Princeville in Edgecombe County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
From Slavery to Freedom Hill
Freedman Turner Prince, a carpenter born into slavery in 1843, acquired a lot here in 1873, built a house, and constructed other permanent dwellings for the residents. By 1880, the population was 379; occupational categories included laborer, laundress, washerwoman, carpenter, blacksmith, grocer, seamstress, and brick mason. In 1885, the North Carolina legislature incorporated the town, which its occupants named Princeville in their carpenter's honor. Princeville was the first all-black town and independently governed African American community incorporated in the United States.
The town struggled to survive during the Jim Crow era, defeating efforts early in
Princeville's location has subjected it to frequent flooding. A levee completed in 1965 protected the town until 1999, when Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd overtopped it in the worst flood on record here. Princeville's residents soon began rebuilding their historic community, repairing houses and constructing new homes, a town hall, a park, and an African American history museum.
Erected by Civil War Trails North Carolina.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Wars, Non-US. A significant historical year for this entry is 1843.
Location. 35° 53.422′ N, 77° 31.582′ W. Marker is in Princeville, North Carolina, in Edgecombe County. Marker is on Mutual Boulevard (U.S. 258) west of South Main Street (Business U.S. 64), on the right. It is at the parking lot of the Museum / Welcome Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tarboro NC 27886, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Freedom Hill (approx. ¼ mile away); St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church (approx. half a mile away); George H. White (approx. half a mile away); Knights of LaborCivil War Cemeteries (approx. 0.6 miles away); W.D. Pender (approx. 0.7 miles away); W.L. Saunders (approx. 0.7 miles away); John C. Dancy (approx. 0.7 miles away).
More about this marker. There are four images reproduced on this marker with the these captions: “Princeville residential area in the snow, early 20th century” “Princeville grocery store, commercial area, early 20th century” “ ‘Comimg into the Lines’ by combat artist Edwin Forbes, shows escaped slaves passing two Union soldiers” and “Brothers in Arms.”
Regarding Historic Princeville. Princeville is the oldest town incorporated by African-Americans in the United States.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 31, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 816 times since then and 56 times this year. Last updated on June 1, 2014, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 31, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.