Corresponding Secretary New Bern Improvement Association.
NEW BERN, N. C.N. S. RICHARDSON & SON, PRACTICAL BOOK AND JOB PRINTERS1886.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
|New Bern and County of Craven,||37|
|The Oyster Beds of Eastern Carolina,||48|
|The New Bern and Beaufort Canal,||53|
|Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal,||60|
|The People of Eastern Carolina,||69|
|Routes to the Pamlico Section,||72|
|Onslow and Jones Counties,||77|
A LONG FELT WANT SUPPLIED.
NEW BERN, N. C.
NEW BERN, N. C.
Persons desiring a pleasant Southern home will find every accommodation at the HOTEL ALBERT, New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina, which city is situate at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse rivers, far enough South to escape the rigors of Northern Winters, while being in easy communication with all points North.
The HOTEL ALBERT is located on the principal business street, and in the central part of the city. It is built of brick, having been designed and erected under the superintendence of Mr. C. J. Scheelky, Architect of Martinsburg, West Virginia. It is three stories high, with marble trimmings and basement.
HAS ELEVATOR AND ELECTRIC BELLS; IS SUPPLIED WITH WATER AND GAS THROUGHOUT.
Private entrance for ladies. Office and vestibule covered with tessalated marble pavement. The building is heated [illegible text] [illegible text] making rooms always warm and comfortable in [illegible text] [illegible text]
The finest view of the city and surrounding country is obtained from the observatory on the top of the building.
There is a first-class barber shop, furnished with all modern conveniences, bath-rooms, etc., under cover of the Hotel.
Traveling salesmen will find facilities and accommodations for sample displays at the HOTEL ALBERT superior to all others.
Capitalists, farmers and others prospecting for homes, farms, investments, or pleasure, will do well to visit New Bern, and be sure to stop at the HOTEL ALBERT.
The tables will be supplied with the best, not only from our local market, but from New York and Baltimore.
No pains will be spared to cater for the comfort and convenience of guests.
The HOTEL ALBERT will be open for the reception of guests about January 1st, 1887.
Write for Terms.
Lock Box 414,
Craven County, N. C.
The country known as East North Carolina embraces the large and fertile portion of the State lying between the Wilmington and Weldon Rail Road on the West, and the Atlantic Ocean on the East.
This area covers about Fifteen Thousand square miles of the most fertile portion of the State, one eighth of which is covered with salt water sounds.
These Sounds, and the Rivers which empty into them, abound in game; Ducks, Fish and Oysters are quite abundant and of fine quality. The Pamlico, Neuse, Trent, White Oak and other Rivers penetrate the interior, affording abundant opportunities for Hunting, Fishing and sailing.
This portion of North Carolina abounds in marl, which forms an inexhaustible source of fertilizers for the farmer.
The forests which cover a very large portion of this division of the State, are chiefly Pine, Cypress, Gum, Ash and Oak.
The Pine Forests have for many years given employment to a large number of men, mills, and vessels, in furnishing Building Lumber for the Northern cities.
The cypress shingles of North Carolina are favorably known in every Northern State. The Gray Manufacturing Co. of New-Bern are now making from cypress the best wood Pulp for paper stock, that is known to the trade. They are also using the Gum in the manufacture of Wood Plates for Grocers use.
The climate of this Pine Section of North Carolina, for at least nine months of the year, is more desirable for Northern Visitors than Florida, and New-Bern is now so closely connected by Rail and Boats with Northern cities that a large increase of visitors is expected.
The mortality of New-Bern from climatic causes is very small: only one interment in Cedar Grove (white) Cemetery during August 1886—cause of death, accidental drowning.
The city of New-Bern is the most prominent place in this portion of the State, and is pleasantly situated about the centre of the country described. The Atlantic & North Carolina Rail Road which runs from Goldsboro on the W. & W. Rail Road to Morehead City on the Atlantic Ocean passes through New-Bern, giving Rail Road connection with New York, via. Washington City, or by the Cape Charles route in twenty-two hours. The splendid side wheel steamer Shenandoah of the Old Dominion Line, leaves New-Bern on Tuesday and Friday of each week, and connects at Elizabeth City with the Norfolk and Southern Rail Road, connecting at Norfolk with the Bay Line steamers for Baltimore and the Cape Charles Line for New York, the Old Dominion steamers to New York, and with the Merchants and Miners Line for Boston and Providence. The Clyde Line of steamers run almost daily to Norfolk and Baltimore, thus bringing New-Bern into very direct and quick communication both for Passengers and Freight with all the Northern cities and furnishing easy and pleasant means of travel.
A direct Rail Road from Norfolk via. New-Bern to Wilmington North Carolina is probable in the near future.
New-Bern is one of the oldest and best known places in the State. It was formerly the seat of Colonial Government, under the English Governor Tryon. The remains of his royal palace yet remain.
The city is located at the junction of the Neuse and Trent Rivers about thirty five miles from Pamlico Sound, and has a water front on the Neuse and Trent Rivers of nearly two miles, a portion of which is walled with Shell Rock, affording a fine promenade. The waters around the city are unsurpassed for sailing and rowing. The principal streets have been shelled, (with oyster shells from the canning factory), affording several miles of fine shady drives.
The National Cemetery is about one mile from the city; it is well cared for by the United States Government, and is always open to
visitors. This Cemetery contains the remains of all the Union Soldiers who fell in the East half of the State.
A new Brick Hotel is now being built, which will be supplied with all the modern conveniences, and which will offer additional inducements to pleasure seekers and invalids, who desire to spend the winter South. The city is well furnished with Churches, Schools, Banks, Gas, Telegraph and Express, also with an abundant supply of good water for ordinary use, and for the Steam Fire Department. The markets are abundantly supplied with Oysters, Fish, Poultry, Meats, Vegetables, Fruits, Melons and Grapes.TRUCK FARMS.
The many Truck Farms by which New-Bern is surrounded is an interesting sight to visitors. Hundreds of acres of Peas, Potatoes, Beans, Asparagus, &c., can be seen growing during the Truck Season, which begins in January and ends in June. The Truck Land is then planted in Cotton, Corn and Millet, or allowed to grow in native grass for Hay.
Among the many double crops around New-Bern this year, was a five acre crop of Irish Potatoes, planted in February, gathered in May, when the same land was planted in Cotton, which promises to yield a fine crop.
A test was made by Geo. Allen on one acre, in order to prove the capacity of one years rain and shine. On Sept. 15th, 1885, the acre was planted in German Kale, which was sold during February 1886. In March the ground was planted in Bunch or Snap Beans. The crop of 198 Half Barrel Boxes were gathered during the first half of June. The land was then sown with German Millet which was cut Sept 1, and weighed after being well cured 9,000 pounds, giving three profitable crops within twelve months. Increased attention is being given to growing Hay, and to Cattle raising.
Fifteen Reasons for Emigrating to North Carolina.
1. North Carolina is easy of access. The Old Dominion and Bay line of steamers will carry emigrants from New York to New-Bern at very low rates.
2. The climate is mild. The thermometer seldom falls below 24 degrees above zero in winter, and seldom rises above 90 in summer, enabling the farmer and mechanic to plough and labor all the year.
3. The soil is usually of a light sandy nature, and is easily cultivated, with light plows or harrows.
4. The growing season lasts from February to November, enabling the farmer to obtain double crops from a portion of his land. The pea and potato crops are planted in February and sold in May.
5. The culture of early truck is now carried on to considerable extent with profit, and can be indefinitely increased.
6. The transportation facilities for marketing produce of all kinds is ample and quick.
7. The heavy products, corn, wheat, hay, rice, pork and cotton, are worth nearly as much at the farmer's nearest depot, as they would be in New York or Baltimore.
8. Land is abundant and cheap, and can be purchased in small or large quantities, as desired and at prices which the settler can afford.
9. Materials for fertilizing are abundant, and consist of marl, swamp, muck or peat, decayed vegetation and cotton seed, together with the use of the cow pea and native plants for ploughing under green.
10. Labor to assist in clearing and ditching lands can be obtained at low rates.
11. Good, pure, soft cool water is now being obtained at a depth of from twenty to thirty feet, at a moderate cost.
12. The general health of Eastern North Carolina will compare favorably with any portion of the United States, provided reasonable care is taken to have a proper supply of good food and water.
13. Owing to our mild climate, and abundant supply of native and acclimated grasses, the forage plants, (crab grass, Bermuda grass and Guinea grass, cow pea, millet, durra, cats and rice,) all grow luxuriantly. Cattle, sheep and hogs can be profitably raised on any farm.
14. North Carolina is a quiet, conservative State, and now contains a larger proportion of Northern-born citizens than any other Southern State. Her public debt has been carefully adjusted. Taxes are not heavy. Immigrants are desired, and cordially invited: and with the arrangements for cheap transportation, a family can pay their fare to North Carolina from New York and purchase a moderate farm for what it would cost to go West.
15. The State has provided a Department of Agriculture, also a State Geologist, and a Chemist, with a view of developing her varied resources, and preparing for immigration, J. H. Patrick. Immigration Agent, office in Raleigh, N. C. Public schools are in every county. Normal schools are held every year at the State's expense. There are over fifty cotton factories in the State. A large amount of capital is invested in mining, and also in the manufacture of tobacco. Lumber is abundant and cheap, suitable for building or for manufacturing purposes.
New Bern Improvement Association.
The object of this Association is to set forth and make known to the people of the Northern portion of the United States, the advantages that New Bern and its contiguous territory possess over other portions of the State, and to induce immigration into our midst.
Its special object is to induce skill, capital and industry into this section, by collecting, collating and disseminating correct information in relation to our wonderful resources, our equable climate, our fertile lands, our untouched forests of many kinds of valuable timber, our fisheries, our immense oyster beds, and our wonderful navigable inland waters: drawing the attention of the Northern people to the fact, that we have the very best country on the Atlantic coast; and we trust by this presentation of facts, that we may induce immigration, and thus contribute to the progress, wealth and prosperity of our section of the State.
The energies and efforts of this Company will not be to advertise any particular or individual interest, but will be used for the purpose of promoting the great general good of all. With this laudable object in view, we earnestly desire substantial aid: and active co-operation is solicited from all who desire to hasten the prosperity of our portion of the State.
All persons interested who are in possession of any information, either agricultural, statistical or historical, calculated to promote the interests of their localities, are requested to forward it to the Corresponding Secretary of this Company.
S. H. GRAY, PRESIDENT.
T. A. GREEN, TREASURER.
ALPHEUS W. WOOD, Recording Sec'y.
JONATHAN HAVENS, Corresponding Sec'y.
ALLEN'S FORTY LESSONS
Double Entry Book-Keeping.
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Price $1.25; introduction price to schools and teachers, $1, sent prepaid by mail or express, on receipt of price, with privilege of returning, if not perfectly satisfactory.
NEWBERN, N. C.
NEWBERN, NORTH CAROLINA.
In issuing the Fourth edition of Allen's Forty Lessons in Double Entry Book-Keeping, (less than three years after the first was placed on sale)—the Author desires to acknowledge the many complimentary notices regarding the clearness, and the practical value of the work, given by Teachers, Business men and the Press.
The book has been formally adopted as a Text-Book, by a large number of School Boards, Academies and Colleges in a number of States, and has given full satisfaction to Teachers and Pupils.
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The Fourth edition has been carefully revised, and contains a model set of books, embracing the sales book, cash book, daily journal, ledger and balance book, showing the various entries, and practical work in business. It also contains a large number of Transactions, for the use of the teacher, these additions will be of great practical value.
The price will remain the same, $1.25 per volume. To schools and teachers $1—sent prepaid on receipt of price, where there is no agent.
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BINGHAM SCHOOL, N. C., Feb. 6, 1886.
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From Rev. O. A. DARBY, D. D., Principal Columbia S. C. Female College
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Office of Raleigh, N. C. Township School Committee, Oct. 29th, 1885.
At a meeting of the Committee yesterday, Allen's Forty Lessons in Book-keeping was adopted for use in our schools.
THOS. H. BRIGGS, JR., Sec.
REIDSVILLE, N. C., Jan. 7th, 1886.
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THE PAMLICO SECTIONGENERAL DESCRIPTION.
EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA.
It has been truthfully said, that there is no space of territory in any of the original thirteen States of the American Union, that is so little known, so little visited and seen by other than its residents, and of which the character and values have been so little noticed or appreciated as Eastern North Carolina; and yet, there is no part of the entire Atlantic Sea Board that offers as many inducements to emigrants of means. With all of her wealth of forests, rich in valuable timber; her immense fisheries, her every variety of soil, some of it the richest on earth, capable of producing all the great staples; her immense oyster beds, as yet comparatively untouched; her unrivalled climate, exempt alike from the chilling blasts of the North and the torrid heats of the Gulf States; her extensive navigable rivers, bayous, bays and creeks; the ever swelling tide of emigration has never crossed her borders. This tide has turned North and West until it crossed the continent, and peopled those vast solitudes with a race of dauntless energy and great aspiration. New States were formed, cities rose on every hand, school houses multiplied, steamboats plowed their way upon every river. The continent was spanned with an iron track, and the shrill whistle of the locomotive was heard bearing in its rumbling train the productions of far off Japan and China. While these wonderful changes were taking place all around us, and all the nations of the world were gazing in astonishment at the rapid strides to greatness this Republic was making, our people were
content to go on as they said “in the good old paths their fathers trod,” and to let well enough alone. They were suddenly awakened from their lethargy by the rude shock of war; all things with them were in chaos, their whole labor system was destroyed, their credit gone; they met the change with the dauntless courage inherent in the Anglo Saxon race, and North Carolina has now taken the foremost rank among the States of the great American Union.
That portion of Eastern North Carolina it is proposed to describe in this pamphlet is comprized in the counties of Craven, Pamlico, Hyde, Beaufort, Jones, Onslow, Carteret, Pitt, Lenoir and Dare. These counties in their general features very strikingly resemble Middle and Southern Florida. They are not rolling or undulating; from the sea coast to the average distance of seventy-five miles West, they are nearly a dead level with an average elevation of about 12 feet above the ocean, with scarcely a swelling or protuberance rising to the dignity of a hill. It will be readily seen by referring to the map, that they are all either penetrated by the waters of the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers or their affluents, or washed by the waters of Pamlico, Core, or Bogue Sounds. Several of them are so well located on navigable streams and sounds as to make them very easy of access from the ocean.
There is a very great similarity in the soils of all of these counties. These soils may be divided into three classes. The upland soil is generally a stiff grayish yellow clay, or an extremely close compact soil and subsoil very difficult to reduce, but when subdued, it is very valuable for the cultivation of cotton. The light sandy loams are generally found near navigable streams; they are very easy of tillage and susceptible of high cultivation. The swamp lands, or soils composed of decayed vegetable matter, are equal in fertility to any in the world. Through all of this broad extent of country it may be said, that fertilizers lie at every man's door, the whole country being underlaid with marl or decomposed shells, and in
several of the counties it lies near the surface, and on nearly every creek and rivulet it crops in places out of the ground. Decomposed vegetable matter or muck can be found in every uncleared swamp, and pure carbonate of lime (oyster shells) can be had in unlimited quantities with but very little more expense than the cost of transportation. In every portion of this territory, two crops a year can be made; and in those parts accessible to quick transportation, many of the farmers make it a rule to raise a crop of vegetables for early shipment, and follow with a crop of cotton. This system of farming requires heavy manuring and is generally done on light sandy loamy lands. All of the lands are well adapted to the cultivation of all the cereals and cotton, also flax, hemp, jute and sorghum. Nut bearing trees, not indegenous, are now being successfully cultivated, such as the Pecan and English Walnut. Grapes, Pears, Figs and Plums, when the cultivation is made a specialty, arrive at perfection. All of the smaller fruits can be successfully raised; and immense quantities of strawberries are cultivated for shipment. Those portions of Craven and Carteret counties through which the Atlantic and North Carolina Rail Road passes, may be deemed the paradise of truckers. The lands are light and sandy, and owing to their proximity to the sea coast, are warm very early in the season, consequently the sprouting of the plant is quickened and the growth and maturity are rapid; being thus favored by climate, the truckers are from ten to fifteen days earlier in the northern markets than the Virginia truckers. The lands lying on the Neuse River below the city of New Bern, also possess the same advantages of climate and soil. In a word, the entire country bordering on the lower waters of Neuse River, and on Pamlico, Core and Bogue Sounds would be devoted to trucking provided facilities for quick transportation were more extended. The soil of Eastern North Carolina is also well adapted to the cultivation of tobacco. The plant is indigenous. Every variety of the weed can be
very successfully and profitably grown. Experiments have demonstrated the correctness of this assertion. The lands are the best in the State for that purpose, and more of the weed can be raised on an acre, and at less expense than in Middle and Western North Carolina; and only in Eastern North Carolina can be found land upon which a fine quality of smoking will successfully mature. Eastward the cultivators of tobacco are now wending their way in search of cheaper and better tobacco lands. Comparatively but a small portion of the lands of the Pamlico counties are under cultivation, not more than the one tenth part. The population is sparse, and the people are “land poor,” they have too much land, and there are too few owners.
