Newbern (1804 - 1837)
The Bank of Newbern was the first bank to become operational (July 8, 1805) in North Carolina. The first banks in North Carolina were chartered on December 1804 — the Bank of Cape Fear (Wilmington, NC, chartered Dec. 17) and the Bank of New Bern (New Bern, NC).
| These banks were joined
by the State Bank of North Carolina, chartered in 1810.
Here is a brief overview of the branch operations and bank leaders for the Bank of Newbern.
The leaders of the Bank of Newbern were the same group that had created the Newbern Marine Insurance Company in January 1804. As merchants and shippers, they had a keen interest in financing and insuring the maritime traffic in and out of Newbern.
The Bank of Newbern was originally chartered for 16 years with an initial capitalization of $200,000 and with the authority to issue its own bank notes.
Additional information will be made to this list from time to time, including adjusting dates as additional research indicates. Any information or corrections should be send to Ron Vinson.
Bank of Newbern (Newbern — NC legislature officially changed name to New Bern in 1890s) — chartered 1804; operated July 8, 1805 - 1837; This bank issued two banknotes early in its existence — for five and ten dollars. There was a branch of this bank in Charlotte, established between 1818-1823 and closed in 1832. There was a Halifax branch by 1818. The Milton branch was opened around 1818. Raleigh also had a branch reportedly between 1804 and 1829. The bank failed to get its chartered renewed in 1834, probably due to circulating too many of its banknotes compared to the amount of specie (coins, gold or silver) that it maintained to back up its notes. After the re-chartering was rejected, there was some period needed to wrap up business. For all practical purposes, the bank ceased active operations in 1835. The final dividends were paid to stockholders in 1838.
James McKinlay, president (April 24, 1805 - January 6, 1817); resigning as
president of this local bank, he was elected as a director of the State
Bank, apparently also keeping his position as a director of the Bank of
Newbern. He continued to serve until his death in 1819.