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Cherishing Our Freedom in Chowan County

Happy Independence Day! 

Here in Chowan County, we are celebrating and cherishing our freedom on this Fourth of July by gathering as a community and remembering the sacrifices that have been made by our fellow citizens and neighbors to secure this freedom. 

While most Americans are familiar with the role that places such as Philadelphia and Boston played in the fight for American freedom, many do not know of the critical roles that small towns in colonies up and down the East Coast played.

In towns like Edenton, the brave actions of men and women helped to secure American Independence.

That is why we strive to remember and celebrate them during our Fourth of July celebrations in Chowan County.

We remember and honor….

  • Penelope Barker’s courageous gathering of 50 women in 1774 to sign the Edenton Resolves in one of the first political actions of colonial women to fight for freedom; 
  • the role of brave sailors, tradesmen, and fishermen at Edenton Bay to sneak critical supplies past British blockades and cart them overland to the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War;
  • the wisdom of Joseph Hewes who helped to establish the first Continental Congress and sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776;
  • the personal sacrifice of James Iredell, Sr. who, although born and raised in England, recognized the tyranny of the British government and chose to support the Revolution and later became a founding member of the U.S. Supreme Court; and
  • the leadership of Samuel Johnston, North Carolina governor and delegate to the Continental Congress, who was actually elected President of the United States in Congress Assembled under the Articles of Confederation but declined the office.

If you visit Edenton, you’ll find monuments and memorials to all of these brave men and women (and many more who remain unnamed), and you can learn more about Chowan County’s historic role in the fight for American Independence. 

Some of Chowan County’s key historic sites to visit include the following:

  • Penelope Barker House Welcome Center, located on the waterfront downtown and overlooking Edenton Bay, where you’ll find maps, guided tours, and more information for exploring Chowan County’s history
  • Joseph Hewes Memorial, situated across from the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse on the Courthouse Green and next to the 1778 Revolutionary War Cannons 
  • Hayes Farm, a National Historic Landmark and home of North Carolina’s fourth governor and key Revolutionary leader, Samuel Johnston

Chowan County and Edenton are a living, breathing memorial to the fight for American Independence. 

You can’t walk through town without being reminded of the valuable contributions made by the people who called this place “home.” 

And we know that once you visit, you’ll quickly see why so many people over the centuries have decided to settle here and live out the American Dream of freedom. 

Happy Fourth of July from all of us here in Edenton, Chowan County, and the Edenton Chowan Partnership!

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