The James City Historical Society was founded in 1991 to honor the first community of formerly enslaved people in North Carolina. During the Civil War, more than 10,000 refugees from slavery came to Union-occupied New Bern seeking freedom. By 1865, there were nearly 3,000 formerly enslaved people living in the Trent River Settlement opposite New Bern in Craven County. The community was renamed James City, after Rev. Horace James, Superintendent of Negro Affairs for the North Carolina District. In the decades to come, James City residents created a proud history of fighting for self-determination. Today the JCHS is the caretaker of two historical treasures: the Far Cemetery and the Circa 1850 Slave Quarters.