LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

  1. Credits & acknowledgments
  2. Introduction
  3. About this "digital textbook"
  1. 1 Creating a state
    1. 1.1
      The State of Franklin
      Petition from residents of Tennessee County, North Carolina, in 1784, to the General Assembly, requesting that they be permitted to form a new state. Primary source includes historical commentary.
      • Format: petition
      • Relevant dates: 1787
    2. 1.2
      The United States in the 1790s
      The new national government began in unity, with George Washington's election to the presidency. But divisions within Washington's government, between Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, led to the creation of the nation's first political parties.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1789–1800
    3. 1.3
      A capital in the "wilderness"
      In 1792, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to place a permanent state capital in Wake County. Joel Lane sold 1,000 acres of land to the state, and in the years that followed, the city of Raleigh was planned and built.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 0
    4. 1.4
      Nathaniel Macon
      Biography of Nathaniel Macon (1758–1837), North Carolina political leader from Warren County.
      • Format: biography
      • Relevant dates: 1758–1837
    5. 1.5
      Nathaniel Macon on democracy
      Excerpt of a speech by Nathaniel Macon, arguing against the "Midnight Judges Act" of 1801, in which he summarizes the political philosophy of Democratic-Republicans. Primary source includes historical commentary.
      • Format: speech
      • Relevant dates: 1802
    6. 1.6
      The Walton War
      Poor and inaccurate surveying led to border disputes between North Carolina and its neighbors. In December 1804, a battle was fought over an area claimed by both North Carolina and Georgia.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1804
  2. 2 An agricultural state
    1. 2.1
      Thomas Jefferson on manufacturing and commerce
      Excerpt from Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia (1781) in which he argues that the United States should remain an agricultural nation. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: book (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1781
    2. 2.2
      Midwives and herbal medicine
      Excerpts from the medicine recipe book of Rachel Allen, who lived near Snow Camp, North Carolina, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, show how residents of the backcountry treated wounds, illness, and disease.
      • Format:
      • Relevant dates: 0
    3. 2.3
      A father's advice to his sons
      Letter from Charles Pettigrew, Tyrrell County minister and planter, to his sons. Believing himself to be dying, Pettigrew gave them his advice for living a good and Christian life. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: letter
      • Relevant dates: 0
    4. 2.4
      Eli Whitney and the cotton gin
      In 1794, inventor Eli Whitney patented his cotton gin, a machine for removing seeds from cotton. The invention made cotton production -- and with it, slave labor -- far more profitable, and it helped to cement the South's status as an agricultural region and a slave society.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1792–1800
    5. 2.5
      The growth of slavery in North Carolina
      Slavery came to North Carolina with the first European settlement, though it grew slowly at first. The institution developed in a unique way in North Carolina, and by the early national period it was fully integrated into the state's society and economy.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1700–1830
    6. 2.6
      A slave auction at Wilmington
      Letter from a German traveler describing a slave auction in the 1780s. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: book
      • Relevant dates: 1780–1800
  3. 3 Revival
    1. 3.1
      The Second Great Awakening
      The Second Great Awakening of the early nineteenth century consisted of a renewed interest in religion and a wave of social activism. New chuch denominations were created, and revivals were held across the country in the form of camp meetings.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1830
    2. 3.2
      Into the wilderness: Circuit riders take religion to the people
      In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, "circuit riders" preached to residents of the backcountry who were too scattered to be served by established churches.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1700–1860
    3. 3.3
      A camp meeting scene
      Description of a typical camp meeting during the Second Great Awakening of the early nineteenth century, including preaching, conversion experiences, and the physical arrangement of the meetings.
      • Format: book (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1820
    4. 3.4
      What a revival is
      Explanation by Charles Grandison Finney (1792–1875), Christian revivalist preacher, of what a revival is and why it is necessary. Primary source includes historical commentary.
