Edenton, North Carolina

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Edenton is a town in Chowan County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 4,966 at the 2008 census. It is the county seat of Chowan County.[3] Edenton is located in North Carolina's Inner Banks region. In recent years Edenton has become a popular retirement location and a destination for heritage tourism. It is the location of many bed and breakfast inns.

Edenton achieved international notoriety for the Little Rascals child-abuse case, the subject of journalist Ofra Bikel's award-winning trilogy of documentaries: Innocence Lost (1991), Innocence Lost: The Verdict (1993), and Innocence Lost: The Plea (1997). The 2007 independent feature film, Dog Days of Summer, starring Will Patton was shot entirely on location in historic Edenton.



Edenton was incorporated in 1722 and named for Governor Charles Eden, who had died that year. It had existed as a settlement for a number of years before that. Edenton served as the capital of North Carolina from 1722 to 1743, the governor establishing his residence there and the population increasing during that period.

The first time Edenton achieved international notoriety was in 1774. In response to the Tea Act, 51 women in Edenton, led by Penelope Barker, signed a protest petition agreeing to boycott English tea and other products, in what became known, decades later, as the Edenton Tea Party. The Edenton Tea Party is the first known political action by women in the British American colonies.[4] In fact it so shocked London that newspapers published etching depicting the woman as uncontrollable. Her home, the Barker House, is open seven days a week, without a fee, and is considered by many as Edenton's living room.

Joseph Hewes, a resident of Edenton and a very successful owner of a merchant marine fleet, was appointed the first Secretary of the Navy in 1776. John Adams said that Hewes "laid the foundation, the cornerstone of the American Navy." Hewes also signed the Declaration of Independence.

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