10 Facts About the North Carolina Colony

The colony of North Carolina was one of the thirteen British colonies in America that took part in the American Revolution. The colony was established in the late 17th century as part of the Province of Carolina, which also encompassed what is now South Carolina.

North Carolina’s economy was predominantly agrarian, with settlers cultivating crops such as tobacco, rice, and indigo. North Carolina was also famous for its naval supplies sector, which extracted tar, pitch, and turpentine from the colony’s huge groves of pine trees.

Enslaved Africans were brought over as a labor force to work on the plantations, and they had a major presence in the colony. The colony was run as a proprietary colony, which means it was run by a private individual or group rather than the British government.

North Carolina Colony Facts

1. The Initial Colony Vanished without a Trace.

In 1585, a party of settlers led by Sir Walter Raleigh built the first English settlement in North Carolina. However, the settlement was abandoned the following year due to warfare with native peoples and a lack of resources.

Also Read: Facts About the Maryland Colony

A group of settlers led by John White arrived in 1587 and finally managed to establish the colony. The settlers of this colony, which became known as the “Lost Colony,” vanished and were never seen or heard from again, hence the colony was similarly unsuccessful.

In 1733, a group of settlers led by James Edward Oglethorpe established the first permanent English settlement in North Carolina at a place they called Georgia.

2. Originally Part of a Larger Colony

The land that is now the states of North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as portions of the states of Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida, were all a part of the original Carolina colony, which was chartered by King Charles II in 1663.

Also Read: South Carolina Colony Facts

In honor of King Charles II, who was also known as “Carolus” in Latin, the colony was given the name “Carolus.”

In the year 1712, the colony was split into the states of North Carolina and South Carolina, with the line of division being set at a latitude of 36 degrees and 30 minutes.

3. The Economy was Predominately Agricultural

Tobacco, rice, and indigo were some of the crops that early settlers in North Carolina grew in order to contribute to the state’s economy, which was predominately agricultural.

The northeastern region of the colony was principally responsible for the cultivation of tobacco, which was one of the most valuable products produced by the colony. Rice was mostly cultivated in the coastal areas, most notably in the Cape Fear region.

Indigo, a plant that produces a blue dye, was also grown in the coastal areas and was a valuable export commodity. The indigo plant was used to manufacture the dye.

The early settlers not only cultivated revenue crops like maize and wheat but also food crops like corn, wheat, and vegetables for their own consumption in addition to their cash crops.

4. Famed for it’s Naval Supplies

The large pine tree plantations in the colony were used by North Carolina’s naval supplies business to create tar, pitch, and turpentine. This industry brought North Carolina a great deal of fame and wealth.

These goods, which were needed by the British navy for use in shipbuilding and upkeep, were in high demand at the time. The manufacturing of naval stocks, which involved the removal of tar, pitch, and turpentine from pine trees, was a process that required a significant amount of human labor.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the naval stores industry was a substantial part of North Carolina’s economy. This sector was also a key reason for the vast logging and deforestation of the colony’s pine woods.

5. Slaves Were Used on Larger Plantations

Enslaved Africans constituted a significant part of the population in the colony of North Carolina. These people were brought to the new world to serve as a labor force on the plantations.

Enslaved people worked on plantations farming cash crops like tobacco, rice, and indigo as part of the colony’s economy, which was heavily dependent on the institution of slavery. Slavery was also strongly established in the society of the colony.

The number of persons held as slaves in North Carolina experienced significant growth throughout the 18th century, and by 1790, they accounted for about 40 percent of the total population of the province.

The use of enslaved labor was a significant factor in the development of North Carolina’s economy, and it had a profound impact on the lives of both the people who were enslaved and the white population of the colony. The use of enslaved labor was a significant factor in the development of North Carolina’s economy.

6. Initially Ruled as a Proprietary Colony

North Carolina was ruled as a proprietary colony, which means it was managed by a private individual or group rather than the British government.

King Charles II chartered the colony in 1663, and eight Lords Proprietors were appointed to govern it. The Lords Proprietors were in charge of appointing the colony’s governor and other authorities, as well as making laws and collecting taxes.

However, the Lords Proprietors had little direct involvement in colonial administration, and their authority was frequently challenged by colonists.

The British government purchased the province’s proprietary rights from the Lords Proprietors in 1729, and North Carolina became a Crown colony.

7. Higher Share of Small Farmers than Surrounding Colonies

While there were probably modest farmers among the North Carolina colonists, the colony also had a sizable community of affluent planters who owned enormous estates and employed slave labor.

This group of planters wielded tremendous political and economic power in the colony, and they were far from an egalitarian society.

However, in comparison to neighboring southern colonies like Virginia and South Carolina, North Carolina had a less stratified society, with a higher share of small farmers and a less entrenched slave-holding planter class.

Furthermore, North Carolina had fewer major plantations, and the land was dispersed among a greater number of small farmers.

8. North Carolina Played a Significant Role in the American Revolution

North Carolina was one of the thirteen colonies that fought in the American Revolution. The colony had a large number of Patriots who supported the revolutionary cause, as well as a lesser number of Loyalists who remained loyal to the British Crown.

The North Carolina militia was active in numerous critical actions during the Revolutionary War, including the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in 1776, which was a decisive win for the Patriots over the Loyalists.

The North Carolina Provincial Congress was also vital in the Revolution, enacting several key acts and resolutions, notably the Halifax Resolves in 1776, which were one of the earliest official calls for independence from Great Britain by any of the colonies.

9. The 12th State to Ratify the Constitution of the United States of America

On November 21, 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the Constitution of the United States of America. On May 29, 1790, the state of Rhode Island became the thirteenth and final colony of the United States to ratify the Constitution.

On June 21, 1788, the Constitution entered into force after being adopted by the necessary nine states; however, the states of North Carolina and Rhode Island did not ratify it until a later time.

10. Important Player in the Civil War

North Carolina was an important player in the Civil War, contributing more men to the Confederacy than any other state except Virginia.

The state had a large population of white farmers, many of whom held slaves, and many of these men enlisted in the Confederate army. North Carolina also had a strong military tradition, with many men joining the army to preserve their state and way of life.

The state witnessed tremendous social and economic transformations following the conflict, notably the abolition of slavery and the rise of a new industrial economy.

With the emergence of new sectors including as textiles, furniture, and tobacco, the state’s economy transitioned from being predominantly agrarian to becoming increasingly industrialized.

The state also had to deal with the tough work of rebuilding and reconciling after the war, which caused political and social upheaval.