Hertford County, North Carolina

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Hertford County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2000, the population was 22,601. Its county seat is Winton[1].



Hertford County is home of the Meherrin Indian Tribe, descendants of indigenous people who had inhabited the region for thousands of years. After decades of encroachment by English colonists, the Tribe moved south from Virginia, where they settled in 1706 on a reservation abandoned by the Chowanoke. This six-square-mile reservation was at Parker's Ferry near the mouth of the Meherrin River. It was confirmed by a treaty of 1726.[2] They were not able to keep the reservation lands.

The Tribe today has an enrollment of approximately 900 enrolled members, of whom most live within 10–15 miles of the former reservation.[3] It is recognized by the state. They are seeking Federal recognition. The Meherrin Tribe has an Annual Pow Wow at the end of October.

The county was formed by European Americans in 1759 from parts of Bertie County, Chowan County, and Northampton County. It was named for Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Earl of Hertford, later 1st Marquess of Hertford.

In 1779 the northeastern part of Hertford County was combined with parts of Chowan County and Perquimans County to form Gates County.

Business and industry

Several large employers are located in Hertford County, including a privately run federal prison, Chowan University, a Nucor steel mill, several Perdue poultry processing facilities, an aluminum extrusion facility in Winton, and a lumber-processing facility in Ahoskie. These industries, combined with a fairly typical range of local retail, restaurant and service businesses, combine to give Hertford County one of the lowest unemployment rates in Northeastern North Carolina. The larger area has historically lagged behind the rest of the state in terms of economic development.

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