The Cherokee Indians originally inhabited much of western North Carolina before being forcibly removed by the federal government in the 1800s. Today, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians still maintains a reservation in the western part of the state.
Edgecombe County, located in northeastern North Carolina, has a rich and diverse history that dates back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes such as the Tuscarora and the Occaneechi. European settlers arrived in the late 17th century, primarily of English and Scottish descent, and began establishing plantations for tobacco cultivation.

During the colonial period, Edgecombe County became a vital agricultural center. Large-scale plantations operated by wealthy landowners dominated the economy, relying on enslaved labor. The county's fertile soil and favorable climate contributed to its success in tobacco production, making it an important commodity in the region's economy.

In the 19th century, Edgecombe County underwent significant changes brought about by the rise of industrialization and the Civil War. The county saw a transition from an agrarian society to a more industrialized one, as textile mills and factories were established. However, the devastation of the Civil War severely impacted the area, as many plantations were destroyed and the economy plummeted.

In the 20th century, Edgecombe County went through a period of recovery and diversification. Agriculture remained important, but the county also saw advancements in other sectors such as education, healthcare, and manufacturing. The establishment of educational institutions, including Edgecombe Community College, contributed to the county's development and provided opportunities for its residents.

Overall, Edgecombe County's history is characterized by its agricultural roots, the impact of the Civil War, and its transition to a more diversified economy. Today, the county continues to strive for growth and improvement while honoring its historical heritage.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Edgecombe County, North Carolina.

  • 1732: Edgecombe County is formed from parts of Bertie County.
  • 1758: Tarboro becomes the county seat of Edgecombe County.
  • 1777: The town of Rocky Mount is established in Edgecombe County.
  • 1830s-1840s: Edgecombe County becomes a major producer of turpentine and naval stores.
  • 1861-1865: Edgecombe County actively participates in the American Civil War.
  • Late 19th century: The arrival of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad further stimulates the county's economy.
  • Early 20th century: Edgecombe County experiences significant agricultural and industrial development.
  • 1965: Hurricane Betsy causes severe damage to Edgecombe County.
  • 2003: The town of Princeville, located in Edgecombe County, is devastated by flooding from Hurricane Floyd.
  • Present: Edgecombe County continues to be a center for agriculture, manufacturing, and education.