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1. Old East

Old East Building

Old East Residence Hall

When the university opened in 1795, it was part of a state and a nation that was a slave society. African Americans were a permanently enslaved population who were the field hands, laborers, cooks, cleaners and more. There was a small population of free blacks in North Carolina, but their rights and privileges were very restricted.

Old East, drawing by John Pettigrew, 1797

Old East, drawing by John Pettigrew (1797)

Old East was the university’s first building. Enslaved black laborers built it and all of the oldest campus structures, including the stone walls.