North Carolina. Secretary of State.

North Carolina manual [serial] (Volume 1989-1990) online

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has successfully explained the disappearance of the colony and its settlers.

The first permanent English settlers in North Carolina were immigrants
from the tidewater area of southeastern Virginia. These first of these "over-
tlow" settlers moved into the Albemarle area of northeast North Carolina
around 1650.

In 1663, Charles II granted a charter to eight English gentlemen who had
helped him regain the throne of England. The charter document contains
the following description of the territory which the eight Lords Proprietors
were granted title to:

All that Territory or tract of ground, situate, lying, and being
within our Dominions in America, extending from the North end
of the Island called Luck Island, which lies in the Southern
Virginia Seas and within six and Thirty degrees of the Northern
Latitude, and to the West as far as the South Seas; and so
Southerly as far as the River Saint Mathias, which borders upon
the Coast of F'lorida, and within one and Thirty degrees of
Northern Latitude, and West in a direct Line as far as the South
Seas aforesaid; Together with all and singular Ports, Harbours,
Bays, Rivers, Isles, and Islets belonging unto the Country afore-
said; And also, all the Soil, Lands, Fields, Woods, Mountains,
Farms, Lakes, Rivers, Bays, and Islets situate or being within the
Bounds or Limits aforesaid; with the Fishing of all sorts of Fish,
Whales, Sturgeons, and all other Royal Fishes in the Sea, Bays,
Islets, and Rivers within the premises, and the Fish therein

And moreover, all Veins, Mines, and Quarries, as well discovered
as not discovered, of Gold, Silver, Gems, and precious Stones, and
all other, whatsoever be it, of Stones, Metals, or any other thing
whatsoever found or to be found within the Country, Isles, and
Limits . . . ."

The territory was to be called Carolina in honor of Charles the First. In
1665, a second charter was granted in order to clarify territorial questions
not answered in the first charter. This charter extended the boundry lines of
Carolina to include:

All that Province, Territory, or Tract of ground, situate, lying,
and being within our Dominions of America aforesaid, extending
North and Eastward as far as the North end of Carahtuke River
or Gullet; upon a straight Westerly line to Wyonoake Creek,
which lies within or about the degrees of thirty six and thirty
Minutes, Northern latitude, and so West in a direct line as far as
the South Seas; and South and Westward as far as the degrees of
twenty nine, inclusive, northern latitude; and so West in a direct
line as far as the South Seas.

Historical Miscellanea


26 North Carolina Manual

Between 166;5 and 1729, North Carolina was under the control of the Lords
Proprietors and their descendents who commissioned colonial officials and
authorized the governor and his council to grant lands in the name of the
Lords Proprietors. In 1669, John Locke wrote the Fundamental Constitutions
as a model for the government of Carolina. Albemarle County was divided
into local governmental units called precincts. Initially there were three
precincts— Berkley, Carteret, and Shaftesbury— but as the colony expanded
to the south and west new precincts were created. By 1729, there were a total
of eleven precincts— six in Albemarle County and five in Bath County which
had been created in 1696. Although the Albemarle Region was the first
permanent settlement in the Carolina Area, another region was developed
around present-day Charleston, South Carolina. Because of the natural
harbor and easier access to trade with the West Indies, more attention was
given to developing the Charleston area than her nothern counterparts. For
a twenty-year period, 1692-1712, the colonies of North and South Carolina
existed as one unit of government. Although North Carolina still had her
own assembly and council, the governor of Carolina resided in Charleston
and a deputy governor was appointed for North Carolina.

In 1729, seven of the Lords Proprietors sold their interest in North Carolina
to the Crown and North Carolina became a royal colony. The eighth
proprietor. Lord Granville, retained economic interest and continued granting
land in the northern half of North Carolina. All political functions were
under the supervision of the crown until 1775.