      • Format: book
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1850
    5. 3.5
      Descriptions of a revival
      Letter from Samuel McCorkle, 1802, describing a revival in North Carolina and the experiences of people he knew to have been converted. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: letter
      • Relevant dates: 1802
    6. 3.6
      Rock Springs Camp Meeting
      The Rock Springs Camp Meeting in Denver, North Carolina, traces its origins to 1794, and has been held annually since the early 1800s.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1794–1860
    7. 3.7
      "Be saved from the jaws of an angry hell"
      An 1831 letter from Thomas Whitmell Harriss to his sister, in which he begs her to accept Christ as her savior. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: letter
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1850
    8. 3.8
      Preaching obedience to slaves
      John Jea was born in West Africa in 1773, enslaved at the age of two, and brought to New York. He was eventually freed and became a preacher. In this excerpt from his autobiography, written about 1811, Jea describes the way both his master and the white minister used Christianity to preach obedience to the slaves and to convince them of their worthlessness. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: book (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1773–1800
    9. 3.9
      Elizabeth, A Colored Minister of the Gospel, Born in Slavery
      In this excerpt from her 1863 memoir, Elizabeth (her last name, if she had one, is unknown), a former slave, tells of her conversion to Christianity and her work as a minister. She faced opposition to her ministry both because she was African American and because she was a woman. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: book (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1766–1779
    10. 3.10
      John Chavis
      John Chavis (1762?–1838), a free African American living in North Carolina, was a widely respected minister and teacher with long-reaching influence on both whites and African Americans.
      • Format: biography
      • Relevant dates: 1762–1838
    11. 3.11
      The development of sacred singing
      In the first half of the nineteenth century, the music of southern white churches expanded to express a broader range of emotions. To help singers, "shape-note" tunebooks were developed with easy-to-read notation. Includes audio of present-day shape-note singing.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1900
  4. 4 The Rip Van Winkle State
    1. 4.1
      Searching for greener pastures: Out-migration in the 1800s
      In the first half of the nineteenth century, a steady stream of emigration flowed from North Carolina to western states and territories. North Carolinians were pushed by a lack of economic opportunity at home and pulled by open land in the West. Only after the 1830s, when a progressive political leadership supported schools and internal improvements, did out-migration slow.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1860
    2. 4.2
      Migration into and out of North Carolina: Exploring census data
      Just how many people left North Carolina in the first half of the nineteenth century -- and where did they go? To answer questions like this, the best place to turn is census records. The census can't tell us why people moved, but a look at the numbers can give us a sense of the scale of the migration.
      • Format: activity
      • Relevant dates: 1850
    3. 4.3
      North Carolina's leaders speak out on emigration
      Excerpts from a speech by Governor William Miller, 1816, and from an 1833 legislative committee report, both bemoaning the lack of economic opportunities for North Carolina's citizens. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: speech
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1836
    4. 4.4
      Archibald Murphey
      Archibald Debow Murphey (1777–1832) was a North Carolina state senator and later a Superior Court judge who fought for a comprehensive system of public education, construction of canals and roads, and other progressive reforms.
      • Format: biography
      • Relevant dates: 1777–1832
    5. 4.5
      "A poor, ignorant, squalid population"
      Letter from Archibald Murphey to Thomas Ruffin, 1819, in which Murphey bemoans the character of the people around Fayetteville and blames the lack of trade, transportation, and economic opportunity. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: letter
      • Relevant dates: 1819
    6. 4.6
      Archibald Murphey proposes a system of public education
      Report of a joint legislative committee, 1817, laying out a complete plan for statewide public education, including primary schools, academies, and the University of North Carolina. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: report
      • Relevant dates: 1817
    7. 4.7
      Archibald Murphey calls for better inland navigation
      Excerpt from Archibald Murphey’s Report to the Committee on Inland Navigation in which he calls for the government to invest in the state’s internal transportation system as a way to break their dependency on neighboring states and to increase land values, population and state revenue.
      • Format: report (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1815
    8. 4.8
      Canova's statue of Washington
      In 1815, at a time when the state of North Carolina was unwilling to spend money on roads or schools, the General Assembly spent as much as $60,000 on a statue of George Washington for the State Capitol.