The predominant feature of the Pamlico section of Eastern North Carolina is the heavily timbered Swamp lands. They merit particular attention, not only on account of their cheapness and extent, but also on account of their great fertility. One remarkable feature is, they are invariably higher than the tide level of the rivers and water courses, consequently they are easily drained by ditches and canals. They are as yet comparatively untouched. Here and there spaces have been cleared, but they appear but as spots amid the gloomy immensity of the primitive forest. These timbered swamps differ somewhat in the character of their soils, but they are all exceedingly rich; forty to fifty bushels of corn to the acre can be raised for an indefinite number of years without fertilizers. Though Indian corn is an exhausting crop, the farmers on the swamp lands have never seen any necessity for any fertilizer other than carbonate of lime. These lands produce excellent crops of cotton, rice, oats, peas, corn, rye, potatoes and turnips. They are not so well adapted for trucking as the light sandy lands on account of their coldness in the early spring. Rice has always been a staple in Eastern Carolina, but not until lately cultivated to any extent; only in localities in Hyde county was the cultivation
made a specialty. Late experiments have shown that rice has a great area of cultivation; land that was deemed unfit for the cultivation of cotton, corn, oats and rye, has been found to produce good rice crops. It can be successfully cultivated in any part of Eastern Carolina, either on uplands or on swamp lands. The industry has now assumed huge proportions, and the rice raised in the Pamlico section finds a market in Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, New York and Baltimore. There is no part of the habitable globe where the facilities for water communciations are as great as they are in the Pamlico section of Eastern North Carolina. The entire section is penetrated in every direction by navigable streams, bayous, bays and creeks. So numerous are these creeks and bayous in the portion bounded on the north by the waters of the Pamlico River, on the east by the waters of Pamlico Sound and its extensions, Core and Bogue Sounds, and on the south by Neuse River, that in the counties of Craven, Beaufort, Pamlico and Carteret, it would be impossible to locate a farm that would involve the necessity of a land carriage of over 12 miles. The usual mode of transportation, and one could well say, the only mode of transportation of produce to market, is by water. The inhabitants of Carteret county are the most aquatic people on this continent; their only mode of travel and transportation to the interior from the first settlement of the county, down to the year 1856, was by water. Since then, the Atlantic and North Carolina Rail Road has been built. Neuse River, which empties into Pamlico Sound, is navigable to New Bern 40 miles from its mouth by vessels drawing nine feet of water; and to Kinston in Lenoir county, a distance of 60 miles, for light draught steamers. It is ten miles wide at its mouth. It has many navigable creeks and bayous emptying into it. Several of them are of sufficient depth to admit the largest class of sea going vessels visiting the waters of Pamlico Sound. Trent River which empties into the Neuse at New Bern, is an extremely crooked
stream, running through a region abounding in picturesque and semi-tropical scenery. It is navigable to Trenton in Jones county, a distance of 43 miles. The Harlowe Creek Canal connects Neuse River with the waters of Beaufort Harbor, and will, at an early day, be of sufficient depth to admit sea going vessels. The distance necessary to be dredged in this canal and its entrances from Neuse River and from Beaufort Harbor, to attain a uniform depth of 13 feet at mean tide, is 16½ statute miles; and the maximum distance to be dredged in Neuse River to attain the same depth from New Bern to the entrance of the canal is only 1½ statute miles. With this depth of water the flags of all nations would be seen in the waters of the Neuse River. New River, the dividing line between Jones and Onslow counties, is navigable nearly to its head for steamers of light draught. White Oak River is also navigable for light draught steamers. These rivers would give great facilities for transportation to the people of Jones and Onslow counties; but unfortunately the advantages as regards them is headed off by the shallow sounds at their mouths, barring an outlet to the sea. Vessels drawing five feet of water, bound from New Bern to Southern ports, pass through Core Sound, an extension of Pamlico Sound, and seek the ocean at Beaufort; thus avoiding many of the delays and dangers of the circuitous route by way of Hatteras Inlet. Pamlico River is navigable to the town of Washington in Beaufort county, about 40 miles from its mouth for vessels of the same class that visit New Bern; and to the town of Tarboro, distance 50 miles for steamers drawing 3½ feet of water. It is several miles wide at its mouth. The largest of its affluents is Pungo River, navigable its entire length for sea going vessels. South Creek, another of its affluents, is also navigable for sea going vessels. It can be readily seen that in Eastern Carolina is an extension of navigable water courses, without a counterpart on the Atlantic Seaboard, penetrating a country very rich in natural resources,
where lands are cheap, and capable of producing all of the great staples of the United States; the waters abounding in fish and oysters; with markets convenient, and transportation at reasonable rates all awaiting the sturdy arm of the settler.CLIMATE.
The climate of North Carolina has no great extremes of heat or cold. The winters are generally mild, without any excessive cold. The thermometer seldom gets as low as 15 degrees, and remains so but a few days. An extremely cold winter seldom occurs, not oftener than once in ten years, and then the extreme cold seldom lasts longer than two weeks. The average of the thermometer in winter is about 40 degrees; flowers bloom in the open air nine months in the year, and in some seasons, roses bloom until January. Spring opens in February, and in the latter part of March truckers commence shipping vegetables. Cotton is being marketed in September, and the corn crop in November.
Immediately on the sea coast ice seldom forms strong enough to bear the weight of a man, and sleighing is almost unknown. The winters are generally dry, the rainfall being light. Cattle roam at large in the swamps the entire year; when penned, they require nothing more than an enclosed shelter. The isothermal line of Eastern Carolina passes through the Southern part of France, so renowned for the softness of its climate. During the summer months the heat is not as oppressive as it is in the Northern States and the extreme of hot weather lasts but a short time. Sun strokes are almost unknown. The average heat in summer is 75 degrees. The proximity to the sea, and being penetrated in every direction by sounds and water courses, modifies the heat. The prevailing winds during the summer months are from the southwest and southeast, and they are of almost daily regularity. A perfect calm summer night is of rare occurrence in the city of New Bern.
During the months of October, November and part of December, the climate is of delicious softness; the atmosphere is singularly bright and clear, and such is its transparency that objects at a great distance seem near. Outdoor labor during the entire year is seldom interrupted either by excessive heat or excessive cold.
A great deal of ignorance prevails as regards the healthfulness of the climate of Eastern North Carolina. The uninformed think that it is the land of pestilence “where death bestrides the evening gale and the yielding breath inhales poison with its delight, and the iron race of Japhet melts away under the prodigality of nature.” This error of opinion was at one time wide-spread; greater facilities for rapid communication have greatly dispelled it. The day has passed when a western man made his will before he started on a journey east to visit the tide water section of North Carolina and requested the prayers of the faithful for his safe return to his mountain home. We judge a tree by its fruits, and we form our opinion of the healthfulness of a country from the general appearance of its inhabitants, their longevity and the death rate. Upon this basis, Eastern North Carolina can make as good a showing as any State in the Union. Typhoid fevers, consumption, pneumonia, diphtheria and scarlet fever, so prevalent in the middle and western portions of the State, have no abiding place in the Pamlico section of Eastern Carolina. It is an indisputable fact, that there is no part of the United States where the inhabitants are of finer physique than in Eastern North Carolina. The only fevers prevalent are of a mild type, bilious in their character, and yield readily to skillful treatment. With reasonable care and prudence, one can keep in good health in any part of the Pamlico section. Malaria exists everywhere, either in a greater or lesser degree, but nowhere are its baleful influences less felt than in the swamp lands of the State, and nowhere in the State is the death rate less. There is no class of laborers anywhere in the United States that have better health than those whose daily occupation
is that of draining swamp lands, or working in lumber in a swamp. Malaria is one thing, and the product of vegetable decomposition is another. The upturning of argillaceous soils will cause malaria and widespread pestilence; but no instance can be shown of a desolating sickness arising from the clearing of swamp lands, or from working or dwelling in a swamp. Many years ago, the State of North Carolina made an appropriation to drain a portion of the swamp lands in Hyde county; those who had charge of the work stated that there was no sickness among the laborers during the summer months, and none of any consequence during the year. In building the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad, which runs from Goldsboro to Morehead City on the sea coast, passing for over 25 miles through a dense swamp, the health of the laborers was good even in the hottest weather. Another remarkable fact, the State convicts were employed in building a turnpike road through the swamp between New River and Trent River in Jones and Onslow counties; though employed both in winter and summer in clearing and canaling land, and often working in water, kept in excellent health and improved in their physical condition. It is a well established fact that the general health of the convicts working in the east, was better than those working on railroads in the mountain region of North Carolina.
Professor Emmons, former State Geologist, asserts that the swamp lands are not unhealthy, and the late Hon. Edmund Ruffin, in his sketches of Eastern North Carolina, alluding to Hyde county, says: “From the existing condition of the land of the lake region, every stranger would infer the general and worst effects of malaria in producing disease and death, but I was assured that such was not the fact, and that the residents suffered but little from autumnal diseases; the people, I saw, had the appearance of enjoying at least ordinary good health. Among the number I saw there were three neighboring resident proprietors, each of seventy or more years of age
and then in good health.” Notwithstanding nearly the entire county of Hyde is either cleared or uncleared swamp land, the inhabitants are noted for their fine physique and generally healthy appearance. Some portions of Eastern Carolina are less healthy than other portions; the same rule holds good everywhere, in every locality, both in city and country, but it may be said that there is no portion of the country now described in which the inhabitants do not enjoy a fair average of good health, whether living in the upland or piney lands, or in the swamp lands. It is generally conceded that pine regions, or regions in which the turpentine pines are the principal forest growth, are remarkably healthy. So general is this opinion that many citizens in Eastern Carolina living in towns have their places of summer resort among the pines. The balsamic effect of these trees is soothing to weak and delicate constitutions. The good effects of the climate on persons from abroad having weak lungs, or those who are consumptive, is noticeable; and a prolonged stay in Eastern Carolina is generally followed by a permanent cure. In a word, it may be asserted without fear of successful contradiction, that there is no part of the United States where consumptive patients stand a better chance of being cured than in Eastern Carolina; it is a sanitarium, and nowhere is the average duration of life greater.EARLY SETTLEMENT.
In the annals of history there has been no century in which the sphere of human interest so widened as it did in the 16th century, and none in which there have been so many events that have shapened the destinies of mankind, and none so prolific in great men. Columbus, in the previous century, had boldly steered his barque into unknown seas, and given to Spain a new world. The spirit of discovery and conquest was abroad in all of the mighty kingdoms of Europe. It prevaded all ranks of society, from the humblest peasant to the proudest
noble; all were alike imbued with it. Elizabeth sat upon the throne of England, and her subjects, with that restless daring characteristic of the Anglo Saxon race, were anxious to dispute with Spain her asserted right to the whole continent of America. Every sea was dotted with English sails, and her “Sea Dogs” made the name of an English seaman a terror throughout Spanish America. In the middle of this remarkable century, was born one of the greatest men of any age or country, Sir Walter Raleigh. The year 1552 witnessed his advent upon the stage of life. The family from which he sprung was ancient and honorable, and allied by blood to some of the great families of that period. In early life he was sent to the University of Oxford, then one of the most renowned institutions of learning in the world. At an early age he gave promise of a brilliant career. Those who then knew him have borne witness to his resplendent and extraordinary genius; and in maturer manhood, the early promise was verified and realized. He was of fine personal appearance, graceful and benign in his manner, sincere in his friendships and unyielding in his integrity. He excelled in the manly military accomplishments of that semi chivalrous age. In his character, there were elements of greatness strangely combined. The whole range of science, as then known, received his attention; for he was a lover of letters; the companion of Shakespeare, Ben Johnson, the renowned Sir Philip Sydney, and other celebrities of that age. He was an elegant scholar and profoundly versed in ancient lore. A fine linguist, wrote and spoke several of the languages of continental Europe. A poet of no ordinary abilities and frequently cultivated the muse. A soldier, whose valor, was displayed on many a well fought field, and whose military abilities attracted the notice, not only of his sovereign, but also the attention and notice of the great generals and leaders of the armies of France and the Netherlands. His knowledge of seamanship and navigation were at that day deemed remarkable. He
was an admirable cosmographer; and the mechanic arts as applied to the building of ships he diligently studied. He was a statesman to whose advice the haughty and imperious Elizabeth would listen, and to whose judgment she would bow in deference. He was among the first of England's statesmen who saw the necessity of England becoming a maratime and commercial power; and that ships, colonies and commerce would increase her prosperity and wealth, and that prosperity and wealth meant power. He had given this subject great consideration, and was anxious to found a colony. Having laid the matter before Elizabeth, she granted him a patent and title to all the discoveries he might make. He fitted out a fleet and gave the command to Amadas and Barlow with directions to prosecute a search to the northward of Florida. On the 27th day of April 1584 the expedition sailed from England and early in July came upon the coast of North Carolina. Barlow, who was chronicler, says, they entered an inlet and at the distance of seven leagues, they came to an island called ROANOK. It has been a matter of uncertainty and dispute as to what part of the coast was the inlet they entered. If we take it for granted that the distance which Barlow says he sailed, was correct, the inlet must have been at or near the spot now known as Kinnikeet. The voyagers made friends with the natives and stayed in the waters of Carolina about two months, explored as well as their limited means would admit, and returned to England with two of the natives, respectively named Manteo and Wanchese. Their description of the coast of Carolina reads like some tale of fairy-land. They arrived during the summer months when the seas were calm, and were well disposed to be pleased with every thing they saw. The success of this expedition induced Raleigh to send out another, which he placed under the command of Sir Richard Greenville, a celebrated navigator, who sailed the succeeding year accompanied by over one hundred emigrants. After a passage of two-and-a-half months, they arrived on the
coast of North Carolina, at the entrance of the inlet now known as Ocracoke, then called by the natives Wocokon. The emigrants proceeded to Roanoke Island; and Sir Richard Greenville made several voyages in boats, and explored the country to some extent. He remained on the coast a short time and then returned to England. The command of the colonists now devolved upon Ralph Lane, who made many explorations; he penetrated several rivers and also learned of the existence of Chesapeake Bay. The colony now began to suffer for provisions, and were in great straits. Fortunately Sir Francis Drake, who had just returned from one of his successful plundering expeditions against the Spanish shipping and colonies, arrived on the coast for the purpose of visiting Raleigh's colony, and seeing their distress, generously offered to take them to England. They gladly accepted his offer and embarked. Shortly after their departure, Sir Richard Greenville again arrived on the coast with supplies; not finding the colonists, he left fifteen men and returned to England. Raleigh was not discouraged at his ill success, for he fitted out another expedition in 1587, and sent it out under the charge of John White, who was accompanied by one hundred and seventeen emigrants, seventeen of whom were females, and nine were children. Upon their arrival at Roanoke, they found none of their countrymen, but learned that they had been attacked by the natives. Some had been killed, others had fled to their boats and are supposed to have perished at sea.
On the 18th of August of that year, 1587, was born the first white child in North Carolina, and was baptized Virginia Dare. White returned to England for supplies. Upon his arrival, he found the country in an alarm at the prospect of an invasion by the Spaniards with their “Great Armada.” After many delays and difficulties, consequent upon the state of the country, a fleet of three ships was fitted out with supplies for the colony; and White, after a long and tedious voyage of several months, landed at Roanoke Island and found it deserted.
All the indications he could find to direct him where the settlers had gone, was the word CROATAN carved upon a tree. White prosecuted the search for them, but was not successful; and downcast and suffering in mind he returned to England. This was the last attempt made to colonize North Carolina during the life time of Raleigh, and the last effort made to find the colonists. Their fate must forever remain a mystery.
