The state's official bird, the cardinal, is also the state bird of six other states.
Chowan County, located in northeastern North Carolina, has a rich and diverse history that dates back to the colonial era. The region was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes, including the Algonquian-speaking Chowanoke Indians, who lived along the banks of the Chowan River. European colonization began in the 17th century, with the establishment of the Albemarle Settlements. In 1668, Chowan County was created as one of the original precincts of Albemarle County, making it one of the oldest counties in North Carolina.

During the colonial period, Chowan County became a center for trade and commerce due to its strategic location on the Albemarle Sound. The town of Edenton, founded in 1722, quickly emerged as an important port, attracting merchants and traders from across the region. Edenton became the first colonial capital of North Carolina and played a significant role in shaping the state's early history. The town was known for its wealthy and influential residents, many of whom were involved in politics and the American Revolution.

In the 19th century, Chowan County's economy shifted primarily to agriculture, with cotton and tobacco becoming major cash crops. The county experienced the effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction, which brought significant changes to the region. Despite the challenges, Chowan County remained an agricultural and commercial hub, with Edenton continuing to serve as a trading center.

In the 20th century, Chowan County experienced gradual growth and modernization. The county's agricultural focus diminished, and new industries, such as manufacturing and tourism, emerged. Edenton's rich historical heritage and picturesque waterfront attracted visitors, leading to a revival of the town's economy. Today, Chowan County preserves its historical charm while embracing progress and continues to offer a unique glimpse into North Carolina's colonial and agricultural past.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Chowan County, North Carolina.

  • 1668 - Chowan County is established as the first county in North Carolina
  • 1680 - Edenton, the county seat, is established as the capital of the colony of Carolina
  • 1730 - St. Paul's Episcopal Church, the oldest surviving church building in North Carolina, is constructed in Edenton
  • 1767 - Edenton Tea Party, an early act of resistance against British rule, takes place
  • 1862 - During the Civil War, Union forces occupy Edenton and the county suffers from the effects of the war
  • 1940 - The Chowan County Courthouse, built in 1767, is destroyed by a fire
  • 1970 - The modern Chowan County Courthouse is constructed