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Cities and Towns in Northampton County

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Rich Square

History of Northampton County

In 1806, Atherton was established as the county seat. Jackson is the current county seat.

Mowfield Plantation in the 1920s. Mowfield was the birthplace of the thoroughbred
racehorse Sir Archy (1805-1833).

Northampton County was formed in 1741 from Bertie County. It was named in honor of Lord Compton, Earl of Northampton. It is in the northeastern section of North Carolina astride the state's coastal plain and Piedmont regions. It is bounded by the state of Virginia and Halifax, Bertie, and Hertford counties. The present land area is 533.49 square miles. In 1806, Atherton was established as the courthouse. Jackson is currently the county seat.

Northampton County is number one in peanut production in the state of North Carolina and number two in cotton production. Agri-business accounts for approximately half of the revenues generated by local business. The principle types of farm products are: peanuts, cotton, broilers, and hogs. 

Northampton County was formed in 1741 from Bertie County which was formed in 1721. Settlement in the area began in the late 1660s as witnessed by references in deeds of the county and early land grants. Native Americans in the area at the time of European settlement were the Meherrins with Tuscarora, Chowanoac, and Occaneechi among others, nearby.

Water transportation was extremely important to the earliest settlers. Early settlement developed along two lines; a few large land holdings along the rivers and moderate to small holdings along rivers and creeks. Many of the European settlers in the area came from southeastern Virginia but also settlers migrated from the eastern areas of settlement in North Carolina.

The Society of Friends or Quakers were among the earliest settlers. Slavery was not predominant in the county in the early phase of European settlement. European indentured servants were the primary labor force. Slavery (Africans, Native Americans and some poor whites) grew as the agricultural environment changed. Today, Northampton County is a demographically diverse environment.

- Source: J.D. Lewis - Little River, SC


More Information

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 22,086 people, 8,691 households, and 5,953 families residing in the county. The population density was 41 people per square mile (16/km²). There were 10,455 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 39.09% White, 59.43% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. 0.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,691 households out of which 27.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.50% were married couples living together, 18.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.50% were non-families. 28.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 17.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,652, and the median income for a family was $34,648. Males had a median income of $27,970 versus $21,183 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,413. About 17.00% of families and 21.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.80% of those under age 18 and 21.50% of those age 65 or over.

- Source: Wikipedia