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History of Asheboro, North Carolina

History of Asheboro, North Carolina

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Asheboro, the county seat of Randolph County, is an industrial town 25 miles south of Greensboro in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.Prior to the arrival of white settlers around 1740, Asheboro was the site of Indian villages. One such village was discovered in 1936 and anIndian burial ground has also been located. The original form was Asheborough,which was retained until 1923, when the Post Office changed it to "Ashboro." Local citizens objected, and a compromise name of "Asheboro" was accepted.The town grew slowly. After the Civil War, its population still stood at around 200. However, the High Point, Randleman, Asheboro & SouthernRailroad arrived in 1889 and Asheboro began to grow rapidly, roughly doubling its population every decade through 1930.The current Randolph County Courthouse was built in 1909 and during the next decade, several more advances were made, including a fire department and Asheboro's first hospital. The present Randolph Hospital, which dates back to a meeting of community leaders in 1928, opened its doors in 1932.The North Carolina Zoological Park and Gardens near Asheboro represent the world's largest natural habitat zoo. Randolph Community College opened in 1962 as an industrial school, joining North Carolina's new system of community colleges the following year. The city is home to two museums: the American Classic Motorcycle Museum and the North Carolina Aviation Museum.

Back Creek Friends celebrates 225th anniversary

ASHEBORO — Proclaiming the gospel, praising the Lord and providing for others for 225 years, Back Creek Friends, Asheboro, has been a presence in Randolph County and in the North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends. On Sunday, Oct. 29, there will be an anniversary celebration at the church to commemorate those years.

To prepare for this celebration, church members have been versed in the rich history not only of Back Creek, but of the Quakers as well.

The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, have been in North Carolina as early as 1660, with settlements in Randolph County occurring after that. For a meeting to become an established Monthly Meeting, it must first go through a series of steps, including being a Preparatory Meeting under the leadership of an established Monthly Meeting. Back Creek was established as a Preparatory Meeting in 1786 and became a Monthly Meeting in 1792.

George Fox, founder, was a young man in England who was looking for spiritual enlightenment and opposed the ritualistic Church of England. During this search, he is credited with hearing a message from God that “There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.” With that revelation, he went on to seek his answers from following Jesus and to speak to others about his experience and is credited with founding the Society of Friends.

Throughout history, Friends have been instrumental in advocating for peace, assisting the Underground Railroad before and during the Civil War and evangelizing particularly in Africa. In fact, 52 percent of the Quakers in the world today are on the continent of Africa. Quakers are a Protestant sect that believe not so much in rituals but in an inward communing with the Holy Spirit and following the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives and in their meetings for worship.

On the local level, Back Creek has a history of helping others. The Back Creek Quaker Men established the Good Neighbor Fund, supported by a semi-annual barbecue supper, to assist people in need, from helping with electric bills to medical assistance to general needs for living. This fund has donated thousands of dollars over a period of years. All of the money collected from these fund-raisers goes toward helping others.

The United Society of Friends Women has its own fund-raiser, an annual bazaar in November that funds outreach as well. Little Samaritan Missions, Samaritan’s Purse, evangelism in Kentucky and local teachers are just a few of the groups who have benefited from contributions from the women. Also, the women sponsor a banquet in the spring, bringing in local speakers and inviting women from the community to a furnished meal and fellowship, as well as learning more about God’s love.

Back Creek currently supports the Randolph County Communities In Schools’ Backpack program by supplying food for children at Tabernacle School every week that the children can home for the weekend and not be hungry. Since 1980, there has been a Prayer Parent program in place in which every child in the meeting is remembered in prayer and with gifts at special occasions.

During October, emphasis will be on speakers bringing messages on the history of Quakers, dress and customs of early Quakers, and outreach of Quakers, culminating with the celebration on Oct. 29. Meeting for worship will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will include a gospel singing by Full Surrender. Former pastors and members are invited to attend or send a message to be read at the service. A carry-in meal will follow in the church fellowship hall. The community is invited.

Back Creek is located at 139 Back Creek Church Road, Asheboro. For more information, call 336-633-1435.

History of Asheboro, North Carolina - History


Slaves did in fact resist slavery, by methods such as poisoning or attempted poisoning, arson, self-defense and even killing their tormentors. They also engaged in acts of theft. However, when caught, slaves were subject to brutality and sadism and torture. The complement of slavery was terror. Several examples from North Carolina will illustrate this. These examples come from a book entitled Slavery In North Carolina, 1748-1775. It deals with the colonial period in North Carolina. The authors are Marvin Kay and Lorin Cary.


North Carolina adopted its first slave code in 1715. As amended in 1753, the law made it a crime for a slave to carry any gun, knife or weapon off of the master's plantation (p. 68). Prior to this, in 1741, there had been a limit that only one slave per plantation could carry a gun (p. 68). After 1753 a slave could carry a gun off the master's plantation only if there was a certificate signed by both the master and the chairman of the county court (p. 68). Furthermore, the master would have to post a bond to assure the slave's "good behavior." Any person injured by s lave permitted to carry a gun would receive the bond. On rare occasions masters would allow a trusted slave to carry a gun as protection against neighboring Indians, and trusted slaves could carry them to hunt. But in general masters wished to keep the slaves unarmed.

From the very beginning, in 1715, no slave could leave his master's plantation or property without a written certificate or pass (p. 63). In 1765 the town of Wilmington, North Carolina adopted an ordinance forbidding slaves to congregate in groups of more than three, and imposed a ten o'clock curfew (p. 69). In 1772 Wilmington forbade all slaves from trading merchandise at street stands (p. 69). The elite or ruling class authorities were afraid that slaves were stealing goods and then fencing them or selling them to the public, especially the yeomen or lower class whites. This law was designed to limit contact between slaves and yeomen, and to deny slaves rights in the marketplace. Slaves could not sue, and they could not testify against whites.

