In all of my exhaustive research into what I would consider one of the biggest "issues" associated with the Carolana Colony, I continue to be amazed as to how many different explanations and time-frames are given - even by noted historians - as to what really happened and when.
I have seen dates as early as 1690 and as late as 1730 offered. The reasons range from the Indian Wars in the early 1700s to pure politics and struggles for power between the two unique "groups" (if anyone believes that there were only two different factions in this matter) living in the rather dispersed geographical area once called Carolana.
The following are excerpts that I have found from various sources, and as you can see, almost every reason and year have been attributed to "the Split" of Carolina. I leave it to you to make up your own mind.
From the beginning, the Lords Proprietors had difficulty in managing their new colony. There were border disputes with Virginia, Indian wars with the Tuscarora and the Yamassee, and piracy at the hands of the notorious Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet.
A portion of Carolina had emerged as its own organizational unit and became the royal colony of South Carolina in 1719. Advisors to the British king recommended direct royal control of the colonies.
In 1729 seven of the eight Lord Proprietors sold their colonial holdings in Carolina to the Crown. The lone Proprietor was John Carteret, Earl Granville, who retained the Granville Tract in North Carolina without governing control until the American Revolution.
In South Carolina the last Governor appointed by the Lord Proprietors ended his term in 1719, whereas the last Governor appointed by the Lords Proprietors in North Carolina ended his term in 1731. In 1719, the new Governor of South Carolina was "elected by the people," and was considered to be the first governor of South Carolina in the "Royal Period," that is - after "the Split."
Owing to incompetent and thieving governors, appointed through favoritism and not fitness for the office, and to abortive attempts to introduce the Fundamental Constitutions on an unwilling people, the Albemarle colony did not prosper, and in 1693 the population was but half what it had been fifteen years before, while the Clarendon colony planted by Yeamans on the Cape Fear had been wholly abandoned.
Meantime another colony had been planted at the mouths of the Ashley and Cooper rivers. These two surviving colonies, several hundred miles apart, now began to be called North and South Carolina. Their governments were combined into one, and better times were now at hand. In 1695, John Archdale, a good Quaker, became governor of both Carolinas, and from this time the settlements were much more prosperous that before.
From its beginning in 1663, the Proprietary government of Carolina was ineffective. The earliest governors were plagued with troubles: "John Jenkins (1672-76) was deposed," "Thomas Miller (1677) was overthrown and jailed by. . .'armed rebels," "Thomas Eastchurch was forbidden to enter the colony," and "Seth Sothel (1682-89) was accused ... of numerous crimes for which he was tried, convicted, and banished."
The early eighteenth century saw the problems continue. A year before the outbreak of the Tuscarora War, Governor Thomas Cary, an appointee of the Lords Proprietors, enforced an oath of allegiance to the Anglican Church, forcing Quakers out of the state legislature. A group of Quakers led by John Porter turned to John Archdale, the only Quaker Proprietor, who commanded that Cary (Archdale's own son-in-law) be removed from office.
At the time, Cary was in Charles Town (Charleston, South Carolina) and William Glover was acting Governor of Carolina. Porter's faction accepted Glover at first, but he, too, resolved to keep Quakers out of office. Porter's group then formed an alliance with Cary, who returned to reclaim the governorship and appointed a number of Quakers to office.
Cary's government remained in control until 7 December 1710, when the Lords Proprietors, disappointed with the chaotic conditions in the colony, appointed Edward Hyde as Governor of North Carolina, separate from the Governor of Carolina. When Hyde took office, he nullified all of Cary's laws and reinstated laws establishing the Church of England as the official church of the colony. Cary planned a coup, but his attempt collapsed in a comedy of errors. In the end, Cary's supporters fled and Cary was tried in England but eventually acquitted for lack of evidence.
During the early period of its existence Albemarle was administered by governors and presidents who were independent of those on Ashley River. Not until the appointment of Philip Ludwell in 1691 was the executive power in all the counties, or really in the two provinces, united in one. For the preceding two years Ludwell had been governor of Albemarle, but of his administration there nothing is known.
Under Ludwell and his successors, until 1712, the northern settlements were administered by deputy governors, who, with one exception, were the immediate appointees of the governors resident at Charles Town.
At the beginning of that period the two parts of the province began to be known respectively as North and South Carolina. Alexander Lillington and Thomas Harvey were the two deputy governors under Ludwell and Archdale. On the death of Harvey, in 1699, Henderson Walker was President of the Executive Council. By virtue of that office he became Acting Governor, and continued such until his death in 1704.
The appointment of deputies was then resumed, and continued until 1712. Then Colonel Thomas Pollock was elected President, and brought the province to the close of the Tuscarora War. Pollock was again President for a brief time in 1722, but, with that exception, North Carolina had distinct governors of its own ever after 1713.
The governors of South Carolina, even during the years when they appointed deputies for the northern province, paid little or no attention to its affairs. The Lords Proprietors also continued toward Albemarle their policy of systematic neglect, save when internal anarchy compelled brief attention.
Occasionally, as in earlier times, they left it without government. The appointees were nearly all colonists. The elected Presidents, of course, were such. None, except Archdale, were connected with the families of the Lords Proprietors. The Lords Proprietors apparently corresponded very little with the governors, and the governors scarcely ever wrote to the Lords Proprietors. None except the usual formal instructions were given them by the Lords Proprietors.
