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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Lost Provinces

"Lost provinces" was a term applied to the region of North Carolina consisting of the counties of Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan, and Gates. Because of their location north of the Albemarle Sound and the presence of rivers and swamps, they were isolated and difficult to reach except through Virginia.

Additional Resources:

"Historic Survivals." North Carolina: the pacemaker in industry, agriculture and substantial progress. Department of Conservation and Development. Raleigh,. N.C. 1926.,308962  (accessed August 23, 2012).

Tabler, Dave. "The Lost Provinces." Appalachian History:Stories, quotes and anecdotes (blog). August 22, 2012.   (accessed August 23, 2012).

Miller, Frank T. "A Report on Railway Possibilities for the "lost Provinces" of North Carolina." Greensboro, N.C.: n.p. [n.d.].

Associated Press. "Bowles Would Try to Help Lost Provinces." The Times-News [Hendersonville, N.C.]. September 6, 1972. (accessed August 23, 2012).

"An Act to Redeem the Counties in Northwestern North Carolina Without Railroad Facilities, Known as the "Lost Provinces'" of North Carolina, by Authorizing the Construction by the State of a Railroad which, in Connection with the Existing Railroads, Will Constitute a Trunk Line of Railroad from Northwestern North Carolina to Eastern North Carolina, for the Transportation of Persons and Freight from the Middle West and Coal Fields into the Western Central and Eastern Parts of North Carolina, and to Aid In the Completion and Construction of Certain Roads in Northwestern North Carolina in Which The State Already Has a Pecuniary Interest." Public laws and resolutions passed by the General Assembly at its session of 1923. Raleigh, N.C.: Commercial Printing Company. p.289.,236461 (accessed August 23, 2012).

Magistro, Aesopo. "A Fable of the Lost Provinces." North Carolina Education. February 1921. p.11.,13945 (accessed August 23, 2012).



Having grown up in Ashe County, in one of the true "lost provinces", I find it terrible that people searching the phrase in Google find it referring to counties along the coast. Clicking the page shows every other reference to be to the proper counties in the mountains. This opening sentence needs to be changed.

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