The slave code of 1715 specified that if a slave ran away, after two months he would be declared an "outlaw" (Kay and Cary, p. 63). Once the runaway had been "outlawed," it was lawful for any person or persons whatsoever to kill and destroy such slave or slaves by such ways and means as he or she shall think fit, without accusation or impeachment of any crime for the same" (p. 65). In essence, it was permissible to use deadly force to subdue a runaway slave, and killing such a slave was not considered a crime. The law was amended in 1741 to provide compensation to the master, from the public treasury, for the destruction of his slave property (p. 66). Not until 1774 did North Carolina adopt a law making it a crime to wound, disable, maim or kill a slave with malice, that is, on purpose, in a pre-meditated fashion, without cause (p. 75). The penalty for a first offense, for maliciously killing a slave, by a white person, was 12 months in prison (p. 75). The murderer would have to compensate the master (p. 76).

Arson, poisoning, murder and rape by slaves, were capital offenses in North Carolina as in most Southern colonies and states. Castration was also a punishment for unruly slaves, which is those who are defiant, unmanageable, uncontrollable-- especially if there had been a prior offense.

If we look at the slave courts in North Carolina in the colonial period, records survive that demonstrate resistance by slaves and the brutal repression of that resistance. Running away was a crime. In this crime the slave "stole himself" from his master (p. 70). In North Carolina, from 1748-1772, a span of 24 years, more than 100 slaves were sentenced to death. In some cases the offense is not known, but confirmation of the death exists for 86 of the 100 recorded death sentences (p. 77).

In July 1770 five slaves strangled and suffocated an abusive master. His name was Henry Ormond (p. 78-79). Three of the five slaves convicted of the crime were women. Ormond's house servant was a slave woman named Annis. She was burned at the stake as punishment. The Ormond family received &70 as compensation for the loss of their property (Annis).

One of the actors, a man whose name is not given, confessed and became the witness against the other four. His life was spared. Phylis, Cuff and Lucy were sentenced to death, though the manner is not revealed. The master's families received compensation (p. 79).

In 56 cases in North Carolina, in the period 1748-1772, the method of death of a slave convicted of a "crime" is known. Of that number:

1 was chained alive in a gibbet and allowed to die slowly

2 were castrated first and then hanged

5 were hanged and then decapitated, with their heads

placed on poles, as a warning to others who might

1 was hanged and then burned

2 were castrated but had not been sentenced to death but

inadvertantly died from the surgery anyway

7 were shot as outlaws (runaways)

5 outlawed slaves drowned themselves rather than surrender

No white person in colonial North Carolina was legally castrated. Nineteen slaves were (p. 82).

Let us now consider the behaviors, some of which might be seen as resistance, and the punishment meted out for them.

Negro Tom stole and killed a hog in 1757. His sentence was 20 lashes, and his right ear was nailed to the whipping post and then cut off (p. 82).

In 1764 a slave named Simon was convicted of burglary. He was whipped 150 times, 50 times each over the course of three days. And then both of his ears were cut off (p. 113).

In 1756 a slave named Tom burglarized a store. Upon conviction, his sentence was 50 lashes, and his right ear was nailed to the whipping post and then a third of it cut off (p. 83).

In 1741 North Carolina passed a law specifying that slaves convicted of hog stealing "suffer both ears to be cut off for a first offense, and suffer death for a second offense." (p. 83).

Nineteen slaves were castrated in colonial North Carolina. This is confirmed by records showing the payment of 20 shillings received by the sheriffs and others who performed the procedure (p. 84). In only 5 of these 19 cases is it known what offense the person was convicted of (p. 84).

A slave man named Tom, in New Hanover County, was convicted of breaking into the house of a white man and stealing some property. He died in 1755 after "having both his stones cut out by the sheriff." (p. 84).

Another slave named Tom, and a slave named Prymus, in Craven County, in 1761, were convicted of poisoning another slave (who survived, p. 103). Both slaves were castrated. Prymus survived. Tom died from the mutilation (p. 84 and 103 see also p. 112).

Also in 1761, in Pasquotank County, a slave named Sambo was convicted of attempting to poison a white woman. This woman was regarded as cruel by the slaves. She wanted to buy Sambo's daughter. He prepared a potion, called "touck,' which was supposed to change her personality and make her a nicer person and dissuade her from buying Sambo's daughter (see p. 107). Sambo was trying conjuration. His intent may not have been to kill the woman, but merely alter her mind. His motive was to save his daughter. But the court considered it attempted poisoning. As punishment, he was castrated, but otherwise survived (p. 84).

In 1764 Isaac was convicted of arson. Allegedly he had burned down a house. He was castrated and then hanged (p. 84).


In 1748 a slave named Stephen burglarized three stores, stealing rum, some knives, and sundry items. Stephen had a prior conviction for having stolen a horse. For a second offense, he was hanged.

In 1762 a slave named Jimmy was convicted of an unspecified felony. The court records do say it was a second offense. He too was castrated and then hanged (p. 85).


In 1743 a slave named Phil was convicted of the rape of a white woman, Sarah Baucum. The penalty for a black man raping a white woman was death. Accordingly Phil was hanged. The sentence specified further, that his "private parts were to be cut off, and thrown in his face." (p. 85).

Between 1748 and 1772 there were three cases of black men in North Carolina convicted of the rape of a white women. All three were executed. One was Phil, mentioned a moment ago. The second was named Cato, in 1766, who was tied to a stake and burned alive (p. 86). The third was George, in Duplin County, in 1770. He was hanged, and then his head was decapitated and placed on a pole (p. 86).


In colonial North Carolina, 23 slaves were executed for murder. Fourteen of the 23 murdered their masters (p. 103). Of the 23 cases, in 21 of the cases the victim was white. In one case a slave was executed for the attempted murder of a fellow slave, and in the final case a slave was executed for the actual murder of a fellow slave (p. 103).

In 1764 a slave named Dick tried to kill his master. He was convicted, and hanged, and then his head placed on a pole to make an example of him. (p. 114).

In 1769 Cuff poisoned and thereby killed his master, Benjamin Ward. Cuff was convicted and hanged (p. 115).

Please note, arson, poisoning, murder and rape on the part of slaves were capital offenses, receiving the death penalty. Castration was not simply an offense for sex crimes, but a punishment for unruly slave men in order to make them more tame and docile, to make them more manageable. Of course this is what farmers do to livestock, most notably bulls. An ox, which is often used to pull plows, is in fact a castrated bull.

