Real estate schemes in Western North Carolina date back as far as 1722

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Speculators have been trying to lure settlers to the Eden of Carolina ever since Daniel Coxe IV published “A Description of the English Province of Carolana (sic)” in 1722. Coxe took up the torch of his father, who, 30 years earlier, had “purchased the patent of province” of “Carolana” โ€” an Atlantic-to-Pacific deal โ€” after he’d relinquished a million acres in New Jersey.

In his “Description,” Daniel IV proposed forming a United States โ€” the first known proposal of this nature โ€” apparently for the purpose of commerce.

Daniel IV’s grandson, Tench Coxe, a delegate to the Continental Congress and later assistant secretary of the treasury, famously proposed the industrialization of the South. In the 1790s, Tench added hundreds of thousands of Western North Carolina acres to his portfolio.

Western NC land speculator Tench Coxe, pictured here around 1800 in a portrait by Jeremiah Paul.

Tench’s grandson, Col. Frank Coxe, continued the family’s interest in the region. He helped finance the Western North Carolina Railroad and bought Joseph McDowell…

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