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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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Roanoke Institution

by Wiley J. Williams, 2006

The Roanoke Institution was established in 1829 in Littleton, between Warrenton and Halifax in what was then Warren County. The institution was under the general direction of Capt. Alden Partridge of Norwich, Vt., and under the immediate superintendency of Daniel H. Bingham. Prior to this, Bingham had operated a military school at Williamsboro beginning in January 1827. The aim of the Roanoke Institution was to give each student "a good practical scientific education, to prepare him for the correct and efficient discharge of the duties of any situation in life." Three courses of study-classical, mathematical, and English, plus physical education (including some military training)-were planned.

In September 1829 the school moved to Oxford, the next year opening under Bingham as the North Carolina Literary, Scientific, and Military Institution. Soon thereafter the school was moved to Raleigh, apparently to no success: by late 1832 Bingham had become an engineer on an experimental railroad that Joseph Gales Sr.-in his role as mayor of Raleigh and secretary of the Internal Improvements Board-perceived as a way to convince the General Assembly to rebuild the State Capitol (which had burned in 1831) in Raleigh. In 1833 the Raleigh Star announced that Bingham had moved to Alabama to accept a position as rail engineer, and the school presumably ceased to exist.


Charles Lee Coon, North Carolina Schools and Academies, 1790-1840: A Documentary History (1915).

Guion G. Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina: A Social History (1937).

Elizabeth Reid Murray, Wake: Capital County of North Carolina (1983).

Additional Resources:

Roanoke Institution, NCDCR Digital Collections:

Origin - location: