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North Carolina. Board of Agriculture
North Carolina and Its Resources
Winston: M.I. & J.C. Stewart, Public Printers and Binders, 1896.

Summary

The State Board of Agriculture produced North Carolina and Its Resources (1896) as a factbook for state officials and as a promotional item for potential northern migrants, tourists, and investors. The agency, under a mandate from the General Assembly, had produced four similar (though less detailed) volumes between 1873 and 1893. The document contains sketches from North Carolina history; a survey of the state's natural history including geography, geology, climate, as well as flora and fauna; a listing of major transportation systems; and a discussion of the state's industries, including commercial fishing, agriculture, and manufacturing. The document aims to attract people to the North Carolina mountains, which were then newly accessible by railroad, and to spas and resorts in the region.

The document also includes sections covering newspapers, population, religion, state government, charitable institutions, education, health and medicine, and a county-by-county description, which includes historical, geographic, and industrial information as well as population and taxation figures. There are two useful maps of North Carolina, one basic and the other showing geological formations. The dozens of illustrations included here serve as a series of picture postcards depicting North Carolina scenes and culture. A detailed table of contents at the beginning of the document thoroughly describes the subjects covered in the volume.

Michael Sistrom

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