The History of the Inner Banks

Aug 17, 2018 | About Albemarle

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

We all know that the Inner Banks of North Carolina is an amazing location to live and visit with its amazing parks, outdoor water activities and charming small town feel. But what you may not know is the rich history and intriguing past of the area that makes it so unique.

The Inner Banks refers to the inland coastal region of eastern North Carolina.  Its fascinating history is worth exploring!  The historic town of Edenton is monumental in the history of North Carolina.  It was actually the state’s first colonial capital making it rich in significance and culture.

Several Civil War Battles took place in Edenton and can still be visited today.  The Battle of Albemarle Sound was fought at Edenton Harbor in 1864 when three Confederate warships engaged in battle with eight Union gunboats.  Now, one can visit the site and enjoy the beauty of the area at the same time.

The area is also rich in architectural significance as well.  There are many impressive historical homes lining the streets of Edenton, but one in particular stands out.  Dating back to the late 1700’s, the Penelope Barker House is one of the most intriguing sites in Edenton.  It boasts many historical artifacts including the only two remaining cannons in Edenton from the Civil War.

A portion of the original Underground Railroad is even located at what is now Colonial Waterfront Park near Edenton Bay.   Harriet Jacobs escaped from Edenton via the passage in 1842, making it a monumental landmark in history.

One of the most significant events in the Inner Bank’s past made history not just for the area but also for women’s rights.  In 1774, 51 women from Edenton chose to boycott British imports, serving as one of the first examples of female activism in history.  The women boldly drew up documents declaring their intentions and mailed them to England to invoke a change.  The act became known as the Edenton Tea Party and is currently commemorated with a tea pot mounted on a cannon in front of the courthouse for all to see.

There is so much more to see and learn about the Inner Banks.  One can learn more by visiting the area’s many museums or taking a walking or trolley tour.

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