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Halifax State Historic Site

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()


This state historic site is located in Halifax, a town known as "The Birthplace of Freedom" owing to the Halifax Resolves of 1776--the first official action by residents of a British Colony declaring in favor of independence. Halifax would later become a staging ground for African American slaves who sought freedom via the informal networks known collectively as "The Underground Railroad." For hundreds of enslaved people, the Roanoke River represented a possible path to freedom.

The Eagles Tavern at the Halifax Historic Site
A marker on the Halifax Underground Railroad trail, by the Roanoke River
Another building in the historic site


Established in 1757, the town of Halifax quickly became a center for commercial and political reasons during the American Revolution when the North Carolina Fourth Provincial Congress met in the spring of 1776 and adopted what came to be known as the Halifax Resolves, which was at the time the first official action from the US Colonies wanting independence from England, which in turn helped pave the way for the adoption of the United States' Declaration of Independence later that year in July.

Halifax's experience with slavery can be traced back to the tobacco industry, which relied upon slave labor. However, some slaves in the Halifax area also engaged in a variety of occupations on behalf of their masters. The town of Halifax was home to numerous escape attempts as slaves hoped to find work upon river boats that might transport them beyond the slave South. At the same time, Halifax had a significant population of African Americans who were free and practicing a variety of trades.

In the present day, the Halifax State Historical Site offers several facilities so that visitors and townsfolk alike can revisit those historical times and learn about the important things that the town of Halifax was responsible for during both the colonial days and during the time of the Underground Railroad. One of the more recent additions to the site was a Underground Railroad trail which opened to the public in 2011. There, visitors can learn about the history of the Underground Railroad in Halifax through the use of multiple signs.


25 Saint David Street
Halifax, North Carolina 27839
Phone Number
(252) 583-7191
Tuesday-Saturday: 9 AM to 5 PM
  • African American History
  • Colonial History
  • Military History
  • Local History Societies and Museums
  • Women’s History
This location was created on 2015-04-27 by Colton Jeffries , Marshall University; Instructed by David J. Trowbridge.   It was last updated on 2015-04-30 by David J. Trowbridge .

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