After 18 years of work and $980,000 in expense, officials expect to settle on the boundary between North Carolina and South Carolina later this year. Their agreement will mark the latest in a long simmering debate over the dividing line. Campbell University social scientist Marvin Lucian Skaggs suggested in North Carolina Boundary Disputes Involving Her Southern Line in 1941 that the debate was emblematic of more than just which flag flies over the territory or which governor to salute.
The dispute between North and South Carolina was one of the oldest and the most lengthy of all of those boundary controversies, and involved elements which were unique in their nature and character. The northern section of the province was settled by an immigration to a great degree alien in origin and race to that of the southern section and remained so throughout the period of their boundary bickerings. Physical, commercial, and social conditions played a great part in maintaining the ever-widening differences between the two sections, while an ungenerous attitude of superiority on the part of South Carolina tended to alienate the good will of North Carolina. All of these elements combined to cause the development of a spiritual division between the two sections which preceded and accompanied the agitation for and progress of the permanent division of Carolina.