Backcountry was the term used during the early settlement and colonial periods for the vast interior of North Carolina, located away from the coastline and including both the modern-day Piedmont and Mountain regions. The backcountry was first explored by John Lederer in 1670 and was penetrated gradually by Virginia Indian traders. Not until the mid-eighteenth century did large numbers of Scotch-Irish and Germans begin to spread across the region, following the "Great Wagon Road" from Pennsylvania down through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The interior population rapidly swelled to become 40 percent of the colony's total, and backcountry settlers' inadequate political representation in the colonial assembly was a factor in the increasing east-west sectional friction that led to the Regulator Movement (1765-71) and other conflicts. The backcountry was the last area of the state to be settled and, consequently, the most volatile region of North Carolina society for many years.
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C. Christopher Crittenden, The Commerce of North Carolina (1936).
Richard J. Hooker, ed., The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution (1953).
Hendricks, Christopher E. "The Backcountry Grows Up." Tar Heel Junior Historian 45, no. 2 (spring 2006). http://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/collateral/articles/S06.backcountry.grows.up.pdf (accessed March 4, 2013).
The Journal of Backcountry Studies. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 2006- . http://libjournal.uncg.edu/ojs/index.php/jbc/index (November 2, 2012).
Olmsted, Frederick Law. A journey in the back country. N.Y.:Mason Brothers. 1860. http://archive.org/details/journeyinbackcou00olms (November 2, 2012).
"Roan High Knob Shelter." January 24, 2008. Flickr user Doug Bradley Photography/Doug Bradley. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougandbecky/2260254050/ (November 2, 2012).
1 January 2006 | Butler, Lindley S.