      • Format: book (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 0
  5. 5 Education
    1. 5.1
      A free school in Beaufort
      Excerpt from the will of James Winwight, 1744, leaving money to build a free public school and hire a teacher. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: will
      • Relevant dates: 0
    2. 5.2
      Rules for students and teachers
      Fictional description by Calvin Wiley (1819–1887) of the "Old Field School," a typical rural school of the late eighteenth century. The author lists rules that students were expected to obey, with punshments for disobedience. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: book (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1770–1820
    3. 5.3
      John Chavis opens a school for white and black students
      Newspaper advertisement (1808) for a school in Raleigh, taught by John Chavis. Chavis taught white students during the day and black students at night. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: newspaper
      • Relevant dates: 1808
    4. 5.4
      Education and literacy in Edgecombe County, 1810
      In this 1810 letter, Jeremiah Battle of Edgecombe County describes the lack of education in eastern North Carolina and the consequences for society and politics. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: letter
      • Relevant dates: 1810
    5. 5.5
      "For What Is a Mother Responsible?"
      1845 newspaper editorial about a mother's responsibilities for her children's education and character. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1845
    6. 5.6
      The University of North Carolina opens
      The University of North Carolina held its opening ceremony on January 15, 1795, and soon after became the first state university to enroll students.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1795
    7. 5.7
      Student life at UNC
      Excerpts from minutes of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina, 1802, setting costs for attending the university and establishing rules for student behavior. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format:
      • Relevant dates: 1802
    8. 5.8
      Cherokee mission schools
      Description of Spring Place, a Moravian mission to the Cherokee that operated from 1801 to 1833. Describes the education received by Cherokee boys and girls for the purpose of "civilizing" them. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: book (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1830
    9. 5.9
      A Bill to Prevent All Persons from Teaching Slaves to Read or Write, the Use of Figures Excepted (1830)
      Law enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly, 1830. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: legislation
      • Relevant dates: 1818–1865
    10. 5.10
      Academies for boys and for girls
      Various newspaper advertisements for academies or boarding schools in the Piedmont of North Carolina between 1838 and 1840. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: newspaper (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1830–1860
    11. 5.11
      First Year at New Garden Boarding School
      Memoir of a girl's experience at New Garden Boarding School (now Guilford College) in 1837. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: essay (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1837
    12. 5.12
      A timeline of North Carolina colleges (1766–1861)
      Brief information about the more than thirty private colleges established in North Carolina before the Civil War.
      • Format: timeline
      • Relevant dates: 1766–1861
  6. 6 Gold rush
    1. 6.1
      The North Carolina Gold Rush
      Gold was discovered in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, in 1799, and within a few years, the North Carolina Gold Rush was on. Men arrived in the Piedmont to work in the mines, many of them from Cornwall in England.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1799–1848
    2. 6.2
      The Reed Gold Mine
      A brief history of Cabarrus County farmer John Reed and his gold mine, from the first discovery of gold in 1799 to the establishment of a valuable and productive mine.
