New Bern, city (1990 pop. 17,363), seat of Craven co., E N.C., a port and trading center at the junction of the Neuse and Trent rivers; inc. 1723. There is lumbering and food processing, and textiles and clothing, pharmaceuticals, asphalt, metal and plastic products, and transportation equipment are manufactured. Settled in 1710 by Swiss and German colonists under Baron Christopher de Graffenried and John Lawson, New Bern was the second town in North Carolina and an early colonial capital; in 1774 it was the seat of the first provincial convention. In the Civil War the city was captured (Mar., 1862) by Union forces under Gen. S. E. Burnside. Notable among the old buildings are the beautiful Tryon Palace (1767–70), which was the colonial capitol and governor's mansion; Christ Episcopal Church (1752); and New Bern Academy Museum (1809). A marine air station is nearby.
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