Colonial government in North Carolina was essentially the same during
both the proprietory and royal periods, the only major difference being who
appointed colonial officials. There were two primary units of government:
the governor and his council, and the colonial assembly made up of persons
elected by the qualified voters of the county. There were also colonial courts;
however, unlike today's courts, they were rarely involved in the formulating
policy. All colonial officials were appointed by either the Lords Proprietors
prior to 1729, or by the crown afterwards. Members of the colonial assembly
were elected from the various precincts (counties) and from certain towns
which had been granted representation. The term "precinct" as a geographi-
cal unit ceased to exist after 1735. These areas became known as "counties"
and about the same time "Albemarle County" and "Bath County" ceased to
exist as governmental units.

The governor was an appointed official, as were the colonial secretary,
attorney general, surveyor general, and the receiver general. All officials
served at the pleasure of the Lords Proprietors or the crown. During the
proprietory period, the council was comprised of appointed persons who were
to look after the proprietors' interests in the new world. The council served
as an advisory group to the governor during the proprietary and royal
periods, as well as serving as the upper house of the legislature when the
assembly was in session. When vacancies occurred in colonial offices or on
the council, the governor was authorized to carry out all mandates of the
proprietors, and could make a temporary appointment until the vacancy was
filled by proprietory or royal commission. One member of the council was

Historical Miscellanea 27

chosen as president of the group, and many council members were also
colonial officials. If a governor or deputy governor was unable to carry on as
chief executive because of illness, death, resignation, or absence from the
colony, the president of the council became the chief executive and exercised
all powers of the governor until the governor returned or a new governor
was commmissioned.

The colonial assembly was made up of men elected from each precinct and
town where representation had been granted. Not all counties were entitled
to the same number of representatives. Many of the older counties had five
representatives each while those newer ones formed after 1696 were each
allowed only two. Each town granted representation was allowed one repre-
sentative. The presiding officer of the colonial assembly was called the
speaker and was elected from the entire membership of the house. When a
vacancy occurred, a new election was ordered by the speaker to fill it. On the
final day of each session, the bills passed by the legislature were signed by
both the speaker and the president of the council.

The colonial assembly could not meet arbitrarily, but rather convened
only when called into session by the governor. Being the only body
authorized to grant a salary to the governor or to be responsible for spending
tax monies, the legislature met on a regular basis until just before the
Revolutionary War. However, there was a constant battle for authority
between the governor and his council on the one hand and the general
assembly on the other. Two of the most explosive issues were the power of
the purse and the electing of the treasurer, both privileges of the assembly.
Another issue which raised itself was who had the authority to create new
counties. On more than one occasion elected representatives from counties
created by the governor and council, without consultation and proper legisla-
tive action by the lower house, were refused seats until the matter was
resolved. These conflicts between the executive and legislative bodies were to
have a profound effect on the organization of state government after

North CaroHna, on April 12, 1776, authorized her delegates to the Con-
tinental Congress to vote for independence. This was the first official action
by a Colony calUng for independence. The 83 delegates present in Halifax at
the Fourth Provincial Congress unanimously adopted the Halifax Resolves,
which read as follows:

The Select Committee taking into Consideration the usurpations
and violences attempted and committed by the King and Parlia-
ment of Britain against America, and the further Measures to be
taken for frustrating the same, and for the better defence of this
province reported as follows, to wit,

"It appears to your Committee that pursuant to the Plan con-
certed by the British Ministry for subjugating America, the King
and Parliament of Great Britain have usurped a Power over the
Persons and Properties of the People unlimited and uncontrouled
and disregarding their humble Petitions for Peace, Liberty and


North Carolina Manual



^^^^^BIBS^B^&Sb^^^^^'^^^^^^' * -

- " - - -

Joseph Hewes

North Carolina


of the




William Hooper

John Penn

Historical Miscellanea 29

safety, have made divers Legislative Acts, denouncing War
Famine and every Species of Calamity daily employed in destroy-
ing the People and committing the most horrid devastations on
the Country. That Governors in different Colonies have declared
Protection to Slaves who should imbrue their Hands in the Blood
of their Masters. That the Ships belonging to America are declared
prizes of War and many of them have been violently seized and
confiscated in consequence of which multitudes of the people
have been destrlyed or from easy Circumstances reduced to the
most Lamentable distress.

