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[These lines were written by Sir Walter Raleigh in his prison the night before his execution.]
EVEN such is Time, that takes on trust
Our youth, our joy, our all we have,
And in the dark and silent grave, When we have wandered all our ways, Shuts up
the remnant of our days. But from this grave, this earth, this dust, The Lord shall raise me up, I trust.
THESE unfortunate enterprises ended all attempts to settle white colonies in North Carolina for nearly one
The Atlantic Ocean on the outside of our long sand-bar was stormy and dangerous. Sailors avoided the coast and gave it a bad name. One of the capes they called Cape Fear, and another Cape Lookout. The inlets were hard to find, and often after a storm the old ones were closed by the shifting sands and new ones were opened, and for large ships that cross the ocean no safe harbor could be found.
1600. So the North Carolina Indians were let alone for many years. The grapevines budded and bloomed and bore their clusters nearly a hundred times before ships were again seen on the sunny bays of Albemarle and Pamlico.
Meanwhile, many things were happening in the world's history elsewhere, though all was so still here. Englishmen were busy founding colonies and building cities in other parts of America. They began a settlement in Boston harbor in 1620; Connecticut was settled in 1633; New York in 1634; Pennsylvania in 1680 ; and Jamestown, in Virginia, was begun in 1607.
They were all growing and having a history, in spite of long and bloody wars with the Indians and many other discouragements, while Carolina lay undisturbed.
In order to understand the story of our own State it is necessary to look at the histories of other States and countries, often far distant, and study them.
What was done on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean two hundred years ago had a great influence on the fortunes of the different States of America.
At first those who came over from Europe came mostly to find gold or from a mere spirit of adventure. But after a while they began to come to avoid bad government and religious persecution at home. They wanted to be free, to be able to choose their own governors, make their own laws, and especially they desired to be allowed to worship God in the way they liked best.
1620. In Europe there had been for years and years, and still was, an immense amount of discord and misery and many bloody persecutions on this very account. It took men a long time to learn to let each other alone abont their religion, and not to try to force all men to believe alike.
Most of these United States of America were settled by men who had suffered in this way; and when their children grew up in the free wild forests here they were determined that neither, they nor their descendants should ever have such a yoke on their necks.
We must remember this in all we read about them. They first found freedom here, and they meant to stay free for ever, and were ready to fight for it.
Virginia and North and South Carolina and Georgia were all at first included under one name. It was all Virginia till long after the death of Queen Elizabeth, when a king reigned in England named Charles I.
1630. The Latin for Charles is Carolus, and this king, wishing to give his own name to some part of his vast dominion in America, ordered that part lying south of the great Dismal Swamp, as far as Florida, to be called Carolina. After a while Georgia was laid off, and Carolina was divided into North and South ; and that is how we came by our
1660. One of the first acts of the second King Charles of England after he became king was to make a very handsome “grant,” or gift, to eight of his friends over there of this fine piece of land named Carolina. He claimed that it extended not only from Virginia to Florida, but from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Not that he nor any one else in those days knew exactly where the Pacific Ocean was, or anything about it, nor even how far it was across America. But he claimed it all the same.
A glance at the map will show that “Carolina” included nearly half of what are now the United States. It was a very splendid gift to make to eight men. But kings often have a way of being very generous with what does not belong to them.
1663. The eight men were “lords” in England. They belonged to the nobility, and some of them had a share in the government there. Their names were—Albemarle, Ashley, John Berkeley, William Berkeley, Carteret, Clarendon, Colleton, and Craven. We have kept some of these names in our county names. All the north-east corner of our State, east of the Roanoke River, was called Albemarle at first, as well as the great sound.
These lords were called “The Lords Proprietors of Carolina. Their rule lasted about sixty-six years, from 1662 to 1728, and is known in our history as the “Proprietary Government."
The real history of our State begins with this government. Only one of these eight lords ever came to America to look at the “grant.” The only thought that any of them had about it was how to make the most money for themselves and their heirs out of it.
They wished at once to encourage emigration to the country, and they offered fair inducements and were liberal in their promises. Among other good things, they promised religious freedom and that no man should be forced to worship God in any way that he did not choose, and should not be persecuted in any way for his religion. This was a very good beginning, and many people who had been persecuted by the Established Church of England, which was also established by law in Virginia, came gladly over the border into free Carolina. The Quakers, or Friends, especially hurried to come, for they had been badly treated in Virginia and New England too. They were a sober, steady people, and very active and influential in the early part of our history.