Non-Conformists in North Carolina

I found this interesting detail of Piedmont North Carolina on a 1778 map of the eastern United States published in Paris:


The French phrase at the center translates to something like “New Garden where the non-conformists meet.” New Garden was a town at the time — the name was later changed to Guilford College and it is now part of greater Greensboro. But the question remains: who were the non-conformists? It’s probably not the Moravians — the area where they settled was farther to the west. So that leaves the Quakers, but, as you can see from the detail shown here, Quaker assemblies were clearly labeled as such. Did the French also refer to the Quakers as non-conformists? Or was there another group there at the time?

One thought on “Non-Conformists in North Carolina”

  1. The Nicholites were settling in western Guilford County in the 1770s. They were more around Deep River (a few miles south) rather than New Garden but could explain this reference. Many in this group later joined the local Quaker meetings, especially Deep River Monthly Meeting. See historian Kenneth Carroll’s publications on early Nicholites in Maryland and North Carolina for more information.

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