      • Format: book (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1799–1850
    3. 6.3
      From the North Carolina Gold-Mine Company
      An 1806 report on North Carolina's gold mining region, including notes on geology and a description of the early work of mining. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: book (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1830
    4. 6.4
      Minting gold into coins
      Brief histories of the Bechtler Mint, a private mint in Charlotte, and the Charlotte branch of the U.S. mint, both of which operated in the middle of the nineteenth century.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1830–1860
    5. 6.5
      The workings of a gold mine
      Article from Harper's Weekly magazine, 1857, tells the story of workers in a North Carolina Gold Mine.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1805–1860
  7. 7 Traveling the state
    1. 7.1
      Steamboats
      Article about the early development of steamboats and their introduction on North Carolina's inland waterways. Includes an explanation of how steamboats work.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1830
    2. 7.2
      The Dismal Swamp Canal
      Transportation in northeastern North Carolina was extremely difficult in the eighteenth century. The Dismal Swamp Canal, which opened in 1805, enabled passage between the Pasquotank River in North Carolina wih the Elizabeth River in Virginia. Over time the canal was rebuilt and expanded, and today it is part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1786–1930
    3. 7.3
      How a canal works
      • Format: animation
      • Relevant dates: 0
    4. 7.4
      Elisha Mitchell and his mountain
      Elisha Mitchell, a professor at the University of North Carolina, demonstrated that the mountain in the Black Mountain range that now bears his name was the tallest in eastern North America. Thomas Clingman disagreed, and the two men waged a battle in newspapers. After Mitchell's death, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed his discovery.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1828–1857
    5. 7.5
      Elisha Mitchell explores the mountains
      Letter from Elisha Mitchell to his wife while doing a geologic survey in northwestern North Carolina, 1828. Mitchell discusses his work, the places he stayed, and the people he met. Includes historical commentary as well as a contemporary map and a Google map with relevant locations marked.
      • Format: letter
      • Relevant dates: 1828
    6. 7.6
      The Buncombe Turnpike
      The Buncombe Turnpike began in the early nineteenth century as the Drover's Road through western North Carolina, used to drive livestock to market. The Turnpike brought trade and increased prosperity to the region and especially to Asheville. After the Civil War, economic recession and the rise of railroads led to its decline.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1792–1881
  8. 8 State and national politics
    1. 8.1
      The Stanly-Spaight Duel
      In early nineteenth-century North Carolina, arguments often ended in duels. The 1802 duel between Richard Dobbs Spaight and John Stanly, in which Spaight was killed, led to legislation outlawing the practice, but the law had little immediate effect.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1802
    2. 8.2
      The Louisiana Purchase
      Since 1762, Spain had owned Louisiana, the vast territory between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. When France acquired the territory in 1802, President Thomas Jefferson offered to buy New Orleans to ensure U.S. access to trade on the Mississippi. When Napoleon offered the entire territory for $15 million, Jefferson accepted.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1803
    3. 8.3
      The War of 1812
      During its wars with France in the 1790s and early 1800s, Great Britain refused to respect the rights of U.S. ships and sailors on the high seas. When diplomacy and trade restrictions failed, President James Madison declared war. The two nations fought for two years before agreeing to a treaty, and historians debate who really "won" the war.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1789–1815
    4. 8.4
      Debating war with Britain: For the war
      Article from the Raleigh Star, published just after Congress declared war on Great Britain in 1812, arguing in support of the war. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: newspaper (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1812
    5. 8.5
      Debating war with Britain: Against the war
      Article from the Carolina Federal Republican of Raleigh, published just after Congress declared war on Great Britain in 1812, arguing against the war. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: newspaper (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1812
    6. 8.6
      The burning of Washington
      Report in the Raleigh Star, September 2, 1814, on the burning of Washington by the British during the War of 1812. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: newspaper
      • Relevant dates: 1814
    7. 8.7
      Dolley Madison and the White House treasures
      • Format: letter
      • Relevant dates: 1814
    8. 8.8
      The expansion of slavery and the Missouri Compromise
      By 1820, a growing population gave the North a majority in the House of Representatives, but slave and free states still had equal representation in the Senate. The admission of Missouri to the Union as a slave state threatened that balance, but the "Missouri Compromise" maintained it by admitting Maine as a free state and banning slavery in the Lousiana territory north of Missouri's southern boundary. Page includes a map showing U.S. territorial expansion.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1820
  9. 9 Nat Turner's Rebellion
    1. 9.1
      Nat Turner's Rebellion
      In 1831, Nat Turner, an enslaved man in Southampton, Virginia, led an insurrection in which a small band of slaves and free African Americans killed fifty-five whites. After the revolt, white militias and mobs hunted down blacks suspected of taking part in this or other insurrections, and southern states passed harsh new laws restricting the freedoms of both slaves and free blacks.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1831
    2. 9.2
      Mapping rumors of Nat Turner's Rebellion
      Introduction to a series of primary sources about Nat Turner's Rebellion and the responses to it in North Carolina, including rumors of further slave insurrections and retaliation against African Americans allegedly involved. This page provides maps showing the locations of key events, the distribution of slaves in North Carolina, and the location of roads along which news would have traveled.
