Thursday, April 7, 2011

North Carolina History

It's hard to imagine that we're working with records in our search for the Lost Colony that are some of the earliest records in the history of the State of North Carolina.  Actually, it was just "Carolina" then, North and South didn't happen until 1712. 
Sometimes taking a look at a historical time line, aside from being interesting, can lend perspective to what our ancestors were doing and what was going in around them.  Here's a brief history of North Carolina before the United States was formed.
North Carolina Early History
  1. Jamestown landing was May 15, 1697
  2. In 1629, a grant was made to Sir Robert Heath between the latitude south of 36 degrees and north of 31 degrees.
  3. In 1648 Roger Green was granted 10,000 acres in 2 grants near the Chowan River which was to be divided among 100 settlers from Virginia.  At this time, the area was in the state of Virginia.
  4. In 1661, George Durant purchased a tract of land from Kilcocanen, chief of the Weapemeoc Indians between Perquimans River and Little River.  The area is still called Durant’s Neck.  This was prior to NC becoming a state in 1663.
  5. In 1663 Charles II granted to the Lords Proprietors the territory of NC.  (Same bounds as the Heath grant.)
  6. In 1665 a new charter extended NC north to 30 degrees.  At that time there were about 2000 people in Albemarle region.
  7. In 1665 William Drummond of Virginia was appointed first governor of NC by the Lords Proprietors.
  8. The first assembly met at Elizabeth City in May of 1665.
  9. In 1676, Governor Jenkins jailed Thomas Miller, druggist.  Miller and Eastchurch went to England to obtain the removal of Jenkins as governor.  On the way back from England Miller and Eastchurch stopped over in the West Indies where Eastchurch met a woman and sent Miller back to Elizabeth City to take over as Governor until Eastchurch returned.  Miller took over and because he was also collecting customs, the inhabitants wanted to get rid of Miller who was appointed illegally by Eastchurch.  Miller was subsequently arrested by Durant who was his enemy.  Court was then held by 40 people and Miller was removed.  In 1669, Miller broke out of jail and sailed for England.
  10. Seth Sothel was appointed governor by the Proprietors, but he was captured by pirates.  Later he returned in 1683 to be governor.
  11. In 1690, John Gibbs proclaimed himself governor of Carolina.  It didn’t work.
  12. The early churches in NC were Anglican, Baptist and Quaker.
  13. About 1700, the first settlement occurred south of Old Albemarle County near Bath.
  14. In 1711, the Tuscarora killed many settlers in and around the Neuse River, the Trent River and the Pamlico River in Hyde County.  By 1713, the Indians had been defeated and many, but not all, left the area for New York.
  15. About 1715 Edward Drummond, otherwise known as BlackBeard (the pirate) changed his name to Edward Teach..  He was a friend of Governor Eden.
  16. About 1729, the remaining proprietors sold out to the Crown except for John Carteret who kept his share in the middle of North Carolina.  From this point on, North Carolina was known as a Royal Colony.
  17. New Bern was made the capital about 1745.
  18. In 1766, New Bern was made the capital of NC.  Until this time, there had been no official capital, although Bath was often used as such.
  19. The Revolutionary War occurs in 1776-1780.
  20. In 1789, North Carolina ratified the constitution and became the 12th state to sign.
  21. In 1789, Raleigh became the state capital.

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