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North Carolina State Grange
A Directory of the Granges in North Carolina, 1877
[North Carolina?: s. n.], 1877.

Summary

In the early 1870s, North Carolina farmers organized a state branch of the national Order of Patrons of Husbandry, which was commonly known as the North Carolina State Grange. By 1875, the organization boasted 15,000 members in more than 500 branches. As this directory indicates, the local "lodges" were spread across the state and varied in size. The Piedmont had more branches with more members than any other part of the state, a fact that indicates that the Grange attracted middle-class farm owners rather than planters, tenants, or sharecroppers from the Coastal Plain or poorer farmers from the Mountains. The directory, composed solely of tabular data, lists the name and lodge number of each Grange as well as its primary leader, its secretary, and the town of its post office address.

The North Carolina State Grange was intended to function as a fraternal social club, as an educational forum, and, most importantly, as an organization that lobbied on behalf of beleaguered farmers. The Grange lacked the financial means and the political clout to be successful in the latter mission, however, and the its membership declined rapidly during the 1880s as small farmers turned to more overt political activism to further their causes. The Grange was re-organized in 1929 and still serves North Carolina farmers.

Works Consulted: Noblin, Stuart and Bill Humphries, Hold High the Torch: the Grange in North Carolina, 1929-1989 (Greensboro: North Carolina State Grange, 1990). The North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also has the journals of the Grange's annual conventions from 1874-1887and 1946-1994.

Michael Sistrom

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