Previously known as the State House, it was here that North Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1789 and chartered the University of North Carolina. In 1831, a fire destroyed downtown Fayetteville, including the State House and the Market House was rebuilt on its site. As a marketplace, various peddlers sold cotton and other agricultural products here. In fact, one of the first meat merchants to sell their goods under the Market House in 1832, was a free born African American. Although not built as a slave market, slaves were sold here over the years until slavery was abolished in 1865. Historical debate also circles around the possibility that the structure was built by a local free black man, Thomas Grimes, one of the best brick masons in the area at the time.