      • Format: activity
      • Relevant dates: 1831
    3. 9.3
      "Fear of Insurrection"
      Excerpt from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs, in which the author recalls the hysteria in Edenton, North Carolina, after Nat Turner's Rebellion. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: book (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1831
    4. 9.4
      Reporting on Nat Turner: The North Carolina Star, Sept. 1
      Article from a Raleigh newspaper reporting the events of Nat Turner's Rebellion in 1831. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: newspaper (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1831
    5. 9.5
      Reporting on Nat Turner: The Raleigh Register, Sept. 1
      Article from a Raleigh newspaper reporting the events of Nat Turner's Rebellion in 1831. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: newspaper
      • Relevant dates: 1831
    6. 9.6
      Reporting on Nat Turner: The Raleigh Register, Sept. 15
      Article from a Raleigh newspaper reporting the events of Nat Turner's Rebellion in 1831. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: newspaper (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1831
    7. 9.7
      Insurrections in North Carolina?
      Article from a Raleigh newspaper reporting alleged slave insurrections in North Carolina, and white responses to these rumors, following Nat Turner's Rebellion in 1831. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: newspaper
      • Relevant dates: 1831
    8. 9.8
      Hysteria in Wilmington
      Excerpt from the diary of Moses Ashley Curtis, a Wilmington tutor. Curtis describes the response of Wilmington residents to the threat of a slave insurrection in September, 1831, after Nat Turner's Rebellion. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: diary
      • Relevant dates: 1831
    9. 9.9
      "A sickening state of things"
      Letter from Rachel Lazarus of Wilmington, North Carolina, to Eliza Mordecai of Mobile, Alabama. The writer describes the supposed plot of a slave insurrection in southeastern North Carolina and concludes that whites must live in fear until slavery is ended. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: letter (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1831
    10. 9.10
      Remembering Nat Turner
      A poem published in an African American newspaper, 1884, remembering Nat Turner as a hero. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: poetry
      • Relevant dates: 1831
  10. 10 Cherokee Removal and the Trail of Tears
    1. 10.1
      The Cherokee and the Trail of Tears
      In 1836, years of increasing tension between Cherokees in the southeastern U.S. and white settlers eager to encroach on Cherokee land culminated in the Treaty of New Echota, which called for the forcible removal of Cherokees to the western Indian Territory. Two years later, federal troops and state militias enforced the treaty, sending large groups of Indians west with inadequate supplies. Many died along the way. The forced removal of the Indians from their land has become known as the Trail of Tears.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1820–1840
    2. 10.2
      The Cherokee language and syllabary
      In the early nineteenth century, a Cherokee silversmith named Sequoyah invented a syllabary, or syllabic alphabet, for the Cherokee language. Within a few years, books and newspapers were printed in Cherokee, and by 1830, as many as 90 percent of Cherokee were literate in their own language. This article includes audio recordings of spoken Cherokee.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1800–1830
    3. 10.3
      Andrew Jackson calls for Indian removal
      Excerpt from President Andrew Jackson's first inaugural address, 1829, in which he argued that American Indians should be removed west of the Mississippi. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: speech (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1829
    4. 10.4
      "We have unexpectedly become civilized"
      Letter from citizens of Turkey Town in the Cherokee Phoenix and Indians' Advocate, 1829, opposing relocation. The authors pointed out the irony that even after becoming "civilized" as white people had claimed to want, they were nevertheless being pushed off their land. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: newspaper (excerpt)
      • Relevant dates: 1829
    5. 10.5
      The Indian Removal Act of 1830
      Act of Congress, passed in 1830, authorizing President Andrew Jackson to transfer Eastern Indian tribes to the territories west of the Mississippi River. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: legislation
