|Province of Carolina|
|Province of Great Britain|
British Red Ensign
"Tamed by the cultivators of the world"
|William III and Mary II|
|Philip Ludwell (first)|
|Robert Gibbes (last)|
• Upper house
• Lower house
|Parliament of Carolina|
|Historical era||Stuart era|
• Charter of Carolina
|March 24, 1663|
• Partition of Carolina
|January 24, 1712|
|Today part of||United States|
Province of Carolina was a province of England (1663–1707) and Great Britain (1707–1712) that existed in North America and the Caribbean from 1663 until partitioned into North and South on January 24, 1712. It is part of present-day Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and The Bahamas.
"Carolina" is taken from the Latin word for "Charles" (Carolus), honoring King Charles I. and was first named in the 1663 Royal Charter granting to Edward, Earl of Clarendon; George, Duke of Albemarle; William, Lord Craven; John, Lord Berkeley; Anthony, Lord Ashley; Sir George Carteret, Sir William Berkeley, and Sir John Colleton the right to settle lands in the present-day U.S. states of North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.
On October 30, 1629, King
Within three generations of Columbus, the Spanish from their Florida base had started to emigrate up the coast of modern North Carolina. A hostile Virginia tribe drove them back to Georgia. A Scottish contingent had meanwhile settled in South Carolina only to be extirpated by the Spanish, who inhabited Parris Island as late as 1655. The Spanish were again beaten back to Georgia.
On March 24, 1663, Charles II issued a new charter to a group of eight English noblemen, granting them the land of Carolina, as a reward for their faithful support of his efforts to regain the throne of England. The eight were called Lords Proprietors or simply Proprietors. The 1663 charter granted the Lords Proprietor title to all of the land from the southern border of the
The Lords Proprietors named in the charter were
In 1663, Captain William Hilton had noted the presence of a wooden cross erected by the Spaniards that still stood before the town meeting house of the Indians living at what later became Port Royal. In 1665, Sir John Yeamans established a second short-lived English settlement on the Cape Fear River, near present-day Wilmington, North Carolina, which he named Clarendon.
In 1665, the charter was revised slightly (see
The Lords Proprietors founded a sturdier new settlement when they sent 150 colonists to the province in early 1670, landing them at a location south of the other settlements, near present-day
Due to their remoteness from each other, the northern and southern sections of the colony operated more or less independently until 1691, when Philip Ludwell was appointed governor of the entire province. From that time until 1708, the northern and southern settlements remained under one government. The north continued to have its own assembly and council; the governor resided in Charles Towne and appointed a deputy-governor for the north. During this period, the two-halves of the province began increasingly to be known as North Carolina and South Carolina.
In 1669, the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina divided the colony of Carolina into two provinces, Albemarle province in the north and Clarendon province in the south. Due to dissent over the governance of the colony, and the distance between settlements in the northern half and settlements in the southern half, in 1691 a deputy governor was appointed to administer the northern half of Carolina (Albemarle province). In 1712, the two provinces became separate colonies, the colony of North Carolina (formerly Albemarle province) and the colony of South Carolina (formerly Clarendon province).
Carolina was the first of three colonies in North America settled by the English to have a comprehensive plan. Known as the Grand Model, or Grand Modell, it was composed of a constitution and detailed guidelines for settlement and development. The constitution, titled Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, was drafted by the philosopher John Locke under the direction of Anthony Ashley Cooper (later made Earl of Shaftesbury).
From 1708 to 1710, due to disquiet over attempts to establish the Anglican church in the province, the people were unable to agree on a slate of elected officials; consequently, there was no recognized and legal government for more than two years, a period which culminated in Cary's Rebellion when the Lords Proprietors finally commissioned a new governor. This circumstance, coupled with the Tuscarora War and the Yamasee War, and the inability of the Lords Proprietors to act decisively, led to separate governments for North and South Carolina.
Some take this period as the establishment of separate colonies, but that did not officially occur until 1729 when seven of the Lords Proprietors sold their interests in Carolina to the Crown, and both North Carolina and South Carolina became royal colonies. The eighth share was Sir George Carteret's, which had passed to his great-grandson John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville. He retained ownership of a sixty-mile-wide strip of land in North Carolina adjoining the Virginia boundary, which became known as the Granville District. This district was to become the scene of many disputes, from 1729 until the American Revolutionary War, at which time it was seized by the North Carolina revolutionary government. Governments under proprietary rule and under crown rule were similarly organized. The primary difference was who was to appoint the governing officials: the Lords Proprietors or the Sovereign.
Although the division between the northern and southern governments became complete in 1712, both colonies remained in the hands of the same group of proprietors. A rebellion against the proprietors broke out in Charlestown, South Carolina (now spelled Charleston) in 1719 which led to the appointment of a royal governor for South Carolina in 1719. In 1729, North Carolina would become a royal colony.
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- Crane, Vernon (1928). The Southern Frontier 1670–1732. University of North Carolina.
- "Charter of Carolina – March 24, 1663". December 18, 1998. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- "Charter of Carolina – March 24, 1663". Avalon Law. Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School. 2008. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
Know ye, that we of our further grace, certain knowledge, and meer motion, have thought fit to erect the same tract of ground, county, and island, into a province, and out of the fulness of our royal power and prerogative, we do, for us, our heirs and successors, erect, incorporate and ordain the same into a province, and call it the Province of Carolina,...
- The Exodus, by Michael Jarvis, in The Bermudian magazine, June 2001.
- Richard Middleton, Colonial America: A History (Malden, Massachusetts: Wiley Blackwell, 1992), p. 125.
- Charles McLean Andrews, The Colonial Period of American History, Volume III (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934), p. 258.
- Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settlement of North America (New York: Penguin Books, 2001), 226.
- Wilson, Thomas D. The Ashley Cooper Plan: The Founding of Carolina and the Origins of Southern Political Culture. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2016. Chapter 1.
- North Carolina Became a Royal Colony Archived January 25, 2023, at the Wayback Machine. ncdcr.gov. Retrieved January 14, 2022.