In 1728, William Byrd II led the Virginia delegation in running the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina. As a result of that survey he acquired 26,000 acres in North Carolina well inland on the Dan River which he intended to colonize with sturdy European Protestants. He was unsuccessful, and through a chain of conflicting purposes among his descendants this patrimony remained undivided and unsold for nearly a hundred years and became the last large parcel of land opened to sale on the Carolina frontier. During that time the ownership became associated with the sugar plantations of Antigua, and with many of the more influential and colorful characters of the colonial and early national period. The vagaries of the slave trade in Africa, the Indies and Carolina can be examined in this story of Eden as well as the commercial network of Scottish traders,the social order of Philadelphia, and the dichotomy of Moravian ethics and ministry to slaves.
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