In the spring of 1871, state legislators voted to relocate the boundary line between Nash and Edgecombe counties from the Falls of the Tar River to the line of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad that ran through the middle of Rocky Mount, Battleboro, and Sharpsburg. The legislature’s new law stated that “all the portion of Edgecombe county west of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad and between the Halifax and Wilson [county] lines be, and the same is hereby annexed to and shall form a part of Nash County.” This change in the boundary line was controversial in 1871, and it remains so to this day. Uncovering the lost history of the county line change is therefore important for discussing the broader historical development of Nash and Edgecombe Counties, and it is also especially relevant for the CHW’s project on Rocky Mount Mills. The mill and many of the mill workers were directly affected by the change in the county line, and residents of both counties were politically divided on the issue.
The change in the Nash-Edgecombe county line disrupted political boundaries that had existed for nearly a century. Since the creation of Nash County out of Edgecombe County in 1777, the boundary between the two counties had been based on . . . (Read more)