Fanning's Illustrated Gazetteer of the United States.... (New York: Phelps, Fanning & Co., 1853), 392.
WILMINGTON, p. v., seat of justice of New Hanover co., N. C., situated on Cape Fear river, 35 miles from the sea, 148 miles southeasterly from Raleigh, and 365 miles from Washington. A large shoal at the mouth of the harbor, in a great measure destroys the effect of its other natural advantages. Two islands divide the river into three channels opposite the town. They afford the finest rice-fields in the state. The great body of the exports and imports of North Carolina pass through this port, and it is the terminus of the Washington and Wilmington chain of railroads. The population in 1810, was about 2,000; in 1830, 2,700; in 1840, 4,744; in 1850, 7,264.