And whereas the moderation hitherto manifested by the United
Colonies and their sincere desire to be reconciled to the mother
Country on Constitutional Principles, have procured no mitigation
of the aforesaid Wrongs and usurpations and no hopes remain of
obtaining redress by those Means alone which have been hitherto
tried, Your Committee are of Opinion that the house should enter
into the following Resolve, to wit

Resolved that the delegates for this Colony in the Continental
Congress be impowered to concur with the other delegates of the
other Colonies in declaring Independency, and forming foreign
Alliances, resolving to this Colony the Sole, and Exclusive right
of forming a Constitution and Laws for this Colony, and of
appointing delegates from time to time (under the direction of a
general Representation thereof) to meet the delegates of the other
Colonies for such purposes as shall be herefater pointed out.

The Halifax Resolves were not only important because they were the first
official action calling for independence, but also because they were not a
unilateral recommendation. They were instead recommendations directed to
all the colonies and their delegates assembled at the Continental Congress
in Philidelphia. Virginia followed with her own recommendations soon after
the adoption of the Halifax Resolution and eventually in July 4, the final
draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed. William Hooper,
Joseph Hewes, and John Penn were the delegates from North Carolina who
signed the Declaration of Independence.

In early December, 1776, delegates to the Fifth Provincial Congress adopted
the first constitution for North Carolina. On December 21, 1776, Richard
Caswell became the first governor of North Carolina under the new constitu-
tion. On November 21, 1789, the state adopted the United States Constitu-
tion, becoming the twelfth state to enter the Federal Union. In 1788, North
Carolina had rejected the Constitution because of the lack of necessary
amendments to ensure freedom of the people.

A Constitutional convention was held in 1835 and among several changes
made in the Constitution was the method of electing the governor. After this
change the governor was elected by the people for a term of two years
instead of being elected by the legislature for one year. Edward Bishop
Dudley was the first governor elected by the people.

In 1868, a second constitution which drastically altered North Carolina
Government was adopted. For the first time, all major state officers were


North Carolina Manual

Led by Mrs. Penelope Barker, wife of Thomas Barker who served as agent for North
Carolina in London, 51 ladies of Edenton gathered on October 25, 1774, to show their
support for the colony's opposition to the tea tax. These couragous women wore no
disguises as had the participants in the Boston Tea Party some ten months earlier, but
rather openly declared their patriotism by signing an agreement to support whatever the
men of the colony were doing for the peace and happiness of their country. This action was
one of the earliest known political efforts by women in America. The above caricature was
published in the London newspapers along with an account of the event.

Historical Miscellanea 31

elected by the people. The governor and other exeutive officers were elected
to four-year terms; while the justices of the supreme court and judges of the
superior court were elected to eight-year terms. The members of the general
assembly continued to be elected for two-year terms. Between 1868 and 1970
numerous amendments were incorporated into the 1868 constitution, so that
in 1970, the people voted to adopt a completely new constitution. Since then
several amendments have be ratified but one in particular is a break from
the past. In 1977, the people voted to allow the governor and lieutenant
governor to run for reelection successively for an additional term.

North Carolina has had two permanent capitals. New Bern and Raleigh,
and there have been three capitol buildings. Tryon's Palace in New Bern
was constructed in the period, 1767-1770, and the main building was
destroyed by fire February 27, 1798. The first capitol in Raleigh was com-
pleted in 1794 and was destroyed by fire on June 21, 1831. The present
capitol building was completed in 1840.

In 1790, North Carolina ceded her western lands which included Washing-
ton, Davidson, Hawkins, Greene, Sullivan, Sumner, and Tennessee counties,
to the Federal government. Between 1790 and 1796 the territory was known
as Tennessee Territory, but in 1796 it became simply Tennessee, the fifteenth
state in the Union.


North Carolina Manual

Historical Miscellanea 33


The North Carohna State Capitol is one of the finest and best preserved
examples of a major civic building in the Greek Revival style of architecture.