This treatment of black men symbolizes two things. First, it illustrates the degree to which black people were thought of as mere animals, as a species of livestock. People of African ancestry were thought of as animals and treated like animals. Secondly, castration is the ultimate weapon against black manhood. To the degree that black men were assertive, to that same degree they were seen as dangerous and as a threat. Castration was designed to remove that threat and neutralize (or neuter) that threat. The slaveholders, and the white power structure, perceived black men to be a threat in a way that they did NOT perceive black women to be a threat. Thus, slavery and white supremacy rest upon the subordination and emasculation of the black man.


But in addition, the real agenda here is CONTROL. These sadistic punishments are designed to maximize the control of the slaveholder over the slaves. The slaveholders had an obsession with CONTROL. Slavery was about exploitation. It was about domination. And it was about control. Part of the purpose of white supremacy is to exercise CONTROL over black people and people of color. And violence was used in the service of control.


These examples illustrate that the slaves were not tame and docile. They were not "happy." The record of slavery is littered with the names of thousands of slaves who were put to death for stealing, for arson, for poisoning, for attempted poisoning, for attempted murder, for actually killing their masters and overseers, and for resisting capture after they had run away.


Instead, it is crucial to understand that slavery was a system of violence. It was a constant war. It was systemic, institutionalized, daily violence. And the slaves sometimes retaliated, and met violence with violence.

These examples from North Carolina and elsewhere illustrate five things:

1. Slavery was a system of daily violence

2. Slaves did resist, in ways both overt and covert

3. But the price of resistance was enormous. Slaves DID resist sometimes--and they paid an awful price for doing so. But they did it any way!

4. Under slavery, the slaveowners met resistance with sadism and cruelty and terror. Slavery was a system of terrorism. It was designed to make the slaves stand in fear, and to be so terrified that they would obey automatically.

5. In order to maintain the slave regime in power, the slave masters used a two-pronged strategy or approach. One approach was violence and terror. The second approach was co-optation.

Masters pursued a policy of sepera et impera, or divide and rule. They deliberately sought to co-opt some slaves to serve as their loyal allies. These slaves would be favored and given special privileges. They might get more rations, or a better cabin to live in. They might work in the house while the majority of the others worked in the fields. They might get better clothes or special little gifts from master, like old hand-me-down clothes or old dishes. This tied these slaves to master and made them more loyal to him. It was a way of buying off some of the slaves and then using them as spies and snitches to control the others.

Master encouraged these slaves to feel that they were better than the others. Furthermore, often these favored slaves were the illegitimate children of master or the overseer anyway. So they had divided loyalties. They served as the middle-men between master and the field slaves. This tactic of co-opting a few of the slaves served to divide and weaken unity among the slaves, while strengthening the grip of master and the slave system.

Thus it was a carrot and a stick. But co-optation is just a more covert and sophisticated method of manintaining control. It is a form of indirect rule. It builds up a stratum or class of flunkies to do master's bidding for him. This stratum or class becomes master's surrogates. He pulls the strings, and they dance the way he wants them to. It is a more clever tactic than terror, which is naked, crude and overt. It was the combination of both violent terror and co-optation together that was the secret of the resilience of the slave regime. And, of course, slavery rested upon the fact that the masters were armed, and the slaves were deliberately kept unarmed. Finally, we must realize that after 1865, even after slavery ended, white supremacy would endure. And the tactics of co-optation and terror would continue as a method of controlling black people.

History of Randolph County Courthouses

By L. MacKay Whatley, Amanda W. Varner and Cheryl Ivey, 2011.
For the Randolph County Managers Office. Reprinted with permission.

County Beginnings to 1909

In 1778, during the midst of the Revolutionary War, citizens of the southern half of Guilford County petitioned the NC General Assembly to create a new county, arguing that the “great distance to Guilford Court House rendered it grievous and troublesome to the inhabitants thereof to attend the courts, assemblies, elections and other public meetings.” The assembly of 1779 passed an act forming a new county, naming it “Randolph” in honor of Peyton Randolph of Virginia, who twice served as President of the Continental Congress. The act appointed Thomas Owen, Col. John Collier, John Adineal, Jacob Sheppard, James Martin, and William Dent to survey the proposed Guilford-Randolph County line. It also appointed Absalom Tatom, William Cole, John Hinds, John Collier and William Bell as Commissioners for determining the most convenient place for erecting the courthouse, prison and stocks.

As provided by the act, the first court of pleas and quarter sessions convened at the home of Abraham Reece, on Monday, March 8, 1779. Three initial court sessions convened at this home.

During this time, a small log house, located 400 yards east of the Reece residence on land owned by Stephen Rigdon, was under construction. The log house (Courthouse #1), which would be used for hosting court, was located at a crossroads where the old trading path (Salisbury-Hillsborough Road) intersected the road running from Cross Creek to Salem and where the weekly stage coach brought mail and passengers. The fourth court session was held in this log structure on December 13, 1779.

A two-story courthouse (Courthouse #2) later replaced the log house. Tom Dougan donated a hundred acres to the county, and the new county seat located thereon was to be known as Johnstonville as a tribute to Samuel Johnston, the governor of the state at the time. Johnstonville gradually declined, and no trace remains of this once-thriving village. Other sections of the county began to gain population, and citizens complained that the courthouse was too far away (the same complaint that had caused Guilford County to be divided). Residents sought to establish the new county seat at the geographical center of the county. Surveys concluded that this central point lay within a two-hundred-acre tract acquired in 1786 by Jesse Henley. The tract’s only inhabitant was an old man named Abram, who lived in a small cabin. In 1793, Henley conveyed, for ten shillings, two acres of land on Abram’s Creek, and the first session of court in “Asheborough” was held on the “Publick Ground” in a small building (Courthouse #3). The building was built on newly cleared land at the intersection of present day Main and Salisbury Streets on June 12, 1793.

On Christmas Day 1796, the General Assembly ratified legislation establishing “a town on the lands of Jesse Henley in the County of Randolph at the courthouse of said county,” noting also that Henley had consented to have fifty acres “laid off” for a town with one-acre lots. The new county seat, Asheboro, was named for New Hanover County’s Samuel Ashe, who was a distinguished soldier of the American Revolution, a superior court justice, and governor of North Carolina from 1795-1798. The town’s name has been spelled different ways over the years. First it was “Asheborough,” then “Ashboro,” and the present “Asheboro” was adopted after U.S. Representative William Cicero Hammer of Asheboro persuaded the postal service to standardize the name. The name “Asheboro” became official on January 10, 1923. From its establishment in 1796 until the beginning of the nineteenth century, Asheboro’s chief reason for existence was the county court.

