North Carolina, one of the thirteen original United States, is situated on the Atlantic seaboard, S. of Virginia. Its extreme length is 500, its breadth 186 miles. Area, 52,250 sq. m., or larger than that of England. The eastern part is low, and in parts swampy, the central part undulating, and the western mountainous; but almost everywhere the soil is remarkably fertile and the climate healthy. The highest mountains in the United States east of the Mississippi are in North Carolina, more than fifty peaks exceeding 6000 feet - Mitchell's Peak (6707 feet) the highest. Most of these are clothed to their tops with thick forests, but some have prairie-like summits covered with turf. All this picturesque region, known as 'the Land of the Sky,' is a favourite resort in summer for southerners and in winter for northerners. North Carolina is rich in mineral products - silver, lead, zinc, iron, copper, plumbago, coal, corundum, granite, marble, gems, etc. Maize, cotton, wheat, oats, hay, tobacco, and sweet potatoes are the most valuable products. A chief industry in eastern North Carolina is the making of tar, rosin, and turpentine. Since 1880 the manufactures of cotton and woollen fabrics have largely increased, tobacco-factories have been enlarged, and in 1888 the first silk-factory in the southern states was established. Fisheries employ 12,000 men. The state has 3700 miles of railway. The chief port and largest city is Wilmington, the capital Raleigh. In 1584 Raleigh's first expedition landed on Roanoke Island. In 1629 Charles I. granted to Sir Robert Heath the territory, also claimed by Spain and called Florida, from lat. 80° to 36° as Carolana Florida. In 1653 a colony from Virginia settled on the Roanoke and Chowan rivers. In 1663 Charles II. granted the region across the continent between lat. 31° and 36° N. (extended to 29° and 36° 30') to eight of his favourites, under the name of Carolina. The proprietors adopted a constitution prepared by Locke and Shaftesbury. In 1729 the king bought out the proprietors, and North Carolina became a royal province. It was the last state but one to ratify the federal constitution in 1789. It was the last, too, of the eleven Confederate States to pass the ordinance of secession in 1861. The capture of Fort Fisher in January 1865 led to the federal occupation of Wilmington, the advance on Raleigh, and the surrender of General Johnston, which practically ended the war of secession. Pop. (1800) 487,103 ; (1840) 753,419; (1880) 1,399,750; (1900) 1,893,810 - making North Carolina the fifteenth state in order of population. Presidents Jackson, Polk, and Johnson were natives.