The Carolina Charter of 1663 was a gift of land from England's King Charles II to eight friends who had helped him regain the throne. The Lords Proprietors of Carolina were given land in America stretching from ocean to ocean.
The document granted to the eight Lords Proprietors all of the territory between 31° and 36° north latitude from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Ocean, or in effect from about 70 miles south of the border of present-day Florida to about 40 miles south of the present northern boundary of North Carolina.
In addition to granting land to the Proprietors, the Charter also guaranteed certain rights, and many of the charter's provisions--including one on religious tolerance--were later incorporated into the state's governing documents.
Originally issued on March 24, 1663, the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources will celebrate 350 years of the birth of our state. Check back for the latest event information, and use the "Quick Links" on the right to learn more about the Charter.
Remarks on the History of the Charter of 1663
Dr. William S. Price Jr., Former Director of the N.C. Division of Archives and History and Former Kenan Professor of History, Meredith College