In 1805, Courthouse #4, which was the first courthouse built in the geographical center of the county, was a large two-story frame building. The 1805 building was replaced in 1830 by a small two-story brick courthouse (Courthouse #5). The 1830 building was deemed defective in 1838, and a new one was to be built.

There was a great deal of controversy concerning the construction of Courthouse #6. Initial approval to build the sixth Randolph County Courthouse occurred in February 1839. The new Courthouse, constructed of brick, would be located in the middle of “the square” at the intersection of present day Salisbury and Main Streets in Asheboro. However, during the May 1839 court session, another vote was taken on whether the new courthouse should be constructed of wood or brick. This time, by a narrow margin, “wood” prevailed. Then, during the August 1839 court session, action was taken to rescind all prior orders and proceedings concerning building the new courthouse because the Commissioners were unable to procure proper materials for commencing construction of course, this further delayed construction. Fortunately, George Hoover, who had bought Courthouse #5 at public sale, agreed that the sale could be rescinded if the Court ordered the erection of a new brick courthouse the court agreed, thus allowing the uninterrupted use of Courthouse #5 until #6 could be completed. At the same session (August 1839), Jonathan Worth (future Governor), Jesse Walker, James Elliott, Elisha Coffin & Hugh McCain were appointed Commissioners to superintend the construction. Unfortunately, there is no record of the completion date of Courthouse #6. It is known, however, that it was expanded in 1876 with the addition of wings on its east side, enclosure of the stairway, and its new front facing the south.

On July 1, 1907, the Board of Commissioners, who still met at Courthouse #6, voiced the need for a larger, more conveniently located building for the courthouse and County offices. Commissioners J.W. Cox, H.G. Lassiter and Chairman Arch N. Bulla noted that the old “Publick Ground” had lost its place as the focal point of Asheboro almost twenty years before, due to completion of the railroad in 1889 when the town began migrating toward the Sunset Avenue railroad station. On November 4, 1907, the Commissioners paid $300 to the firm of Wheeler, Runge and Dickey for copies of their plans of the Iredell County Courthouse design. After months of indecision by the Commissioners due to public concern and opposition about relocating the courthouse, in April of 1908, twenty-eight citizens took matters into their own hands. These citizens purchased property on Worth Street owned by Col. A.C. McAlister with the condition that the County must begin construction of a new courthouse by July 1908. Following a public hearing in June 1908, construction on Courthouse #7, located at present day 145 Worth Street, commenced. The first term of court was held in the building on July 19, 1909.

Beyond 1909

The 1839 approved courthouse was demolished and its bricks were used to build a new county jail in the rear of the building in 1914 a county agricultural building and health department headquarters were later added to the complex. A sizeable addition (annex) for the Register of Deeds and Clerk of Court was built in 1950 at a cost of $100,000 it provided offices for the Clerk of Court, Register of Deeds, Tax Department, and County School Board. In 1975, the annex was remodeled to provide additional courtroom space, and it was expanded again in 1979 to provide space for two more courtrooms and an even larger Register of Deeds. Between 1950 and 1980, the County built three additions to the 1909 Courthouse.

In 1998, planning began for the 8th Randolph County Courthouse on the corners of Cox, Worth and Salisbury Streets. After that structure opened July 1, 2002, the 1914 jail and the 1950 courthouse annex were demolished. As part of the new construction project, the 1909 courthouse received a new roof and exterior paint job in 2001, but was mothballed, awaiting future renovation once court activities moved to the 2002 building.

In 2008, County Commissioners voted to renovate the Historic Courthouse on Worth St. to be used as office space for the Tourism Development Authority and the Economic Development Corporation. The upstairs courtroom was renovated for use as a meeting room the first meeting held in the newly renovated room was by the Randolph County Historic Landmark Preservation Commission.

On November 3, 2008, the Historic Landmark Preservation Commission approved a request for local landmark designation and recommended to the City Council of Asheboro that the 1909 Randolph County Historic Courthouse be designated as a Local Historic Landmark.

On December 4, 2008, the Asheboro City Council approved an ordinance designating the 1909 Randolph County Historic Courthouse as a Local Historic Landmark.

May 2, 2011 was the first meeting of the Randolph County Board of Commissioners in the renovated 1909 Courthouse all those involved with the renovations were recognized.

On July 19, 2011, an open house of the newly renovated 1909 Historic Courthouse was held. (102 years after the first session of court convened. July 19, 1909 – July 19, 2011)

Asheboro, North Carolina

The town of Asheboro (population 25,124), is the county seat of Randolph County. Named for Governor Samuel Ashe, it received its original charter from the state legislature on Christmas Day, 1796. The village dates its beginning to 1780, when residents of Randolph County demanded the county seat be moved to a more convenient location. For much of the town’s early history, court-related business was the primary business of the town.

In July 1889, the High Point, Randleman, Asheboro and Southern Railroad arrived, marking the beginning of a period of prosperity and growth for the town. After the arrival of the railroads, Asheboro’s population nearly doubled every 10 years.

The present county courthouse was completed in July 1909, at a cost of $34,000. Electricity was brought to town, along with a water system fed by wells. The fire department was organized, a new public school built, and the first hospital created. The town’s industrial base expanded from wood products and blacksmith shops to textile factories. By 1912 there were already about 30 stores in Asheboro, as well as two roller mills, two chair manufacturers, a lumber plant, a hosiery mill, a wheelbarrow factory, and a foundry.

In 1923, without warning, the post office suddenly changed the spelling of the town’s name from “Asheborough” to “Ashboro.” The current spelling, “Asheboro,” was a compromise reached after loud protests by citizens and Congressman William Cicero Hammer.

While the businesses of the town suffered during the Great Depression and World War II, the war’s aftermath resulted in a flurry of industrial plants opening in the area. These included Eveready Battery Co., the B.B. Walker Shoe Co., and the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Like many cities across the country, industry has recently been in decline in Asheboro, which is working to diversify its economy. An emphasis on services, as well as on attractions like the North Carolina Zoological Park, are part of efforts to market the town as a tourist destination.

