The population of Mecklenburg County reaches 19,400. There are more than twice as many people living here now as there were just 14 years ago, even with the loss of the Cabarrus County acreage and population in 1792.
Even after the hardships of the war years, peacetime life is not easy. Food spoils quickly. The only refrigeration comes from springhouses, small buildings cooled by underground springs of water. Doctors know little about the causes of illness. The treatment for fevers, coughs or other ailments is bloodletting: A doctor will drain up to a pint of blood from a person who is ill. It will be many years before physicians will discover that bloodletting does no good and often harms a patient.
Poet Francis Scott Key watches as British bombs rain down on Baltimore's Fort McHenry. All night long the attack continues, but by dawn's early light, something incredible happens. As the smoke clears, Key can see that the American flag is still flying above the undefeated fort. He scribbles down a poem that will be set to music. The song will become The Star Spangled Banner, the national anthem.
The Revolutionary War has been over more than 20 years. But many Americans still buy and sell goods with the British money that was in use before the war. Now, coastal North Carolina banks in New Bern and Cape Fear issue American paper money, or notes, printed on silk paper. Many people don't trust the new money.