“In later years — probably to burnish his image as a hero and spokesman for his sport — [Ty Cobb] and his boosters went out of their way to note that his early encounters with the Negro race were either inconsequential or benign. A 1909 editorial in the Charlotte Observer said, ‘Cobb, born with the prominence that is universal among white persons in Georgia, sought no further prominence by buckshotting his compatriots. So far as is known, he never attended a lynching.’

“Faint praise indeed, but baseball was just as racist as the rest of society…..”

— From “Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty” by Charles Leerhsen (2015)



North Carolina Historic Newspapers will digitize runs from 28 additional newspaper titles, totaling over 100,000 pages, over the next year and a half.

These pages will be added to the over 100,000 historic North Carolina newspaper pages already available on Chronicling America, the Library of Congress’ free 9 million page and counting newspaper website.

This phase of newspaper digitization includes such titles as The Fool Killer, the local paper of Boomer, Our Living and Our Dead, an important literary-historical periodical chronicling North Carolina’s role in the Civil War, and Die Suedliche Post, a short lived 19th century German publication out of Goldsboro.

Here is a complete list of the title runs to be digitized:

  • Western Sentinel, Winston
  • The Wilson Times, Wilson
  • Spirit of the Age, Raleigh
  • The Banner-Enterprise, Raleigh
  • The Robesonian, Lumberton
  • Orange County Observer, Hillsborough
  • Die Suedliche Post, Goldsboro
  • The Charlotte Journal, Charlotte
  • The Goldsboro Star, Goldsboro
  • The Farmer and Mechanic, Raleigh
  • The State Chronicle, Raleigh
  • The North-Carolinian, Fayetteville
  • The Weekly Intelligencer, Fayetteville
  • The Daily Confederate, Raleigh
  • The Monroe Journal, Monroe
  • The Journal of Industry, Raleigh
  • The Gazette, Raleigh
  • North Carolina Republican, Raleigh
  • Our Living and Our Dead, New Bern
  • Roanoke Rapids Herald, Roanoke Rapids
  • Goldsboro Weekly Argus, Goldsboro
  • Hillsboro Recorder, Hillsborough
  • Hickory Daily Record, Hickory
  • The Hillsborough Recorder, Hillsborough
  • The Durham Recorder, Durham
  • Burke County News, Morganton
  • The Fool-Killer, Boomer
  • Good News, Boomer

The map below shows the geographic distribution of North Carolina newspaper titles available or soon to be available on Chronicling America. Blue pins indicate the locations of titles already digitized under phase one of the project and red pins indicate the locations of titles to be digitized during the current phase:

View North Carolina Historic Newspapers in a larger map


North Carolina Historic Newspapers has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: We the People. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this post do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

National Endowment for the Humanities

“The first independent American voyage to the Orient came in 1784, when the Massachusetts brig Empress of China sailed to Canton. This began a commerce that would flower through the 1840s and leave a dozen U.S. cities, including [President William] McKinley’s in Ohio, named for the great Chinese entry port….”

— From “William McKinley: The American Presidents Series” by Kevin Phillips (2003)

So Canton, North Carolina, is one of those namesake cities? Not directly, according to the Gazetteer. The Haywood County town took its current name in 1893 in recognition of the source of the steel with which it was bridging the Pigeon River: Canton, Ohio.


“Mr. Stikeleather, may I give you one little illustration of what I think may have happened between myself and the people in Asheville? Have you ever tried to pass a man in the street and the moment you stepped to the right to go around him he would also step that way, when you step to the left, he would follow you, and so the thing would continue until it became funny and you both stood still and looked at each other and yet all the time all you were trying to do was to be friendly to each other and to give the other fellow a free passage?
“Or, better still, have you ever met some one that you knew you liked and you were pretty sure he felt the way about you and yet, figuratively speaking, you ‘got off on the the wrong foot’ with each other? Now I think that something of this sort may have happened between Asheville and myself.
“When I wrote ‘Look Homeward, Angel’ several years ago, I can honestly assure you I had no notion that the book would arouse the kind of comment and response and cause the kind of misunderstanding in my home town that it did do. I should like you to believe that I, myself, was just about the most surprised person in the world when I finally understood the kind of effect my book was having in Asheville….”

— From Thomas Wolfe’s letter responding to Asheville businessman J.G. Stikeleather (July 8, 1935)
[Paragraphing added.]


