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The Tuscarora Native American tribe, who had a reputation for ferocity in battle, originally inhabited the area now known as Knightdale, North Carolina. John Lawson, an explorer hired by the Lords Proprietor of the Colony, was able to make peace with the tribe, using the help of an interpreter. European settlers first began to arrive in the 1730s, necessitating the formation of a local government. Knightdale's first European settler, a woodsman named John Hinton, played a key role in the American Revolution, fighting in its first North Carolina battle, and later serving as a delegate to the Fourth Provincial Congress. Following the American Revolution, the Knightdale area became a center of agriculture, where cotton and tobacco were key crops. The Civil War ravaged the area, but the citizens eventually rebuilt and prospered. Mr. Henry Haywood Knight, a prominent local landowner, donated land to the Norfolk and Southern Railroad in an effort to persuade them to build a railway through the town. Though the town's namesake did not get to see his dream come to fruition, the railroad did eventually come to Knightdale, bringing with it commerce, mobility, and growth. The Knightdale of today is an active and engaged small community, just 15 minutes from downtown Raleigh. Residents love Knightdale's ever-expanding park and greenway system, and its vital arts community. Its location makes it a convenient bedroom community for those employed in nearby Raleigh, and Knightdale has experienced rapid growth over the last couple of decades. But, local families say it still maintains its small-town charm and sense of community, and offers an excellent quality of life.