leading industry. Yet the largest part of the swampy coast land is unreclaimed, and there is also much waste land in the mountainous area of the west. In 1900, 73.2 per cent. of the land surface was included in farms—the largest per cent. recorded since 1860. While the per cent. of improved land is still small, being in 1900 only 36.6 of the farm land, there was a large gain from 1850 to 1900, the corresponding figures for 1850 being 26.0. The most remarkable agricultural development of that half century was the change from large to small farms, the average size having decreased steadily from 368.6 acres in 1850 to 101.3 acres in 1900. This decrease is a part of the general process which the overthrow of slavery precipitated. Negroes who were formerly slaves on large plantations became renters or owners of small holdings. Also the holding of the white farmer was reduced more nearly to an area which it was possible to cultivate by his own efforts. In 1900, 24.4 per cent. of the farms were operated by colored farmers, the average size of the farms being 53.6 acres, or less than half that of the farms operated by white farmers. The per cent. of rented farms is high, having been 41.4 per cent. of the total number of farms in 1900. Renting is much more common among the negroes than among the whites, the percentage of renters among each being respectively 68.0 and 33.4. In the western counties, where nearly all the farmers are white, the share system of renting prevails. Among the colored farmers of the cotton-growing counties the cash and share tenants are about equal. The negro farmers usually mortgage their crops.

As may be inferred from the paragraphs under Topography, there is a great diversity of agricultural products, three agricultural sections being recognized. These are the eastern or coastal plain region, containing much sandy and barren soil; the middle or Piedmont section, more undulating, and with a soil more fertile and better adapted to diversified farming; the western or mountainous section, characterized by a fertile loam and best suited to grazing and the raising of temperate zone crops. The crop which stands out prominently as to acreage is corn, the acreage for 1900 exceeding 47 per cent. of the total crop area, and the receipts equaling 25.2 per cent. of the total crop receipts. Since the Civil War the corn acreage has steadily increased. Wheat, the next most prominent cereal, has only one-fourth as large an acreage. The acreage devoted to oats and rye each decreased one-half from 1890 to 1900. The yield per acre of all these crops is very low. The acreage of hay and forage crops is comparatively small. The two crops which yield the largest receipts from sales are cotton and tobacco. The acreage of each fluctuates greatly. An increase in one usually is accompanied by a decrease in the other, the respective acreages being determined by the rise or fall in the price of one or the other crop. The State ranks about eighth as a cotton State, and cotton does not hold the dominant position it maintains in the Commonwealths farther south. However, there was a very decided increase in production from 1850 to 1900, the crop for 1900—459,707 bales—being over three times that of 1850. The utilization of the seed has greatly increased the value of the cotton yield.

Likewise there has been a large increase in the attention given to tobacco-raising. From 1890 to 1900 the acreage was more than doubled, and North Carolina took rank next to Kentucky. The State holds third rank in the production of peanuts and second in the production of sweet potatoes. The former are grown most extensively in the northeastern counties. They are, however, put on the market bearing the Virginia label, being sold to Virginia factories. The area of production increased enormously during 1890-1900. Garden farming has become a prominent industrial feature. The climate enables gardeners to produce for the early Northern market, and cheap transportation is furnished by ocean navigation. The southeastern or Wilmington section has made the greatest progress in this line. Watermelons, cabbages and other vegetables, and strawberries and other small fruits are there grown in abundance. Orchard fruits are most common in the western part of the State, the apple being the principal variety. Peaches are raised, but not in such great quantities as in other Southern States. Rice is raised along the tide-water rivers, where the construction of dikes makes possible a system of flooding and draining. In Hyde County, however, irrigation is accomplished by pumping. The last census reported 22,279 acres devoted to rice. Peas and sorghum are among the other crops grown.

