North Carolina has a rich African-American history, including the establishment of the first free black community in the United States, known as the Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony, during the Civil War.
Onslow County, North Carolina has a rich history that dates back over three centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Algonquian-speaking Tuscarora. In the early 18th century, the British established settlements in the region, beginning with the town of New River. These settlements were primarily agricultural, with the main crops being tobacco and later, naval stores like turpentine and pitch.

During the American Revolutionary War, Onslow County played a significant role as a center for patriot activities. The county's own Richard Dobbs Spaight signed the United States Constitution, and later became the governor of North Carolina. The Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in 1776, fought near Onslow County, was a pivotal victory for the patriots and helped secure the region for the American cause.

In the 19th century, Onslow County experienced significant growth as a result of the expansion of the railroad system, particularly with the arrival of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. This spurred economic development and population growth, as the transportation network helped connect the county to other parts of the state and the country.

Throughout the 20th century, Onslow County continued to evolve. The construction of military bases like Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station during World War II brought about a demographic shift and had a lasting impact on the county's economy. Today, Onslow County is home to a diverse population and is known for its strong military presence, beautiful coastal landscapes, and vibrant communities.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Onslow County, North Carolina.

  • 1734 - Onslow County is formed as part of Bath County, North Carolina.
  • 1752 - Onslow County becomes a separate county.
  • 1774-1783 - Onslow County residents are actively involved in the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1806 - Jacksonville is established as the county seat of Onslow County.
  • 1861-1865 - Onslow County residents serve in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.
  • 1941-1945 - Onslow County contributes soldiers to World War II efforts.
  • 1951 - Camp Lejeune, a major Marine Corps base, is established in Onslow County.
  • 1962 - Topsail Island, a barrier island, is incorporated into Onslow County.
  • 1996 - Onslow County celebrates its bicentennial.