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Northampton County



FORMED: 1741

LAND AREA: 536.59 square miles

White: 40.4%
Black/African American: 57.2%
American Indian: 0.7%    
Asian: 0.3%    
Pacific Islander: <0.1%
Two or more races: 1.4%
Hispanic/Latino: 2.6% (of any race)

From State & County QuickFacts, US Census Bureau, 2020.


Northampton County

Coastal Plain


REGION: Coastal Plain, though part of the county is technically in the Piedmont
RIVER BASIN: Chowan, Roanoke, Map
NEIGHBORING COUNTIES: Bertie, Halifax, Hertford, Warren

Northampton County NC

See also: North Carolina Counties (to access links to NCpedia articles for all 100 counties)

by Jay Mazzocchi, 2006

Northampton County, located along the fall line between the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions of North Carolina, was formed in 1741 from Bertie County and named for James Compton, earl of Northampton. It is bordered in part by the state of Virginia. Early inhabitants of the county were the Tuscarora and Meherrin Indians, followed by Scottish, Scotch-Irish, French Huguenot, and English settlers. The county seat, Jackson, was established in 1742 as Northampton Courthouse; the name was changed in 1823 in honor of U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Other communities in Northampton County include Gaston, Garysburg, Rich Square, Seaboard, Conway, Woodland, Vultare, Severn, Margarettsville, and Milwaukee. Notable physical features of the county include the Roanoke River, Roanoke Rapids, Occoneechee Neck, Taylors Mill Pond, and Gumberry and Panther Swamps.

The Peebles House (nineteenth century), Lee-Grant Farm (ca. 1830), Cedar Grove Quaker Meetinghouse (1868), and Duke-Lawrence House (mid-eighteenth century) are a few of Northampton County's historic attractions. The region hosted an active horse racing scene in the early nineteenth century, which predated that in Kentucky. Sir Archie, a noted thoroughbred, died in 1833 and is buried at Mowfields. Cultural institutions include the Jackson Museum and Northampton Memorial Library. Northampton County also hosts annual events such as the Northampton County Farm Festival June Jubilee.

Important agricultural products of Northampton County include peanuts, soybeans, corn, cotton, broilers, and hogs. Manufactured goods such as chemicals, foodstuffs, farm machinery, lumber and other wood products, and apparel are also produced in the county. In 2004 Northampton County's estimated population was 21,500.

Annotated history of Northampton County's formation:

For an annotated history of the county's formation, with the laws affecting the county, boundary lines and changes, and other origin information, visit these references in The Formation of the North Carolina Counties (Corbitt, 2000), available online at North Carolina Digital Collections (note, there may be additional items of interest for the county not listed here):

County formation history:

Index entry for the county:

Additional resources:

Corbitt, David Leroy. 2000. The formation of the North Carolina counties, 1663-1943 (accessed June 20, 2017).

Northampton County Government:

Northampton County Chamber of Commerce:

DigitalNC, Northampton County:

North Carolina Digital Collections (explore by place, time period, format):

Image credits:

Rudersdorf, Amy. 2010. "NC County Maps." Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.

Origin - location: 


About how much land area is Coastal Plain, and Piedmont?

Agree with Mr. Davis above, but you also left out Woodland. Vultare, Margaretsville, and Milwaukee are Northampton Communities, but none are incorporated towns.

Dear Mr. White,

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I have added Conway and Woodland.

Mike Millner, NC Government & Heritage Library

A grave injustice has been done! The citizens of Conway are outraged at being overlooked in your listing of Northampton communities and demand redress! ;-)

It's so great to see history documented like this.

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