To Sir Walter Raleigh must be ascribed the honors of inaugurating the first steps that led to the colonization of North America by the English. The Rev. Richard Hakluyt, an intimate friend of Raleigh, and one of the most accomplished men of his day, was one of the great promoters of the first settlement on the James River in 1606. As early as 1609, a settlement had been made in what is now known as Nansemond County in Virginia; from thence the first permanent settlers came into North Carolina as early as 1656 and settled on the North side of Albemarle Sound. In 1660 colonists from New England, with that propensity to roam, and with the reckless daring courage characteristic of the early settlers of Massachusetts, steered their barques Southward in search of a sunnier land, and settled on the Cape Fear River, then known as Charles River; failing to obtain a patent from the British Government for the land they had honestly purchased from the Indians, they abandoned the settlement. In 1663, the territory between 30 and 36 degrees of latitude was erected into a province under the name of Carolina, and bestowed by King Charles Second upon certain favorites or rather parasites, whom he was always willing to reward with gifts of land, when the land cost him nothing. This Government was known as that of the Lord's Proprietors. Emigrants came from the Island of Bermuda and engaged in ship building on the Pasquotank River; those from New England, settled on the Chowan River and became planters. In 1664 a colony of several hundred persons under Sir John Yeamans, landed on the Cape Fear River and commenced a settlement;
the previous year, they had sent out explorers, who had ascended the river to the distance of 150 miles, and returned with a good report. The Pamlico River region was settled in 1698 largely from the Albemarle section, and also settlers came from New England. As early as 1690 there was a settlement of French Huguenots on the Pamlico River. In 1707 a body of French Protestant emigrants came from the James River settlement in Virginia and made their home on the Trent River and Neuse River; afterward some of their descendants settled in what is now known as Onslow and Carteret counties; their names are still to be found in these counties. These emigrants brought with them their Pastor, Phillipe De Richbourg. Afterward, a portion of them proceeded still further South, and settled on the Santee River in South Carolina, where De Richbourg died.
In 1710, a large emigration of German and Swiss Protestants, the former were from Heidelberg on the Neckar in the Grand Duchy of Baden, and the latter from the Canton of Bern in Switzerland, under Baron De Graffenreid, a Swiss nobleman, and Louis Mitchell, and settled at the junction of the Neuse and Trent Rivers, and founded the town of New Bern. Louis Mitchell was no stranger in America, having spent several years in the country; the Canton of Bern had sent him over several years previous to purchase lands either in Pennsylvania. Virginia or Carolina. In 1711 the Indians becoming dissatisfied at the rapid encroachment of the settlers, planned a massacre of all the whites on the Roanoke, Pamlico and Neuse Rivers. To the Tuscarora tribe was committed the work of the slaughter of the whites on the Roanoke River, and to the Pamlico tribe was assigned the destruction of the inhabitants settled on the river of same name. The Cotechneys who lived in what is now known as Greene county, together with the Cores, were to do the awful work on the settlement at New Bern, and the Mattamuskeets and Matchapungos who were in Hyde and Beaufort, had confided to them the murder of the
settlers at Bath and on the neighboring plantations. The day of slaughter was appointed. Twelve hundred savages separated in small parties and commenced the dreadful work. The inhabitants were taken by surprise. The slaughter was indiscriminate; the grey haired matron, the aged sire and the infant in the cradle fell under the tomahawk and knife, all fared alike. The Swiss and German around New Bern to the number of sixty or more were murdered, and around Bath and Pamlico many were killed; and one hundred and thirty were butchered on the Roanoke. The carnage lasted three days; at length the Indians were compelled to desist from the terrible work by drunkenness and fatigue. This terrible calamity fell like a thunderbolt upon the survivors; the few who escaped, assembled under arms to guard their women and children, until assistance could be obtained from the neighboring province, Virginia, and from South Carolina. To their appeal, Gov. Spotswood, of Virginia responded; assembled his forces with alacrity, and prevented by his energy, any assistance being rendered by the tribes in Virginia to the savages in arms. The legislature of South Carolina voted eighty thousand dollars for the relief of North Carolina, and sent Col. Barnwell with a force of six hundred whites and three hundred and sixty Indians. After a terrible and fatiguing march through the wilderness, he arrived with his army on Neuse River; here he was joined by all the forces the colonists could muster. The Indians having received intelligence of the approach of Barnwell, assembled all their forces in one body, and fortified themselves in a strong palisado eighteen miles from New Bern, now known as Fort Barnwell; being confident of their strength they marched out and attacked the whites; they were defeated with great slaughter, losing upwards of 300 killed and 100 prisoners. They then retired to their fortification. Barnwell laid siege, and the Indians after sustaining considerable loss surrendered. It is said, that Barnwell acted too precipitately in accepting the surrender
of the Indians, granting them too favorable terms. It rests upon the authority of an official communication to the Lord's Proprietors written two years afterwards, which states: “in all probability if Col. Barnwell had done his part, though some of his Indians had left him, the war would have been at an end before this time; for Col. Mitchell, a Swiss gentleman, who came in with De Graffenreid, having continued to draw the trenches within eleven yards of the Indian fort, raised a battery in which he had placed two large guns, and collected a quantity of light wood and brush between the end of the trenches and the palisades of the fort. The Indians within who were all those concerned in the massacre, would have surrendered unconditionally, if a shameful capitulation had not taken place. The storming of this fort, which contained the greatest part of our enemies, would have so much dispirited the rest, that they would have complied with our terms, and abandoned the country, and our people would have been encouraged by the capture of so many slaves.” The war still progressed; the colonists were in great straits for want of men, arms and provisions. Col. Thomas Pollock was made commander in chief, and under his skill and management, additional forces under the command of Col. Moore were obtained from South Carolina. Upon his arrival in North Carolina, he marched against the Indians who were in an intrenchment where the town of Snow Hill now stands; defeated them and took 800 prisoners. He then marched into Hyde county and attacked the Mattamuskeets and Matchapungo tribes, and succeeded in dispersing them; his Indian allies taking many scalps. From thence he marched his forces into Carteret county and attacked the Core Indians, who had been raiding the south side of Neuse River, murdering the settlers near New Bern, and defeated them. He destroyed their canoes, and thus prevented their marauding expeditions by water to the Pamlico River; also burnt their town and laid their plantations waste. Shortly afterwards the Indians
sued for peace. The Tuscarora tribe abandoned the country, emigrated north and joined the tribes in the western part of the State of New York. At the time of the passage of the navigation act in 1672 by the British Government, the population did not exceed 4,000. This act, in its application to North Carolina, was oppressively cruel. It required that the few articles raised by the colonists to be exported first to England, and there pay a duty, before they could be re-exported to the West Indies. The colonists rebelled. New England also resisted within her borders the enforcement of this act. In alluding to the actions on the part of the colonists of North Carolina, Mr. Bancroft, the historian, remarks: “Are there any who doubt man's capacity for self government, let them study the history of North Carolina, its inhabitants were restless and turbulent in their imperfect submission to a government imposed on them from abroad; the administration of the colony was firm, humane and tranquil, when they were left to take care of themselves.”
The population of North Carolina for the first half century of its settlement was confined to the territory North of Albemarle Sound, and West of Chowan River. To the Southward of Albemarle Sound, the settlements were principally on the Roanoke, Pamlico and Neuse Rivers. All of them sent representatives to a Colonial Assembly. The Cape Fear colony, under Yeamans, had an Assembly and Governor of its own. This settlement was abandoned in 1690, and the inhabitants proceeded to Charleston, South Carolina. In the year 1729, all of the Lord's Proprietors surrendered their rights to the crown for the sum of 17,500 pounds, with the exception of Earl Granville, who retained his right to his share of the soil; a large territory was set off to him as private property.
Sir William Berkley, who was one of the Lord's Proprietors, was also Governor of Virginia; he was a man of exceedingly cruel character, overbearing, haughty and vindictive. Politically, he was of the school of Strafford, (England's great enemy to popular rights,) consequently
an uncompromising enemy to republican principles. He crushed with a ruthless hand a rebellion in Virginia, and put to death, without mercy, those who participated in it. Upon his retirement from office, he returned to England, and the good natured King Charles Second, said: “That old fool has hanged more men in that naked country than I have for the murder of my father.” Berkley assumed the jurisdiction of the settlements in North Carolina, and appointed a Governor and Council. Though a bitter and uncompromising churchman in Virginia, his religious principles as applied to the settlers in North Carolina were very elastic; he not only tolerated, but also encouraged Quakers, who had fled from religious intolerance in Massachusetts, and others who dissented from the church of England, it being to his pecuniary interest so to act. It may be said, that religious intolerance not only in Europe, but also in Virginia and Massachusetts led to the settlement of North Carolina.
Berkley was a representative of that class who adhered to the fortunes of the house of Stuart. The following is an extract from a letter he wrote to a committee on the colonies; it is characteristic of the man: “We have forty-eight parishes, and our ministers are well paid, and by my consent should be better if they would pray oftener and preach less; but as of all other commodities, so of this, the worst are sent to us, and we have few that we can boast of, since the persecution of Cromwell's tyranny drove divers worthy men hither. Yet, I thank God, there are no free schools, and no printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years, for learning has brought disobedience, heresy and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government.”
The early settlers of North Carolina were not of the class now known as squatters; they were like them in one respect, a bold hardy race; but their first settlement they made their permanent homes. They penetrated
with dauntless courage into an unknown wilderness peopled with a savage race, and made war upon the forest with axe and fire, until they disappeared, and an expanse of rich virgin soil, impregnated with the ashes of the giant growth that overshadowed it, was laid open for cultivation. “They brought with them the art and industry of civilization, together with its blessings, its passions and its vices; a quick sensibility to wrong, a stern appreciation of their rights and an indomitable spirit of independence.” They brought with them perseverance in their character, order in their habits, and fearlessness in their hearts. The phlegmatic German, the French Huguenot, the cavalier of England, the mercurial Irishman, the stubborn Scotch Covenanter, and the daring New Englander was the material of which the early settlers of North Carolina were composed. The spirit of popular liberty always stirred within them; their glorious axiom was “the rights of the many against the exactions of the few.” Says a distinguished historian, so ripe was this spirit at an early day, that when the boundary line was run in 1727 between North Carolina and Virginia, the borderers were eager to be included in the former province, as “there, they paid no tribute to God or man.” North Carolinians have been represented by an early historian as “gentle in their manners, jealous of their rulers, impatient, restless and turbulent when ruled by another government than their own and under that only were they satisfied.” This feeling pervaded the minds of the people so generally, that in 1731 Governor Burrington complained that “they always behaved insolently to their Governors, some they have driven out of the country, at other times they set up a government of their own choice supported by men under arms.”
The Lord's Proprietors held North Carolina for sixty-six years, and during the time there were several rebellions; the country was frequently in a state of anarchy and confusion. The causes were briefly these: instead of the people being subject to one government, they were
more or less under the control of three. First, the Lord's Proprietors who had a veto on all enactments of the colonists. Second, the crown which claimed the allegiance of the colonists and the power to annul any or all enactments of the Lord's Proprietors, and also of the Governor and council. And third, the Governor and council. The early government of the Lord's Proprietors was the best, as they then meddled but little with the internal economy of the colony; they were anxious for their quit rents and for the sale of their lands; and also for emigration. The inducements held out to emigrants were very liberal. Unfortunately an intermeddling spirit developed itself among them; Governors were sent over who were both cruel and rapacious, and who had no interest in the prosperity of the colony, and whose only care was to make money. Several of them, Daniel, Carey and Burrington would have disgraced a den of thieves; and worst of all in wickedness, rapacity and dishonesty, was Seth Sothel. The latter was permitted to buy a proprietorship that he might rob and oppress the people. The first attempt to oppress the colony was the enforcement of the navigation act; the people rose in rebellion. This was in 1678. In the year 1706 the Government was usurped and civil war was the result. After the cessation of the Proprietory Government, and peace and order were restored, the colony thrived rapidly, notwithstanding the navigation act and the oppressive enactment against manufactures. Vessels were built, ports were established, considerable trade both foreign and coastwise was carried on. The colonists surrounded themselves with the comforts and the elegancies of life. We read in our ancient wills and inventories, of “silver plate,” of “silver tankards and spoons,” of “mirrors” and of “books,” of “warming pans,” of “fine Holland sheets” and “diaper napkins and table cloths,” of “punch bowls.” The last mentioned show that our ancestors were bibulously inclined. The religion of North Carolina was the established church of England; it was so enacted by the colonial assembly in 1701, subject
to the approval of the Lord's Proprietors. They did not approve of it, because of the insufficiency of the salary granted to each minister. Owing to the opposition of the establishment of a church, it was hopeless to expect an assembly composed in great part of dissenters an increase of stipend. The people continued to act under the law, though a dead letter, and it appears to have been generally acquiesced in. At a meeting of the assembly in the year 1715, the church of England was declared to be the established religion of the colony.
The established church of Carolina had numerous and almost insurmountable difficulties to overcome. The colony was filled with elements of dissent. Quakers, Baptists and Presbyterians felt but little inclined to support any religious establishment that did not accord with their views.
The early missionaries sent over by the “Society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts” were, with few exceptions, men of unblemished character; earnest, God-fearing men, who made North Carolina their homes from a pure love of souls; but their usefulness was much impaired and hampered by the general indifference of the people to their religious ministration; the immense distances to travel through a pathless wilderness; the sparseness of the settlements; the difficulty of crossing rapid bridgeless streams; the insufficiency of their stipend, their salaries being very meagre, and often they and their families were in want of the common necessaries of life; yet, they bore their suffering heroically, and gave abundant evidence of the good they accomplished. While the State was under the administration of Gov. Tryon, who ruled, or rather attempted to rule it like a despot, for he was both tyrannical and cruel, the laws as regards marriage were, owing to his influence, ameliorated. In the assembly of 1765, a law was passed authorizing clergymen of all denominations to perform the rite of marriage, and legalizing all marriages that had been performed by them, which before had been
deemed illegal. Of Tryon, it may be said that he had one redeeming trait in his character, he was in favor of religious toleration.
Early in the 18th century, there was an emigration of Baptists into North Carolina; they, as also other dissenters, were a bold, earnest people, sincere lovers of truth, prefering an exile into a savage wilderness to lacerated backs and earless heads at the hands of the churchmen of Virginia, and the Puritans of Massachusetts. In the year 1727 they had a congregation in Perquimans county; and in 1742 they had established themselves in Halifax county. Ten years later they had sixteen congregations in the province. In 1765 they were very numerous, and established the first association known as the Kehukee Association. There was an emigration of Presbyterians from the North of Ireland in 1736, and settled in Duplin county; they were followed by immigrants of same faith, that settled in different parts of the State. These emigrants, owing to their superior education, soon exerted a powerful influence in the affairs of the province. They erected a church wherever they settled. About the year 1775 the surging and mighty tide of Methodism rolled in upon the shores of Eastern Carolina; its good effects were felt and seen in the moral and mental improvement of the people. In the year 1749 a printing press was established in the city of New Bern brought in by James Davis, from Virginia, and called the North Carolina Gazette.
The navigation laws of Great Britian, to which allusion has been made, were exceedingly onerous and oppressive. They grew out of the exceeding selfishness of the people of Great Britain, who never treated the colonists as fellow subjects, but as foreign dependencies. These laws were never modified, though the subject of strong and repeated remonstrance on the part of the colonies of America. In North Carolina the people resisted their enforcement with arms in their hands. This act was passed in 1651 during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, by what is
known as the “Rump Parliament.” In the year 1660 another act was passed more stringent than the preceding one; and in 1672 still another enactment was made adding to their oppressive character. This act was to prevent the colonists from exporting to or importing from any other country but Great Britian; and only on English or colonial built vessels, and of which the master and three-fourths of the crew must be Englishmen. No one but a British subject could do mercantile business in the colonies. Manufactured articles made in the colonies were not allowed to be exported. As the colonies increased in wealth and importance, the law was evaded, and in the New England States was disregarded. The colonists in North Carolina built vessels and exported their products both foreign and coastwise. The New England skipper was often seen in the rivers and sounds with his cargo of “yankee notions,” exchanging them for the products of the country, taking them wherever he pleased, regardless of the laws of Great Britian, and running the risk of capture and confiscation of his vessel. During the mild and popular administration of Gov. Johnston, the colonists were in a more prosperous condition, and exported 61,528 barrels of tar, 12,055 barrels of pitch, 10,429 barrels of turpentine, 762,000 staves, 61,580 bushels of corn, 100,000 hogsheads of tobacco, beef, pork, bacon, lard, hides, furs, beeswax and lumber. These exports were made when the population of the colony was only 45,000.
The artificial distinctions of society in the early settlement of the country were very prominent. The wealthy classes sent their sons to England to be educated. These returned with the manners and customs of the refined classes with whom they had associated. There were also settlers who were allied by blood to families of rank in England; these were cultivated and refined. There were also the educated New Englanders; who ever saw one without some education? for whenever a Puritan settlement was made, a school house was erected. These, by
their industry and thrift became rich and influential in the affairs of the colony. The masses of the people were uneducated; the school master was not then abroad in the land. The only opportunity for the poor in those days to get even the rudiments of an education, was afforded by the handful of Episcopal clergymen, who were missionaries, or by the kindly offices of the Quaker element.
