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Frank Vaughan, The Albemarle District of North Carolina, 1895

Following the arrival of the Norfolk-Southern Railroad in 1881, Elizabeth City sustained a tremendous growth. Foremost among their industries was lumber, but soon others also began to thrive from the boom. Because of its proximity to Kitty Hawk and its available service, the Wrights often purchased many of their commercial wares in Elizabeth City. In fact, Bill Tate personally assumed the responsibility for arranging the purchase and transportation of many materials. Furthermore, after Wilburís first travails, movement to and from Kitty Hawk and Elizabeth City became routine. This publication documents some of the historical changes experienced by the Albemarle Region up until 1895.

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[Page 1]

North Carolina! Star of first magnitude in the constellation of the blessed old Thirteen!

North Carolina! Mother of a long line of sons and daughters whose names are indelibly written on the pages of American history, who lived to honor thee, who have passed away, but who still live in affectionate memory. Mother of a multitude of children still on the stage of action, many of whom have peaceful homes within thy broad domain, many of whom have gone abroad to make their homes in other lands and are now scattered from the rivers to the world's end. Yet all, wherever they may be, still proud to be thy sons and daughters, from whose deepest hearts echo the sweet song of thy pure, patriot son, tow quietly asleep beneath the, sod - our brother of cherished memory - Great Gaston:

Carolina, Carolina! Heaven's blessings attend her,
While we live we will cherish and love and defend her!
Though the scorner may sneer at and witlings defame her,
Our hearts swell with gladness whenever we name her!

The prayer of thy loving children is that God may ever bless thee, our noble Mother!

[Page 2]


The chief and almost only purpose of this little book is to give a faithful description of a certain section of country, its people and its supposed advantages; and whoever may read it cannot fail to see that it- is intended as a guide-book for the emigrant in search of a home, and at the same time as an argument to induce him to take up his permanent abode in the place described.

The time, it is thought, has at last come when such a book may be written that the stranger may learn something of a country that Le has known but little of until recently except its name. The writing of such a book in the past day when negro slavery existed would hardly have been possible, or, if possible, it would have been but labor utterly wasted. Even as late as thirty years ago there were but few who had any desire for such information as it gives. A comparative few, it is true, had even at that time begun to realize that a wonderful social revolution was near at hand and that great changes in political conditions were impending; but these were as the prophets of old-a score out of a nation of millions. The great Wendell Phillips was one of those few, and his words: "Machinery must eventually move to the cotton," seem at this day as the words of one inspired. And when the late Hon. W. D. Kelly, in a speech made by him at Raleigh, N. C., shortly after the close of the war, used substantially these words-"God's sun never shone on a country richer or more glorious than your own beautiful North Carolina . . . . . The one thing lacking now (but that will surely be supplied at an early day) is the loom and machinery to work up the product of your broad fields into fabric for the world's use," it seems now that he was uttering words of true prophesy.

That famous expression of Horace Greeley-"Young man, go West," was by no means an original thought with him; he only spoke what almost every one who lived north of Mason & Dixon's line had thought. It was not "Go South," for at that time there was no South that invited. North and South, then, were sections separated by a dark wall-a wall as impenetrable as adamant, and so high that the gentle dove bearing its branch of olive was not able to scale it from either side. And how, under such conditions could North know South, or South North? How, when the few glimpses ever caught by one of the other were through eyes of passion and prejudice that could only render the object glimpsed distorted and misshapen, could brotherly love or Christian sympathy exist?

All this has changed. Individuals there are, truly, both North and South, who have never learned and never will learn that the war is over and the negro freed; yet these individuals weigh nothing with the masses, who have learned these great truths and are content with the results.

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Citation: Vaughan, Frank. 1895. The Albemarle District of North Carolina.
Location: North Carolina Collection, Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858 USA
Call Number:NoCar F 259 V38 1998a   Display Catalog Record

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Page Updated 03 September 2004
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