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William A. Link, <em>North Carolina: Change and Tradition in a Southern State (2009)</em>

North carolina:: Change and Tradition, Link. 

The first group that succeeded from the Union in early 1861 included all of the states located in the cotton and Black belts. Three upper southern states remained, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, and held out until late spring, where on May 20 1861 NC left the Union. North Carolina, unlike many of the states that first succeeded, had a small percentage of slave holders, 73% of the population did not own slaves (Link 256).  Also there were many unionists in the western part of the state that wished not to succeed. This divide in the state was due to the political and socio-economic backgrounds of the people who settled around the state. There was also a strong abolitionists sector living in and around Winston Salem that did not support continuing the practice of slavery.  With this much dissension within the state why would the North Carolina legislature vote to join the Confederacy?  By exploring and understanding the political  and social make up of North Carolina, one can further understand by the state took so long secede, and what influences lead it to secession. 

North Carolina Secession Flag

North Carolina Secession Flag