During much of the Colonial period, North Carolina was without a fixed capital. Governors lived in their own homes, and legislatures moved from place to place, first meeting in private homes, then in courthouses when available. In 1722 the Assembly fixed Edenton as the capital, but years passed before modest facilities were provided.
After Edenton was selected as the colonial capital of North Carolina, it soon became the cultural and economic capital as well. Hundreds of ships made the town a regular port of call, offloading food, goods, and slaves and shipping the prolific agricultural products of the region to European ports. The result was a thriving plantation economy that brought life to northeastern North Carolina.
Today, visitors can revisit Edenton’s colonial past with tours through a beautiful historic district that some say surpass Williamsburg, Virgina because the homes and buildings of Edenton are not reconstructed, but are the restored originals. Over 25 homes and public buildings comprise the North Carolina State Historic Site, and many special events and seasonal tours bring sparkle to the town. The surrounding countryside boasts many plantations that once provided the economic backbone of the area.