A state of the southeast United States bordering on the Atlantic Ocean. It was admitted as one of the original Thirteen Colonies in 1789. First settled c. 1653, it was part of the province of Carolina until 1691 and became a separate colony in 1711 and a royal colony in 1729. North Carolina seceded in May 1861 and was readmitted to the Union in 1868. The state has long been a center of tobacco growing and processing. Raleigh is the capital and Charlotte the largest city. Population, 6,657,630.