Real Estate

Estate Schemes in Western North Carolina Dating Back to 1722

Daniel Cox IV

Speculators have been trying to lure settlers to Carolina Eden since Daniel Cox IV published “Description of the English Province of Carolina” in 1722. Cox carried the torch of his father, who 30 years earlier had “purchased a county patent” for “Carolana” – a deal from the Atlantic to the ocean Pacific – having abandoned a million acres in New Jersey.

In “Description,” Daniel IV proposed the formation of the United States – the first known proposal of this kind – apparently for the purpose of trade.

Daniel IV’s grandson, Tench Cox, delegate to the Continental Congress and later Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, is best known for proposing to industrialize the South. In the 1890s, Tench added hundreds of thousands of acres of western North Carolina to his portfolio.

Specters on the floor in Western North Carolina Tench Cox, pictured here circa 1800 in a photograph by Jeremiah Ball.

Tench’s grandson, Colonel Frank Cox, continued the family’s interest in the area. He helped finance the North Carolina Western Railroad and purchased the Joseph McDowell Carson mansion on the Green River in Polk County.

We skip another two generations. Coxe’s heirs could not keep their estate, and it ended up, after some exchanges, in the hands of Dennis Palinskar. For a brief and poorly funded period in 1986-1987, Palenscar attempted to create a “fantasy island for southerners”.