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I am contacting you on behalf of the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society (OBCGS) in Asheville, NC.
We are offering a professional workshop, “Beyond the Barriers” on June 20, 2020 that may be of interest to your members. The speaker is Dr. Thomas W. Jones, a board-certified genealogist, who is nationally known as a writer, a knowledgeable and entertaining presenter and editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.
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Whether you're searching for your ancestors or looking for primary documents to help with other research, the Black History collection gives you access to more than a million documents, records, and photos that help to capture the African-American experience during five eras of American history: Slavery, The Civil War, Reconstruction & Jim Crow Laws, World War I & II, and the Civil Rights Movement.
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"The first historian of North Carolina, the explorer Lawson, although known to have passed through the central part of this State, cannot actually be proved to have trod the soil of Wake County. One authority on our local history thinks that he did, and indeed it seems more than possible.Chamberlain really wants Lawson's path to have cut through Wake County and his descriptions of portions certainly do sound like our wild surrounds. The "large creek where lay mighty rocks," The granite ridges, the land ''abating of its height" ... ''mixedwith pines and poor soil." I feel I have walked those very spots.
Lawson made a journey through western and middle Carolina in the year seventeen hundred or thereabout. His course was a long loop coming out of South Carolina and crossing the Catawba and the ''Realkin" (or Yadkin) and other streams, continuing in a northeasterly direction and then due east, until he finally reached the settlements of the North Carolina seaboard. His descriptive traveller's journal reads as fresh and as crisply Interesting as if penned last year, and we get the impression of a writer alert in every sense and perception. He was a fine optimistic fellow, and though he was hired no doubt to praise the new colony, and so draw In settlers from among the readers of his account, yet no one can close his book without the feeling that he too, like many another coming to North Carolina to live, soon fell in love with the climate, and delighted to bask under the sunny sky.
Hear his account of leaving ''Acconeechy Town" (which must have been near Hillsborough), and marching twenty miles eastward over "stony rough ways" till he reached "a mighty river." This river is as large as the Realkin, the south bank having tracts of good land, the banks high, and stone quarries. We got then to the north shore, which is poor white sandy soil with scrubby oaks. We went ten miles or so, and sat down at the falls of a large creek where lay mighty rocks, the water making a strange noise as of a great many water wheels at once. This I take to be the falls of News Creek, called by the Indians 'We-Quo-Whom.'
For a first trip through an unknown wilderness, guided only by a compass, this suggests
the neighborhood, and describes the granite ridges that traverse Wake County, and produce the Falls of Neuse, where the river flows across one of these barriers.
During the next days' travel he comments on the land ''abating of its height" and ''mixed
with pines and poor soil." This, too, makes it sound as if he perceived the swift
transition which may be seen in the eastern part of Wake County from one zone to the
next, from the hard-wood growth to the pine timber, and from a clay to a sandy soil.
Lawson highly praised the midland of North Carolina, between the sandy land and the
mountains, and it is pleasant to read his enthusiastic account of this home of ours, and
learn the impression it made on a good observer in its pristine state, and before the white
man's foot had become familiar with the long trading path, which must have crossed west, near this section, but not certainly in the exact longitude of Wake County.
This trail is known to have passed Hillsborough, and to have crossed Haw River at
the Haw Fields. It may well have followed the same course, as later did the Granville
Tobacco Path, which certainly traversed Wake County near Raleigh."