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North Carolina Roots

Where the Past Meets the Present

The "Old North State" also known as "The Tar Heel State"

  In 1629, King Charles 1st of England "erected
into a province," all the land from Albemarle Sound on
the north to the St. John's River on the south, which he
directed should be call Carolina. The word Carolina is
from the word Carolus, the Latin form of Charles.

  When Carolina was divided in 1710, the southern
part was called South Carolina, and the northern, or older
settlement, North Carolina. From this came the nickname
the "Old North State." Historians have recorded that the
principle products during the early history of North
Carolina were "tar, pitch, and turpentine."

It was during one of the fiercest battles of the War Between
the States, so the story goes, that the column supporting the
North Carolina troops was driven from the field. After the
battle the North Carolinians, who had successfully fought it
out alone, were greeted from the passing derelict regiment
with the question, " Any more tar down in the Old North State,
boys?" Quick as a flash came the answer; "No, not a bit,
old Jeff's bought it all up." "Is that so; what is he going
to do with it?" was asked. "He's going to put it on you-un's
heels to make you stick better in the next fight." Creecy
relates that General Lee, upon hearing of the incident, said;
"God bless the Tar Heel boys," and from that they took the name.

(adapted from Grandfather Tales of North Carolina by:
R.B. Creecy and Histories of North Carolina Regiments,
Vol. III, by Walter Clark.)

          The Tar Heel Toast

Here's to the land of the long leaf pine,
The summer land where the sun doth shine,
Where the weak grow strong, and the strong grow great,
Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!

Here's to the land of the cotton bloom white,
Where the scuppernong perfumes the breeze at night,
Where the soft southern moss, and jessamine mate,
"Neath the murmuring pines of the Old North State!

Here's to the land where the galax grows,
Where the rhododendron's rosette glows,
Where soars Mount Mitchell's summit great,
In the "Land of the Ske," in the Old North State!

Here's to the land where maidens are fair,
Where friends are true, and cold hearts rare,
The near land, the dear land, whatever fate,
The blest land, the best land, the Old North State!

The above was officially adopted as the State Toast
of NC by: the General Assembly of 1957
(Session Laws, 1957,c.777)


          The Song: "The Old North State"

Carolina! Carolina! heaven's blessings attend her,
While we live we will cherish, protect and defend her,
Tho' the scorner may sneer at and witlings defame her,
Still our hearts swell with gladness whenever we name her.
Hurrah! Hurrah! the Old North State forever,
Hurrah! Hurrah! the good Old North State.

Tho she envies not others, their merited glory,
Say whose name stands the foremost, in liberty's story,
Tho' too true toherself e'er to crouch to oppression,
Who can yield to just rule a more loyal submission.
Hurrah! Hurrah! the Old North State forever,
Hurrah! Hurrah! the good Old North State.

Then let all those who love us, love the land that we live in,
As happy a region as on this side of heaven,
Where plenty and peace, love and joy smile before us,
Raise aloud, raise together the heart thrilling chorus.
Hurrah! Hurrah! the Old North State forever,
Hurrah! Hurrah! the good Old North State.

The song known as "The Old North State" was adopted as
the official song of the State of North Carolina by the
General Assembly of 1927, (Public Lawx, 1927,c 26, S.S. 149-1)

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