The ladies of those days were as true to their instincts as regards dress, as are the ladies of these days. They wore their hair clustering in curls and falling gracefully on their shoulders; now they either curl or blouse it on their foreheads. Then, they wore enormous hoops; now they wear huge bustles. Then, they put black patches on various parts of their faces; now they tinge their cheeks with a delicate tint of rouge. They wore then, as they do now, scarlet stockings and high heel shoes, gold rings and bracelets. The wealthy classes lived in plenty, their tables groaned with abundance. The forests supplied them with all kinds of game, the waters with wild fowl and every variety of fish; their orchards and gardens with fruit and vegetables, and the ubiquitous yankee “skipper,” with rum, sugar and tropical fruits. They were surrounded by their slaves; white, Indian and negro. They also observed some degree of state. Hospitality was open and free. Intercourse between the settlements on the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers was frequent. The colonies of North America were made by the authorities of Great Britian one of the penal settlements. They sent over convicts in great numbers. It is estimated, that from the time of the first settlement of the country down to the commencement of the revolutionary war, the number sold in the different colonies from New York to Georgia, was fifty thousand. These convicts were placed in charge of the masters of emigrant ships, who sold them into slavery for a term of years to indemnify themselves for their passage. All of the colonies remonstrated with the British Government, but without effect. They
replied that it was necessary for the good of society in England that the practice should be continued. Doctor Franklin, very pertinently asked permission for the colonists to send them rattlesnakes in exchange. A number of the convicts, when their term of service expired, amassed property and became useful citizens. A writer of that day said: “They go there poor and they come back rich; there they plant, trade and increase. * * * * They have, by turning their hands to industry and improvement, and, which is best of all, to honesty, become rich, substantial planters and merchants; settled large families, and been famous in the country; nay, we have seen many of them made magistrates, officers of militia, captains of good ships, and masters of good estates.”
To New England, the colonists of North Carolina were indebted for their supply of negro slaves imported from Africa. Who sinned most? the New Englander in tearing them from their native country and kindred and transporting them in their small crowded vessels through all the horrors of a middle passage across the Atlantic ocean, or the Southern colonists in purchasing them, is a question we leave casuists to determine. No North Carolina colonist ever imported negro slaves from Africa or the West India Islands.
In the year 1729 the population of North Carolina was estimated at 13,000. The larger portion of the population was in the Albermarle section. The population, according to the census of 1790 was 393,000, an increase of 380,000 in seventy-seven years. After the disasterous defeat of the adherents of the House of Stuart, there was a large emigration of Scotch highlanders. A larger portion of them made their homes on the Cape Fear River and founded a settlement then known as Cross Creek, now as Fayetteville. Among them was the celebrated Flora Macdonald. Omitting many interesting events of colonial history, we now arrive at the revolutionary period. The people of North Carolina were the first to rebel against royal authority. In January, 1766, the people of
Wilmington resisted, with arms in their hands, the landing of stamped paper from a British sloop of war, and threatened to burn the Governor's house over his head if he did not give up to them the stamp master, whom they compelled to make oath that he would not attempt the execution of his office. The first blood of the revolution was shed at Alamance. The first declaration of independence was promulgated by her citizens. War came—“She made the cause of Boston her cause.” Her sons performed their duty on nearly every battle-field of the revolution. Their valor shone conspicuously at Eutaw Springs, at Germantown, at Brandywine, at Monmouth, and at Stony Point. Peace came, and she entered upon a career of prosperity, before unknown in her history.FORESTS.
The forests of Eastern North Carolina are comparatively untouched. It may be said that three-fourths of the land is yet in primeval forest. They are known as swamp and pine lands. The long leaf or turpentine pine is the most valuable of all trees, not only for its yield of tar, turpentine, and rosin, but also for the spirits distilled from the turpentine. Its timber is more generally used than any other in the known world. There are other varieties of pine known under different names. The short leaf and the swamp pine are the varieties most used next to the long leaf or turpentine pine. The swamp pines are of a girth and height unknown in colder climates, frequently attaining an altitude of 150 or more feet. Spars of 90 feet in length can be obtained from these trees. In the early days of the colony, the shipment of lumber, both foreign and coastwise, was an important item. Since the introduction of steam saw mills in Eastern Carolina, which event took place in the first quarter of the present century, they have multiplied so greatly, that they are in every town, village, hamlet, and cross road, and on every navigable creek or bay; and yet, the most careful observer can find no diminution in the supply of pine
timber. The swamp forest growth is of great variety, principally white oak, red oak, post oak, poplar, black gum, sweet gum, juniper or white cedar, elm, maple, holly, dog wood, bay, ash, and cypress. Of the last mentioned there are some swamps known as cypress swamps on account of the growth of the swamps being only cypress. From the first settlement of the State down to the present time, the axe has been constantly at work in the cypress swamps. The timber has been in great demand for foreign shipment and also for home consumption; yet, there are forests untouched. In the uplands is found a very heavy growth of timber, principally hickory, chinquapin, sycamore, black oak, white oak and red cedar. On the coast land, directly on the ocean, is found the live oak, the most valuable of all oaks for ship building. Great quantities of holly, dog wood, ash and other hard woods are sent abroad to be worked up into furniture and for other purposes.SCENERY.
The visitor to Eastern Carolina will not see what is generally termed fine scenery; but there is a something in the landscape, that never fails to attract the notice and excite the admiration of the stranger. There are no snow-capped mountains, no billowy rolling country whose hill-tops are crowned with umbrageous oaks, and whose sloping sides are clothed in green. There are no laughing rivulets, no leaping cascades, no bubbling fountains, no sparkling brooks, no fairy dells; but, there are wide magnificent rivers, whose distant shores sink below the horizon. There are deep creeks and bayous whose “glassy surface is scarcely disturbed by a ruder breath than the zephyrs of spring,” whose banks are fringed with waving cane and giant grasses, and clothed with magnificent green and scarlet hollies, with huge poplars, graceful maples, and the funereal cypress, and are festooned from tree top to tree top with the fragrant yellow jasmine, the luxuriant creeping bamboo or the
wild muscadine grape, forming a deep and dense shade impervious to the rays of a summer sun. There are wide and grassy savannas dotted with groves of pine, and carpeted with an endless variety of gorgeously brilliant flowers, whose beauty is enhanced by the transparent purity of the air, and the genial warmth of the sun. There are forests of giant oaks and mammoth pines draped in moss, tall graceful junipers and lordly cedars, that were venerable patriarchs of the forest when the tide of emigration first broke upon our shores. There is something awe-inspiring in the solemn stillness of these pathless solitudes. No sound is heard save the sighing of the wind in the overshadowing canopy of green, or the lonely booming echo of decayed falling limbs. There are placid lakes whose waters are of crystaline purity and whose shores are of emerald hue. There are grand inland seas, whose rolling waves are sometimes lashed into fury by the howling tempest, and upon whose outer bounds the surge of old ocean rolls its wild, profound eternal bass.NEW BERN AND COUNTY OF CRAVEN.
The city of New Bern is beautifully situated at the junction of Neuse and Trent Rivers, the Neuse forming its eastern, and the Trent its southern boundary; both wide and beautiful streams. The soil upon which it is built is light and sandy, and gently slopes to the rivers; consequently the drainage is perfect. It is well laid out, and has 20 miles of streets, and they are made to conform to the course of both of the rivers; their general direction being north and south and east and west, or very nearly so. They are well shaded with huge spreading elm trees, hence the sobriquet of Elm City. The houses are generally of wood, plain, square mansions; a few being in the cottage style. Many of them are embowered in evergreens, and surrounded with elegant flower yards. There are also some fine brick dwellings, and quite a number of elegant brick stores. It is a
strangely picturesque place, and full of strong contrasts, and strangers are generally favorably impressed with it. Several of the streets are shelled. Owing to its situation at the junction of two wide rivers, and only 28 statute miles from the ocean, the winters are mild, and the summer heats are greatly modified by the daily sea breeze from the south-west and the south-east. There are but few still calm days in the course of a year; the number being much less than immediately on the sea coast. The winter may be termed the season of calms. It is a fine resort for those afflicted or predisposed to pulmonary diseases. The people generally enjoy good health. There are few places in the United States in which the death rate is less. The same can be said of the entire county; for with a county population of nearly twenty thousand, there are but seven practicing physicians.
The industries are:—5 Steam Saw Mills, 1 Carriage Factory, 2 Turpentine Distilleries, 1 Sash and Blind Factory, 1 Box Factory, 2 Steam Grist Mills, 1 Marble Yard, 1 Canning Factory, 1 Cotton Factory, 2 Marine Railways, 1 Paper Pulp Factory, 1 Wooden Plate Factory, 2 Steam Cotton Gins, 1 Cigar Manufactory, 3 Machine Shops, 1 Cotton Seed Oil Mill, 1 Tannery.
The religious denominations are:—1 white Methodist Church, 4 colored; 1 white Baptist Church, 4 colored; 1 white Presbyterian Church, 1 colored; 1 white Episcopal Church, 1 colored; 1 Roman Catholic Church; and a lot has been purchased upon which to erect a building for that body of Christians known as Disciples of Christ.
There is one white graded school and one colored, and several excellent private schools, the higher branches being taught. There are twenty-six artesian wells, and two elegantly equipped and very efficient Steam Fire Engine Companies; one Hook and Ladder and one Hose Company.
The new Court House is an elegant building, the finest in the State. The new Academy is also a fine structure, and will accommodate six hundred pupils.
There is one National Bank and one Private Banking House; one Cotton and Grain Exchange; one Theatre; one Daily and three Weekly papers; one Book and Job printing office.
The commercial statistics for the year ending September 1885, are as follows:—45,000 bales cotton, 3,000,000 shingles, 6,000,000 feet of lumber, 500 tons cotton seed meal, 1000 gallons cotton seed oil, 200,000 bushels rough rice, 40,000 boxes canned goods, 6,100 casks milled rice, 1000 casks spirits turpentine, 8,000,000 wooden plates, 250,000 bushels of corn, 10,000 barrels naval stores, 1,250 tons fresh fish, 40,000 barrels Irish potatoes, 70,000 boxes green peas, 25,000 boxes beans, 14,000 packages vegetables, 50,000 melons.
The latitude taken from Union Point is 35° 6′ 15″, longitude 77° 2′ 30″ west.
There are two steam lines connecting with Norfolk and Baltimore, giving daily opportunities for shipment. The Old Dominion and the Clyde Lines. These steamers are of large capacity. The Old Dominion steamer Shenandoah is elegantly fitted up for carrying passengers and connects at Elizabeth City with the Norfolk and Southern Rail Road. A line of light draught freight and passenger steamers connects with the town of Kinston on the Neuse, and with all of the intermediate landings. A line also on the Trent connects with the towns of Pollocksville and Trenton. A steamer connects with the town of Vanceboro on Swift Creek; and a steamer also penetrates the waters of Contentnea Creek as high up as Hookerton and Snow Hill in Greene county.
The Atlantic and North Carolina Rail Road passing through New Bern connects with the harbour of Beaufort and also with the town of Goldsboro and the entire rail road system of the United States. There is also a Telephone line to the town of Pollocksville in Jones county. The population of New Bern is seven thousand. It was named by Baron De Graffenreid, its founder, in honor of his native city, Berne in Switzerland. It is a place of
historic interest, and was, at the breaking out of the revolutionary war, the capitol of the province. The last colonial Governor, Martin, held here considerable state in the palace erected by his predecessor, the polished, but unscrupulous and vindictive Tryon. The times became troublous; the people were impatient and restive under a foreign yoke; the storm brewed rapidly; and Martin, for the safety of his person, abandoned New Bern in April 1775 and fled to Fort Johnson on the Cape Fear, and finally took refuge, for the protection of his person, on board of the British sloop of war “Cruiser.” During the revolutionary struggle, no hamlet or village in the thirteen provinces responded more gallantly to the call of Congress for troops, than New Bern. She soon became an armed camp; and for nearly eight long weary years, her soldiers bore their suffering with patience and fortitude, until success crowned the struggle. They performed their duty heroically on many battle fields of the revolution; and in the terrible midnight storming of Stony Point, none bore themselves more gallantly than the heroic Major John Daves, whose remains now rest in the beautiful Cedar Grove Cemetery.
Craven county was formed from Bath county or precinct, and derives its name from William Earl Craven, one of the Lord's Proprietors. To those who are fond of aquatic sports and also of hunting, there is no place on the Atlantic coast that offers finer inducements than New Bern and its vicinity. The broad expanse of Neuse River, its contiguity to Pamlico Sound; its infrequency of calms, together with the fashionable resorts on the various sounds during the summer months, make it a fine cruising ground for yachtmen. The quantity of wild fowl in the sound and in the broad waters of the Neuse; the abundance of large game, deer, foxes and bears, (the two latter in rather large quantities in some sections and rather troublesome to farmers,) make it a paradise for hunters. In the vicinity of New Bern the lands are devoted to trucking; and many of the truckers follow the
vegetable crop with a crop of cotton; and frequently make two crops of vegetables and potatoes a year. Strawberries are extensively cultivated. A very great proportion of the cleared lands of the county would be in truck farms provided the facilities of transportation were greater. A Railroad running North and South through New Bern would pass through the finest trucking lands in the State. The largest body of this land lies in Craven county on the North side of Neuse River, and extends nearly to the Pamlico River. In several parts of Craven county there are large tracts of timbered swamp lands as yet undrained and uncleared. The soil of these swamps is very deep and rich, and when ready for the plough, produce enormous crops. Large tracts of this class of lands are lying both on the line of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad and also on navigable water courses. The prices of land vary in every locality. The entire county is underlaid either with marl or with a conglomerate of shells as hard and as durable as granite, which is used for building purposes and also for the manufacture of lime. On the Trent River it is found in inexhaustible quantities, and on the sides of the river it rises in banks to the height of fifteen or twenty feet. The manufacture of shingles by hand, has in a great measure been discontinued; they are now made by machinery. The native grasses grow abundantly, and are readily converted into hay of very good quality. The facilities for cattle raising are great. In some portions of the country they can graze the entire year on reeds and grasses, and can be well cared for at trifling expense, and are always in reach of a ready market. Fishing is an industry of some importance. The waters of the Neuse abound in many varieties of fish. There are seventy varieties sold in New Bern market. The affluents of the Neuse River are many and they are all navigable. The farms are generally located on them, on account of easy transportation of products to market.
The area of Craven county is 900 square miles.
|Census of County in 1880—Whites,||6,665|
|Census of County in 1880—Colored,||13,064|
|Assessed valuation of Real Estate,||$1,605,595|
|Assessed valuation of Personal property,||579,021|
|Number of Farms,||1,581|
|Acres Improved Land,||52,392|
|Value of Farms,||$1,177,857|
|Value of Farming Implements,||44,251|
|Value of Live Stock,||170,683|
|Number of acres of State Lands,||150,000|
|Number of Horses,||952|
|Number of Asses and Mules,||444|
|Number of Working Oxen,||984|
|Number of Milch Cows,||2,435|
|Number of other Cattle,||4,090|
|Number of Sheep,||2,218|
|Number of Swine,||13,599|
|Indian Corn,||218,256 bush.|
|Irish Potatoes,||125,000 bush.|
|Sweet Potatoes,||150,000 bush.|
This is an industry that must eventually come South. The day is not far distant when persons engaged in this business will find it to their interest to move their machinery to the country from which they obtain their products. The Pamlico section is fast becoming the great trucking country of the Atlantic States, and is the greatest oyster country in the world, and this business of canning will eventually assume in New Bern huge proportions.
That oysters exist in inexhaustible quatities is a fact that cannot be disputed; and that they can be sold profitably here at less rates than in Baltimore is also true. Labor here is at less rates. Locations for the building of factories can be had at a mere nominal rate, much less than in either Baltimore or New York. Arrangements can be easily made with the truckers, (and they are legion,) to supply with green peas, beans, tomatoes and corn, each and every factory that could find building room in the city of New Bern; and these vegetables could be furnished at low and satisfactory rates; much less on the average than the Northern farmers with their high priced lands, and their higher priced labor could possibly afford. There is another consideration attendant upon the supply of vegetables; it is this, they can be supplied to the canners in a much better condition here than they could be had in New York or Baltimore. Already one exceedingly enterprising firm, (Messrs. Moore & Brady of Baltimore) has opened a canning establishment in the city of New Bern which gives employment to several hundred people. They also employ a large fleet of schooners and sloops in the business of gathering oysters. They are doing an extensive business, and their arrangements are such that they can handle several thousand bushels a day. They have enlarged their factory, and will engage extensively in canning vegetables.SHIP BUILDING.
The Pamlico section of Eastern Carolina is one of the finest countries for ship building on the Atlantic coast. Vessels of fifteen feet draught when loaded can be built and readily launched. The country abounds in the best quality of all the materials used in the construction of wooden built vessels, namely, white oak, live oak, red cedar and long leaf pine; from the pine and oak, plank can be obtained of great length. It is safe to say, that a frame of vessel of a given class can be purchased in the Pamlico section for one-third of the cost of a frame in
any of the Northern States; and mechanical labor is good, abundant and cheap. It has been said, and not without some truth, that nearly every man in Carteret county is either a half sailor or a full fledged ship carpenter. The latter statement must be correct, as many of the vessels built there are neat in construction, of beautiful models, and rival yachts in speed. Owing to the great supply of ship timber all over Eastern Carolina, as early as 1666, emigrants came from Bermuda and settled in the Albemarle region and engaged in ship building. Since the introduction of steam into ocean navigation, and the greatly increased size of vessels, the ship building interest in North Carolina has declined. No State south of Virginia has had as many vessels built in her borders as have been constructed in North Carolina. The construction of a small class of vessels and steamers is yet carried on in New Bern, Washington and the town of Beaufort.CATTLE RAISING.
