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Photograph of a woman weaving on a loom in eighteenth century dress.

A “digital textbook”

LEARN NC’s digital textbook for North Carolina History uses primary sources and multimedia to tell many stories about the past, not just one.

Part two explores the political, social, and cultural history of the state from the first successful English colonies in the 1600s to the eve of the Revolution in 1763.

North Carolina Digital History

Colonial North Carolina

North Carolina’s proprietors envisioned elaborate courts, feudal manors, and silk production, but managing a colony was more complicated than they’d expected. In the colony’s first fifty years, North Carolina’s settlers faced corrupt officials, violent rebellion, Indian war, isolation, disease, hurricanes, and pirates. North Carolina grew slowly, but by the third quarter of the eighteenth century, complex and thriving communities had spread across the coastal plain and the Piedmont.

Designed for secondary students, this second module of our web-based “digital textbook” combines primary sources with articles from a variety of perspectives, maps, photographs, and interactive multimedia to tell the many stories of colonial North Carolina:

  • the founding and chaotic early years of the colony
  • clashes between European settlers and American Indians
  • the cultures, backgrounds, and experiences of the people who settled the Coastal Plain and Piedmont
  • the origins of slavery and the experiences of Africans in early America
  • daily life, work, and material culture
  • the political development of the colony
  • events such as Culpeper’s Rebellion, the Tuscarora War, and the French and Indian Wars

Get started: Table of Contents


More than just a linear narrative, our “digital textbook” is modular and fully searchable. If you need a primary source, a map, some background reading, or a lesson plan, this is the place to start!