The following table of acreages explains itself:

CROPS 1900 1890

Corn  2,720,206   2,360,627 
Wheat 746,984  666,509 
Oats 270,876  541,851 
Rye 28,074  56,496 
Hay 229,998  190,754 
Cotton 1,007,020  1,147,136 
Tobacco 203,023  97,077 
Peanuts 95,856  17,767 
Sweet potatoes  68,730  71,752 

Stock-Raising. Stock-raising is of secondary importance. Swine is about the only variety of farm animal raised on a scale which permits any considerable outside shipments. There were five times as many mules and asses in 1900 as in 1850. During that period the number of sheep decreased almost two-thirds, the decrease being the most marked in the last decade. The number of horses has increased considerably since 1870, particularly since 1890. Dairying is becoming more important. The following table needs no further comment:

  1900 1890

Dairy cows 233,178  223,416 
Other cattle 391,340  407,487 
Horses 159,153  131,451 
Mules and asses  136,435  100,011 
Sheep 208,412  402,247 
Swine  1,300,469   1,251,006 

Manufactures. Prior to 1880 the manufactures were little more than such necessary neighborhood industries as are common to rural communities. In the two decades following 1880 the value of products increased 100.9 and 135.1 per cent. respectively, and the corresponding increase in the number of wage-earners engaged was 85.7 and 109.9 per cent. In 1900 the total number of wage-earners was 70,570, or 3.7 per cent. of the total population. The absence of legislation bearing upon child labor is reflected in the unusually large total of persons employed who are under sixteen years of age. They number one-tenth of the total employed. Most mill-owners, however, have agreed to discontinue the employment of children under twelve years of age.

From the table appended it will be seen not only that each of the ten leading industries made gains from 1890 to 1900, but in a number of them the value of the product increased three-fold or more. The manufacture of cotton goods has realized the largest growth. Several favorable conditions have united to bring about this result. The fact that the cotton fields are near the factories results in the saving of the cost of transportation; the cheapness of living results in lower wages; there is a plentiful supply of wood for fuel; and there is, as already mentioned, plenty of water power. The streams of the State, it is estimated, can furnish 3,500,000 horse power, only a little more than one-fifth of which is now utilized. From 1890 to 1900 the value of the manufactured cotton product increased 196.7 per cent., amounting in 1900 to 29.9 per cent. of the total value of the products of the State. The cotton manufactures employed 42.9 per cent. of the wage-earners, the rank of North Carolina during that period rising from tenth to third in the value of this product, Massachusetts and South Carolina alone exceeding it. North Carolina was exceeded by Massachusetts alone in the number of wage-earners in this branch of industry. The spindles now running annually consume an amount of cotton almost equal to the crop grown in the State. The industry is carried on for the most part by small mills scattered over the Commonwealth. The value of cottonseed oil and cake increased over 400 per cent. in the decade 1890-1900.

A number of other important industries are included in the group dependent upon agricultural products, the manufactures of tobacco being of greatest importance. This is one of the earliest established industries in the State. North Carolina has a wide reputation for certain brands of smoking tobacco and cigarettes. The value of the product increased 184.7 per cent. from 1890 to 1900. The manufacture of flour and grist-mill products is another large and flourishing industry. The tanning and currying of leather developed from comparative insignificance into an industry of some prominence during 1890-1900. The following table of the leading industries explains itself:

INDUSTRIES  Year  Number of
Value of products
including custom
 work and repairing 

Total for selected industries for State
1900 4,071  55,642  $77,351,282 
1890 2,068  24,045  28,707,151 

Increase, 1890 to 1900 ...... 2,003  31,597  $48,644,131 
Per cent. of increase ...... 96.9  131.4  169.4
Per cent. of total of all industries in State
1900 56.3  78.8   81.5
1890 56.4  71.5   71.1
Cotton goods
1900 177  30,273  $28,372,798 
1890 91  8,515  9,563,443 
Cottonseed oil and cake
1900 21  564  2,676,871 
1890 11  318  529,746 
Tobacco—chewing, smoking, and snuff
1900 80  6,403  13,620,816 
1890 90  6,002  4,783,481 
Flouring and grist-mill products
1900 1,773  1,019  8,867,462 
1890 1,039  1,124  5,279,068 
Leather—tanned, curried, and finished
1900 75  366  1,502,378 
1890 55  107  190,887 
1900 18  427  1,497,625 
1890 12  343  994,135 
Cars and general shop construction and repairs 
 by steam railroad companies
1900 12  1,141  1,511,376 
1890 434  393,576 
Lumber and timber products
1900 1,770  11,751  14,862,593 
1890 713  6,466  5,898,742 
Lumber, planing-mill products,
 including sash, doors, and blinds
1900 101  1,939  2,892,058 
1890 42  584  915,070 
Furniture, factory product
1900 44  1,759  1,547,305 
1890 152  159,000 

