One of the original 13 colonies, North Carolina was the first state to instruct its delegates to vote for independence from the British crown during the Continental Congress. Following the Revolutionary War, North Carolina developed an extensive slave plantation system and became a major exporter of cotton and tobacco, although the slave population remained relatively small compared to that of other southern states. In 1861, North Carolina became one of 11 states to secede from the United States, beginning the American Civil War. Despite no major battles being fought in the state, North Carolina sent more recruits to fight for the Confederacy than any other rebel state. In 1903, the state became the site of the first manned self-propelled airplane flight when the Wright brothers took off from a cliff near Kitty Hawk.