The North Carolina Industrial Association was founded in March 1879 by a group of prominent Raleigh African Americans. Its mission was to “encourage and promote the industrial and educational resources for the colored people of North Carolina.” Among the tools of this objective was to sponsor an annual fair in Raleigh. The Association’s “First Grand Fair of NC” opened in the autumn of 1879, held on the grounds of the former Confederate Pettigrew Hospital. Through its fair, the NCIA hoped to attract the positive attention and support of the state’s white population, and for that reason, white attendance was actively solicited.
The NCIA fair featured noted dignitaries as speakers, both black and white, including black politicians NC Rep. Henry P. Cheatham and P.B.S. Pinchback, of Louisiana. Booker T Washington gave an address at the 1903 fair. North Carolina governors, state and local government officials also were also featured speakers. The last NCIA Fair was held in 1929.
From the Original Print Collection.
Owner: State Archives of North Carolina
Source: Flickr Commons