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Colonial North Carolina
Transcript of Colonial North Carolina
Colonial North Carolina
The coastline of the Coastal Plain is rocky and extremely treacherous. Shipwrecks were so common that the area off the Outer Banks became known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
The social classes on the coast...
The gentry which included wealthy plantation owners, doctors and lawyers held the important jobs in the colonial government.
This colonial backcountry was quite different from the coastal plains. The clay soil and limestone supported the large grasslands and forests. The streams were shallow. The narrow rivers flowed fast which wasn't good for boat traffic, but it made excellent sites for mills and farms.
There were only a few roads that traveled through the Piedmont. The two main routes were The Great Wagon Road and The Great Indian Warrior Trading Path.
Artisans and tradesmen such as carpenters, blacksmiths, potters, tailors, and weavers earned a good living and would frequently take on young people as apprentices in exchange for their labor.
The wage earners, slaves and indentured servants performed much of the colony's heavy labor, which included farm work, construction and loading boats and dirty jobs, such as cleaning stables or digging ditches.
Most of the settlers in the Piedmont were small-scale"Yeoman" farmers who did not own slaves. They raised livestock and grew corn, wheat and tobacco. As more settlers arrived, towns grew and trade flourished.
The majority of the Costal Plain was settled by Englishmen. The French Huguenots founded the town of Bath and along with the Swiss founded the town of New Bern.
Even without good, deep ports like other colonies, North Carolina's rich land in the coastal plain drew settlers who set up farms and new towns.
Early Piedmont settlers were primarily Scotch-Irish and Germans from northern colonies who migrated south in search of suitable land and freedom from English rule. There was a large settlement of Highland Scots along southern part of Cape Fear River. Two distinct groups, the Moravians and Germans began building communities which were clustered together and preserved their heritage. Later on the Quakers would settle in several counties in the Piedmont.
The Costal Plains main exports were indigo, tobacco, rice and pine tar/pitch.
Along with the towns came inns keepers, artisans such as potters, rope makers, tailors and bakers. They built stores, gristmills, sawmills and tanneries.
The Scotch-Irish and German colonists who began to settle in the mountains faced many difficulties including harsh winters and treacherous roads. The settlers had to travel to town to pay taxes and do official business. The difficulty of the trip made settling in the mountain area less desirable than the other regions.
The rugged terrain of the Appalachian Mountains, which spans the western part of the state, makes this the most isolated of the three regions.
The explorations of Daniel Boone and opening of the "Wilderness Road" drew more Scots-Irish to settle in the southern Appalachian valleys of the Backcountry.
The vast coastal pine forests were perfect for supplying the naval stores with tar, pitch and turpentine...
The Piedmont's rivers flowed south. There were no rivers that flowed east towards the coast which discouraged trade with the Coastal Plains settlers
Life could be hard in each of the three regions in colonial North Carolina, but each group of settlers made lasting impacts on the development of the state.