Tarboro was chartered by British colonists in 1760.
Located in a bend of the Tar River, it was an important river port, the head of navigation on the Tar just east of the fall line of the Piedmont.
By 1750, the area was widely known as "Tawboro", a name attributed to Taw, the Tuscaroran word for "river of health".
"Tarrburg", as the town was called on maps of 1770–75, was chartered November 30, 1760, as "Tarborough" by the General Assembly.
One such was Thomas Blount (1759–1812), whose handsome plantation house "The Grove" has been restored and is open for tours on a daily basis.
A very young officer, Blount was captured during the Revolution and sent to England as a prisoner of war.
Created in 1760, Tarboro is the ninth-oldest incorporated town in North Carolina.
Situated on the Tar River at the fall line in the Piedmont, the town served the area as an important colonial river port.He is memorialized in the name of Pender County, North Carolina, founded in 1875.His letters to his wife were published posthumously as The General to his Lady: The Civil War Letters of William Dorsey Pender to Fanny Pender (1965).But such of them as have emigrated to this place have too soon found themselves in prosperous situations, and have betaken themselves to idleness and dissipation." Due to the development of cotton plantations in the uplands, which were worked by slave labor in the antebellum years, by the 1870s Halifax and Edgecombe counties were among several in northeast North Carolina with majority-black populations.Before being disfranchised by the Democrats' passage in 1899 of a new state constitutions, black citizens elected four African Americans to the US Congress from North Carolina's 2nd congressional district in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Congressman George Henry White, a successful attorney, lived in Tarboro.Tarboro is located near the western edge of North Carolina's coastal plain.