Asheboro is also working to utilize its historical resources to attract visitors. One of these is the Randolph County Courthouse, which has played a major role in the town’s growth and development since its opening in 1909. In 2008, the courthouse was designated as Randolph County’s first official Local Historic Landmark.

North Carolina Nursing History

HOSPITALS 1915-1918 Miller Hospital 150 North Fayetteville Street, Asheboro Dr. J.F. Miller and wife, plus three or four nurses private home nurses training Mary Scotton was cook and nurse after Dr. Miller left for the Army in World War I, Mrs. Miller died in the flu epidemic. Mrs. Scotton, a practical nurse, served for many years in Asheboro as a nurse and midwife, living to be 94 years of age. 1911-1915 Ferree Memorial Hospital Randleman in former John H. Ferree home Dr. Charles E. Wilkerson and Mrs. Wilkerson nurses training offered. 1919-1926 Wilkerson Hospital Near Sophia on Highway 311 Dr. and Mrs. Charles E. Wilkerson returned from African mission installed Delco power system and running water 15 beds the Wilkersons moved to Greensboro but continued to come back to Randleman from time to time to confer with patients. 1919-1931 Memorial Hospital 700 Sunset Avenue, Asheboro Dr. C.A. Hayworth and Dr. Ray W. Hayworth opened hospital, but Dr. R.W. left soon for Navy duty by 1923 Dr. W.L. Lambert and Dr. George H. Sumner joined staff located in old Fisher Estate home addition increased hospital to 50 beds closed in 1931 because of Dr. Hayworth's health home burned in 1934. 1932- Randolph Hospital Private corporation, chartered in 1931 Duke Endowment matched funds raised locally opened in 1932 1963 expansion Emergency and Outpatient facility added in 1975 through contributions — named in honor of Charles W. McCrary, Chairman from 1946 D.B. McCrary, Chairman, 1931-1946 G.W. Joyner first resident physician and chief surgeon until his retirement in 1978 administrator since 1960, John W. Ellis hospital has 165 beds and 23 bassinets. 1938-1962 Barnes-Griffin Clinic 215 South Fayetteville Street Drs. Dempsey Barnes and H.L. Griffin after Dr. Barnes' death, named the Griffin Clinic, with Dr. Thornton Cleek, Dr. Hugh Fitzpatrick, Dr. B. Francis Barham and Dr. Robert Wilhoit also on staff 36 beds closed a few years after Dr. Griffin's death.

The Emergency Hospital was a van with equipment to take out tonsils and adenoids.

History of Asheboro, North Carolina - History

Ramseur, founded in 1889, was named for Stephen Dodson Ramseur, the youngest Confederate general of the Civil War. The town is conveniently located 11 miles east of Asheboro, 10 miles southwest of Liberty, and nearly three miles southeast of Franklinville.

In 1984, the Kermit G. Pell Water Based Recreation Facility, better known by locals as Ramseur Lake, opened with access to picnic shelters, a playground, and fishing piers. Boats with large motors are permitted to operate on the lake, provided they are fitted with and propelled exclusively by a or other motor which is 10 HP or less.

Tour Millstone Creek Orchards, a working orchard that allows guests to pick their own fruit including apples, peaches, blue and blackberries, grapes, pumpkins and summer vegetables. Don't miss their famous apple cider slushies at the Apple Barn Country Store!

The Ramseur Community Museum includes a large collection of historic artifacts and memorabilia tracing Ramseur's history from the community's early settlement in the 1840s through present day. The museum is housed in the historic former Bank of Coleridge building on Main Street.

The area is served by five Asheboro area hotels.

Town of Ramseur | 724 Liberty St, Ramseur | 336-824-8530 | Vicki Caudle, Mayor

Timeline of the NC Aviation Museum and Hall of Fame:

1994 - Spurred by an interest in flying and the collection of old military aircraft, the North Carolina Aviation Museum began as a dream of local Asheboro businessman Jim Peddycord. He created the "Foundation for Aircraft Conservation" in 1996 and held the first annual air show at the adjoining Asheboro Municipal Airport that same year.

1997 - On June 4, 1997, just a year after the first air show, tragedy struck as Jim Peddycord and his son Rick, both died in a mid-air collision practicing for the second annual air show.

1997-1998 - However, local businessman, pilot and vintage aircraft collector Craig Branson as well as several other FAC members refused to let Jim&rsquos dream die!! They continued to restore vintage war aircraft for the enjoyment and education of the public. The museum was renamed "Peddycord Foundation for Aircraft Conservation" in his honor.

1998 - The museum acquired a B-25 "Mitchell" bomber for restoration.

1999 - Hangar 2 was built to house the B-25.

2001 - State of North Carolina officials designated the museum as the future site of the N.C. Aviation Hall of Fame.

2004 - The restoration of the B-25 is completed. It's first flight since arriving at the museum was held on Saturday, Oct. 30 at the NCAM's "Annual Member Appreciation Dinner."

2006 - Museum officials expand the NCAM's mission to include not only military aircraft, but historical, vintage and civilian planes and the aerospace world as well. The B-25 that had been on temporary, long-term loan to the NCAM rotated out of the museum&rsquos inventory.

2019 - Improvements to the museum begin thanks to a grant from the State of North Carolina.

Slaves in the United States of America were commonly viewed as chattel and were subjected to long working hours, harsh conditions, floggings, and separation from families and loved ones. It was also relatively common, though, for slaves to display their autonomy and rebel against their masters. Common forms of rebellion included feigned illness, sloppy work, and sabotage. Running away, however, was the ultimate form of rebellion and resistance.[1] Slave owners, often befuddled as to why their property ran away, placed advertisements in newspapers to find their escaped property. Analyzing the history of slavery in North Carolina provides valuable clues that allow the scholar to understand the role of slavery and why many slaves chose to run away.