The Pamlico section of Eastern Carolina presents as fine natural facilities for the rearing of cattle as any portion of the Atlantic States. In the counties of Craven, Pamlico, Beaufort, Jones, Onslow and Hyde the facilities are very great. In these counties there are immense tracts of land belonging to the State, covered with excellent grasses, and a heavy growth of reeds that remain green the entire year, the most nutritious of all feed for cattle. The climate is so mild that they require little or no shelter during the winter. These lands are not subject to any overflow, being higher than the water courses. They can be purchased from the State at very reasonable rates. This would be a paying industry, and one that would pay largely, if made a specialty. Proper care should be taken in improving the size of the small but tough and hardy native stock. A cattle raiser in Eastern Carolina possesses many advantages over one of the same occupation in Montana; he is nearer a market, and lives
in a milder climate, and can raise them at a very small cost. The business to be followed successfully necessitates the land being fenced, which can be done with wire at small cost. In the counties mentioned, cattle run wild and when needed are hunted like other wild animals.TOBACCO.
The cultivation of Tobacco is an industry, that is slowly but surely wending its way east. The raisers of the crop are in search of a warmer and better climate and also in search of cheaper and better lands. The Pamlico section is the home of the Tobacco plant; it is indigenous and often seen growing in a wild state in the forests. From Eastern Carolina it was first introduced into England. Shortly after the settlement of the State, it was the great exporting crop, and vessels visited the waters of Carolina for the purpose of taking it to the ports of Great Britian; and quantities of it found its way to the Virginia settlement either for sale or exportation. It has been demonstrated, that the yield of tobacco on the lands in the Pamlico section is as great as in any part of the United States, and the average yield is greater than in the interior of the State, and the quality is unsurpassed; and Eastern Carolina is the only part of the State where a very good article of tobacco for cigar making can be raised. The plant has a very great area of cultivation; it can be grown in Europe as far north as 50 degrees of latitude, and it is grown also under the equator. It will grow anywhere in North Carolina, and upon all kind of soils; but it seems to thrive best in the light upland soils, the character of much of the land in the Pamlico section. The nearer the lands approximate the sea coast, the better the quality of the tobacco for cigar purposes. The lands of Lenoir, Pitt, Jones, Onslow, Craven. Beaufort and Carteret Counties will, in the near future, be devoted in great part to the cultivation of the weed. This industry, like all other new industries, will have to be studied; its manipulation is somewhat tedious and difficult, and to make it
a success, requires increasing care and attention. There is no trouble in raising it in the East; the only difficulty, is in proper curing, and that the cultivator will learn. It has been stated, that the climate of Eastern Carolina is too damp for the proper curing of tobacco; this is an error. Tobacco is properly cured in damp tropical climates, on the Orinoco, in Central America, in Cuba, in the Philippine Islands; and in other tropical countries where the rainfall is great, tobacco is the main staple. North Carolina, when its population did not exceed 45,000, and was mostly confined to the Pamlico, Cape Fear and Albermarle sections, exported one hundred thousand hogs-heads of tobacco. This statement alone is sufficient proof, if there was no other, that Eastern North Carolina is the home of the tobacco plant. The early settlers made a specialty of the crop, they were successful; and the farmers of Eastern Carolina will also make it a success if they will devote the same energies that they have to the cultivation of cotton. There is no kind of tobacco either imported or grown in the United States that cannot be successfully cultivated in Eastern Carolina. There is every character of land. The rich alluvial swamp soils will produce a very excellent article of smoking tobacco, that will vie with imported Cuba; but the successful cultivation of this class of tobacco will necessitate the yearly importation of seed. The land underlaid with a stiff red clay subsoil is the best for the cultivation of the dark heavy tobacco usually exported. The light sandy loamy lands of the class usually cultivated in truck are the best for the class known as bright yellow. All of the above mentioned grades of tobacco can be cultivated with profit in Craven County.GRAPES.
Eastern North Carolina is the home of the Scuppernong Grape, they seem to spring up spontaneously and are found in a wild state in the swamp lands, and a single vine is often festooned from tree top to tree top. This
grape and its best variety, the Meish, are the finest grapes for making wine known on this continent. They will yield from three to three and a half gallons of juice to the bushel of fruit. The wine, when well made, is of excellent flavor. It can be manufactured at very small cost, and sold profitably at fifty cents a gallon. It is fast coming into notice, and is sold in the northern markets at a higher price than the wines of California. The brandy distilled from this grape commands a price equal to the best imported brandies. All varieties of the Scuppernong are used for making wine. The variety most used is the Meish; by some manufacturers it is preferred to the Scuppernong. All of the varieties yield largely of juice. This industry is of growing importance. It requires but a few years to grow a large vineyard; this can be done at a small cost. The vines require but little care; the only cultivation is light manuring and room to spread. They will grow rapidly upon the light sandy lands, and on the clay lands as well as on the swamp lands. It is reasonable to expect that in the near future, the manufacture of wine will be a great and growing industry in Eastern Carolina. Amadas and Barlow the first explorers, in their letter to Sir Walter Raleigh, say (in the peculiar and quaint phraseology of the sixteenth century) “We viewed the land about us, being whereas we first landed very sandy and low toward the water side, but so full of grapes, as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed them, of which we found such plenty as well there as in all else, both on the sand and on the green soil; on the hills and in the plain, as well as on every little shrub, also climbing towards the tops of high cedars, that I think in all the world the like abundance is not to be found; and myself having seen those parts of Europe that most abound, find such difference as were incredible to be written.” The statement made by Amadas and Barlow holds good to the present day. They are found upon our river shores with the roots washed by the waves, and the trees on the banks of the rivers are festooned with them.
Nearly every variety of imported grape can be successfully grown in the Pamlico section. The Isabella and Concord are cultivated for shipment, and sold at low and profitable rates. The wine manufacturers of North Carolina find a ready market for all they can make and at remunerative prices.THE OYSTER BEDS OF EASTERN CAROLINA.
The Oyster fields or beds of the Pamlico section of Eastern Carolina are very extensive; it may be said, that nearly the entire Pamlico Sound is one vast oyster bed. Every river, every bayou, bay and creek, that is tributary to the sound, also the waters of Core and Bogue Sound and their tributaries, White Oak and New River; the entire harbor of Beaufort, with its numerous shallow indentations or coves, may also be said to be one continuous oyster bed. They appear to be everywhere, and in inexhaustible quantities. They are of excellent flavor, and grow to an enormous size, when properly cared for; even the frequent working a bed will cause them to increase in size. They will grow in every place where the water is brackish. The waters of North Carolina are not troubled with the oyster enemy, the star fish. It takes no seer to prophesy, that in the near future, the cultivation of oysters will be one of the greatest and most profitable industries of the State; already it has attracted attention from abroad. Those who are desirous of entering into the business are protected by statutory enactments. There is no town or city in the United States that presents greater facilities for the handling, canning and packing of oysters than the city of New Bern. Locations are abundant, and can be had at a mere nominal sum; labor is also abundant and cheap, and oysters are sold at low rates, and the supply is inexhaustible. There is another industry in connection with the gathering of oysters that is an important factor in the prosperity of Eastern Carolina; it is the gathering of clams. There are extensive beds of them on the sand banks that line the entire sea
coast of the State. The industry is assuming some importance, large quantities are being shipped to Northern markets.TRUCKING.
By permission of Mr. George Allen, of New Bern, we publish the following summary with regard to trucking in the Pamlico section of Eastern North Carolina:
“The attention of immigrants and truck farmers is being directed to the valuable lands and climates of Eastern North Carolina, by the reports of the fine crops, which have been produced under the double crop system, as practiced around New Bern.
Owing to the location of New Bern, (being near the ocean, and situated at the junction of Neuse and Trent rivers,) it has a warm moist climate during the winter and spring months, and is almost exempt from snow, which makes it one of the best trucking localities of the South. It is pre-eminently the pea producing section. Peas cannot be shipped from here, as early as from Charleston, but they are sent North, when the demand is largest, during the month of April, when Virginia lambs are being marketed, and when the highest prices are obtained.
The pea crop is planted in January and comes off in April, just in time to plant cotton on the same land, thus obtaining two profitable crops from the same field each year. Truck farming is developing rapidly at New Bern, Morehead, Beaufort, Newport, Havelock, Croatan, and in fact on the entire line of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad from Goldsboro to the ocean. Large crops of peas, potatoes, radishes, turnips, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, nutmeg melons, water melons, strawberries, &c., are being shipped by rail and steamers to the Northern cities. This system of agriculture employs many laborers in planting and gathering the crops, and distributes during the Spring months a large amount of money.
The fact, that two marketable crops can be produced per annum, in this portion of North Carolina, which is warmed by the near approach of the Gulf Stream, is bringing experienced Norfolk truckers to New Bern, and is causing larger crops to be produced each year. The vegetable crops come off in time to plant cotton early in May. Thus the farmers have employment from January to December; but, as the returns are liberal, they can afford to work. The light soils of this section can be worked during the entire year. Labor during the picking season is quite abundant, and can be had at moderate prices. The shipping facilities are good, there being daily communication either by rail or steamers with Norfolk, and from there by steamers to New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
North Carolina is easy of access. The Old Dominion line of steamers will carry emigrants from New York to New Bern for $6; other lines will probably do as well. The climate is mild; the thermometer seldom falls below 24 degrees above zero in winter, and seldom rises above 90 in summer, enabling the farmer and mechanic to plough and labor all the year. The soil is usually of a light sandy nature, and is easily cultivated, with light plows or harrows, and the growing season lasts from February to November, enabling the farmer to obtain double crops from a portion of his land. The pea and potato crops are planted in February and sold in May. The culture of early truck farms is now carried on to considerable extent and profit, which can be indefinitely increased. The transportation facilities for marketing produce of all kinds is ample and quick. The heavy products, corn, wheat, hay, rice, pork and cotton, are worth nearly as much at the farmer's nearest depot as they would be in New York or Baltimore.
Land is abundant and cheap, and can be purchased in small or large quantities, as desired, and at prices which the settler can afford to pay; also materials for fertilizing are abundant, and consist of marl, swamp muck or peat,
decayed vegetation and cotton seed, together with the use of the cow pea and native plants for ploughing under green. Labor to assist in clearing and ditching lands can be obtained at low rates. Good, pure, soft cool water is procured at a depth of from twenty to thirty feet, at a moderate cost; and the general health of Eastern North Carolina will compare favorably with any portion of the United States, provided reasonable care is taken to have a proper supply of good food and water. Owing to our mild climate, and abundant supply of native and acclimated grasses, the forage plants, (crab grass, Bermuda grass and Guinea grass, cow pea, millet, durra, oats and rice, all grow luxuriantly,) cattle, sheep and hogs can be profitably raised on almost any farm.
North Carolina is a quiet, conservative State, and probably now contains a larger proportion of Northern-born citizens than any other Southern State. Her public debt has been carefully adjusted. Taxes are not heavy. Immigrants are desired and cordially invited; and with the arrangements for cheap transportation, a family can pay their fare to North Carolina from New York and purchase a moderate farm for what it would cost to go West. The State has provided a Department of Agriculture, also a State Geologist, and a Chemist, with a view of developing her varied resources, and preparing for immigration, and has appointed Mr. J. T. Patrick as General Immigration Agent, at Raleigh, N. C. Public schools are in every county. Normal schools are held every year at State expense. There are over fifty cotton factories in the State, and a large amount of capital is invested in mining, and also in the manufacture of tobacco. Lumber is abundant and cheap, suitable for building or for manufacturing purposes.”RAILROADS.
The city of New Bern must of necessity become in the near future a railroad centre. The line that will be built will extend north and south, through the counties of
Jones, Onslow and Pender, on to the queen city of Wilmington, and going north through the counties of Beaufort, Martin, Bertie, Chowan and Gates to the deep waters of Norfolk harbor. This line would be an air line or nearly so, passing through New Bern, Washington on the Pamlico and Jamesville on the Roanoke, with a little divergence to the town of Windsor on the Cashie River, and will pass through a section of country possessing the richest lands on the Atlantic coast. A road built on the line as above described, would command a very large amount of travel and freight, for the reason, it is the shortest and most direct sea coast line going north and south, running through a country now of rapidly growing importance; it will give a much shorter and quicker transportation to the city of Wilmington, and to a very large extent of country now much in need of it. Nearly the entire section through which this railroad would run is without railroad facilities, except the city of New Bern and the town of Washington on the Pamlico. The only outlet for the people in several of the counties, viz: Martin, Bertie, Chowan and Gates, for their produce to be sent either north or south, is by the circuitous route of the different streams empting into Albemarle Sound; and for the people of Jones and Onslow, by wagon to New Bern, or by sail vessels through the shallow bars of Bogue Sound, thence to New Bern. Another reason why New Bern must become a railroad centre, is, the wants and necessities of the age demand a line running north and south on the Atlantic Seaboard, that would give the immense and ever increasing tide of travel south more rapid transportation; and also for perishable products on a shorter and quicker line than we now have. The construction of such a road is a great and growing necessity. In a large area of the Pamlico section a road running south in the direction described, would open up a body of the finest farming lands in the world. It would run through a country of which the possibilities are great; a country abounding in the heaviest timbered swamp
and pine lands on the Atlantic coast; a country, the soil of which is unsurpassed in fertility, and would give access to one of the finest oyster regions in the United States. This statement of the resources of the country is no fancy sketch, they are plain unvarnished facts. For the growing city of Wilmington, with her deep water navigation, and her rapidly increasing foreign commerce, a road on the line described above, would be of inestimable advantage. It would shorten the distance north greatly, and decrease the expense of transportation. The A. & N. C. Railroad, extending from Morehead City on the deep waters of Beaufort harbor passes through the city of New Bern, the beautiful and thriving town of Kinston in Lenoir, also the pretty little village of La-Grange to the city of Goldsboro. This road runs through a fine agricultural country. It is the only outlet by rail from the city of New Bern, and connects New Bern with the entire railway system of the United States. The time is not far distant when this road will have lines of feeders running into the counties of Jones and Onslow, also into into Greene and Pitt counties.THE NEW BERN AND BEAUFORT CANAL.
This canal was incorporated by the Legislature of North Carolina under the name of Clubfoot and Harlowe Canal Company, in 1808. It was intended to unite the waters of Neuse River with Beaufort Harbor by a Canal only three miles in length—from Clubfoot to Harlowe Creeks. Work was begun and prosecuted by individual enterprize, and subsequently the State was induced to aid in its construction. Hamilton Fulton was the engineer.
Robert Fulton, in his “Report on the practicability of navigating with steamboats on the southern waters of the United States from the Chesapeake to the St. Mary's,” intended to use this Canal as a part of the inland route to Charleston. It is mentioned in his report first published in Philadelphia in 1813.
The Clubfoot and Harlowe Company having expended
all its capital, the Legislature of North Carolina granted aid from year to year. From some cause it never was completed; the mortgage was foreclosed, and it was purchased by the State.
On the 9th February 1872, an act was passed incorporating “The New Bern and Beaufort Canal Company,” and all the interest of the State in the Clubfoot and Harlowe Creek Canal was conveyed to the New Bern and Beaufort Company by deed bearing date August 27th, 1883, as authorized by this Act.
Efforts were made for the next ten years to get parties to subscribe to the capital stock to rebuild the Canal but without success. In 1883 the matter was brought to the attention of Marshall Parks, President of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Company, who had devoted many years in canal construction, and he procured the necessary capital, and made a contract for its reconstruction.
Steam dredging machines were put to work, the old locks built of wood ripped up, the prizm of the Canal enlarged, spring bridges built and other improvements made.
An appeal was then made to Congress for aid for the improvement of Clubfoot and Harlowe Rivers—the approaches to the Canal—and Senator Ransom succeeded in having an item placed in the River and Harbor Bill of 1883, of $10,000 for this purpose. A contract was awarded to Major Thomas P. Morgan, of Washington City, D. C., for the excavation of Harlowe Creek, and his steam dredges commenced in the Fall of 1884, and after several months employment, the work was suspended owing to a defect in the manner of depositing the material. The chief of engineers of the United States has directed further excavations suspended until Congress makes a more liberal appropriation for its completion.
The great Erie Canal has opened a line of inland navigation from New York City to Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and all the great Lakes, which by the construction of the Hennepin Canal, they propose to extend to the
Mississippi River! Why shall we not have an inland water way from New York to Florida?
From New York to Beaufort, N. C., the line is now completed, and with a little dredging, the Cape Fear may be reached, and by ascending the Challote, a short cut would take us to the Waccamaw River and thence to Charleston, from which city, there is now an inland channel to Florida.
The importance of this inland water way is now claiming the attention of the country. A commission has recently been appointed by the President of the United States to take into consideration our national defences. Our sea coast forts are no longer able to stop the progress of the modern armoured ships, and our great sea ports are at the mercy of our enemies. We must look for some new mode of defense, and it is supposed steel clad forts and the diminutive torpedo boats will accomplish it. Hence it is important that an inner channel free from the dangers of the coast be provided, so that these little vessels may go to any part of our vast country.BEAUFORT COUNTY.
This county is bounded on the North by Washington and Martin counties, on the South by Craven, on the West by Pitt and on the East by the Pungo River. The Pamlico River which may be properly called an arm of Pamlico Sound, penetrates the middle of the county to the distance of 43 miles, where it receives the waters of the Tar River. There are several creeks and bayous and one river, the Pungo, or Matchapungo (as it is called on old charts and maps) emptying into Pamlico River. These creeks and rivers have sufficient depth of water to admit vessels of the largest class that visit the waters of the Pamlico section of Eastern Carolina. Upon them are located several small thriving villages, and valuable farms. So well penetrated are all parts of this county by navigable streams, that in locating a farm, the distance of land carriage is seldom taken into consideration.
In the early settlement of this county, there being no roads, only Indian trails, the inhabitants settled on the water courses, on account of easy transportation; now, there being many good roads intersecting and penetrating the county in all directions, and the main crop being cotton, and easily moved in wagons, the lands far removed from water courses have appreciated much in value. The soils of this county present the same general features that characterize the soils of other portions of the Pamlico section; though it may be said, that the area of light sandy soil is less, and that the area of soils with a stiff red clay subsoil, is greater. This statement may or may not be correct, there being no data given upon that point. The swamp lands are very rich and easily drained. In the Pantego section on the North side of Pamlico River, and in the Blount and the South Creek section on the South side, are bodies of land that will vie in fertility with the banks of the Nile. In the lands of South Creek over 120 bushels of corn have been made on one acre of ground, and this without fertilizers. Forty bushels of corn to the acre would be called only a fair crop in the South and the Blount Creek and the Pantego section for a long succession of years without fertilizers. These lands if worn at all, can be renovated by pure carbonate of lime, or with half burnt oyster shells. Large crops of cotton can be raised on well drained swamp lands; a bale to the acre is not an unusual crop. The uplands, or the long leaf pine lands, with clay subsoils are difficult to reduce, but when brought under proper cultivation, are valuable for all crops. Extreme sandy lands, sometimes called blackjack lands, are naturally poor; but owing to their lightness and warmth, are the most available lands for trucking purposes, and would be devoted to that purpose provided there were more extended facilities for transportation. The trucking business, in the near future, will be a leading industry in this county. The wants and necessities of the people, demand quicker transportation,
and it will assuredly come, and this business will be a great factor in the future prosperity of Beaufort county. Many varieties of fruit will arrive at perfection when the cultivation is made a specialty; and the smaller fruits, such as blackberries, whortleberries, and cranberries are indigenous. The farmers in this county are abreast with the improvements in the mode of cultivation; greater attention is being paid to the science of agricultural chemistry; they have adopted the newest and most approved agricultural implements; their farms are in better order and their teams and stock in better condition. Fishing is an industry of considerable importance. The catch of herrings and shad is second only in importance to the catch in the Albemarle section. Great quantities of these fish are shipped fresh, packed in ice to the Northern markets, and are also sent into the interior of the State. The same conditions exist in this county as are found in other counties for the raising of cattle. The Scuppernong grape and all of its varieties are indigenous. The celebrated Meish grape, named in honor of its discoverer, Mr. Albert Meish, a native of Westphalia, Germany, had its origin in this county. The business of wine making can be carried on profitably. The town of Washington, the county seat, is situated on a bluff on the left bank of Pamlico River about forty miles from its mouth; the town is well laid out, the streets running at right angles, and are well shaded with magnificent rows of several varieties of trees. The dwellings are small, neat and comfortable, being of the cottage style; and are embowered in creepers, and are surrounded by small but beautiful flower gardens. During the greater part of the year the town is a rose bed of beauty. There are quite a number of fine brick stores, also one town hall. The Old Dominion and Clyde Line of Steamers have each a fine covered and spacious pier. There are several churches; 1 white Presbyterian; 1 white Methodist; 1 white Baptist; 1 white Episcopal, and 4 colored churches. One Academy and
several very good private schools. A considerable business is carried on with the West India Islands. Washington is an old settlement. In the year 1704, when Bath, eighteen miles nearer the mouth of the river, was the Capitol of the Province, Washington was then a settlement. It was visited by the ubiquitous and daring New Englander in his trading vessel, who came to “dicker” with the settlers for their products, and give in exchange his rum, coffee, sugar, molasses, and other goods, wares and merchandise; and as usual in those days, violating the navigation laws of England. The settlement grew apace, and expanded into a small neat village. A majority of the emigrants came from the Albemarle section; and were strongly imbued with a hatred of any rulers except those of their own choosing. Many also emigrated from the Northern provinces, principally from New England. The town was incorporated in 1782 and named in honor of the Father of his country. There were subsequent acts of incorporation, several additions being made to its area. The first incorporators were Nathan Keais, Richard Blackledge, John Bonner, James Bonner, and John Gray Bonner, on land purchased from Col. James Bonner. Latitude of the town of Washington 35° 32′ 30″. Longitude 77° 3′ 45″ West.
The industries are:—three Steam Saw Mills; two Machine Shops and Foundries; one Steam Grist Mill; one Rice Mill; one Grain Distillery; one Marine Railway; one Turpentine Distillery; one Cotton Gin; one Cotton Seed Oil Mill.
This beautiful town is a very desirable place of residence. The climate is good, and the people enjoy a fair average of health. It is also a good place for the establishment of industries. An oyster canning establishment would pay; the supply being inexhaustible. Suitable sites for industries can be obtained at low rates. It is connected with the outside world by rail and steamers, and soon much greater facilities for traveling and transportation
will be extended to the people. Bath, the ancient Capitol of the province is still a small village. The Episcopal Church, erected during the Proprietory Government, is still standing.
During the Tuscarora Indian war, the slaughter of the whites by the Indians in the vicinity of Bath, was great, and extended into every settlement on the river. It was here that the celebrated Pirate Teach made his rendezvous; he was a terror to all of the plantations, and at last became so bold in his depredations that the Governor of Virginia sent a fleet for his capture. His vessels were taken after a terrible combat in which there was great slaughter on both sides. Teach was killed in an attempt to board his antagonist. He was the last of the gang that had for several years robbed and plundered the entire coast of both Carolinas. There is every reason to believe that the authorities winked at his acts. The place where the fight took place is not known. Teach had heard of the expedition to be sent against him; and upon its appearance off the coast, he weighed anchor, and the Virginia fleet followed him up the Pamlico River. After the battle, the Virginia fleet sailed up to the town of Bath with the head of Teach hanging at the bowsprit of the vessel of the commanding officer. Beaufort county was formed in 1741 from Bath county, one of the original precincts, and named in honor of Henry, Duke of Beaufort, to whom had descended the proprietory right of the Duke of Albemarle.
The area of Beaufort County is 720 square miles.
|Population in 1880—Whites,||10,022|
|Population in 1880—Colored,||13,064|
|Value of Real Estate,||$1,277,227|
|Value of Personal property,||512,811|
|Number of Farms,||1,924|
|Acres Improved Land,||44,887|
|Value of Farms,||$1,453,340|
|Value of Farming Implements,||72,502|
|Value of Live Stock,||187,186|
|Number of Horses,||1,048|
|Number of Asses and Mules,||575|
|Number of Working Oxen,||763|
|Number of Milch Cows,||3,060|
|Number of other Cattle,||6,304|
|Number of Sheep,||4,398|
|Number of Swine,||18,836|
ALBEMARLE AND CHESAPEAKE CANAL.
|Indian Corn,||286,211 bush.|
|Irish Potatoes,||4,332 bush.|
|Sweet Potatoes,||188,507 bush.|
The construction of this Canal, connecting the “inland waters of Eastern North Carolina with the waters of Virginia,” was a great event in the history of the State. No public improvement has ever been made in North Carolina that has wrought so many great and wonderful changes in commercial intercourse. The project was first conceived by Mr. Marshall Parks, of the city of Norfolk, Virginia; and by his indomitable energy and untiring industry, it was carried out to a successful termination. His great sagacity and foresight, enabled him to read its splendid future. The tide of commerce that once swept through the ocean inlets Northward to the ports of Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston has changed. The immense crops of cotton and corn, also naval stores and lumber, now no longer seek a market by dangerous sea routes; there is now a certainty of their safe delivery at the port of destination that was never realized until the construction of this Canal. It has revolutionized the commerce of Eastern Carolina;
it has filled our sounds and rivers, with a large and ever increasing Steam Marine. In consequence of its construction, our entire sea board counties have come into notice; it has been the means of enhancing the prosperity of the East by giving an easy, quick and sure outlet for perishable products. Lands that were valueless before the construction of this Canal have now a market value; and new industries have arisen giving employment to many people. It has been a great agent in the growing prosperity of the city of Norfolk; for at her gates it has emptied the vast products of Eastern Carolina. When the great system of inland water communication is extended farther south, of which the New Bern and Beaufort Canal is a connecting link, and under the superintendence of Mr. Marshall Parks, the future importance of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal no man can estimate.LENOIR COUNTY.
This county was formed in 1791 and named in honor of Gen. Wm. Lenoir of the Revolutionary army. The soil varies considerably, a dark heavy loam with a stiff red clay sub-soil predominating. A considerable portion of the county has a soil of light sandy loam with a grey subsoil. Marl exists in the greatest abundance. The face of the country may be described as level, though there are some portions where the land is rolling. Cotton is the great staple. The soil is well adapted to the cultivation of corn, and all other cereals; also Irish and Sweet potatoes. All the fruits of the temperate regions can be successfully grown; and the cultivation, if made a specialty, would be attended with profit. There are no lands in the entire State of North Carolina better adapted to the cultivation of bright yellow tobacco, than the lands of Lenoir county. Experiments have demonstrated the truth of this assertion. Owing to the great prosperity of this county, land is in demand. There is a high order of intelligence among the farming population; and they are well abreast with the recent improvements in farming,
and are well informed in agricultural chemistry. They take rank with the most successful farmers in the south. Their lands are scientifically cultivated, and their farms are models of neatness. The outlet for their produce is by way of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad through New Bern, and also by way of Neuse River. Kinston is the county seat. It is situated on the Neuse River and contains a population of 2,500, one half of whom are colored. The streets are very wide and elegantly shaded with huge elms. The stores are large and finely built; many of them are of brick. The court house is a large fine building. The private dwellings are neat in design; cosy and comfortable, generally in a beautiful cottage style with elegant surroundings. The mercantile classes are energetic and successful. They keep on hand large stocks; and their volume of business rolls up into huge numbers. The quantity of cotton marketed in a season is about 8,000 bales. There are two newspapers. The religious denominations are, one white Disciple, one white Methodist, one white Episcopal, one white Baptist, and three colored churches. The industries are as follows: one iron foundry, one carriage and buggy factory, two tin shops and one blacksmith shop. The professions are ably represented. Kinston is a pleasant place to live in; the society is excellent; the schools are good; and the robust appearance of the people indicate that the climate is healthy. Those who would like to locate in the Pamlico section of Eastern Carolina would find Lenoir county a very desirable country. The lands are classed as good; and the average value, though higher than in any other county, does not exceed eight dollars per acre. There are also other advantages, namely, good schools, good neighborhoods, easy and quick transportation, and abundance of cheap labor. In the principal street of the beautiful town of Kinston is erected a tall and graceful monumental shaft to the memory of Governor Richard Caswell. He was born in the Province of Maryland in the year 1729 and emigrated
to North Carolina in 1746. No nobler figure stands in the forefront of the history of North Carolina. In early life he followed, like his illustrious prototype Washington, the occupation of land surveyor; and there is a very striking resemblance in the mental and moral qualities of this great man to that of Washington. Their characters appear to have been cast in the same mould. When the troubles arose with the mother country, that culminated in the war of Independence, Caswell lent his services both in the field and in the councils of the State, without compensation; like Washington, his wisdom was phrophetic, his patriotism unselfish, his vigilance untiring, his calmness heroic; like Washington, he had a lofty and serene sense of duty, and knew no aim but that of serving his country; and North Carolina in the dark days of her history regarded him with love and reverence, and trusted him with implicit faith and confidence.
The area of Lenoir County is 420 square miles.
|Population, in 1880—Whites,||7,277|
|Population, in 1880—Colored,||8,067|
|Number of Farms,||1,523|
|Acres Improved Land,||85,809|
|Value of Farms,||$ 1,897,316|
|Value of Farming Implements,||70,068|
|Value of Live Stock,||232,238|
|Number of Horses,||1,160|
|Number of Mules and Asses,||932|
|Number of Working Oxen,||568|
|Number of Milch Cows,||2,672|
|Number of other Cattle,||2,825|
|Number of Sheep,||1,567|
|Number of Swine,||17,435|
|Indian Corn,||274,010 bush.|
|Irish Potatoes,||4,021 bush.|
|Sweet Potatoes,||50,995 bush.|
Coming into Eastern North Carolina will find no land speculator or agent with elegantly engraved maps of prospective towns, upon which are marked suitable sites for elegant residences, public buildings, magnificent parks, beautiful drives; and with great volubility representing the country as “a land of pure delight,” where the sun never sets and the flowers never fade, a land of perpetual spring, where fruits of tempting sweetness grow in wild profusion, awaiting the hand of the gatherer; or, in other words, there are no land agents here of the kind known in Florida. Immigrants will find here a much better agricultural country than Florida, and a far better climate. They will find a well organized community wherever they settle; they will find a people kind, social, hospitable, polite, law abiding, and surrounded with the comforts of life; and they will find churches and schools. If they come, expecting to see a country like the interior of Massachusetts, with elegant macadamized roads, magnificent residences; and the whole State having a sandpapered and polished appearance like Massachusetts, they will be disappointed. By far the larger portion of Eastern North Carolina is in primeval forest, and land uncleared and cleared is in abundance; for the people are “land poor,” they own the land in too large tracts. It is impossible to name the exact figures at which land can be purchased, as the prices vary in every locality. Often the neighborhood determines the price; sometimes the convenience of shipping; but not always. There are lands lying on the navigable water courses that can be purchased at reasonable prices, from three to five dollars an acre; good uplands convenient to Railroad transportation at same rates. Good swamp lands uncleared, at three fifty to five dollars per acre; and cleared and drained
swamp lands at ten to fifteen dollars per acre. The average selling price of cleared lands throughout the Pamlico section does not exceed seven dollars and a half per acre; and timbered lands, three dollars per acre. The lands near the city of New Bern are valued highly, as are all farming lands in the vicinity of towns. Lands equally as good for trucking, lying on the line of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad, within a few miles of New Bern, are held, when cleared, at six to eight dollars per acre; the timbered lands at four dollars. It may also be said, that the price also depends much upon the desire of the owners to sell. The people of Eastern Carolina are finding it to their interest to cultivate less land, and have entered upon a system which they designate as intensive farming. This new departure among them, has caused them to realize, that they have much more land than they can cultivate; hence the general desire among them is to sell. They know, that by dividing their land into smaller farm areas, and selling, that it will enhance the value of their entire tracts.PITT COUNTY.
