Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/North Carolina

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NORTH CAROLINA, a State in the South Atlantic Division of the North American Union; bounded by Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and the Atlantic Ocean; one of the original 13 States; number of counties, 100; capital, Raleigh; area, 48,500 square miles; pop. (1900) 1,893,810; (1910) 2,206,287; (1920) 2,559,123.

Topography.—The E. and larger portion of the State is an undulating country descending toward the low and sandy coast. The W. part is mountainous, being crossed by two ranges of the Appalachian system, one forming the Tennessee boundary. These ranges bear different names, according to locality; such as Black, Stone, and Smoky Mountains. The E. range known as the Blue Ridge incloses an irregular plateau. The highest points are Mount Mitchell, 6,732 feet, and Clingham's Peak, 6,619 feet, in the border range; and Grandfather Mountain, 5,897 feet; and Sugar Mountain, 5,312 feet; in the Blue Ridge range. The coast line has a length of 400 miles and consists of a range of low islands and sand bars, locally known as “banks,” separated from the mainland by shallow sounds. The largest of the latter are Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. From the “banks” in many places project promontories, dangerous because of their shoals. Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, and Cape Fear being the chief ones. The principal rivers are the Cape Fear, flowing 200 miles through the center of the State; Roanoke, and Chowan, flowing into the State from Virginia, and the Neuse, and Tar, emptying into Pamlico Sound. Along the coast are numerous swamps and peat bogs. The great Dismal Swamp of Virginia projects into the State, and there is a large swamp between the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

Geology.—The mountain ranges of North Carolina are principally of Azoic formation, and the sandy E. portion of Tertiary and Quaternary deposits. The Azoic region is represented by gneiss, granite, and crystalline schists and contains two narrow and irregular strips of coal-bearing sandstone. The State has very small mineral production. A small amount of gold is mined and there is also a small silver production. Other mineral resources are phosphate-rock, alum, graphite, bismuth, kaolin, whetstone, sapphires, amethysts, emeralds, corundum, garnet, and tourmaline.

Soil and Productions.—The swamp land when drained, and the river bottoms have exceedingly fertile soil and yield enormous crops, especially of rice and cotton. The N. counties known as the Bright Tobacco Belt, which extends from the Piedmont almost to the coast, produces a large percentage of the yellow tobacco of the United States. The mountainous sections are valuable as grazing lands and well adapted to stock raising and dairy farming. The production and value of the leading agricultural crops in 1919 were as follows: corn, 55,100,000 bushels, valued at $101,935,000; oats, 3,767,000 bushels, valued at $3,993,000; wheat, 7,225,000 bushels, valued at $16,834,000; tobacco, 310,240,000 lbs., valued at $166,289,000; hay, 1,040,000 tons, valued at $25,168,000; peanuts, 4,756,000 bushels, valued at $11,605,000; cotton, 875,000 bales, valued at $154,000,000; potatoes, 4,930,000 bushels, valued at $8,036,000; sweet potatoes, 9,858,000 bushels, valued at $13,604,000.

Manufactures.—The number of manufacturing establishments in the State in 1914 was 5,507; the average number of wage earners was 136,847; capital invested was $253,842,000; wages paid was $46,039,000; materials used valued at $169,942,000; and the value of products was $289,412,000. The chief manufactures included cotton goods, fertilizers, flour, furniture, leather, lumber, oil, and tobacco.

Banking.—On Oct. 31, 1919, there were reported 85 National banks in operation, having $9,906,000 in capital, $8,055,704 in outstanding circulation, and $7,115,810 in United States bonds. There were also 471 State banks, with $13,468,000 capital, $6,408,000 surplus, and $196,489,000 in resources.

Education.—Owing to various reasons educational conditions in the State are not good. There are about 780,000 children of school age, of whom about 525,000 are white and 254,000 colored. About 410,000 white children are enrolled in the schools and about 200,000 colored children. There are about 14,000 teachers, of whom about 10,000 are white. The total annual expenditures for school purposes is about $5,000,000. Among the colleges are the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davidson College at Davidson, Trinity College at Durham, Biddle University at Charlotte, Shaw University and the State Agricultural and Mechanical College at Raleigh, and Wake Forest College at Wake Forest. The women's colleges include the Salem Female Academy at Salem, Claremont Female College at Hickory, the Baptist Female College at Raleigh, Greensboro Female College at Greensboro, Asheville College at Asheville, and Oxford College at Oxford.

Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Regular Baptist, South; Regular Baptist, Colored; African Methodist; Methodist Episcopal, South; Presbyterian, South; Methodist Episcopal; Methodist Protestant; Christian; and Disciples of Christ.

Transportation.—The total railway mileage in the State in 1917 was about 5,000. The roads having the largest mileage are the Southern Railway and the Atlantic Coast Line.

Finances.—The receipts for the biennial period ending Dec. 1, 1918, amounted to $12,665,351, and the disbursements to $11,850,430. There was a balance on hand of $1,039,543. The State has an outstanding debt of about $10,000,000.

Charities and Corrections.—There are hospitals at Morgantown, Raleigh, and Goldsboro; a State prison at Raleigh; various schools for the blind and deaf and a home and industrial school for women.

State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of four years. Legislative sessions are held biennially and are limited in length to 60 days each. The Legislature has 50 members in the Senate and 120 in the House. There are 10 representatives in Congress. The State government in 1920 was Democratic.

History.—North Carolina was first partially colonized by a body of English under Raleigh in 1585, but no permanent settlement was made till 1663 when Charles II. made a grant of the territory to eight English gentlemen. In 1705 an internecine conflict took place among the colonists with reference to the claims of two rival governors. From 1711 to 1713 a war was waged with the Tuscaroras and other Indian tribes, who were ultimately reduced to subjection, the Tuscaroras going to New York and becoming one of the Six Nations. In 1769 the colony declared against the right of the home government to levy taxation. North Carolina united with the other colonies in the Declaration of Independence and made the first declaration at Charlotte, May 20, 1775. A partisan warfare next ensued between the patriots and the loyalists, which latter were in strong force throughout the State. On March 15, 1781, General Green, with a force of 4,500 men, was attacked at Guilford Court House by a body of British troops, 2,000 strong, commanded by Lord Cornwallis, but the British, though claiming victory, were put in such plight that the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown was a necessary sequence. The National Constitution was adopted in 1789. The State joined the Southern Confederacy May 20, 1861, and furnished some of the very best troops in the Confederate army, having 125,000 in service and losing 40,000 by wounds and disease. The present constitution was amended in 1875, and again in August, 1900, when the suffrage was amended so that after Jan. 1, 1908, no one who came of age that year or afterward, who is unable to read and write, can vote.


Collier's 1921 North Carolina.jpg
Copyright, L. L. Poates Eng. Co., 1921