Forests and Forest Products. The total wooded area in 1900 was 35,300 square miles, or 73 per cent. of the State's area. Over a portion of this the best timber, particularly the oak and poplar, has been removed. Extensive areas of yellow pine have been cut, and the bulk of the lumber product consists of this variety. The cypress forests have contributed but little to the lumber supply. In 1901 an examination in the mountain regions was made, and the report estimated the stand of timber at 10,650,000,000 feet, of which 41.41 per cent. was oak, 17.20 chestnut, and 5.30 hemlock. The value of the lumber product increased from less than $1,000,000 in 1850 to $5,898,742 in 1890, and $14,862,593 in 1900. The dependent industries—the manufactures of planing-mill products, etc.—made large gains in the decade 1890-1900, as is shown in the above table. The turpentine and resin product was valued at over $1,000,000 in 1900.

Transportation and Commerce. The Raleigh and Gaston Railroad Company was the first to begin construction, in 1836. This and the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad were completed in 1840. The most active decade in railroad construction was 1880-90, when the mileage increased from 1846 to 3128 miles. In 1900 there were 3732 miles in operation. The major part of the mileage belongs to the three principal systems, namely: The Seaboard Air Line (614 miles), the Atlantic Coast Line (949 miles), and the Southern (1226 miles). A number of the rivers are navigable through the coast plain region, and together with the coast waters are of considerable importance in the local commerce. There are two customs districts—Wilmington and Pamlico. The former ranks eighth among the Atlantic districts in the value of its foreign trade, the greater part of which consists of exports.


Number 38 81 21 14

Capital  $3,280,000   $2,858,000   $205,000  ..............
Surplus 1,073,000  551,000  95,000  $28,000 
Cash, etc.  951,000  1,029,000  77,000  85,000 
Deposits 8,978,000  9,403,000  925,000   2,451,000
Loans 11,437,000  10,020,000  902,000   2,399,000 

Banks. There were no banks in North Carolina until 1804, when two were chartered. The State subscribed for shares in both. The State Bank of North Carolina was organized in 1810 in Raleigh, with branches in six towns. In this bank also the State was heavily interested, as its notes were the main currency in the Commonwealth. There were 31 banks in 1861, but the vicissitudes of the next four years destroyed their financial standing. In 1866 an act was passed enabling them to close their business. A revival of banking came only during 1890-1900.

The condition of the banks in 1902 is shown on the preceding page.

Government. The present Constitution was adopted in 1868. An amendment requires a three-fifths vote of each House, and approval by a majority of the popular vote. A proposal to call a constitutional convention must receive a two-thirds vote of each House and a majority of the popular vote.

Voters must have resided in the State two years, in the county six months, in an election district four months. Persons who were not entitled to vote in any State prior to 1867, or are not descendants of persons entitled to vote prior to that time, must be able to read and write any section of the Constitution in the English language. Privileged illiterates must register before December 1, 1908. Suffrage is further conditioned upon the payment of poll tax.

Legislature. The Legislature consists of 50 Senators, representing districts of undivided contiguous counties, and 120 Representatives, at least one for every county. All members are elected for two years and receive $4 a day and mileage. They meet biennially on the Wednesday after the first Monday in January, and the session is limited to sixty days. State elections are held biennially on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The power of impeachment rests with the House, the trial of impeachment with the Senate.

Executive. The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Attorney-General are elected for four years. The Governor has the usual power to convene extra sessions of the Legislature and grant pardons. The Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, and Superintendent of Public Instruction constitute a Council of State to advise with the Governor.

Judiciary. The Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice and four associates. The State is divided into judicial districts, a judge being chosen in each district. A Superior Court must be held in each county at least twice each year. The Legislature provides special courts for cities and towns. Each county elects a clerk of the Superior Court every four years. A solicitor serving four years is elected in each judicial district.

Local. Each county elects a sheriff, coroner, treasurer, register of deeds, surveyor, and five commissioners, who hold office for two years. The commissioners have charge of the penal and charitable institutions, schools, roads, bridges, and finances. Each township elects biennially a clerk and two justices of the peace, who constitute a board of trustees. They act under the supervision of the county commissioners. The townships also elect for a similar period a constable and a school committee of three persons. These provisions, however, may be changed by statute.

