Another View of 18th C North Carolina

Sat Jan 5, 2008

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Surely there is no place in the world where the inhabitants live with less labour than in North Carolina. It approaches nearer to the description of Lubberland than any other, by the great felicity of the climate, the easiness of raising provisions, and the slothfulness of the people. Indian corn is of so great increase, that a little pains will subsist a very large family with bread, and they may have meat without any pains at all, by the help of the low grounds, and the great variety of mast that grows on the high land. The men, for their parts, just like the Indians, impose all the work upon the poor women. They make their wives rise out of their beds early in the morning, at the same time that they lie and snore, till the sun has risen one third of his course, and dispersed all the unwholesome damps. Then, after stretching and yawning for half an hour, they light their pipes, and, under the protection of a cloud of smoke, venture out into the open air; though, if it happens to be never so little cold, they quickly return shivering into the chimney corner. When the weather is mild, they stand about leaning with both their arms upon the corn-field fence, and gravely consider whether they had best go and take a small beat at the hoe: but generally find reasons to put it off till another time. (William Byrd, History of the Dividing Line [Run in the Year 1728])