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About This Station

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About This City

The earliest recorded history of the Clayton area is found in the journal of English surveyor John Lawson, who made a reconnaissance survey of Carolina in 1701 to explore development possibilities for the eight Lords Proprietors. As Lawson crossed the fall line between the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, he encountered the Iroquoian-speaking Tuscarora, who controlled the Neuse­ Pamlico region and held a monopoly on trade between Piedmont tribes and Europeans along the coast. Conflicts between colonists and the Tuscarora led to a brutal war between 1711 and 1714, and the defeated natives were banished from the colony. The British crown purchased seven of the proprietors' interests in 1729, and European settlers soon began taking up lands there, some bringing African and Native American slaves.

In 1746, the colonial assembly created Johnston County from Craven to more effectively govern new settlers. The creation of Dobbs County from Johnston County in 1758 placed the Clayton area in the center of Johnston, and a new courthouse was built on William Hinton's plantation. It was there at Hinton's Quarter that a tax revolt took place in the summer of 1768, as backwoodsmen known as Regulators attempted to take over the county court by force. A mob armed with clubs repulsed the Regulators that same day and reclaimed power for the local ruling elite.

When Wake County was carved out of Johnston County in 1771, the seat of government moved farther east to John Smith's plantation, chartered as Smithfield in 1777. Etheldred Gregory eventually acquired the Hinton property and operated a tavern, Gregory's Ordinary, for travelers between Hillsboro and Tarboro until the building burned in 1809. The federal government established short-lived post offices nearby at Whitley's (1829-1834) and Pineville (1832-1836) in present Wilders Township and at Gulley's Store (1845-1856) near the old courthouse site.

Re: http://www.townofclaytonnc.org/clayton-history.aspx

Baumgartner, Pamela Lipscomb, and K. Todd Johnson. "Introduction." Images of America: Clayton. Charleston SC: Arcadia, 2008. . Print.

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