« PreviousContinue »
(p. 44,) "that you may find several Indian towns, of not above seventeen houses, that have more than 100 gallons of pigeons' oil, or fat; they using it with pulse or bread as we do butter. They kill them in the night with long poles."
Fishes.—The river Roanoke abounds with rock-fish, some of which weighing from sixty to seventy pounds, have been sold at less than a dollar. Swarms of shad ascend the Yadkin and other rivers in the season of spring.
Population.—The number of taxables (white males of 16 years, slaves, negroes, mulattoes, or Indians, male and female, of 12 years of age, and upwards) was, in L676, 14-00; in 1694, 787; in 1717, 2,000.
According to the last census, there
were, under 16 years, 98,357 males, 95,474 females. Between 16 and 45, - 69,086 71,877 Above 45, - - 21,189 20,427
Total of males, 188,632 187,778 The area being 50,500 square miles, the population, in 1810, gives ': 1 persons to a square mile. The increase of whites, during the last ten years, was 39,636, or 1l^per cent.; of blacks, 38,761, or Sg^ths per cent. This is the fifth state in the Union, in respect of population.
Manners and Character.—The western parts, between the Catawba and Yadkin rivers, are inhabited chiefly by emigrants from the north of Ireland, and the descendants of others from Pennsylvania. The inhabitants of the state in general are chiefly planters, who live on their plantations at the distance of from one to two or three miles from each other. Marriage is contracted at a very early age. It is stated by Dr Morse, that there are grandmothers who have not reached the age of twenty-seven. The North Carolinians have been accused of leading an idle and dissipated life, of being addicted to spirituous liquors, gambling, horse-racing, cock-fighting, boxing, and gouging. This character is probably much overcharged, and cannot be considered as applicable to the mass of the population at present. The progressive refinement of manners has raised the present race of Carolinians above many of the rude practices of their ancestors. The great cause of the early misfortunes of this state may be traced to the want of education, and the abuse of spirituous liquors. Of thirty-six persons presented to the grand jury in 1720, there were seven for drunkenness; eight for profane swearing; seven for breaking the Sabbath; four for adultery; five for stealing or mismarking hogs; three for breaking the peace; two for selling liquors without licence. The spirit of litigiousness was greatly lessened by a fine of thirty pounds of tobacco imposed on every lawsuit. It is highly honourable to the character of this people, that, although more vessels are wrecked near Cape Hatteras than in any other part of the American coast, no instance of plunder or inhumanity is on record; on the contrary, every possible aid is always given in saving the crew and cargo. It ought also to be mentioned, that, during the revolutionary war, the enemy was never able to procure a pilot on the coast of this state.
Diseases.—In the eastern parts, near the sea coast, intermitting and bilious fever prevails in August, September, and October; pleurisies and peripneumonies in winter, though this season is otherwise healthy. Dr Williamson observes, " that this unhealthy character of the climate is only applicable to the eastern part of the state, where intermitting fevers are frequent in summer and autumn, occasioned by the exhalations of stagnant water or putrid vegetables; and fevers with inflammatory symptoms, and putrid tendency, sometimes prevail in winter, after recent cultivation and clearing of the surface. A warm season, followed by drought, often produces an epidemical dysentery; but the western parts are healthy, as is proved by the great increase of population. According to the census of 1791, the number of inhabitants above sixteen years of age, exceeded the number under sixteen in all the northern and middle states, including Maryland; but in the southern states, the number above sixteen was less, and the difference was greater in North Carolina than in any other state, except Kentucky." This, Dr Williamson attributes to the combined effect of early marriage and a good climate. *
* The number of males below sixteen, was to that above sixteen nearly as eleven to ten. Dr Williamson, in his History of this
Indians.—The thirteen tribes of Indians who inhabited this state, in 1700, amounted to about 40 >0 persons; in 1790 there were but 60 remaining, who belonged to the Tuscarora tribe, and were then living in Bertie county.
History.—This country originally formed a part of that extensive region, which by the French was named Florida, by the English Virginia, and was included in the patent granted in 1585 to Sir Walter Raleigh, who discovered Pamlico Sound, took possession of the island of Roanoke, and, according to the conditions of the grant, was to occupy, and enjoy for ever, . -"these remote and barbarous lands, not possessed by any Christian people." In I667 the soil and seignory were granted to eight lords and gentlemen, at which period there were two settlements within their limits; the one on the waters of Albemarle, the other, which
State, has given a list of seven persons residing in or near Cumberland county, in 1798, the youngest of whom was 90 years of age; the eldest, 106. Also a list of seven persons lately dead, all between the age of 90 and 112 years. In 1794, William Taylor of Pitt county was 114 years of age; and William Hayward of Acakoke Island had seen 108 years, 77 of which he had lived on the banks. About one-half of the above persons were women, and all were born before any settlement was formed in the place of their residence. They were natives of Scotland, Ireland, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. (Anbury's Travels, I. p. ill.) In August 1817, within a circle of twelve miles diameter, in the county of Warren, there were living sixteen persons between 80 and 90 years of age; twelve from 70 to 80; twelve from 60 to 70; a child was lately born whose father was 84 and mother 57 years, at the time of birth. (Walsh's Register.)
had already been established for several years, on Charles river, near Old Town creek. The last was dispersed by the Indians, in 1663, in revenge for the loss of their children, who were sent to Massachusetts for the purpose of education, as was pretended by some of the settlers, emigrants from that state. In 1665 another colony arriving from Barbadoes, purchased a considerable tract of lands near Cape Fear, from Sir William Berkeley, who allowed three years for the payment of quit-rents, and held out the following terms, to encourage emigrants to settle in their neighbourhood: Every man who joined them before the 1st of April I667 was to have 100 acres of land in fee; the same quantity for each of his children, and also for men servants; for women servants and slaves, the portion was fifty acres, on condition of bringing a good musket, ten pounds of powder, and twenty pounds of lead, and provisions for six months. To encourage servants, every male of this description, when free, was to have 100 acres of land, two suits of clothes, and necessary tools for his trade. This colony, consisting of 800 persons, carried on a commerce with Barbadoes, exchanging timber and staves for the productions of that colony. The first legislative assembly was formed in Albemarle county, in IG67, and two years afterwards a plan of government, drawn up by the celebrated Locke, was signed by the lords proprietors. Though this constitution fell far short, in its principles, of those which Locke had maintained in his writings, it was still too liberal for the rulers of that day. Lord Effingham, governor of Virginia, was