Miscellaneous. Atheists are disqualified for office, and also all persons who have been convicted of treason, perjury, or other infamous crimes, and not legally restored to the rights of citizenship. The property of a married woman is her own, and not liable for the debts of her husband. Personal property is exempt for debt to the value of $500. There are also provisions for liberal homestead exemptions. A local-option liquor law was passed in 1887. The legal rate of interest is 6 per cent.; 8 is allowed by contract. The State has ten members in the Lower House of the National Congress. The capital of the State is Raleigh.

Finances. North Carolina had no debt until the advent of the epoch of railroad building. In 1848-58 several issues of bonds were authorized in aid of railroad, plank road, and canal companies, and as security the State received stock in these companies. At the beginning of the Civil War the debt of the State amounted to $18,167,000. The financial troubles of the war greatly aggravated this condition, but the enormous loans for war purposes were repudiated by order of President Johnson in 1865. Great injury to the finances of North Carolina was done during the five years of the ‘carpetbag’ régime that followed. Large issues of bonds for purposes of railroad construction followed one another in rapid construction. The Constitution of 1868 forbids the issue of any bonds unless a special tax for payment of interest be levied. But this did not stop the growth of the debt, for in the following two years more than $16,000,000 of the ‘special tax bonds’ were issued. Another cause for issuing bonds was the refunding of old obligations and their unpaid coupons. Altogether, in 1865-70, $24,375,800 of bonds were issued, and the total debt exceeded $42,000,000. As against this the State held $22,000,000 of railroad stocks, out of which only $3,000,000 paid dividend. The rest were worthless, as the money obtained from sale of the State bonds was squandered. The burden of the interest on these bonds lay very heavily upon the State, and there was constant defaulting.

This condition of affairs caused great popular dissatisfaction and a tendency toward repudiation. Payment of interest on the ‘special tax’ loans was stopped in 1870, the special tax laws were repealed, and all the efforts of the bondholders to enforce payment through courts remained futile. In 1879 a compromise was reached with regard to the rest of the State debt. Under this compromise the old bonds were refunded at the rate of 15 per cent. to 40 per cent., according to issues. The conversion proceeded from 1880 to 1900, and the debt remained almost the same. The compromise has improved the finances considerably. The budget of the State is small, but instead of the large deficits there is a small surplus. On November 30, 1902, the State debt was $6,527,770. The total receipts for the year were $1,924,134; expenditures, $1,866,640; the balance in the treasury, $111,280. The main sources of income are a general property tax (about 40 per cent.), North Carolina Railroad dividends (10 per cent.), railroad and corporation taxes, earnings of the State prison, etc. Of the disbursements almost $300,000 a year goes for payment of interest.

Militia. The State had 326,202 men of militia age in 1900. The militia numbered 1860 in 1901.

Population. The following figures show the growth of the population: 1790, 393,751; 1820, 638,829; 1850, 869,039; 1860, 992,622; 1870, 1,071,361; 1880, 1,399,750; 1890, 1,617,947; 1900, 1,893,810. From third rank in 1790 the State fell to tenth in 1850, and fifteenth in 1900. The per cent. of gain for 1890-1900 was 17.1, as compared with 20.7 for the United States. The State's heavy contribution to the westward tide of immigration reached its climax in the decade 1830-40, which accounts for the stationary position of the population for that decade. North Carolina has the smallest foreign-born population—4492—of any State. In 1900 there were 624,469 negroes, the State holding sixth rank in negro population. The increase in this element from 1890 to 1900 was 101,451. The negroes are much less numerous in the western or mountainous, counties. As is true of most of the Southern Commonwealths, the urban population constitutes but a small percentage or the total. In 1900 17 places had over 4000 inhabitants each, and together contained 8 per cent. of the total population.

Cities. The population of the four largest towns in 1900 was: Wilmington, 20,976; Charlotte, 18,091; Asheville, 14,694; and Raleigh, 13,643.

Religion. The leading religious denominations are the Baptist and the Methodist, comprising respectively about one-half and two-fifths of all church members. The Presbyterians, Lutherans, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Roman Catholics are largely represented.

