Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Journal of the New Bern Historical Society Vol. 19 Issue 1, May 2006
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New Bern has been the seat of a United States District Court since the establishment of the District of North Carolina by Act of Congress on June 4, 1790. Stephens describes the many changes in the housing of the court during the past 216 years. The court's current residence is in a courthouse that was dedicated in December 1934. Over the past decade maintenance work has stabilized the building. Stephens discusses work now in progress to upgrade and modernize the courthouse to bring it into the twenty-first century.
From its founding, New Bern was an ideal place for a port. Ships brought goods in using Ocracoke and Old Topsail inlets, but ships coming in at Old Topsail had to travel around Carteret County and Cedar Island to get to and from New Bern. This added time to the voyages. A plan was put forth in 1766 to dig a canal to connect the Neuse River to Old Topsail Inlet. Travel time for the ships would be cut in half, and trade would increase. The ideal place to dig a canal was between Clubfoot Creek and Harlowe Creek. White discusses the canal's progress after the General Assembly enacted a law to build the canal in 1766 down to present-day.
Tryon Palace was constructed in New Bern between 1767 and 1770. The stately mansion, the seat of Royal Governor William Tryon, was considered the most elegant government building in English America. In 1798, it burned to the ground and was rebuilt from the original plans in the 1950s. Ruckart describes how the land, on which the original Tryon Palace had stood, was used in the intervening years.
After the Civil War, white and African American physicians, lawyers, educators, business, and religious leaders in New Bern participated in the local economy, society, and politics. By 1910, Jim Crow laws had changed this, and black businesses no longer were located near white businesses. By the 1940s, African American businesses had been concentrated in the Five Points section. Hipps discusses how the civil rights movement changed New Bern educationally and economically.
Jessie Elizabeth Barden founded The Questers in Pennsylvania in 1944. Originally an informal gathering of friends to study material culture, the Questers now number over 900 chapters with 15,000 members in the United States and Canada. Their mission has expanded through the years to include scholarship support and preservation of historic landmarks. The Earl of Craven Questers chapter was founded in New Bern in 1997. Ruckart describes the chapter's preservation and restoration projects.