Colonial North Carolina: 1748-1775

North Carolina, unlike neighboring South Carolina and Virginia, lacked a substantial plantation economy and the growth of slavery was sluggish in colonial times. In 1705 the black population was one thousand, twenty percent of the state&rsquos population, while in South Carolina the black population numbered over four thousand. By 1733 there were an estimated six thousand blacks in the state, while South Carolina was home to approximately 39,155 blacks by the end of the decade. North Carolina, however, experienced a rapid population increase between the years of 1730-1755. The number of slaves in the state increased from six thousand to more than eighteen thousand. [2]

One of the reasons North Carolina lagged behind was the state&rsquos geography. The shore of the state is fickle with coastlines surrounded by shoal. The coastline had only a few natural harbors. A network of north-south roads developed in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, but rivers slowed the growth of east-west routes. Minimal trade was established with the backcountry, emphasizing the supply routes to Charleston and Virginia. After 1750 the colony revitalized its road systems, promoting the growth of sea towns such as Edenton, New Bern, and Wilmington. North Carolina would become the lead exporter of naval stores in the colonies, in addition to exporting large quantities of sawn lumber, shingles, wheat, and livestock. [3]

In the northeastern and central counties tobacco was the main cash crop. Tobacco required fifty percent of a fieldhand's time, with the remaining time split between growing food and other cash crops. Slaves near the Tar and Cape Fear Rivers worked in the production of naval stores. Many slaves were forced to spend numerous hours in swampy environments rendering resins over open fires to create tar and pitch. The largest population of slaves was found in the the counties of Brunswick and New Hanover. Rice was a predominant cash crop in the Wilmington area. Rice planting was a long and arduous process under very hot and humid conditions. [4]

Revolutionary North Carolina (1775-1783)

North Carolina&rsquos population at the beginning of the 1770s, was an estimated 266,000, of whom 69,600 were black. [5] Numerous slave revolts and insurrections at the start of the decade frightened many of the tidewater elite, alienating their alliances against the British. Lord Dunmore, the last colonial governor of Virginia, issued a proclamation in 1775 stating that any slave who joined his all-black regiment was guaranteed freedom. Many slaves from northern North Carolina attempted to join Dunmore&rsquos regiment, causing panic amongst slave owners. The Revolution would continue to create chaos within the slave system in North Carolina. During the Southern Campaign many slaves flocked to British lines, hoping to find freedom. Other slaves took advantage of the confusion created by warfare and escaped. [6]

Antebellum North Carolina (1784-1860)

Slavery continued to grow in North Carolina after the end of the Revolution. In 1790 North Carolina possessed an estimated one hundred thousand slaves, making up one quarter of North Carolina&rsquos population. In the antebellum era, North Carolina gained significance as marketplace for slaves for the newly opened slave territories out west. The invention of the cotton gin increased migration rates towards the western territories and entrepreneurs purchased slaves from North Carolina prior to moving out to the western territories. A land rush increased populations in territories such as Alabama, Mississippi and eventually Texas. Between the years of 1810 and 1860 an estimated one hundred forty thousand enslaved African Americans were either sold or transported out of North Carolina. [7]

Slave and Family Life

The majority of slaves in North Carolina worked as farm laborers. The work week was five and a half days, sunup to sundown. Children and the elderly often worked in the vegetable gardens and took care of the livestock.Common crops included corn, cotton, and tobacco. Oral histories collected from the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration for the state of North Carolina illustrate the difficulties faced by slaves on a daily basis. Former slave Sarah Louise Augustus spoke frankly about slave life, &ldquoMy first days of slavery (was) hard. I slept on a pallet on the floor of the cabin and just as soon I wus able to work any at all I was put to milking cows.&rdquo [8] The majority of the enslaved population lived in huts or log cabins referred to as &ldquoquarters.&rdquo Slaves typically received three to five pounds of smoke and salted pork per week along with cornmeal. Some slaves were fortunate enough to receive ample rations from their masters, others were fed the bare minimum. Slaves typically received two suits of clothes throughout the year. During the summer slaves wore clothes made of cheap cotton, winter clothing was made from linsey-woolsey cloth. Children&rsquos clothes were commonly made of old flour or gunny sacks. Clothing was commonly given out at Christmas. [9]

Social and leisure time played a significant role in slave life. Holidays, religion, family life and music provided an escape from harsh working conditions. Former slave Charlie Barbour recalled the New Year festivities stating: &ldquoOn de night &lsquofore de first day of January we had a dance what lasts all night. At midnight when de New Year comes in marster makes a speech an&rsquo we is happy dat we is good, smart slaves.&rdquoAccording to Barbour and other slaves, Christmas was the most important holiday in the social calendar, &ldquoAt Christmas we had a big dinner. De fust one what said Christmas gift ter anybody else got a fit, so of cour&rsquose we all try to ketch de masters.&rdquo [10]

Social occasions also allowed slaves the opportunity to visit neighbouring plantations. Social gatherings included corn huskings, candy pullings, and watermelon slicings. Slaves commonly found marriage partners at these occasions. Slaveholders often encouraged relationships to occur because it resulted in the birth of children, which equated to profit. Many slave owners expected their slaves to marry and encouraged slaves to have children. [11]

Dueling Viewpoints

The Society of Friends has a long history in North Carolina. In 1777 at the North Carolina Yearly Meeting a proposal was drafted that admonished Quakers to free their slaves. [12] In 1778 the North Carolina Yearly Meeting issued an order that prohibited the buying and the selling of slaves by Quakers. One of the reasons the Society of Friends stressed abolition was the Quaker belief that slavery was a sin manumissions (the freeing of slaces) allowed Quakers to cleanse their souls of impurities. Other Quakers freed their slaves based on ideas of Natural Rights or personal preferences. [13] The Society of Friends in North Carolina also created a Manumission Society that promoted abolition outside of the Quaker faith. The North Carolina Manumission Society, founded in 1816, lasted for only fifteen years. During that time frame the Society placed anti-slavery advertisements in the Greensboro Patriot newspaper. The Society also sent antislavery petitions to the North Carolina legislature. [14]

Slave Codes and Punishment

The era after the American Revolution led to an increase regulations through the Black Codes which limited the rights of blacks. Slaves would not be able to testify against whites, would not be able to move in the countryside without a pass, could not gamble, raise or sell livestock, read or write. Slaves were not allowed to own weapons or even hunt. One common form of vigilante justice emerged when black men were accused of raping white women it involved lynching and burning the black man without a trial. [15]