In Albemarle, as on the Ashley River, the Executive Council continued to have an elected element until 1691. Ludwells instructions brought it to an end in both provinces. After 1718 the deputies were appointed by joint action of the Lords Proprietors, and not by the separate act of each of the Lords Proprietors. Of the Executive Council in its legislative capacity we have very few distinct records in the proprietary period. The extant records of the Executive Council begin in 1691 under Gov. Ludwell.
In its executive capacity the Council advised the governor concerning appointments, regulated fees, approved the payment of salaries, ordered the arrest of parties for the non-payment of taxes, ordered out men and supplies for defense, shared in negotiation with the Indians, and with neighboring colonies, laid embargos on the exportation of corn in times of scarcity. The governor and Executive Council watched over the interests of the province in general, so far as they received any attention. The Executive Council was also very largely occupied with territorial administration. Together with the secretary and the receiver-general, it administered the territorial affairs of the province.
In 1691, The Lords Proprietors appointed a governor of Carolina, uniting all the settlements under one head. A deputy governor became head of the government in the Albemarle region, thus beginning the division of the province into North and South Carolina, though not so called at this time, officially.
Ludwells appointment marked the end of Albemarle as a separate political entity. From 1689 on, the governor ceased to be termed the Governor of Albemarle, but was now called the Deputy Governor of Carolina, the first of whom was Thomas Jarvis. Not until 1710 was there commissioned a separate Governor of North Carolina, independent of the Governour of Carolina, although as early as 1691 there had been references to Albemarle as North Carolina.
The southern settlement, Charles Town, which became known as Charleston, was the principal seat of government for the entire Province, though due to their remoteness from each other had operated more or less independently until 1691 with the appointment of Philip Ludwell as governor of both areas.
From that time until 1708, the northern and southern settlements were under common government. The north continued to have its own General Assembly and Executive Council, the Governor resided in Charles Town and appointed a Deputy Governor for the north. During this period, the two began to become known as North Carolina and South Carolina.
In 1690, the Lords Proprietors appointed Philip Ludwell as the governor of the northern reaches of their territory, and some historians say this is when North Carolina began; however, it was some years later, in 1712, when the separation of North and South Carolina became official, and the boundary was not finally agreed upon until 1735.
The noted historian, Herbert L. Osgood, wrote in 1904 in his book entitled, "The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century" (New York: Columbia University Press, 1904):
"During the early period of its existence Albemarle was administered by governors and presidents who were independent of those on Ashley River. Not until the appointment of Philip Ludwell in 1691 was the executive power in all the "counties," or really in the two provinces, united in one.
"For the preceding two years, Ludwell had been governor of Albemarle, but of his administration there nothing is known. Under Ludwell and his successors, until 1712, the northern settlements were administered by deputy governors, who, with one exception, were the immediate appointees of the governors resident at Charles Town.
"At the beginning of that period the two parts of the province began to be known respectively as North and South Carolina. Alexander Lillington and Thomas Harvey were the two deputy governors under Ludwell and Archdale.
On the death of Thomas Harvey, in 1699, Henderson Walker was President of the Executive Council. By virtue of that office he became Acting Governor, and continued such till his death in 1704.
"The appointment of deputies was then resumed, and continued until 1712. Then Colonel Thomas Pollock was elected President, and brought the province to the close of the Tuscarora War. Pollock was again President for a brief time in 1722. But, with that exception, North Carolina had distinct governors of its own ever after 1713." [end of quote]
Virginia colonists began to settle the North Carolina region in 1653 to provide a buffer for the southern frontier. In 1691 Albermarle, the northern Carolina region, was officially recognized by the English crown. This is the first time the "North Carolina" designation was used.
After a few years of peace and prosperity there came another attack upon the Lords Proprietors which culminated in the revolution of 1719 and the downfall of proprietary rule. Acting on the advice of Chief Justice Nicholas Trott (16631740) the Lords Proprietors adopted a reactionary policy, vetoed several popular laws, and refused to afford protection from the attacks of the Indians.
The people rebelled, overthrew the existing government and elected their leader James Moore (16671723) as governor. The result of the revolution was accepted in England, and the colony at once came under royal control, although the rights of the Lords Proprietors were not extinguished by purchase until 1729.
Theoretically South Carolina and North Carolina constituted a single province, but, as the settlements were far apart,there were always separate local governments. Until 1691 each had its own governors, from 1691 to 1712 there was usually a governor at Charles Town and a deputy for the northern settlements, and after 1712 there were again separate governors.
The first attempt to define the boundary was made in 1732, but the work was not completed until 1815.
The colony was divided into North and South Carolina in 1712. In 171516 the settlers were attacked by the Yamasee, who had become resentful of exploitation by the Carolina traders. The uprising was finally quelled after much loss of life and property. These attacks further revealed the lack of protection afforded by the Lords Proprietors, and in 1719 the colonists rebelled and received royal protection. The crown sent Francis Nicholson as provincial royal governor in 1720, and South Carolina formally became a royal colony in 1729, when the Lords Proprietors finally accepted terms.
1712/May - The Carolina colony is officially divided into North Carolina and South Carolina.
The North Carolina Manual of 1945 asserts that the colony was divided on December 7, 1710, and Edward Hyde became the first governor of North Carolina on May 12, 1712. However, other sources indicate that Hyde had been governor since the summer of 1711.
Based on all of the above, one can conclude that "the Split" effectively happened around 1711 or 1712. But to this Author, the jury's still out on this one.