The Royal Colony of North Carolina

The Granville Tract

In 1728-1729, the Crown purchased all of Carolina from the Lords Proprietors. However, one of the Lords Proprietors, John Carteret, 2nd Baronet Carteret, later 2nd Earl of Granville (October 18, 1744), chose not to sell his share of the Proprietorship. He insisted that 1/8th of all of Carolina be deeded to him, and over the next fifteen years of negotiations, the Crown finally agreed.

Lord Granville sent over several Land Agents to look after his interests in North Carolina. They were instructed to sell off his lands and to forward payments back to him in England. Over the next few years, there were many letters between Granville and the governors of North Carolina to ensure that they did not forget that he still owned a good part of the province.

In 1746, North Carolina established Granville County out of part of Edgecombe County and in the northern most part of the province along the Virginia border, west of Northampton County. At that point in time, there was no western border, so theoretically, Granville County ran all the way to the Mississippi River.

Lord Granville died on January 2, 1763, and his remaining lands in North Carolina were soon contested by many settlers who claimed that his Land Agents had cheated them. Over the next decade, more disputes arose and most were never completely resolved. In 1777, during the American Revolution, the new state of North Carolina confiscated all remaining lands owned by Lord Granville and any claimed by his Land Agents.

In 1744, Lord Granville's 1/8th part of Carolina, under the original grants from King Charles II, was set off to him by grant from King George II, entirely in North Carolina, all that territory lying between the Virginia line on the north and the parallel of 35° 34' on the south, being thus set off to him.

The line ran near or through the old town of Bath, the present towns of Snow Hill and Princeton, along the southern borders of the counties of Chatham, Randolph, Davidson, and Rowan, a little below the southern border of Catawba County but not as low down as Lincolnton, and so on west to the Mississippi.

In the winter of 1743-'44 the line was run from the coast to the town of Bath, and in the spring of 1746 from Bath to Peter Parker's house, on the west side of Cape Fear River, now the southeast corner of Chatham County.

The reason given by the Commissioners for not continuing the line at that time (10th April, 1746), was, among others, that it was not then practicable, they said, the country “being very thinly peopled, nor can we be supplied either with corn for the horses or provisions for ourselves and those employed by us there being no inhabitants that can assist us to the west of Saxapahaw River.” 

© 2015 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved