North Carolina Becomes the Twelfth State

An original copy of the Bill Rights that can be found in the State Archives

On November 21, 1789, the General Assembly, meeting in Fayetteville, ratified the United States Constitution, making North Carolina the twelfth state.

The process was not easy, however, considering that in 1788, the General Assembly actually declined to ratify United States Constitution, suggesting many amendments and calling for a Bill of Rights. On November 16, 1789, a second convention met to take up the matter again. The Constitution, with the addition of the Bill of Rights, was ratified five days into the convention.
In 1778, Fayetteville built a large brick building, called the State House by its builders, to house the General Assembly in the event the town was chosen as the new state capital. However, the Convention of 1788 in Hillsborough chose Raleigh over Fayetteville as the capital. Despite this, the General Assembly did meet in Fayetteville in several times before moving permanently to Raleigh in 1793.

The State House where North Carolina became a state remained standing until 1831, when it was destroyed by a fire that devastated much of Fayetteville.

Other related resources:

  • Tarheels and the U.S. Constitution

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