      • Relevant dates: 1830
    6. 10.6
      Cherokee Nation v. the State of Georgia, 1831
      When Georgia tried to subject the Cherokee to state law, they sued the state in federal court. The Supreme Court ruled against them in 1831, in this decision written by Chief Justice John Marshall. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: court decision
      • Relevant dates: 1831
    7. 10.7
      Chief John Ross protests the Treaty of New Echota
      In this 1836 letter, Cherokee Chief John Ross urges Congress not to ratify the Treaty of New Echota, in which a small group of Cherokee men claiming to represent the Nation agreed to removal. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: letter
      • Relevant dates: 1836
    8. 10.8
      A soldier recalls the Trail of Tears
      In this letter to his children, written on his eightieth birthday, Private John G. Burnett tells the story of the removal of the Cherokee to the West. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: letter
      • Relevant dates: 1836–1838
    9. 10.9
      The legend of Tsali
      The story of a Cherokee man who resisted removal and founded the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: legend
      • Relevant dates: 1838–1839
  11. 11 Reform
    1. 11.1
      Whigs and Democrats
      After the War of 1812, the two-party system of Federalists and Democratic-Republicans collapsed, and an era of one-party rule was known as the Era of Good Feelings. But new conflicts arose over the presidency of Andrew Jackson, the Second Bank of the United States, and tariffs, and two new parties, the Whigs and the Democrats, emerged. In North Carolina, the Whigs gained power in the 1830s and began a period of reform.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1816–1850
    2. 11.2
      Reform movements across the United States
      In the 1830s and 1840s, a wave of social and political reform swept the United States. Various groups of reformers, often inspired by religion, worked to expand the vote, promote equal rights for women, improve labor conditions, build free public schools, limit alcohol use, and improve treatment of criminals and the insane.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1830–1850
    3. 11.3
      1835 amendments to the North Carolina Constitution
      Amendments to the North Carolina state constitution passed in 1835. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: constitution
      • Relevant dates: 1835
    4. 11.4
      Ratifying the amendments
      In 1835, a convention passed amendments to the North Carolina state constitution. In this activity, students map votes for ratification by county and explain the patterns they see.
      • Format: activity
      • Relevant dates: 1835
    5. 11.5
      North Carolina's first public school opens
      Announcement of the opening of the first free public school in North Carolina, 1840. Includes historical commentary about the North Carolina Public School Act of 1839.
      • Format: newspaper
      • Relevant dates: 1840
    6. 11.6
      Criminal law and reform
      In the early nineteenth century, North Carolina had more than two dozen crimes punishable by death, and the state kept a variety of physical and humiliating punishments on the books as well. Reformers tried to make the criminal code clearer and more humane, but they made little progress before the Civil War.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1776–1860
    7. 11.7
      Dorothea Dix Hospital
      Dorothea Dix, a reformer from New England, came to North Carolina in the 1840s to campaign for a state mental hospital that would provide humane care to the mentally ill. Her efforts resulted in the construction of Dix Hill Asylum (now called Dorothea Dix Hospital) which opened in 1856.
      • Format: article
      • Relevant dates: 1828–1856
    8. 11.8
      Dorothea Dix pleads for a state mental hospital
      In this excerpt from her "memorial" to the North Carolina General Assembly, New England reformer Dorothea Dix lays out her arguments for building a state hospital for the mentally ill. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: report
      • Relevant dates: 1830–1850
    9. 11.9
      The Raleigh Female Benevolent Society
      Constitution and managers' report of the Raleigh Female Benevolent Society, 1823, describing the society's efforts to educate poor children and provide work for poor women. Includes historical commentary.
      • Format: report
      • Relevant dates: 1823
  1. Appendix A. Political Parties in the United States, 1788–1840
  2. Appendix B. North Carolina's Governors, 1789–1836
  3. Appendix C. Rip Van Winkle
  4. Appendix D. The Confessions of Nat Turner
  5. Glossary
  6. Index