North Carolina's Colonial and Antebellum History

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Information about North Carolina's Colonial and Antebellum History

Published on October 4, 2008

Author: EdgrT


North Carolina’s Colonial and Antebellum History : North Carolina’s Colonial and Antebellum History NCST 2000 Introduction to North Carolina Studies Dr. Tom Shields Fall 2008 Exploration : Exploration 1524 to the early 1600s Verrazano’s Sea : Verrazano’s Sea Michael Lok’s 1582 map of the northern hemisphere published in Richard Hakluyt’s Divers Voyages showed Verrazano’s Sea, Giovanni Verrazano’s mistaken idea that the Sounds behind the Outer Banks were extensions of the Pacific Ocean meeting the Atlantic Ocean. Verrazano’s Sea : Verrazano’s Sea John White’s map from the 1580s Roanoke voyages reflects this belief in Verrazano’s Sea. The belief in the sea may have been one of the reasons for the Roanoke colonization efforts occurring in the Coastal North Carolina region. Settlement : Settlement 1650s to 1820 Settlement Across North Carolina : Settlement Across North Carolina In the1650s, first settlers from Virginia begin to move into the Albemarle Region Ca. 1655, Nathaniel Batts becomes the first permanent European settler in what is now North Carolina, along Salmon Creek near the Chowan River, becoming a trader with the Indians. Towns begin to appear in North Carolina, beginning with Bath in 1705, New Bern in 1710, Edenton 1712 (established as the capital of North Carolina, but not incorporated until 1715). European settlement of North Carolina took a century and a half to reach from the Albemarle region of the northeast to the southwestern mountains Patterns of Colonial Settlement : Patterns of Colonial Settlement Different regions of North Carolina were settled by different ethnic groups English settlers and African slaves in the east French Huguenots (Protestants) around the Pamlico French Huguenots and Swiss in the area around New Bern Highland Scots on the Upper Cape Fear Welsh in areas around Duplin and Pender Counties Scots Irish and Germans in the Piedmont and mountains Moravians in the Piedmont, especially in the area of Winston-Salem Patterns of Colonial In-Migration : Patterns of Colonial In-Migration Different groups came to North Carolina from different directions. Albemarle: English and Africans via Tidewater Virginia. Lower Cape Fear: English and Africans via South Carolina. Upper Cape Fear: Scots Highlanders via Charleston, South Carolina. Piedmont: Scots Irish, Germans, and Moravians (from the present-day Czech Republic) from Pennsylvania and Virginia via the Great Wagon Road. Settlement of the Piedmont by people of different backgrounds than people of the Coastal Plains and settlement via the Great Wagon Road rather than the ports of Virginia and South Carolina, helped set up a divide between eastern and Piedmont North Carolina. County Growth : County Growth The pattern of growth in North Carolina’s counties, especially up through the early 1800s, can be tied to the regionalism that kept as much power as possible. among eastern North Carolina’s elite. Each new county was given an equal number of legislative representatives, so power elites in the east kept dividing eastern counties every time a new western county was formed, keeping power in the east. Colonial and Antebellum Society : Colonial and Antebellum Society 1650s to 1860 Colonial and Antebellum* Social Structure : Colonial and Antebellum* Social Structure There were five major groups in early North Carolina society. In order of social standing, they were: The Planter Class The Yeoman Farmer Class Indentured Servants Free Blacks Black Slaves Yeoman farmers—farmers who tended their own land and, therefore, had few if any slaves, made up the largest part of early North Carolina society. * Antebellum—literally “before the war,” meaning the period of the nineteenth century before the Civil War. Commodities in Colonial and Antebellum North Carolina : Commodities in Colonial and Antebellum North Carolina Keeping with North Carolina’s rural nature, most of North Carolina’s commodities before the Civil War were agriculturally or timber based Agriculture Two main cash crops—Tobacco and Rice Cotton became important only in the antebellum period in the 1820s and 1830s, after the invention and widespread development of the cotton gin. Other farming was mainly just for subsistence North Carolina’s industries were timber based Naval Stores—tar, pitch, turpentine, etc., derived from pine resin (especially from longleaf pine in the Coastal Plains) Lumber Industry Population in 1860 : Population in 1860 General Total 992,622*(White, Black, Other) Black Slaves 331,059 Free Blacks 30,463 Rural/Urban Rural 97.5% Urban 2.5% Slave Holding Only 28% of white families had slaves 1-4 Slaves 16,000 5-19 15,000 20-49 3,321 50-99 611 Over 100 133 * By comparison, in 2007 Mecklenburg County (including Charlotte) was estimated as having a population of 867,067 while North Carolina was estimated as having a population of 9,061,032 . * In the 2000 Census, North Carolina had an urban population of about 60% and a rural population of about 40%. The US Census Bureau classifies urban areas as consists of a central city and surrounding areas whose population is greater than 50,000. Also, towns outside of an urbanized area whose population exceeds 2,500 are counted as urban populations. All other areas are considered rural. Slaves in Early North Carolina : Slaves in Early North Carolina Most white families in antebellum North Carolina did not own slaves. Where in North Carolina was most slave ownership centered and why? North Carolina’s Lack of Urbanization : North Carolina’s Lack of Urbanization Transportation and Geography : Transportation and Geography Much of the growth in North Carolina’s transportation system, especially in the nineteenth century, occurred in the Piedmont. Why? What effect might this have had on North Carolina’s economic development? Civil War : Civil War 1861 to 1865 North Carolina and the Civil War : North Carolina and the Civil War Three points about North Carolina’s Participation in the Civil War: Slow to enter the Confederacy In particular, North Carolina did not have strong anti-Union feelings and there were split feelings across the state. North Carolina troops fought mainly in Virginia When North Carolinians signed up to fight, they felt they were there to defend North Carolina. For this reason, many North Carolinians were not pleased about fighting outside the state—they thought of themselves as a home guard, not a national fighting force. For these reasons, among others, dissent against the war occurred. The Civil War in North Carolina : The Civil War in North Carolina Much of the east fell early in the war, with Federal troops controlling the Outer Banks by August 1861 and having headquarters in New Bern by March 1862 By 1863, the Union had established a Freedman’s Colony on Roanoke Island for escaped slaves The bloodiest battle on North Carolina soil came at Bentonville in March of 1865 In January 1865, Federal troops closed the Confederacy's last major port in Wilmington In March of 1865, General William Sherman marched up the Cape Fear River and met the Confederates at Bentonville Lee signed the Confederacy’s surrender at Appomattox in Virginia on April 9, 1865.

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