Prior to 1792, North Carolina legislators met in various towns throughout
the state, gathering most frequently in Halifax, Hillsborough, and New
Bern. Meetings were held wherever there was a large empty space, such as
local plantation houses, court houses, and even churches. However, when
the City of Raleigh was established as the permanent seat of the Government
of North Carolina in 1792, a simple, two-story brick State House was built on
Union Square. The State House was completed in 1796.

The State House was enlarged between 1820 and 1984 by architect William
Nichols who added a third floor, eastern and western wings, and a domed
rotunda at the building's center. The rotunda housed a statue of President
George Washington by sculptor Antonio Canova's, acquired by the state in
1821. When the State House burned down on June 21, 1831, the statue was
damaged beyond repair.

The General Assembly of 1832-33 ordered that a new Capitol be built as an
enlarged version of the old State Capital. The new Capitol would be a cross-
shaped building with a central, domed rotunda. The sum of $50,000 was
appropriated, and a building commission appointed to initiate the plan. The
Commissioners for Rebuilding the Capitol first employed William Nichols,
Jr. to help them prepare plans for the building. In August of 1833, Nichols
was replaced by distinguished New York architects Ithiel Town and
Alexander Jackson Davis. Town and Davis greatly improved upon the
earlier design, and developed a plan which gave the Capitol an appearance
that has essentially remained the same to the present.

David Paton (1802-1882), an architect born in Edinburgh, Scotland and
who had worked for noted English architect John Seoane, was hired in
September, 1834, to superintend the construction of the Capitol. Paton
replaced Town and Davis as the Commissioners' architect in early 1835. The
Capitol was built under Paton's supervision except for the exterior stone
walls which were largely in place when he arrived in Raleigh.

Paton made several modifications to the Town and Davis plans for the
interior. Among the changes were the overhanging gallery at the second
floor level of the rotunda, the groined masonry vaulting of the first floor
offices and corridor ceilings, and the interior arrangement of the east and
west wings.

After clearing away the rubbish of the old State House, excavations were
made and a new foundation was laid. The cornerstone was set in place on
July 4, 1833. After the initial foundation was laid, work progressed slowly
and the original appropriations were soon exhausted. At the next session of
the Legislature, an additional appropriation of $75,000 was made in order to
begin on the stone and finer work. Many skilled artisans were brought over
from Scotland and other countries to carry out this phase of construction.

Most of the architectural details, including the columns, mouldings,
ornamental plasterwork, and ornamental honeysuckle atop the dome, were

34 North Carolina Manual

carefully patterned after features of particular Greek temples: the exterior
columns are Doric in style and are modeled after those of the Parthenon; the
chamher of the House of Representatives follows the semi-circular plan of a
Greek theater and its architectural ornamentation is in the Corinthian style
ot the Tower of the Winds; and the Senate Chamber is decorated in the Ionic
style of the Erechtheum. The only non-classical parts of the building are two
large rooms on the third floor which were finished in the Gothic style which
was just beginning to rise in popularity in American architectural circles.

The ornamental ironwork, chandeliers, hardware, and marble mantels of
the Capitol came from Philidelphia, as did the man who executed all of the
ornamental plasterwork. The desks and chairs in the House and Senate
Chambers were made by a Raleigh cabinetmaker, William Thompson.

The Capitol was completed in 1840 at a total cost (including furnishings)
of $532,682.34, or more than three times the yearly general income of the
State at that time.

Architect David Paton gave the following description of the new edifice:

The State Capitol is 160 feet in length from north to south by
140 feet from east to west. The whole height is 97Vl> feet in the
center. The apex of pediment is 64 feet in height. The stylobate is
18 feet in height. The columns of the east and west porticoes are 5
feet 2'/^ inches in diameter. An entablature, including blocking
course, is continued around the building 12 feet high.

The columns and entablature are Grecian Doric, and copied
from the Temple of Minerva, commonly called the Parthenon,
which was erected in Athens about 500 years before Christ. An
octagon tower surrounds the rotunda, which is ornamented with
Grecian cornices, etc., and its dome is decorated at top with a
similar ornament to that of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates,
commonly called the Lanthorn of Demostheses.

