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Joshua Lawrence and Schism among North Carolina Baptists

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 01:00

On September 10, 1778, Joshua Lawrence, Baptist minister and one of the founding members of the Primitive Baptist movement, was born on his family’s farm in Edgecombe County.

Lawrence was called to the ministry in 1801, when he was 23. He became pastor of the Falls of the Tar Baptist Church, later founded the Tarboro Baptist Church and led that church until its division in 1829. Though he was known for his commanding presence in the pulpit and as an eloquent preacher, he didn’t have any formal training as minister.

In 1803, Lawrence became a delegate to the Kehukee Baptist Association, and became embroiled in the struggle between the missionary and anti-missionary supporters within the North Carolina Baptist movement. Lawrence believed that it was important to preserve “the Christian religion in its primitive state,” and insisted that those in the ministry should not use their permission for material gain.

The author of a number of pamphlets supporting what would later become the Primitive Baptist Movement, Lawrence supported the idea of cutting ties with the missionary Baptist movement that would later form the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

Lawrence continued to preach until his death in 1843.

One of Lawrence’s books is available online from UNC-Chapel Hill, which also holds many of Lawrence’s personal papers.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Road for Charles Kuralt Began, Ended in North Carolina

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 01:00

On September 10, 1934, celebrated CBS journalist, television news anchor and bestselling author Charles Kuralt was born in Wilmington.

The winner of 12 Emmys and two Peabody Awards, Kuralt showed early promise as a writer. Voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by Charlotte’s Central High School class of 1951, the budding writer attended UNC, where he was editor of The Daily Tar Heel.

Kuralt’s first professional job was with the Charlotte News, where he wrote an award winning column called “Charles Kuralt’s People.” In 1957, at age 23, he became the youngest correspondent ever hired by CBS News.

A decade later, during a period of war and riots, he experimented with a good-news segment on The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. Called “On the Road,” the feature ran for more than 20 years. During that time, Kuralt and his crew wore out six campers, crisscrossing the country’s back roads and telling stories about ordinary Americans. He later anchored CBS News Sunday Morning before retiring in 1994.

Kuralt died in July 1997, at age 62, of complications from lupus. At his request, he was buried in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery on UNC’s campus.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Rutherford Trace and the Destruction of Nikwasi

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 01:00

On September 10, 1776, during the American Revolution, North Carolina General Griffith Rutherford attacked and burned the Cherokee town of Nikwasi as part of what became known as the “Rutherford Trace.” It was part of a united effort by North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to weaken the Cherokee Indians before they could fully ally and coordinate attacks with British troops.  The campaign also was retribution for the punishment enacted by the native people against the newly arrived settlers in the west.

Nikwasi covered approximately 100 acres in what is now Macon County, and was a spiritual and ceremonial center for the Cherokee, who inhabited it until 1819 when they were forced off their lands. The present day town of Franklin was built on it, and a large mound in the commercial district is all that remains of the former Cherokee presence.

The expedition decimated many Cherokee towns in just a few weeks. The destruction of crops, livestock and food stores effectively ended the military threat of the Cherokee. As refugees, surviving over the winter on wild game, nuts and fruits, the remaining Cherokee signed peace treaties the following year.

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For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Heroine of the American Revolution Martha Bell

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 01:00

On September 9, 1820, Martha McFarlane McGee Bell, heroine of the American Revolution, died at her home in Randolph County. The wife of a Deep River gristmill owner, Bell and her husband were ardent supporters of American independence, and their mill became a gathering place for local patriots during the war. There is also evidence that the Continental Army used the mill to store supplies.

Bell’s credit as heroine, though, stems from an incident following the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. British General Charles Cornwallis camped at the Bells’ Mill for two days, needing to grind corn for his troops and time to rest and treat the wounded. Bell treated the British hospitably and nursed the injured in return for Cornwallis’s promise that his troops would do her property no harm. The British left without incident.

When American General “Lighthorse” Harry Lee arrived at the mill shortly after the British departed, he encouraged Bell to visit Cornwallis at his next camp on a ruse related to property damage. Bell acted as a spy for the patriots, noting details as to Cornwallis’ troops and supplies.

A monument on the grounds of Guilford Courthouse National Military Park honors Bell.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Our Only Miss America

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 01:00

On September 9, 1961, Maria Beale Fletcher of Asheville became the first—and, so far, only— Miss North Carolina to be crowned Miss America.

Born June 23, 1942, she was the oldest child of Charles Beale and Margaret Gatley Fletcher, a nationally touring dance duo. When she reached school age, her parents decided to settle in Asheville, where they founded and operated the Fletcher School of Dance and the Land of the Sky Civic Ballet. Fletcher won her first trophy at age 7 for singing and dancing at Asheville’s Mountain Youth Jamboree. In 1960, she graduated from A.C. Reynolds High School and headed to New York City to fulfill her dream of being a Radio City Music Hall Rockette. That same year, the 19-year-old became Miss Asheville. Six months later, she claimed the Miss North Carolina title.

At the national pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., Fletcher won the preliminary swimsuit competition and, for talent, tap danced to a recording of herself singing “Somebody Loves Me.” With her Miss America scholarship winnings, she earned a degree at Vanderbilt University and became a successful businesswoman, wife and mother. Today, the 71-year-old still performs, writes and is an environmental and animal rights activist.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

The Man Who Destroyed the Recording Industry

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 01:00

On September 9, 2009, Bennie Lydell Glover of Shelby was indicted in Alexandria, Virginia, for felony conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.