Education. Education in the State of North Carolina received a considerable impetus from the immigration of the Scotch-Irish during the second half of the eighteenth century. Classical schools were maintained by many of the Presbyterian missionaries, and as these were mostly graduates of Princeton University, that institution had a considerable influence on higher education in the State. Moravians and Germans also played a conspicuous part in this development. The first State Constitution contained a clause providing for public education, but nothing was done toward carrying it out before 1825, when the dividends from stocks held by the State in several banks and navigation companies, and the revenue derived from liquor licenses, etc., as well as the vacant and unappropriated swamp lands of the State, were appropriated for a common school fund. This fund was subsequently augmented by $1,133,757—the State's share of the surplus revenue distributed among the States by the act of Congress of 1836. The public school system was established in 1840, and the first State superintendent of public instruction was appointed in 1852. By 1860 North Carolina was in education the most advanced of the slave-holding States.

Only a comparatively small part of the school-age population is provided with schools. North Carolina has neither a compulsory attendance law nor uniform requirements for teachers, the professional standing of whom, especially in the colored schools, is in many cases very low. According to the census of 1900, the illiterate population of North Carolina amounted to 28.7 per cent. of the total population of ten years of age and over, being 19.5 per cent. for the native whites and 47.6 per cent. for the colored. The illiteracy of the native whites shows a decrease of 3.6 per cent. for the decade of 1890-1900, as compared with the decrease of 12.5 per cent. for the colored during the same period. In 1900 North Carolina had a school population (6 to 21) of 439,431 white and 220,198 colored. The enrollment for the same year was 270,447 white and 130,005 colored; and about one-half each of the colored and white enrollment was in average attendance.

The length of the school term in 1900 was 73 days for the white and 65 days for the colored, or an average of 70.5 days, the lowest of any State. Of the 7387 teachers employed in 1900, the men constituted 49.4 per cent. The average monthly salaries of white teachers in 1900 were $26.18 for male teachers and $23.41 for female; the average salaries of the colored male and female teachers were $21.14 and $19.82, respectively, as compared with $24.69 and $20.36, respectively, in 1884. The total revenue for the public schools for 1900 amounted to $1,031,327, and the expenditure to $950,317, or about $4.60 per pupil in average attendance. The school revenue is derived principally from a general property tax, a general poll tax, liquor licenses, fines, forfeitures, and penalties.

Secondary education is provided chiefly by the private high schools and academies. There are seven normal schools for the colored youth, and a State normal and industrial college for white women. The chief institutions for higher education are the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill; the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, and Davidson College (Presb.), at Davidson; Trinity College (M. E.), at Durham; Wake Forest College (Bapt.), at Wake Forest; Elon College (Christian), at Elon College; Guilford College (Friends), at Guilford; and Saint Mary's College (R. C.), at Belmont. Higher education for the colored race is provided by the Agricultural and Mechanical College (State), at Greensboro; Shaw University (Bapt.) at Raleigh; Biddle University (Presb.), at Charlotte; and Livingstone College (A. M. E. Zion), at Salisbury.

Charitable and Penal Institutions. There is an unsalaried Board of Public Charities which has supervision of the State charitable and penal institutions, and of the county and municipal jails, workhouses, and ‘homes.’ County ‘homes’ are inspected by county boards of visitors. The State maintains an insane asylum for the whites at Raleigh and one at Morganton; also an asylum at Goldsboro for colored insane—the first in the world for this class. There are a State institute for the blind at Raleigh, a school for the deaf at Morganton, and another for the colored deaf, dumb, and blind at Raleigh. A Confederate soldiers' home is located at Raleigh, and an orphan asylum for whites and for blacks at Oxford. The State penitentiary is located at Raleigh. Only those sentenced for the highest crimes are confined in the penitentiary proper. About nine-tenths of the convicts are employed on State farms. The convicts are controlled by State officers and not under the lease system.