Punishment for a disobedient slave varied. Whipping and other forms of physical violence were common. Eli Colemna, a slave born in Kentucky in 1846 remembered:

Massa whoooped a slave if he got stubborn or lazy. He whopped one so hard that the slave said he&rsquod kill him. So Massa done put a chain round his legs, so he je&rsquos hardly walk, and he has to work in the field that way. At night he put &lsquonother chain around his neck and fastened it to a tree. [16]

Roberta Manson commented that it was the overseer who whipped slaves, stating, &ldquoMars Mack&rsquos oversee, I doan know his name, waus gwine ter whup my mammy onct, an&rsquo pappy do&rsquo he ain&rsquot neber make no love ter mammy comes up an&rsquo take de whuppin&rsquo fer her.&rdquo [17]

Everyday Acts of Defiance

Numerous slaves practiced day to day resistance against their masters. Many of the crimes practiced were property destruction. Slaves would commonly pull down fences destroy farm equipment steal livestock, money, liquor, tobacco, flour, and numerous other objects belonging to their master. To many slaves this was not considered stealing, but instead &ldquotaking.&rdquo Other slaves would work slowly or purposely damage the crops to delay production. Some slaves would drink to relieve their frustrations. [18] Many esacaped. There were any number of underlying reasons for escape. Many slaves ran away to reunite with their family members. Slaves also ran away from their owners to avoid being sold. Fear of being whipped and flogged also prompted many slaves to escape. Running away, however, was probably the most extreme form of resistance against slave owners.

The majority of slaves who ran away were male. Female slaves were less likely to attempt an escape they began to have children during the mid-to-late teens and were the primary caregivers for children. It was generally too risky to take young children on the run. In addition, male slaves had more experience with the countryside than their female counterparts. [22] The majority of slaves who ran away were in their teens and twenties.

Perhaps one of the most famous slaves to have escaped from North Carolina was Harriet Jacobs. Jacobs is the author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl that was published in 1861 . Jacobs&rsquo work was instrumental because it was the first autobiography to be written that examined slavery from a woman's perspective. Jacobs claimed &ldquoSlavery is terrible for men but it is far more terrible for women .&rdquo Jacobs famously lived underneath her grandmother&rsquos crawl space for seven years prior to escaping to Philadelphia in 1842. Most importantly, Jacob&rsquos work also alluded to the high number of sexual abuse suffered by female slaves.

Life On The Run

One of the most important decisions faced by slaves, was where to run. Some slaves decided to run in the direction of lost family members while others fled to locations where they thought capture was unlikely. Many ran to the cities, hoping to get lost in the crowd. Some slaves attempted to run away in the direction of the northern United States or Canada, the mythical &ldquoPromiseland.&rdquo Slaves, while on the run, were faced with numerous obstacles to overcome. To avoid detection many attempted to pass as free persons. Free blacks differed greatly from slaves on account of their manner, language, behavior, and appearance. Slaves who knew how to write could forge a free pass that would aid in their escape. Many escaped slaves managed to incorporate themselves into the free population and worked in various occupations such as barbers, butchers, and builders.

Runaway slaves often found refuge in the swamps that populated North Carolina. One of the most popular swamps, the Dismal Swamp, located in Northeastern North Carolina provided shelter for runaway slaves for more than two hundred years. The woods and swamplands of eastern North Carolina offered many runaway slaves an opportunity to work and hide. Escaped slaves worked as shinglers, on flatboats, and in the naval stores industry.

Slaves not only had to risk the elements but also had to be weary of slave patrols. In 1802 the North Carolina&rsquos legislature passed a law enabling each county to carry out and administer its own patrol system. [19] These patrols ranged in size from two or three to a dozen men. Patrols were granted the authority to ride on to anyone's property and search buildings. Slave catchers, who specialized in hunting and capturing slaves, also posed a risk to slaves on the run. Slave catchers were commonly hired by planters and plantation managers and could typically earn upto fifty dollars for returning a runaway.

The coasts of North Carolina possessed a unique slave culture and economy. Numerous jobs on the coast were filled by slave labor. Slaves were used as sailors, pilots, fishermen, ferryman, deckhand, and shipyard workers. [20] The coast also provided many opportunities for slaves to escape. Many advertisements, such as this one from the State Gazette of North Carolina , published in Edenton on February 2nd, 1791, warned &ldquoAll masters of vessels are forbid harbouring or carrying them [slaves] off at their peril.&rdquo Many slaves who attempted to escape via the waterways traveled to port towns such as Wilmingoint, Washington, or New Bern. [21]

Slave Advertisements

Slaveowners suffered massive economic loss when a slave ran away. Owners, in a effort to find their missing slave, posted advertisements in newspapers to have their property returned. Slave advertisements were a common tool employed by slave owners to find their escaped property. Many of the advertisements varied from a brisque several lines to a lengthy description. Slave owners often placed advertisements in newspapers as a last resort and would wait for several months or even years before they placed advertisments. And by no means would every owner place an advertisement for a missing slave.

Many of the advertisements included descriptions such as demeanor, dress, abilities, skills and background. Often the slave&rsquos moral character would be described in the advertisement as well. In an advertisement from the Raleigh Register on October 14th, 1843, John White described his slave, Thompson, as having &ldquoa down look & is slow spoken.&rdquo Likewise, many slave owners described their slaves as intelligent. In an advertisement from November 11th, 1835, from the Greensboro Patriot, owner W.W. Williams stated that his slave, Davy, had "an intelligent countenance, and a very genteel form for a negro.&rdquo

The color of the slave commonly appeared in advertisements. Slaves who ran away who had light skin had advantages. Biracial slaves (known at the time as mulatto) were more likely to be believed as free persons. A January 16, 1824advertisement from the Raleigh Register read, &ldquoRan-away from the subscriber . a likely bright mulatto girl named BARBARY. and very probable she may have a free pass.&rdquo [02520901-1824-01-16-03] Other advertisers claimed that their slaves were &ldquonearly white&rdquo or could easily &ldquopass for white.&rdquo Biracial slaves were often employed as house slaves and in skilled positions such as waiters and tailors. With this training a biracial slave had a greater chance of passing as a free person.

