A Leinbach/Lineback/Linebaugh Genealogy
   Johannes Leinbach (1712-1766) house in Wachovia.
  The Road to Wachovia
The New Land

The Spanish first claimed the land that lies within North Carolina today. But finding little gold, they soon turned their attention to other areas of the New World. When the English found gold on captured Spanish treasure ships returning from the Americas, they became determined to establish colonies of their own there. In 1584, the English queen, Elisabeth I, financed a voyage by Walter Raleigh to find a suitable foothold. On July 4, the expedition landed on Roanoke Island. Returning to England with favorable reports of what had been seen, Sir Walter organized another voyage that brought the first settlers to the new colony of Virginia the following year. The settlement that they established at Manteo was to become the Lost Colony.

Later English settlements at Jamestown and other locations in Virginia flourished. But without easily navigable rivers North Carolina remained a backwater frontier of little value to the realm. In 1663 Charles II granted eight of his advisors all the land lying to the south of Virginia and north of Florida, and extending west to the Pacific Ocean! These Lords Proprietors named the land Carolina in the king's honor and began colonization attempts in order to increase the value of their holdings. The Proprietors proved unpopular with the colonials and by 1729 seven of the eight Proprietors had sold their rights to Carolina back to the English crown. Only Lord Granville saw fit to retain his holdings which today constitute the upper half of North Carolina and include the present day cities of Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Winston Salem, and Asheville.

Most of the 36,000 or so people living in North Carolina before 1729 were predominantly English and Scottish Highlander who settled in regions along the eastern seaboard. By the middle of the eighteenth century, a Great Wagon Road leading from Pennsylvania was bringing thousands of settlers of Scotch-Irish and German descent to the less populated Piedmont. Many were farmer who came in search of land they could afford.

Regardless of their origins, most immigrants were honest and hardworking. But the laity of law and absence of order that prevailed in the Carolina wilderness also attracted a lawless and lazy element. Aware of the reputation for industriousness and piety that the Moravians had earned in both Georgia and Pennsylvania, Lord Granville must have been delighted when he learned that a Moravian search party lead by August Spangenberg (shown here at right) had arrived in Edenton in 1752.

The Moravians were seeking a large tract of good farming land on a navigable river for a southern mission. But Spangenberg was not impressed by what he saw in the eastern regions of Granville's colony:

"Trade and business are poor in North Carolina. With no navigable rivers there is little shipping; with no export trade of importance the towns are few and small."

"... there are many cases of murder, then, and the like but no one is punished."

"Land matters in North Carolina ... are in an unbelievable confusion. A man settles on a piece of land, does a good deal of work on it -- from the Carolina standpoint -- and then another comes along and drives him out."

The only remaining large tracts of unclaimed land were in the "outback" regions on the Piedmont plateau at the foot of the mountains. Traveling as far west as Blowing Rock in search of a suitable parcel, Spangenberg and his party returned to the area east of the Yadkin River where they came upon 100,000 acres of available land along Muddy Creek. Judging it the best farming land still available in North Carolina and having given up hopes of a river useful for trade, Spangenberg laid claim to what would become the settlement of Wachovia. All that remained before the first Moravian settlers would start down the long Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania was to raise enough money to purchase the new land they had found.


The Pennsylvanians The Road To Wachovia Wachovia
The German-American Collection