English colonists, sent by Sir Walter Raleigh , unsuccessfully attempted to settle Roanoke Island in 1585 and 1587. Virginia Dare , born there in 1587, was the first child of English parentage born in America.
In 1653 the first permanent settlements were established by English colonists from Virginia near the Roanoke and Chowan rivers. The region was established as an English proprietary colony in 1663–1665 and in its early history was the scene of Culpepper’s Rebellion (1677), the Quaker-led Cary Rebellion (1708), the Tuscarora Indian War (1711–1713), and many pirate raids.
During the American Revolution , there was relatively little fighting within the state, but many North Carolinians saw action elsewhere. Despite considerable pro-Union, antislavery sentiment, North Carolina joined the Confederacy during the Civil War .
North Carolina’s economy is experiencing a shift away from tobacco, furniture and textiles to knowledge-based enterprises such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences. The state was ranked third best state for business in 2010 by Forbes magazine. The major agricultural products are tobacco, corn, cotton, hay, peanuts, and vegetable crops. The state is the country’s leading producer of mica and lithium.
Tourism is also important, with visitors spending more than $1 billion annually. Sports include year-round golfing, skiing at mountain resorts, both fresh- and salt-water fishing, and hunting.
Among the major attractions are the Great Smoky Mountains , the Blue Ridge National Parkway, the Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores, the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, Guilford Courthouse and Moores Creek National Military Parks, Carl Sandburg’s home near Hendersonville, and the Old Salem Restoration in Winston-Salem .
These days North Carolina is a southeastern U.S. state with a landscape ranging from Atlantic Ocean beaches to the Appalachian Mountains. Charlotte, the state’s largest city, is home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and museums such as the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The state motto (“First in Flight”) honors the Wright Brothers, who flew their first plane in Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks, barrier islands lined with popular beaches.
Scenic beauty, a moderate climate, a culture rich in history and the arts, and world-class sports and recreational opportunities make North Carolina an exceptional place to live and do business. Combine that with quality health care, top universities, a low cost of living and it’s easy to see why most people who live here never want to leave.
Our state is renowned for its natural resources with more than 300 miles of Atlantic coastline and the highest mountain peaks east of the Rockies. Our communities are healthy, attractive and thriving. North Carolina consistently ranks at the top among places to live and do business. To learn more about North Carolina click here