This county lies west of the county of Beaufort and is penetrated its whole length by Tar river, which is navigable at all seasons for light draft steamers. The soil is extremely varied, probably more so than in any other county of the Pamlico section. In the eastern part on the south side of the Tar River, adjoining Beaufort county, the soil may be characterized as a light sandy loam, with a greyish clay subsoil. In the upper part, or rather the north western part, the soil is generally underlaid with a stiff red clay; immediately on the left or the north side of Tar River, the lands lying along the river the entire length of the county east and west, are of a more distinctive character, of a light sandy loam. Farther north toward the Martin county line, they assume a different character, are what may be classed as a heavy loam. There are also bodies of swamp lands cleared, that partake
of the fertility characteristic of that class of lands in Eastern Carolina. The soil appears to the observer to run in streaks, and the lines of demarcation are distinctly marked. Their general character is that of fertility, and easy of tillage. They yield excellent crops of cotton, corn, oats, and rye; and would yield magnificent crops of TOBACCO. In the last century Tobacco was one of the great staples on Tar River. Those portions bordering on the adjoining counties on the north and west, are as well adapted to the cultivation of fruit as any portion of Eastern Carolina; and with facilities for quick transportation it could be a successful and profitable business. Nearly every variety of Grapes could be easily cultivated. The Scuppernong and its varieties will grow well in all parts. On the banks of Tar River the tree tops are interlaced with wild grape vines, the fruit making excellent wine. It is estimated that three quarters of the land is in forest, most of which is very heavily timbered. The price of land varies in every locality; the average price will not exceed eight dollars per acre. Marl is found all over the county; and in the marl beds are often found the bones of antedeluvian animals. The facilities for shipment of products are good. Tar River, Contentnea Creek and Neuse River are the outlets. The farmers are now, as they have always been, abreast with the progressive spirit of the age. Their farms are under good cultivation; they use only the most approved implements. Their residences are cosy, and many of them are exceedingly handsome. The town of Greenville, formerly Martinboro, is the county seat, and is finely situated on a high bluff on the right bank of Tar River. It is a beautiful place. The dwellings are mostly built in a neat cottage style, with handsome flower yards. The streets are wide and well shaded with a huge growth of elms. The stores are fine buildings of large size, and quite a number of them brick. There are eight churches. There is an excellent male and female institute, and six private schools. There are two carriage factories, two machine
shops, one foundry, two blacksmith shops, and one steam laundry. The manufacture of brick is also carried on to a considerable extent. There is also another important industry, the manufacture of “Planters”; the turnout averages one hundred and twenty-five a month. The professions are well represented. There are two newspapers. Five freight and passenger steamers ply between this town and Washington. The merchants generally carry heavy stocks, and the volume of business rolls up into huge numbers. The cotton shipped is estimated at ten thousand bales. This town is one of the most desirable places of residence in Eastern Carolina; living is cheap; the means of education in reach of every one; the people are intelligent, hospitable and polite, and the town being well situated for drainage, is remarkably healthy. No town in Eastern Carolina has improved faster than this. Surrounded with an excellent agricultural country, and filled with a busy industrious population, they have made rapid strides in improvement. With Railroad communication, so as to bring them nearer in connection with the outer world, their rate of progress would be accelerated. Pitt county was formed from Beaufort county in 1760, and named in honor of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who was then a strong friend of the colonies. The settlement commenced very early in the 18th century. The tide of population swept South from the Albemarle region, and spread itself along the Tar River, being attracted by the fertility of the soil, and the greater facilities for shipment of products, which the latter, the Albemarle region, did not possess. The establishment of shipping points on the Pamlico River was the means of attracting emigration, owing to their contiguity to nearer ocean outlets. The articles of export were corn, bacon, pork, tar, turpentine and tobacco. In those days the New England “skipper” ascended the river with his vessel as high as what is now known as Yankee Hall Landing, bartering for the products of the country, the navigation of the
river being then better than it now is. In the year 1816, two sea going vessels were built at the above mentioned place. When the troubles commenced with the mother country, which led to the war of independence, Pitt county was foremost in rendering material aid to the colonies. The people rose as one man and put down with a strong arm all attempts on the part of the loyalists to give aid and comfort to the British arms. It was, during the whole period of the struggle, a very uncomfortable place of residence for the tory or loyal part of the population. The people preserve the same characteristics of their ancestors,—peaceable and law-abiding, under a good government, but when oppressed, “as rough as the billows of the ocean.”
The area of Pitt County is 820 square miles.
|Population in 1880—Whites,||10,704|
|Population in 1880—Colored,||11,088|
|Value of Real Estate,||$1,706,293|
|Value of Personal property,||945,516|
|Number of Farms,||2,361|
|Acres Improved Land,||107,255|
|Value of Farms,||$2,659,403|
|Value of Farming Implements,||94,038|
|Value of Live Stock,||313,699|
|Number of Horses,||2,180|
|Number of Asses and Mules,||1,379|
|Number of Working Oxen,||1,072|
|Number of Milch Cows,||3,043|
|Number of other Cattle,||6,122|
|Number of Sheep,||2,037|
|Number of Swine,||273,54|
|Indian Corn,||458,166 bush.|
THE PEOPLE OF EASTERN CAROLINA.
|Irish Potatoes,||2,266 bush.|
|Sweet Potatoes,||82,334 bush.|
The first question very naturally asked by those who may entertain the idea of emigrating to another State, is to find out what kind of a country it is, and also the character of its people. Those who are desirous of emigrating to Eastern Carolina, are requested to read this pamphlet, and then visit the section described; and they will most assuredly find that the one half of its advantages has not been told. As to the people,—the Eastern Carolinians of the present day are like their ancestors, “characterized by an intense love of freedom, a hatred of oppression, and have always upheld constitutional authority.” They are an industrious, frugal people, and their standard of moral excellence is high, and crime among the whites is almost unknown. A strict observance of the Sabbath, and a reverence for religious observance, are characteristic of them. In some parts, the observances of the Sabbath are carried almost to Puritanical strictness. Hospitality is the rule, and practised to a great extent; and the stranger of good address is everywhere heartily welcomed. In some parts of the Eastern section of North Carolina, the visiting stranger is passed from neighborhood to neighborhood, everywhere kindly received, and no remuneration is expected; the difficulty is not in being hospitably entertained, but from being the recipient of so much lavish hospitality. The asperities consequent upon the late civil war, now no longer exist; if the contest is alluded to in conversation at all, it is done in such a manner as not to offend the ears of any one. Very many Northern settlers are now in the Pamlico section; quite a number of them
were Federal soldiers, and they are ranked among the best and most useful citizens.
One would naturally suppose that where two races had lived together as master and slave, there would be an antagonism of feeling; on the contrary, the two races are working together in harmony and peace. Their interests, aims and pursuits are in a very great degree identical, being chiefly agricultural. The blacks are accumulating property, and the better element of them feel and display an interest in good order and in having an honest government. The late Governor Thomas J. Jarvis, now Minister to the Court of Brazil, said in his message to the Legislature of 1881, “I regard it as an important duty from which the white race cannot escape, if they would, to see that in all cases full and exact justice is done to the blacks, and that they are not left alone to work out their own destiny. They are entitled to many binding considerations to receive aid and encouragement from the whites, in their efforts to be better men and women, and I have no doubt will receive it.” North Carolina has nobly responded to this appeal. The blacks as a race, are naturally careless and improvident; probably this may in some measure be attributed to their former condition as slaves, when their daily wants were supplied whether in sickness or in health. Now their changed condition is learning them the great and important lesson of relying upon their own labor. They have their schools supported by taxation, and the great increase in intelligence of the rising generation among them, is marked. Quite a number of them are successful farmers; a few have entered the profession of law; many have become ministers of the gospel, and some of them possess oratorical abilities of a high order. They have held two industrial exhibitions in the city of Raleigh, that elicited much praise and the favorable comments of the public press. Some of them are filling the editorial chair; some are school teachers; a great many are excellent mechanics, and quite a number are
traders. In a word, their improvement, both mental and moral, has been as great as the most sanguine friend of the race could expect.FINANCE.
The great need of Eastern North Carolina is cheap money; that the people have not. There are only about two-and-a-half millions of dollars bank capital in the State, the population of which approximates one-and-a-half million, giving a circulation of one dollar and forty cents to each individual. During the past twenty years the people have been working under very high and oppressive rates of interest; rates, that to a Northern man would seem incredible, often as high as eighteen per cent a year. Notwithstanding this, they have progressed wonderfully. At the close of the late civil strife, with their labor system destroyed, their credit gone, with nothing but their lands, they have entered upon a career of sound prosperity. Manufactures have been erected; new industries of many kinds have been commenced; new lands have been opened; agriculture has been wonderfully developed; many new public buildings have been erected; the school system re-established upon a sound basis: yet the rates of interest are very high and terribly oppressive, and with the best security the world offers namely, LAND. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of land that would be put under cultivation, provided money at reasonable rates of interest could be had. There are many new industries that would be commenced, if it were not for the same cause. There seems no valid reason why money, in one part of this great country should only be 3 to 4 per cent. a year on good real estate security, and in another part, not far removed 12 to 18 per cent. a year with security equally as good or better; because those who wish to borrow could offer security many times more valuable than the amount of money they would require. It has been said, that high rates
of interest mean bad security. This may be true in countries with unstable governments; but in North Carolina the government is stable, and the laws are faithfully administered. That capital is timid every one knows, but why it should be timid in Eastern North Carolina, is a matter of surprize to every one, who takes a view of the wonderful progress the people have made in the past twenty years.ROUTES TO THE PAMLICO SECTION.
Persons desirous of visiting the Pamlico section of Eastern Carolina would necessarily make New Bern the objective point, as it is the center from which the tide of travel would necessarily flow to the various counties. Persons living in the Northern States can visit New Bern by way of Norfolk, Virginia; from thence to Elizabeth City by rail, and take the magnificent steamer Shenandoah of the O. D. Line, Capt. Southgate, on board of of which they will be elegantly served with the choicest viands. They will pass through the waters of Albemarle and Pamlico sounds and up the Neuse to New Bern. Or they can reach New Bern by rail over the Wilmington and Weldon Road and the Atlantic and North Carolina Road, passing through the growing city of Goldsboro. At New Bern they can take the various steamers to different points on the river they may wish to inspect, or they can visit Lenoir and Carteret Counties by the Atlantic and North Carolina Road. They can visit Pamlico and Hyde counties by steamer. The counties of Jones and Onslow being without rail road facilities make them difficult of access. They can only be visited or seen by traveling in a vehicle. Persons desirous of visiting the localities in Beaufort and Pitt counties, can do so from the town of Washington by steamer; there being a regular line running down the Pamlico river to different points on the river, and also to Hyde county; also another line running up Tar river to the beautiful town of Greenville, the county seat of Pitt. The town of Washington is connected
with the Norfolk Southern Railroad at Elizabeth City by the elegant passenger steamer New Bern Captain Pritchett. The Clyde line plies regularly from Norfolk, Va., through the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal to the town of Washington; from thence, to the city of New Bern, and returns to Norfolk. These are large powerful vessels. One of the steamers, the Goldsboro, carries passengers.CARTERET COUNTY.
This county lies immediately on the sea coast; its general direction is east and west or nearly so. It is protected from the ocean by narrow strips of beach and sand hills, that are known as the Banks. Between these banks are two narrow sounds, navigable for small vessels known as Core sound and Bogue sound. There are several navigable creeks emptying into these sounds giving facilities to farmers for the shipment of their crops. The soil is generally light and sandy, and will produce all of the cereals and cotton, also melons of very large size and of exquisite flavor; also, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, and all kinds of vegetables. The season is very early, owing to the proximity of the ocean.
The Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad terminates at Morehead City, which lies immediately on Beaufort harbor; the waters are of sufficient depth to admit vessels of very large size. On the bar there are twenty feet of water at mein tide. In this county on the strips of land called the Banks, are droves of wild hardy horses, known as bank ponies. These animals, though small, make very efficient farm horses. To those who are fond of piscatorial pleasures, Beaufort harbor presents more attractions than any place on the Atlantic coast. The fish exist in great quantities, and are of numberless varieties. There are also many varieties of shell fish. Near Beaufort there are six menhaden fisheries; these fish furnish large quantities of oil; the residue after the extraction of the oil is known as fish scrap, and is sold
for fertilizers. These fisheries employ one steamer and twenty sail vessels. There are over one hundred and fifty sail vessels employed in the oyster business. In Morehead City there are ten firms engaged the year round in sending fresh fish to the interior of the State and other States; about two thousand tons of ice being used in the Summer months for packing them. Beaufort, the county seat, is a delightful place of resort for those who wish to enjoy repose far away from the noise and bustle of the fashionable world. Excellent board can be had at very reasonable rates. The only mode of transportation in some portions of this county is by water. The judge, the lawyers and the jurors attend Court by water; the sheriff takes his prisoner to jail by water, and often goes by water to collect his taxes or to serve his writs; the people frequently attend church by water; the young gallant often goes by water to visit his lady love, and goes by water to get his marriage license; and to secure the minister to perform the marriage ceremony, he sometimes goes by water; and yet Beaufort, the county seat, is on main land. Morehead City is a great Summer resort for persons from all parts of the State and from States farther South, for recreation or for health. There are two hotels; one of them, the Atlantic, will accommodate six hundred people. It is well ventilated. The ball room is the largest in the State, being one hundred and twenty-five feet square, with galleries on the four sides. The climate here during the summer months is exhilarating; there is everthing to give zest to life; before, is the mighty expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, with its never ceasing roar; behind, is the dark dense forest of green, and all about and around you is the clear life giving breeze of old ocean, stimulating, bracing, and filling the system with health and vigor. Countless swift sailing boats, filled with a freight of gay and happy maidens and their gallants, are speeding over the wide waste of waters in every direction; and at night soft and sweet strains of music are wafted over the
water, to which time is kept by the patter of dainty feet.
There are in this county 200,000 acres of State land, one quarter of which is heavily timbered with cypress, gum, poplar and pine. This land can be bought at a small price and will produce rice. The building of small vessels is carried on in this county to a larger extent than in any other portion of the State; the material used in their construction being abundant, cheap and of the best quality. Carteret county is one of the original precincts of the Lords Proprietors, and derives its name from Sir George Carteret, who is styled in the Charter of Charles Second, as “our right truly and well beloved Sir George Carteret, Knight and Baronet, Vice Chancellor of our household.” A cotemporary writer describes him as “the passionate and ignorant and not too honest Sir George Carteret. In the early days of the settlement of the State, tobacco was the great exporting crop. It was raised in the Albemarle and Pamlico sections, the home of the plant. The people of Carteret have the very best lands upon which to raise that kind of tobacco used in the manufacture of cigars; they also have the right climate, no great extremes of heat and cold. The quantity of any kind of tobacco they could raise on an acre would surprize a tobacco farmer from the interior of the State.
There is another industry, that with suitable appliances, could be carried on very profitably by the people of Carteret county; the industry is whaling. At certain seasons, these huge monsters of the deep, visit the shores of North Carolina, and are frequently seen in large schools. Early in the eighteenth century, the coast of North Carolina was a famous cruising ground for the New England whaler. An early writer says, that the whale fishery then carried on by the New Englander on the coast of North Carolina yielded annually from eleven to thirteen hundred tons of oil, and that he had seen three whale ships at one time in the Cape Fear. It has
long been a matter of surprise to the writer of these pages, why Beaufort was not a great whaling port. The water is deep, the harbor is good; skilled shipbuilders are numerous; excellent material, for the construction of suitable vessels, abundant and cheap. A large number of the population are bold expert sailors, and well fitted for the pursuit. The old time three years voyage around Cape Horn in old fashioned kettle bottom ships, is out of vogue; clippers or steam ships are now used. Whales are often abundant on our coast, and could be easily captured if the pursuers were properly equipped.
Area of Carteret county, 520 square miles.
|Population in 1880—Whites,||7,107|
|Population in 1880—Colored,||2,676|
|Value of Real Estate||$ 365,169|
|Value of Personal property,||162,985|
|Number of Farms,||647|
|Acres Improved Land,||22,472|
|Value of Farms,||$ 416,210|
|Value of Farming Implements,||15,348|
|Value of Live Stock,||63,721|
|Number of Horses,||614|
|Number of Asses and Mules,||97|
|Number of Working Oxen,||440|
|Number of Milch Cows,||1,189|
|Number of other Cattle,||2,658|
|Number of Sheep,||848|
|Number of Swine,||4,960|
|Indian Corn,||41,458 bush.|
|Irish Potatoes,||928 bush.|
|Sweet Potatoes,||6,149 bush.|
ONSLOW AND JONES COUNTIES.
We speak of these counties under one head as they are identically the same in soil and climate. Onslow county was formed from New Hanover in 1735, and named in honor of Arthur Onslow, then speaker of the British House of Commons. Jones county was formed from Onslow and Craven, in 1799. The soils of these counties, like other counties in the Pamlico section, vary in character, but not to such a degree as they do in Craven or Beaufort. They may be classed under two heads; the one a light loamy soil more or less mixed with sand, with a subsoil of gray clay, very easy of cultivation, and will give excellent returns in cotton and grain when properly farmed. This class of land would be devoted in great degree to trucking, provided the facilities of quick transportation were more extended. They would also yield large crops of bright tobacco. There is another class of lands, unsurpassed in fertility; they are a heavy loam, underlaid with a substratum of stiff red clay, and will produce enormously of any and every variety of crops grown in the United States, whether of cotton, cereals or tobacco; the latter, will grow any where, and the yield is great. The cause of the great fertility of this class of land is, their basis of decomposed shells or pure carbonate of lime. There is no portion of the Pamlico section, that presents greater inducements to the immigrant than Onslow and Jones counties. The people are kind, hospitable and intelligent. The climate is good, the lands are abundant, cheap and very rich; “tickle them with a plough and they will laugh with a harvest.” Onslow county is penetrated by New River, which runs through the middle of the county; it is a magnificent, broad stream, and in some places expands to the width of three or more miles. This river abounds in every variety of fish and in immense quantities, and the bottom is one continuous bed of oysters of the finest flavor and of the largest size known on this continent.