Many factors went into deciding the reward amount for a slave. If the owner was confident the slave would be quickly returned, the reward was low. Conversely, if a slave was believed to have left the county or the state, the reward amount increased. Rewards for slaves ranged from twenty-five cents to five hundred dollars. The most commonly advertised reward was ten dollars. Slaves who possessed a specialized skill, or were especially handsome or clver, often fetched a higher price.If the slave was known to be out of state the price typically increased. On average runaway female slaves commanded a lower amount than their male counterparts. Reward amounts, however, were 5 percent or less of the value of the runaway. When an owner placed an advertisement in the newspaper there were many factors to contend with. Legal costs, hiring slave catchers, transportation charges, were all on the mind of the owner affecting reward amounts. If an owner realized that someone was harboring their slave, the price would often rise. [23] For example, in an advertisement placed in the Edenton Gazette on July 20th, 1819 by Thomas Palmer, the initial price for two runaways was fifty dollars but &ldquoif stolen and offered for sale by a white person, 100 Dollars Reward will be given for appreheading[sic] and giving information so that I may recover them.&rdquo

It is unknown how many slaves were returned to their owners because of advertisements. But rich details about slave life are available for the scholar and an analysis of these advertsiements can provide insight not only into conditions and lifestyles experienced by the slaves but also into the plantation economy and the perspective of slave owners. Perhaps most importantly, though, they provide documentation of a very early chapter in the civil rights movement--an assertion of freedom that preceeded more fomalized movements by many decades.

[1] Marvin L. Michael Kay and Lorin Lee Cary, Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775 ( Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 97.

[2] Freddie L. Parker, Running For Freedom: Slave Runaways in North Carolina 1755-1840, (New York: Garland Publishing, 1993), 7.

[3] Kay & Cary, Slavery in North Carolina, 11.

[4] Clayton E. Jewett and John O. Allen, Slavery in the South: A State-by-State History, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004), 189.

[5] Parker, Running For Freedom, 8.

[6] Jewett, Slavery in the South, 191.

[7] Jewett, Slavery in the South, 192.

[8] Federal Writers' Project. The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography. (Westport,: Greenwood Pub. Co, 1972), 51.

[9] Jewett, Slavery in the South, 194.

[10] Federal Writer&rsquos Project, The American Slave, 74.

[11] Maria Jenkins Schwartz, Born in Bondage: Growing up Enslaved in the Antebellum South. ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000), 187.

[12] Hiram H. Hilty, By Land and By Sea: Quakers Confront Slavery and its Aftermath in North Carolina. (Greensboro:North Carolina Friends Historical Society, 1993), 3.

[15] Jewett, Slavery in the South, 194.

[16] George P. Rawick, From Sundown to Sunup: The Making of the Black Community. ( Westport: Greenwood Publishing Company, 1972). 57.

[17] Federal Workers Project, The American Slave, 101.

[18] John Franklin & Loren Schweninger, Runaway Slaves : Rebels on the Plantation. ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999),18.

[19] Parker, Running For Freedom, 39.

[20] David Cecelski, The Watermen&rsquos Song: Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina. ( Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), xviii.

History of Asheboro, North Carolina - History



FORMED: 1779

LAND AREA: 782.52 square miles


White: 88.9%

Black/African American: 6.6%

American Indian: 1.1%

Asian: 1.5%

Pacific Islander: 0.1%

Two or more races: 1.8%

Hispanic/Latino: 11.7% (of any race)


Randolph County

Piedmont region


See also: North Carolina Counties (to access links to NCpedia articles for all 100 counties)

Randolph County, located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, was formed in 1779 from Guilford County and named for Peyton Randolph, the first president of the Continental Congress. Early inhabitants of the area included the Saponi, Keyauwee, and other Siouan Indians, followed by German, Scotch-Irish, and English settlers. Quakers and Moravians also migrated to the area in the eighteenth century. Asheboro, the county seat, was incorporated in 1796 and named for Samuel Ashe, a former governor of North Carolina. It is the location of the North Carolina Zoological Park, which attracts thousands of visitors each year and has spurred a great deal of growth in the town and county. Other Randolph County communities include Archdale, Ramseur, Liberty, Seagrove, Franklinville, Coleridge, Whynot, Trinity, and Worthville. Randolph County is covered in part by the Uwharrie National Forest. Other notable physical features of the county include the Uwharrie River, Purgatory Mountain, Squirrel Creek, the Little River, and Needhams Mountain.

Several important participants in the War of the Regulation (1764-71) lived in what is now Randolph County. Trinity College, established in 1838, moved to Durham in 1892 and became Duke University. Randolph County is home to a number of historic sites and landmarks, such as the Sunset Theatre, built in 1929 the Asheboro City Cemetery, in use since 1827 and Skeen's Mill Covered Bridge, built in the 1890s. Cultural institutions include the Museum of North Carolina Traditional Pottery, the American Classic Motorcycle Museum, the Richard Petty Museum, and the North Carolina Pottery Center. The Seagrove region is a very important center of North Carolina pottery production. The county hosts festivals and annual events that include the Spring Kiln Opening in Seagrove, Festival of the Dogs in Franklinville, and Christmas parades in several towns.

Randolph County produces agricultural goods such as eggs, tobacco, corn, soybeans, hay, vegetables, fruit, and poultry. Manufactured products include furniture, dry batteries, hospital supplies, cushions and pillows, shoes, fabrics, apparel, and industrial components. The county's estimated population in 2004 was 135,800.

Annotated history of Randolph County's formation:

For an annotated history of the county's formation, with the laws affecting the county, boundary lines and changes, and other origin information, visit these references in The Formation of the North Carolina Counties (Corbitt, 2000), available online at North Carolina Digital Collections (note, there may be additional items of interest for the county not listed here):

Additional resources:

Corbitt, David Leroy. 2000. The formation of the North Carolina counties, 1663-1943. https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/collection/p16062coll9/id/290103 (accessed June 20, 2017).

Asheboro / Randolph County Chamber of Commerce: http://www.chamber.asheboro.com/

North Carolina Digital Collections (explore by place, time period, format): https://digital.ncdcr.gov/

Image credits:

Rudersdorf, Amy. 2010. "NC County Maps." Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.

Watch the video: Charlotte North Carolina Travel Guide 2021 (August 2022).