Trails To The Past

History: Early Settlers

The first comers were English and helped populate the rich lowlands of the East.  To the south, embracing all the region of the Lower Cape Fear, the English came again, from Barbados.  The Scotch settled in the Upper Cape Fear area.  Their descendants and constantly arriving countrymen soon spread over all the region watered by the Cape Fear, and constitute one of the most striking elements of our population.  Their religion was Presbyterian.  They brought with them and have preserved habits of thrift, industry and a love of education.  They came direct, by way of the Cape Fear inlet or harbor.  They were Highlanders.  The Scotch-Irish came mostly by way of Pennsylvania and spread all over North Carolina from the Dan to the Catawba.  They were Lowlanders.  Soon after these, and by the same route, came our German settlers, and located on the banks of the Yadkin and Catawba, covering all the beautiful and rolling country between these streams, and far up the right bank of the latter in sight of the Blue Ridge.  In agriculture, as a general rule, they have excelled all our people, especially in thrift, economy and the art of preserving their lands from sterility.  In religion they are Lutheran, and a sturdier race of upright men and substantial citizens is not to be found in this state.  Thus, it will be seen that the sources of North Carolina life were English, Scotch, Scotch-Irish, and German mainly, with minor streams of Irish, Swiss and French Huguenot.  Source: Zebulon Vance, Sketches of North Carolina (Norfolk, Virginia: The Norfolk Landmark, 1875), 20-23.

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