Edenton is a town in Chowan County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 4,966 at the 2008 census. It is the county seat of Chowan County. Edenton is located in North Carolina's Inner Banks region. In recent years Edenton has become a popular retirement location and a destination for heritage tourism. It is the location of many bed and breakfast inns.
Edenton achieved international notoriety for the Little Rascals child-abuse case, the subject of journalist Ofra Bikel's award-winning trilogy of documentaries: Innocence Lost (1991), Innocence Lost: The Verdict (1993), and Innocence Lost: The Plea (1997). The 2007 independent feature film, Dog Days of Summer, starring Will Patton was shot entirely on location in historic Edenton. It was also the birthplace of Harriet Jacobs, an enslaved woman who escaped and fled to the North where she became a writer and abolitionist, writing an autobiography entitled Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Edenton was incorporated in 1722 and named for Governor Charles Eden, who had died that year. It had existed as a settlement for a number of years before that. Edenton served as the capital of North Carolina from 1722 to 1743, the governor establishing his residence there and the population increasing during that period.