Arts & Culture
11:12 am
Mon March 25, 2013

State Celebrates 350th Anniversary Of Carolina Charter

The first page of the Carolina Charter of 1663.
Credit N.C. State Archives

People interested in the history of North Carolina can see the front page of the Carolina Charter on display today in Raleigh.  The 350-year-old old document represents the land grant from the King of England to eight of his closest friends and allies who helped him when he was restored to the throne. 

Sarah Koonts, a state archivist for the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, says the King signed the document in 1663.

“It really is sort of like a giant land grant from the King of England to 8 of his closest friends and allies,” she says. “And he is granting them, essentially, the right to govern what we now know of as North and South Carolina.  They were intending to settle it, colonize it and make some money off of it.”

Those interested can stop by the State Capitol today from 9 to 5:30 to view the front page of the document, which Koonts says “is really the prettiest piece. Its got a lovely picture of the King, its just a gorgeous document.  And then later on in the evening there's going to be a reception and a program about the Charter and its history in North Carolina.”

Koonts says the state bought the document for $6,000 when it was put up for auction in England in 1948. The fragile document is on display in a special case that controls the lighting and the environment.