The interior of the Capitol is divided into three stories: First,
the lower story, consisting often rooms, eight of which are appro-
priated as offices to the Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, and
Comptroller, each having two rooms of the same size — the one
containing an area of 649 square feet and four closets, the other
528 square feet — two committee rooms, each containing 200 square
feet and four closets: also the rotunda, corridors, vestibules, and
piazzas, contain an area of 4,370 square feet. The vestibules are
decorated with columns and antae, similar to those of the Ionic
Temple on the Ilissus, near the Acropolis of Athens. The re-
mainder is groined with stone and brick, springing from columns
and pilasters of the Roman Doric.

The second story consists of Senatorial and Representatives'
chambers, the former containing an area of 2,545 and the latter
2,849 square feet. Four apartments enter from the Senate
Chamber, two of which contain each an area of 169 square feet,
and the other two contain each an area of 154 square feet; also,
two rooms enter from Representatives' chamber, each containing
an area of 170 square feet; of two committee rooms, each contain-

Historical Miscellanea 35

ing an area of 231 square feet; of four presses and the passages,
stairs, lobbies, and colonnades, containing an area of 3,204 square

The lobbies and Hall of Representatives have their columns
and antae of the Octagon Tower of Andronicus Cyrrhestes and
the plan of the hall is of the formation of the Greek theatre and
the columns and antae in the Senatorial chamber and rotunda
are of the Temple of Erectheus, Minerva, Polias, and Pandrosus,
in the Acropolis of Athens, near the above named Parthenon.

The third, or attic story, consists of rooms appropriated to the
Supreme Court and Library, each containing an area of 693
square feet. Galleries of both houses have an area of 1,300 square
feet; also two apartments entering from Senate gallery, each 169
square feet; of four presses and the lobbies' stairs, 988 square feet.
These lobbies as well as rotunda, are lit with cupolas, and it is
proposed to finish the court and library in the florid Gothic style.

In 1970 the State acquired a duplicate of the original statue of Washington
by Canova which can be found in the rotunda of the Capitol. In niches
around the rotunda are busts of three North Carolina governors - John M.
Morehead, William A. Graham, and Samuel Johnson - and United States
Senator Matthew W. Ransom.

Stairways in the east and west wings give access to the second floor,
where the Senate and House Chambers and related offices are located.
Rooms in the east and west wings, built as legislative committee rooms,
have been converted to other uses. On the third floor are the galleries of the
Senate and House Chambers, and in the east and west wings are the
original State Supreme Court Chamber and State Library Room, both
decorated in the Gothic Style. The domed, top-lit vestibules of those two
rooms are especially noteworthy.

The Capitol housed all branches of state government until the lates 1880's.
Today the only official occupants of the Capitol are the Governor and the
Lieutenant Governor. The Supreme Court moved to its own building in 1888
and in 1963, the General Assembly moved into the newly constructed
Legislative Building. This was the first building erected by the State exclu-
sively for use by the general assembly.

The Legislative Building

In 1959,the General Assembly appropriated funds for the construction of a
new legislative building. The new facility was needed to accommodate a
growing Legislative Branch and to provide larger quarters for legislators
and staff. The act creating the building commission was passed on June 12,
1959. The Commission was made up of seven people - two who had served in
the State Senate to be appointed by the President of the Senate, two who had
served in the State House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker
of the House, and three appointed by the Governor. Lieutenant Governor
Luther E. Earnhardt, President of the Senate, appointed Archie K. Davis
and Robert F. Morgan. Speaker of the House Addison Hewlett appointed B.I.


North Carolina Manual

Historical Miscellanea 37

Satterfield and Thomas J. White. Governor Luther Hodges appointed A.E.
Finley, Edwin Gill, and Oliver Rowe. White was elected to serve as Chairman
of the Commission and Morgan was elected Vice-Chairman. In addition to
the appointed members, Paul A. Johnston, Director of the Department of
Administration, was elected to serve as Executive Secretary. When Mr.
Johnston resigned, State Property Officer Frank B. Turner was selected to
replacement him.

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