History. On July 4, 1584, Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlow, sent by Sir Walter Raleigh under a charter granted by Queen Elizabeth to make explorations in America, dropped anchor off the present coast of North Carolina. On their return they gave the most flattering accounts of the country. The next year a colony of men was sent out under Ralph Lane to make a permanent settlement. They made no attempt to provide a food supply, and in 1586 abandoned the settlement which they had founded on Roanoke Island. The next year John White was sent with men, women, and children. He went back to England for supplies, but on his return the colony had utterly vanished; tradition relates that they were absorbed by an Indian tribe in the neighborhood. In 1629 Charles I. granted to Sir Robert Heath, under the name of Carolina, the territory between 31° and 36° N., but the proprietor failed to make use of his grant, and in 1663 Charles II. conferred on eight ‘Lords Proprietors’ the territory between 31° and 36° extending to the Pacific Ocean. The limits were enlarged in 1665 to 29° to 36° 30′. The proprietors received palatine powers, divided the territory into two parts, North and South Carolina, and began to send out settlers. Already there were scattered settlements along the streams and sounds in the eastern part. For the government of the colony, an elaborate scheme, the ‘Fundamental Constitution’ was drawn up by the philosopher John Locke. This provided for three orders of nobility and four houses of Parliament. It was never put fully into operation, and was abandoned entirely in 1693. The population was hardy and rude and paid little attention to any sort of government, occasionally driving away an obnoxious Governor by force. Up to 1710, when Edward Hyde was appointed Governor of North Carolina, there was but one Governor for Carolina with deputies for the divisions. A strong hand was, however, needed. In 1711 the Tuscarora Indians had fallen upon the scattered farms and massacred several hundred people, and the power of the Indians was broken only by aid from Virginia and South Carolina. (See Moore, James.) Pirates also were ravaging the coast.

Carolina did not prove a success from a financial standpoint, and in 1728 seven of the proprietors sold to the Crown their shares for £2500 each. Lord Carteret (afterwards Lord Granville) retained his, and in 1744 it was laid off in severalty for him. Affairs were more settled after the Crown assumed control, and the western portion of North Carolina began to receive settlers, largely Scotch-Irish from Pennsylvania, and Germans from the Palatinate. After the battle of Culloden (1746) a number of Scotch settled on the Upper Cape Fear River. Many of the royal Governors came into conflict with the inhabitants, and during the administration of William Tryon the Regulators (q.v.) threatened to overturn the Government in 1771.

The First Provincial Congress met in defiance of Governor Josiah Martin (q.v.) in 1774, and sent delegates to the Continental Congress. (See Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.) The colony was the first to authorize her delegates in Congress to vote for independence, on April 12, 1776, and a State constitution was adopted, on December 18, 1776. North Carolina troops took part in many of the important battles of the war, and in 1780-81 the State was invaded by the British. The State sent delegates to the national constitutional convention in 1787, but refused to ratify the instrument, in 1788, and presented twenty-six amendments. The State did not vote in the first Presidential election, but after the adoption of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, ratified that instrument, on November 19, 1789. The western lands, now the State of Tennessee, were offered to Congress in 1784. The inhabitants, indignant at being transferred without their consent, revolted and set up the State of Franklin. Governor Caswell was able to cause the dissolution of this abortive State, and the lands were again ceded in 1790. The next year the capital was located at Raleigh. In 1795 the State University was opened for students. The question of a market for their products was a serious one to the residents of the middle and eastern counties. After 1820 much money was spent in the fruitless attempt to make the shallow rivers navigable, and to connect them by canals. The measures were opposed by the eastern counties, which had abundant water transportation. The question of constitutional revision was one of great interest for a long time. The Constitution of 1776 gave equal representation to every county, and this gave an unfair advantage to the smaller counties of the east. After much effort the Convention of 1835 was called and drafted a constitution giving representation in the Senate according to property and in the House according to population. But during this period thousands of people had gone to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

The State opposed secession as a matter of expediency, and in February, 1861, refused to call a convention, but with President Lincoln's demand for troops to coerce the seceding States sentiment changed. An ordinance of secession was unanimously passed, May 20th, and the State lost the first soldier of the war at Big Bethel. North Carolina furnished more than 120,000 soldiers to the Confederate cause, nearly twice her proportion, lost more soldiers than any other Southern State, and during the last year of the war practically fed Lee's army. At the close of the war W. W. Holden, formerly a rabid secessionist, was appointed Provisional Governor. A convention was called which repealed the ordinance of secession, abolished slavery, and ordered an election for State officers. Jonathan Worth was elected Governor, but in the following year the new Constitution was rejected. With the beginning of reconstruction in 1867 the civil authority was superseded by the military. Another convention was called in 1868, and a constitution allowing negro suffrage was adopted. Under this W. W. Holden was elected Governor. In this year the Ku-Klux-Klan (q.v.) appeared, and Alamance and Granville counties were placed under martial law. The Conservative Democrats secured the Legislature in 1870, and Governor Holden was impeached. The present Constitution was adopted in 1876, and in 1900 a clause intended to restrict negro suffrage was added. The State has been Democratic in national elections since the beginning of parties, with, the exception of the years 1840-48, when it voted for the Whig candidates, and 1868-72, when its vote was cast for Grant. The Governors of the colony and State have been as follows:

