Fayetteville, North Carolina - Encyclopedia

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FAYETTEVILLE, a city and the county-seat of Cumberland county, North Carolina, U.S.A., on the W. bank of the Cape Fear river (at the head of steamboat navigation), about 80 m. N.W. of Wilmington. Pop. (1890) 4222; (1900) 4670, of whom 2221 were negroes. It is served by the Atlantic Coast Line railway and the short Raleigh & Southport railway, and by steamboat lines to Wilmington. A scheme was set on foot for the improvement by canalization of the Cape Fear river above Wilmington under a Federal project of 1902, which provided for a channel 8 ft. deep at low water from Wilmington to Fayetteville. Below Wilmington the improvement of the river channel, 270 ft. wide and 16 ft. deep, was completed in 1889, and the project of 1889 provided for an increase in depth to 20 ft. Pine forests surround the town, and oaks and elms of more than a century's growth shade its streets. Fayetteville has two hospitals (each with a training school for nurses), and is the seat of a state coloured normal school and of the Donaldson military school. Several creeks and the upper Cape Fear river furnish considerable waterpower, and in or near Fayetteville are manufactories of cotton goods, silk, lumber, wooden-ware, turpentine, carriages, wagons, ploughs, edge tools and flour. In the earlier half of the 19th century Fayetteville was a great inland market for the western part of the state, for eastern Tennessee and for south-western Virginia. There is a large vineyard in the vicinity; truckgardening is an important industry in the surrounding country; and Fayetteville is a shipping centre for small fruits and vegetables, especially lettuce, melons and berries. The municipality owns its water-works and its electric-lighting plant. The vicinity was settled between 1729 and 1747 by Highlanders, the settlement called Cross Creek lying within the present limits of Fayetteville. In 1762, by an act of the assembly, a town was laid out including Cross Creek, and was named Campbelltown (or "Campbeltown"); but in 1784, when Lafayette visited the town, its name was changed in his honour to Fayetteville, though the name Cross Creek continued to be used locally for many years. Flora McDonald, the famous Scottish heroine, came to Campbelltown in April 1775 with her husband and children, and here she seems to have lived during the remainder of that year. The general assembly of the state met at Fayetteville in 1787, 1788 and 1789 (Newbern, Tarboro, Hillsboro and Fayetteville all being rivals at this time for the honour of becoming the permanent capital); and in 1789 the Federal constitution was here ratified for North Carolina. In 1831 most of the town was burned. At the outbreak of the Civil War, the state authorities seized the United States Arsenal at Fayetteville, which contained 37,000 muskets and a complete equipment for a battery of light artillery. In March 1865 General W. T. Sherman and his army took possession of the town, destroyed the arsenal, and did considerable damage to property. Fayetteville was chartered as a city in 1893. A serious flood occurred in August 1908.

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