“Some white Southern women evince more frustration at their own position, or at the position of all white Southern women, than any real feeling for the oppression of slaves. Fanny Moore Webb Bumpas, for instance, of Pittsboro, North Carolina, complains in her journal [1844]:
” ‘We contemplate of late removing to a free state. There we hope to be relieved of many unpleasant things but particularly of the evils of slavery, for slaves are a continual source of trouble. They need constant driving, [and] they are a source of more trouble to house keepers than all other things, vexing them, and causing much sin.'”

“– From “Whitewashing Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Nineteenth-Century Women Novelists Respond to Stowe”  by Joy Jordan-Lake (2005)


“On October 13, 1944, a North Carolina citizen was brought before a judge in traffic court for having parked his car immediately in front of a sign that read ‘No Stoping’…. The defendant argued that the missing letter in the sign meant that he had not violated any law. Brandishing a Webster’s dictionary, he noted that ‘stoping’ technically means ‘extracting ore from a stope, or, loosely, underground.’

” ‘Your honor,’ said the man, ‘I am a law-abiding citizen, and I did not extract any ore from the area of the sign.’  The judge…let him off….”

— From Just My Typo: From ‘Sinning with the Choir’ to ‘the Untied States’ “ by Drummond Moir (2014)

The absence of attribution aroused skepticism, but I found a corroborative contemporary account in the Burlington Daily Times News. The court was in Durham, and the imaginative defendant was A. E. Floyd.


“When [Richard Wright] learned I was from Chapel Hill he assumed immediately that I knew Paul Green, with whom he had written the play Native Son. He said, ‘The sleepiest man I ever saw.’ He laughed and talked and laughed that laugh which he later admitted was his first line of defense, though it felt that afternoon like offense. He claimed that Green would go to sleep when they were writing dialogue for the most exciting moments in the play. ‘I’d say a line and look over and there Paul would be asleep.’

“Five years later when I was again in Chapel Hill, teaching, I met Hugh Wilson, a cousin of Paul Green’s, who told me how exciting and dangerous those weeks were when Wright was in town working with Green on the play. ‘Of course he couldn’t stay at the Carolina Inn and there was no other place, so we got him a room down on Cameron Avenue in that big Victorian house behind those two giant magnolias. When the Ku Klux got wind he was there in a white neighborhood, they put out word they were going to kill him. Wright never knew that. Night after night Paul and I walked shotgun on that block. Paul would go up Ransom and I’d go down Cameron for a block or so and then we’d walk back and stand on the corner awhile, then patrol again. All night. I don’t know how Paul could write the next day’….”

— From “Richard Wright: The Visible Man” by Max Steele in the Paris Review  (Fall 2003)


“Despite digging the Moravians and their utopic ambitions in North Carolina, I have always been undoubtedly creeped out by their 17th century historical recreation theme park, Old Salem.

“It’s a grim scene — disgruntled college students and rednecks dressed up in austere bonnets and buckle shoes stationed in wooden buildings for eight hours a day, re-enacting the strenuous daily regimen of the Protestants of yore — Blacksmithing, Shoemaking, Sheep-shearing, and Wood-Choppery. It’s no surprise the Moravians focused so hard on the afterlife, surely hoping for some kind of posthumous paradise resembling a modern Florida retirement community complete with a tiki bar where they could finally indulge their long-neglected vices….”

— From “Protestant Work Ethic: A Thanksgiving Tale” by at the American Reader


“As a lifelong Southerner, I was pleased and proud… to see Jimmy Carter in the White House….But all the while I kept remembering a conversation I had in New York while Carter was accepting the nomination….An old friend whose roots were in in North Carolina had invited me for a drink to celebrate….As we talked, he gradually began to articulate a nagging worry that lay dark and unexpressed in my own breast. I think of his words now as prophetic….

” ‘If Carter pulls this off,’ he said, ‘he’ll go down in history as one of our greatest presidents, and the South will be back in the national fold at last, and on equal terms. But if he fails, Southerners up here won’t be able to find a rock big enough to hide behind, and the South will still be seen as a separate and unequal backwater region, a stepchild of the superior North.’ ”

– FromShades of Gray: Dispatches from the Modern South” by John Egerton (1991)


According to calculations made in 1886, a typical North Carolina housewife had to carry water from a pump or a well or a spring eight to ten times each day. Washing, boiling and rinsing a single load of laundry used about 50 gallons of water. Over the course of a year she walked 148 miles toting water and carried over 36 tons of water.”

From Housework in Late 19th Century America” by Steven Mintz at Digital History


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