The only drawback to the rapid settlement of these
counties is the want of better facilities for travel and transportation. They are only accessible by wagon roads or by way of Trent River, upon which there is a line of steamers running from New Bern to Pollocksville and Trenton. The steamers that penetrate Onslow county from the sea coast, are barred at their mouths by shallow Sounds, that are only navigable at certain states of the tide. With Railroad facilities, the population would roll up rapidly. These facilities will be given at no distant day. These counties were settled early in the eighteenth century by French Huguenots and German Palatinates; their descendants to this day are fine types of both races; and the names of their ancestors are still preserved in their families. There is a large body of land lying in these two counties known as the White Oak Swamp. It covers an area of eighty-six thousand acres. It is one of the heaviest timbered tracts in the Atlantic States. The oaks are of huge dimensions, unknown in Northern climes; the pines are of enormous girth, and frequently a height of one hundred and fifty feet; the poplars and cypress are also of huge dimensions. The soil is as fertile as the best lands of Hyde county, and they are classed as the most enduring and richest lands in the United States. This body of swamp lands belong to the State; and the proceeds of the sale, if ever sold, would be devoted to the maintenance of the common schools. In its present condition, it is of little or no value; for the reason, it requires draining. It is so situated that it can be easily drained into three rivers, the White Oak, the Trent and New Rivers. The expenditure of money required to drain it, should have been borne by the State long since; this the State can now do by utilizing convict labor. As a matter of economy it should be done. The convicts can be maintained at less cost east, than in the west; and they would be equally as safely kept. A feeling of humanity also requires that they should not be exposed, as they have heretofore been to the arctic severity of the mountain
climate of Western Carolina, but should be brought east into a warmer climate, and where the labor is lighter and the exposure much less; and one in which, experience has demonstated, they have better health. As a matter of dollars and cents, for the benefit of the school fund of the State, this swamp should be drained; as draining it, would realize a half million of dollars from the sale of the land. This would be a very great and welcome addition to the school fund. This swamp is of such a character and so well known, and portions of it that have been brought under cultivation, are of such extraordinary fertility, that purchasers could be found for every foot of it at the minimum price of five dollars per acre. The entire tract is not covered with timber, a considerable part of it is open land. It may be said, that the same reasons urged for draining this swamp, might with equal propriety be urged for the draining of other swamp lands belonging to the State. This would be true, provided there were other swamps that could be drained at equally as little expense, and that would be as quickly sold in tracts of quarter and half sections, as these lands would be, if drained.
Jacksonville is the county seat of Onslow; it is beautifully situated on New River, and is a place of considerable trade. Trenton and Pollocksville, in Jones county, are two thriving villages, both situated on the banks of Trent River; the former being the county seat. Since the advent of steam navigation on the placid waters of the Trent, these villages have grown in prosperity. There is a telephone connection between Pollocksville and New Bern.
Area of Onslow county, 640 square miles. Area of Jones county, 450 square miles.
|Population of Onslow Co. in 1880—Whites,||6,600|
|Population of Onslow Co. in 1880—Colored,||3,229|
|Value of Real Estate,||$624,646|
|Value of Personal property,||313,729|
|Number of Farms,||1,120|
|Acres Improved Land,||56,768|
|Value of Farms,||$ 728,985|
|Value of Farming Implements,||33,173|
|Value of Live Stock,||143,300|
|Number of Horses,||763|
|Number of Asses and Mules,||469|
|Number of Working Oxen,||618|
|Number of Milch Cows,||1,784|
|Number of other Cattle,||4,244|
|Number of Sheep,||2,547|
|Number of Swine,||15,306|
|Indian Corn,||1,280 bush.|
|Irish Potatoes,||2,432 bush.|
|Sweet Potatoes,||67,980 bush.|
|Population of Jones Co. in 1880—Whites,||3,212|
|Population of Jones Co. in 1880—Colored,||4,279|
|Number of Farms,||870|
|Acres Improved Land,||53,605|
|Value of Farms,||$ 788,407|
|Value of Farming Implements,||28,765|
|Value of Live Stock,||138,086|
|Number of Horses,||667|
|Number of Asses and Mules,||483|
|Number of Working Oxen,||470|
|Number of Milch Cows,||1,279|
|Number of other Cattle,||2,095|
|Number of Sheep,||2,124|
|Indian Corn,||186,954 bush.|
|Irish Potatoes,||1,748 bush.|
|Sweet Potatoes,||38,287 bush.|
This county was formed from the counties of Craven and Beaufort. It is penetrated to the interior by an arm of Pamlico Sound called Bay River, and also by a stream, (Broad Creek,) both navigable for vessels drawing eight feet of water. It is washed on the south side by the waters of Neuse River, on the east by the Pamlico Sound, and on the north by Pamlico River. By far the larger portion of the county is in forest, there being only about one-tenth of the land under cultivation. The lands are of the same character as those of Craven county. There are immense tracts of unreclaimed swamp that can be easily drained, as the fall is great. This is one of the most astonishing features of the topography of not only this county, but also of the entire Pamlico section; all the swamp lands are higher than the water courses; often the fall is thirty to forty feet. The farms are generally located in the vicinity of the water courses. There is no part of the entire State that presents greater facilities for farmers than Pamlico county; the land is rich, abundant and cheap, and the facilities for transportation, either coast-wise or to New Bern, are good. The crops are cotton, corn, oats, rice and potatoes. The pine forests are comparatively untouched. The forests of oak, cypress, holly and gum are immense, and are as yet, scarcely disturbed. In that portion of the county lying on Pamlico River, known as Goose Creek Island, the facilities for cattle raising are as great as can be found in other portions of the Pamlico section.
There are three flourishing villages situated on Bay River: Stonewall, Bayboro and Vandemere. Bayboro is the county seat. There are several steam saw mills in operation; and sites for the erection of other mills are easily obtained.
Area of Pamlico county 860 square miles.
|Population in 1880—Whites,||4,207|
|Population in 1880—Whites, Colored,||2,116|
|Value of Real Estate,||$ 300,236|
|Value of Personal property,||126,226|
|Number of Farms,||813|
|Acres Improved Land,||17,523|
|Value of Farms,||$ 541,364|
|Value of Farming Implements,||18,024|
|Value of Live Stock,||73,401|
|Number of Horses,||443|
|Number of Asses and Mules,||155|
|Number of Working Oxen,||381|
|Number of Milch Cows,||1,098|
|Number of other Cattle,||2,086|
|Number of Sheep,||1,191|
|Number of Swine,||6,959|
|Indian Corn,||107,950 bush.|
|Irish Potatoes,||3,463 bush.|
|Sweet Potatoes,||65,807 bush.|
This county is bounded on the east and south by Pamlico Sound, on the west by Pungo River and on the north by Tyrrel, Washington and Dare counties. The eastern and western sides are indented by several navigable bays, and it is also penetrated on the western by several navigable creeks. The whole sound coast abounds in oysters of large size and of excellent flavor. In the centre of the county is Mattamuskeet Lake, a magnificent sheet of water, covering an area of about 100 square miles. Hyde may be called the granary of North Carolina. Corn is the great crop. Rice, oats and cotton are also cultivated to considerable extent. Many varieties of fruit do well. The native apple, the Mattamuskeet, grows to perfection.
Cranberries grow wild and in the greatest abundance. The greater portion of the cultivated lands lie around Mattamuskeet Lake. The upper or western part of the county bordering on Pungo River is nearly all in forest. On the uplands the growth is principally pine. The low lands or pocosons are covered with a dense growth of cypress, juniper, gum, oak, holly, ash and maple. There are very large bodies of rich land, the property of the State, unreclaimed. All of the arable lands are fertile; and the lands bordering on the Lake are equal in fertility to any in the world. Professor Emmons, a former State Geologist, describes these lands as follows: “Some tracts have been cultivated over a century and the crops appear to be equally as good as they were at an early period of their culture, and yet no manure has been employed, and they have been under culture in Indian corn every year, or what would be equivalent thereto. If this crop has been omited, wheat has been substituted for it; not because they are properly wheat soils, but if they are uncultivated, the weeds acquire a size that it is impossible to cover them the next year. The same difficulty occurs in part, in the culture of corn; the stalks are so numerous and large, that it is difficult to bury them so completely that they shall be concealed and preserve at the same time, an even, handsome surface. The peculiarities of the soil of Hyde county are comprised in two particulars. 1st, The large quantity of vegetable matter they contain. 2nd, The extreme fineness of the intermixed earthy matter. The earthy matter is invisible in consequence of its fineness, and evenly distributed through the mass. An inspection of it even under a common lens would deceive most persons, and they would be led to infer that it was entirely absent. Unlike other soils it contains no coarse visible particles of sand, and hence it appears, that during the growth of the vegetables which cover at least one-half of the soil, it was subjected to frequent overflows of muddy water, or else the area over which these peculiar soils prevail was usually a mirey swamp, which
communicated with streams that brought over with it the finest sediment of some distant region. This sediment is frequently a fine grit, and fine enough for hones, and when the vegetable is burnt off, it appears a light drab color. The character of the Hyde county soil has never been understood: the cause of their fertility has never been explained; and many persons who are good judges of lands, have over-rated the value of swamp lands in consequence of the close external resemblance they have borne to those of Hyde. Analysis, however, will in every case, detect the difference in the common swamp lands and those of Hyde. The color is black or dark brown, and the whole mass near the surface looks as if it was composed entirely of vegetable matter. We see no particles of sand or soil in it; on the sides and bottoms of the ditches, a light gray or ashy soil is discernible. Indeed it is regarded as ashes, and is so called, and is supposed to have been formed by the combustion of ancient beds of vegetable matter. The cultivated lands of Hyde are not chaffy, that is when dry, like timber, liable to take fire from a spark, originated by a gun wad. There are, it is true, tracts lying in connection with them of this character, which are quite limited, but their occurrence does not effect this general characteristic. It is necessary to dwell further upon the points I have stated respecting the characteristics of these remarkable soils. It will appear in the sequel, that there is great uniformity in the composition of these soils, both as regards the amount and condition of the vegetable matter and the quantity and the condition of the fine grit intermixed with it. Regarding as I do these soils as the proper standard for the valuable swamp soils of the Eastern section of the State, I have subjected many swamps to a rigid chemical analysis. The result of these analyses, have thrown much light over them, and explains satisfactorily their steady productiveness for long periods. It will appear that their fertility is due not only to their vegetable matter, but also to the composition and condition of the earth in
combination with it. A number of analyses from tracts which without manure have borne a crop of Indian corn for more than one hundred years, as shown by the records of the courts and of reliable tradition, none of which show any detereoration by their long cultivation, but show that the great supply of nutriment still holds out, and that one hundred years to come, if subjected to no greater drain upon its magazine of food, will, at such a distant period, continue to produce 50 to 60 bushels of corn to the acre. In order to test the value of a soil which has borne a crop for upwards of one hundred years, the ownership and cultivation could be traced back six generations, and during the whole period have not received a bushel of manure. I selected a parcel of it at a distance from buildings, or from a spot which could not have received any artificial aid, and comparing the result of this analysis with soil from adjoining lands that have been under cultivation only three years, it was perceived that all the elements of fertility which belonged to the new and unexhausted soils still belongs to those which have been under cultivation during the last century, and it might be a rich soil at the close of the next century.” The State lands in this county, now unreclaimed are of the same character as the lands described by Professor Emmons. Mattamuskeet Lake is connected with Pamlico sound by a canal navigable for light draught steamers or sail vessels to the lake. This is the great point of shipment for the greater portion of the region lying around the lake. That portion of the county lying on the north side of Mattamuskeet Lake is connected with the waters of Albemarle sound by a canal leading from the lake into Alligator River. The upper portion of the county bordering on Pungo river is connected with the town of Washington by a steam line. Great numbers of small sail vessels ply regularly between the shipping points of the county and the city of New Bern. The crop of corn in good seasons will approximate three quarters of a million of bushels. Fairfield, on the north side of the lake, is
a beautiful thriving village, surrounded by magnificent farms. Swan Quarter, the county seat, is situated on Swan Quarter Bay. Germantown is a point of shipment lying on Pamlico sound. Sladesville and Makeleyville are situated on Slades creek; the latter is considerable of a lumber mart. Hyde county was one of the original precincts of North Carolina, and remained so until the Lords Proprietors surrendered their rights to the crown. It was named in honor of Edward Hyde, who was Governor of the colony.
Area of Hyde county, 430 square miles.
|Population in 1880—Whites,||4,424|
|Population in 1880—Colored,||3,341|
|Value of Real Estate,||$ 397,285|
|Value of Personal property,||288,620|
|Number of Farms,||789|
|Acres Improved Land,||33,153|
|Value of Farms,||$1,019,621|
|Value of Farming Implements,||27,331|
|Value of Live Stock,||97,915|
|Number of Horses,||853|
|Number of Asses and Mules,||217|
|Number of Working Oxen,||485|
|Number of Milch Cows,||1,547|
|Number of other Cattle,||3,128|
|Number of Sheep,||1,313|
|Number of Swine,||8,542|
|Indian Corn,||243,623 bush.|
|Irish Potatoes,||1,594 bush.|
|Sweet Potatoes,||20,236 bush.|
This county was formed in 1870 from the county of Hyde, to which was added portions of Carteret and Tyrrel counties, and derives its name from Virginia Dare, the first white child born on the continent. A very large portion of Dare County is swamp lands, and there are large bodies of it heavily timbered with cypress and juniper. On the side bounded by Pamlico sound there are lands that will produce grasses, vegetables, corn, peas and potatoes. No portion of Eastern Carolina presents better facilities for cattle raising, the feed being abundant and the climate mild. The chief industry is fishing, which is carried on to a great extent. Roanoke Island forms a part of this county. Upon this Island is Manteo, the county seat, named in honor of the Indian Chief Manteo, the first of his race in North Carolina to embrace the christian religion. This Island was the first place on the continent colonized by the English. The expedition was sent out under the auspices of Sir Walter Raleigh, who was cruelly put to death by James first, upon a trumped up charge of treason; of which King James knew him to be innocent. His butchery took place Oct. 29th, 1618. The grand old State of North Carolina has honored the memory of the noble, chivalrous and generous Raleigh in naming her beautiful capitol.
- “His memory sparkles o'er the fountain;
- His name inscribed on lofty mountain;
- The meanest rill the mightiest river
- Flow, mingled with his name forever.”
In this county, on the bank lying immediately upon the sea coast, is the far famed place of Summer resort, known as Nags Head. This delightful resort is noted for its health, the sea bathing, and its fine drives. The large and elegant steamer Shenandoah, Capt. Southgate, touches at this place going from and returning to New Bern.
Area of Dare county, 270 square miles.
|Population in 1880—Whites,||2,875|
|Population in 1880—Colored,||368|
|Value of Real Estate,||$ 111,507|
|Value of Personal property,||98,577|
|Number of Farms,||193|
|Acres Improved Land,||2,553|
|Value of Farms,||$ 105,156|
|Value of Farming Implements,||4,431|
|Value of Live Stock,||29,698|
|Number of Horses,||351|
|Number of Asses and Mules,||24|
|Number of Working Oxen,||125|
|Number of Milch Cows,||421|
|Number of other Cattle,||1,217|
|Number of Sheep,||797|
|Number of Swine,||2,243|
On 15th page, second line from bottom, read, a perfectly calm summer night, instead of a “perfect calm summer night.”
Beaufort County, page 58, twenty-second line from top, read, John Gray Blount, instead of “John Gray Bonner.”
Onslow and Jones Counties, page 78, fifth line from top, for “steamers,” read, streams.
On page 80, under head of Vegetable Productions, read, Indian Corn 185,019 bushels, instead of “1,280 bushels.”
NEW BERN RICE MILLS.
Within the past few years the cultivation of upland rice became, in portions of the Pamlico section, a leading crop. The quantity raised and sent abroad was enormous.
The late Mr. ELIJAH ELLIS, with the great sagacity and forethought so characteristic of him, came to the conclusion, that if rice could be sent to South Carolina, Georgia and New York and be milled profitably, that an industry of that kind would pay here, where the expenses of labor and fuel were so much less. He carried out his conclusions by erecting in New Bern a Rice Mill of the capacity of 400 bushels of rice a day. The machinery is of the most approved style, and the milled rice turned out is of very superior quality, and commands equally as high price as the best grades.
Since the erection of this Mill, the rice growers have met with ready sale of their rice and at remunerative prices, and prefer selling in New Bern to seeking a market abroad.
The Mill is under the superintendence of Mr. E. K. BRYAN, and all communications addressed to him will receive a ready response.