Settling the Coastal Plain

After the chaos of the early years, northern Carolina began to grow in the early eighteenth century. Immigrants from England, Switzerland, and Germany settled on the coast and along the rivers of the coastal plain. Lured by promises of fertile soil, easy riches, and religious freedom, they established farms, towns, churches, and governments. But they also led difficult lives, enduring poor transportation, a lack of manufactured goods, and even attacks by pirates.

In this chapter, we’ll explore the experiences of these early colonists. We’ll read about their reasons for coming to North Carolina and what they thought of their new land — often in their own words. We’ll also consider why the North Carolina coast was so dangerous, and why it was nicknamed the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

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