Two years earlier Glover left work to encounter Cleveland County deputies alongside his truck. As they arresteAdd Newd him, the FBI was simultaneously raiding his house.

The popular assumption is that Napster, created in 1999, was chiefly responsible for the plummet in sales of recorded music. But recent accounts make clear that Glover was there first and created the most damage.

Glover, employed at Polygram’s CD pressing plant in Kings Mountain, began slipping disks out of the factory as early as 1994.  He regularly took movies and video games but found a market for rap CDs, especially artists like Jay Z, Eminem, and in time Kanye West.

He would drop off bags of disks for resale at Shelby barbershops but, via Internet file-sharing, found listeners all across the country. Polygram fought back, installing increased security measures, but Glover long evaded the law, sneaking CDs out behind oversize belt buckles past wand-wielding guards.

Glover, who testified against his co-conspirator, pled guilty and served three months in prison. Meanwhile sales of recorded music shrank with total revenue cut in half in the period between 2000 and 2010.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Colington Island, a Reminder of the Proprietary Era

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 01:00

On September 8, 1663, the first transfer of land under the Lords Proprietors in Carolina took place. The grant was made to Sir John Colleton, himself one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina.

The piece of land transferred was what was then called Carlyle or Colleton Island, and is now called Colington Island in Dare County. Colleton, a planter who also dabbled in business, finance and politics, already had large New World holdings in Barbados. Although he had returned to England in 1660, he had hopes of expanding his West Indies operations into the American colonies.

Colleton’s agent, Captain John Whittie, established a plantation on the property during the winter of 1664 and 1665. At first the island was used primarily for raising cattle and horses, but eventually crops including tobacco, corn and grapes were planted.

Whittie also eventually realized a profitable secondary source of income by selling oil extracted from whales that washed up on the shore. Peter Carteret, nephew of one of the proprietors and later governor of the colony, joined Colleton as a partner in the colonial venture. He arrived in the spring of 1665 to take charge of the plantation. Hurricanes, drought and floods plagued the settlement, which failed by the 1670s.

For more, check out the book The Proprietors of Carolina from North Carolina Historical Publications.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Edward Hyde and Turmoil in Early Carolina

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 01:00

On September 8, 1712, Governor Edward Hyde died of yellow fever at his home on the Albemarle Sound.

Born in 1667 in England, Hyde inherited several properties and had ties to royalty. He attended Oxford University but didn’t complete a degree. Despite his connections and inheritance, Hyde faced financial ruin and sold much of his property.

In 1708, Hyde petitioned the queen for a governorship in Carolina, specifically the deputy governorship of northern Carolina, which was then available. He received the commission in early 1709 and arrived in Virginia to find a great deal political upheaval. He remained in Virginia until there was agreement in the colony that Hyde was indeed the commissioned leader.

Hyde assumed his duties as royal governor in 1711 but was in a politically precarious position during the uprising known as Cary’s Rebellion. That year the colony also suffered from a yellow fever epidemic and the outbreak of the Tuscarora War after an attack near Bath.

In 1712, Hyde became the first governor of the separate and distinct colony of North Carolina. Yellow fever struck again that year, claiming the governor as one of its victims.

Hyde was likely buried on the plantation grounds in Chowan County.

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For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Half-Measure Pearsall Plan Target of Critics

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 01:00

On September 8, 1956, voters approved a set of education initiatives known as the Pearsall Plan by a wide margin.

The initiatives had been proposed by an advisory committee on education tasked by Governors William Umstead and Luther Hodges to respond to the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision on school segregation.

The committee concluded that integration “should not be attempted” since there was not enough support for it statewide and recommended that the power for assigning students to schools be moved to the local level.

Two other components in the bill allowed residents to call for a referendum on whether their local schools should be integrated and pledged the state to pay private school tuition for students unhappy with their assignment.

Though the plan was opposed by civil rights advocates for blocking court-mandated integration and by ardent segregationists for not doing enough to prevent it, it passed by a wide margin. Most of the components were never invoked and it was ultimately struck down as unconstitutional by a federal court after a 1966 challenge by renowned civil rights attorney Julius Chambers.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jordan Lake’s Namesake Served in U.S. Senate

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 01:00

On September 8, 1896, B. Everett Jordan was born in Ramseur. Before being appointed to fill the vacant seat of Senator Kerr Scott in 1958, he was a successful textile executive who had worked his way up the ladder in one company since the 1920s.

Although several newspapers at the time considered him to have been placed in the Senate as a “seat warmer” for Luther Hodges who was then governor and popular politically, Jordan was reelected in 1960 and 1966.

His work in the Senate focused on Agriculture and Forestry, Public Works and Senate Rules and Administration. He introduced the tobacco “acreage-poundage” legislation that changed the way tobacco was marketed and valued. He also helped the state to acquire federal funds for water resources and harbor improvements.

Jordan’s age and health were key factors in the 1972 Democratic primary race for his Senate seat. At that time, he was defeated by Nick Galifianakis, who in turn lost the general election to Republican Jesse Helms.

The Chatham County New Hope Lake project, authorized in 1963, was renamed in honor of Jordan in 1973.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day subscribe by email using the box on the right and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.