William Drummond 1663-67
Samuel Stephens 1667-70
Peter Carteret 1670
Samuel Stephens 1670-74
John Jenkins (acting) 1675
John Harvey (acting) 1675-76
Thomas Eastchurch 1676-77
Thomas Miller (acting) 1677-78
John Harvey (acting) 1678
John Jenkins 1678-81
Henry Wilkinson 1681-83
Seth Southwell (or Sothel) 1683-89 
Philip Ludwell 1689-91
Alexander Lillington 1691-94
Thomas Harvey 1694-99
Henderson Walker 1699-1704
Robert Daniel 1704-05
Thomas Cary 1705-06
William Glover (acting) 1706-07
Thomas Cary (acting) 1707-08
William Glover contestants
Thomas Cary
Edward Hyde 1710-12
Thomas Pollock (acting) 1713-14
Charles Eden 1714-22
Thomas Pollock (acting) 1722
William Reed (acting) 1722-24
George Barrington 1724-25
Edward Mosely (acting) 1725
Sir Richard Everard 1725-29
George Burrington 1729-34
Nathaniel Rice (acting) 1734
Gabriel Johnston 1734-52
Nathaniel Rice (acting) 1752
Matthew Rowan (acting) 1752-54
Arthur Dobbs 1754-65
William Tryon 1765-71
James Hazell (acting) 1771
Josiah Martin 1771-75
Richard Caswell 1777-79
Abner Nash 1779-81
Thomas Burke 1781-82
Alexander Martin 1782-84
Richard Caswell 1784-87
Samuel Johnston Federalist 1787-89
Alexander Martin 1789-92
Richard Dobbs Spaight Democratic Republican  1792-95
Samnel Ashe 1795-98
Wm. Richardson Davie 1798-99
Benjamin Williams 1790-1802
James Turner 1802-05
Nathaniel Alexander 1805-07
Benjamin Williams 1807-08
David Stone 1808-10
Benjamin Smith 1810-11
William Hawkins 1811-14
William Miller 1814-17
John Branch 1817-20
Jesse Franklin 1820-21
Gabriel Holmes 1821-24
Hutchings G. Burton 1824-27
James Iredell Democrat 1827-28
John Owen 1828-30
Montford Stokes 1830-32
David L. Swain 1832-35
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr. 1835-37
Edward B. Dudley Whig 1837-41
John M. Morehead  “ 1841-45
William Graham  “ 1845-49
Charles Manly  “ 1849-51
David S. Reid Democrat 1851-54
Warren Winslow (acting) 1854-55
Thomas Bragg Democrat 1855-59
John W. Ellis 1859-61
H. T. Clark (acting) 1861-62
Zebulon B. Vance 1862-65
W. W. Holden (provisional) 1865
Jonathan Worth Conservative 1865-67
Gen. Daniel E. Sickles (Military) 1867
Gen. E. R. S. Canby 1867-68
W. W. Holden Republican (impeached)  1868-70
Tod R. Caldwell 1870-74
Curtis H. Brogden 1874-77
Zebulon B. Vance Democrat 1877-78
Thomas J. Jarvis 1878-85
Alfred M. Scoles 1885-89
Daniel G. Fowle 1889-91
Thomas M. Holt 1891-93
Elias Carr 1893-97
Daniel L. Russell Republican 1897-1901 
Charles B. Aycock Democrat 1901 —

Bibliography. North Carolina and Its Resources (Raleigh, 1896); Polk, Handbook of North Carolina, Embracing Historical and Physiographical Sketches of the State (Raleigh, 1879); North Carolina Geological Survey Reports (Raleigh); Hale, In the Coal and Iron Counties of North Carolina (Raleigh, 1883); Hawks, History of North Carolina (Fayetteville, N. C., 1857); Lawson, The History of North Carolina (Raleigh, 1860); Moore, History of North Carolina (Raleigh, 1880); Bassett, The Constutional Beginnings of North Carolina (Baltimore, 1884); Saunders, The Colonial Record of North Carolina (10 vols., Raleigh, 1892); Weeks, “Bibliography of Historical Literature of North Carolina,” in the Library of Harvard University Bibliographical Contributions, No. 48 (Cambridge, 1895); Clark, State Records of North Carolina (1895-1902).

  1. Established since the last census was taken.