A Historical Sketch
LOTTIE HALE BONNER
This sketch of historical facts, is respectfully dedicated to Robert Tripp Bonner, the father who collected all available information, and from whom the writer inherited a taste for history, and who guided and inspired his daughter in the search for the glorious deeds and events of the colony and the later history of the State of North Carolina.
LOTTIE HALE BONNER
Aurora, N. C.
All Rights ReservedNORTH CAROLINA
Although many of the number mentioned, have passed into the Great Beyond, the writer is very grateful for the great service their histories and articles have rendered in compiling this sketch, as well as the persons who are still living who have helped in various ways and who are also listed below:
Colonial and State Records, Ashe's History, Hawk's History, Wheeler's Reminiscences, King's Pen Sketches of Pitt County, Mr. Thomas Pittman, The Public Acts of the General Assembly, Mr. E. C. Brooks, Mrs. H. L. Spruill, Miss Lida T. Rodman, Mr. R. T. Bonner, Rev. and Mrs. A. C. D. Noe, Mr. Will Tankard, Mrs. T. A. Brooks, Dr. Henry Moore, Mr. W. J. Peele, Mr. Pennington, pictures of Mrs. Holliday McE. Rust and Draper's Studio and illustrations by Miss May T. P. Bonner, Mrs. Macon Bonner, Mrs. Sallie T. Mayhew, Mrs. N. Munday Clifton.
LOTTIE HALE BONNER
BATH, the oldest town in North Carolina, is located on hallowed ground from the standpoint of the historian. It abounds in history and folk-lore. Its praises and worth have gone unsung and unnoticed for many years.
Every inch of its soil, brings back memories of the long ago, which was fraught with political intrigue, tragedy, and romance. Bath has been the home of Colonial governors, statesmen, dignitaries, titled gentlemen, aristocrats, Church of England ministers, plain Quakers, and the noted pirate, Blackbeard.
Ships from this port plied the sea to foreign ports and brought cargoes of commerce to North Carolina and other colonies. And Bath has the distinction of having had the first shipyard for the construction of vessels in the Colony.
The majority of its early citizens were well-educated and cultured. Their influence is still felt in eastern North Carolina.
The pioneer settlers had a long, difficult journey when they started for Perquimans County to attend the General Assembly which met at the home of Mr. John Hecklefield at Little River. During this Assembly on March 8th, 1705, Bath received its incorporation. The Act of the General Assembly in 1705, invested the land in John Lawson, Joel Martin, and Nicholas Daw, the first Commissioners.
The Act of Incorporation, 1705, might have been destroyed by the Indians during the Tuscarora War, as Mr. R. T. Bonner stated that he was unable to find the records of some of the first grants in Beaufort County, although they had been in existence, and he presumed that they were taken by the Indians. Since the Act of Incorporation of 1705 could not be found, the General Assembly passed another Act in 1715 which recited a part of the first and made it a part of the second Act. The land was then invested in Mr. John Porter, Mr. Joel Martin, Mr. Thomas Harding, and Capt. John Drinkwater, the second board of town commissioners.SITE
This old town beautifully located on an elevated bluff, with Back Creek flowing on the east and Bath Creek on the west side; forming a peninsula of the land on which the town is situated. These creeks meet just beyond Bonner's Point and converge in a bay which flows into Pamlico River. It presents a lovely view, with Pamlico River
about one and one-half miles beyond Bath, the river broadening three miles to the opposite shores.
Back and Bath Creeks are from a quarter to a half mile wide, and there is a natural harbor at Bath for boats, in time of storm on Pamlico River.
The first grant of land in Beaufort County is recorded in the Secretary of State's Office in Raleigh, and was issued to Seth Sothell, November 10, 1781. The Lords Proprietors urged Sothell to buy the Earl of Clarendon's grant which amounted to twelve thousand acres, thinking their rents thereby, would be more carefully collected. Bath is located on this grant of land, and contained sixty acres in the corporate limits.TOWN COMMONS
The town commissioners set aside a plot of ground known as a town commons. This plot contained 145 acres of land, and the poor of the community were privileged to go there and procure their firewood. This land has been partially sold to pay the indebtedness on the new school building.FIRST LIBRARY IN NORTH CAROLINA
About 1700, a collection of books, numbering more than 1,000 was sent by Rev. Dr. Thomas Bray to St. Thomas’ Parish in Pamlico. It consisted of 38 folios, 19 quartos, and 109 octavo volumes. There were books on mathematics, heraldry, biology, the classics, mythology, and medicine, beside poetry. A layman's library of 870 volumes was also donated.
This was the first public library in North Carolina, and was valued at 100 pounds.
One lone book is all that can be found of the first library at Bath. It is stamped in gold, thereby showing that it was a part of this early library. It is now in the possession of the Diocese of East Carolina and will be returned after the restoration work has been completed. This book was on display with the historical collection from North Carolina, at the Jamestown Exposition in Virginia, in 1907.SETTLERS
Nationality and Religion
The exact date of the settlement of Bath is not known. But about thirty years after settlers were found on the north shores of the Albemarle, it was discovered that pioneers had begun to fix their homes along the Pampticough (old spelling) River. Hawks states the settlers were attracted by the expectation that the better entry
from the ocean through Ocracoke, would make it the commercial depot of the province.
The country around the Pamlico section derived the larger part of its first settlers from the counties between Albemarle Sound and Virginia. There were some whites there already, but they were not English. The Spanish were said to have been here before the French came. As early as 1690, Martin informs us that some of the French Protestant refugees who had been sent by the royal benevolence to colonize on the James River in Virginia, had purchased land on the Pamlico and planted themselves there. The inhabitants of the Albemarle Sound section, in 1698, commenced to settle in the Pamlico Section.
It seems that Providence intervened for the pioneer settlers, as just prior to the settlement of the Pamlico section by the French and English, a dread disease appeared among the Indians, proving fatal to large numbers, and reducing the number of them to such an extent, that it became safer for the newcomers. It seems that the historians of the early period do not agree as to what disease these Indians succumbed. Williamson stated that it was a pestilential fever, Martin, the historian, said that it was smallpox. Lawson believed that the Indians knew how to treat those in this climate more successfully often than the white doctors.
In 1698, plantations were opened in the Pamlico section, though they were not numerous or large. According to the census taken by the Rev. Mr. Adams, in 1707, there were not more than five thousand persons.
The English nationality evidently predominated the colonization of the Pamlico country, as it was spoken of as “English America.” John Lawson, in 1700, used the term English plantations.
Land ownership gave dignity and importance. The delightful climate and fertile swamp lands which yielded bountiful crops attracted the settlers from other regions. The landed gentry, then as well as now, exerted great influence in their communities. They were the aristocracy of the country and the governing classes; their sons, inheriting, as in the mother country, the prestige and leadership with their estates.
Many of the early colonists were attracted from other colonies by the rich land along the rivers. This land was cheap, rich, and could be obtained in vast areas. In North Carolina, the “river plantations” became famous all over the world. Starting with a modest beginning, a planter, by tilling the soil and by the faithful labor of his slaves, would die rich in his old age.
Owing to the rich soil which produced abundant harvests, people
from Virginia and northern colonies settled here. Thus the population increased and became wealthy. The settlers cleared land for the cultivation of corn and tobacco, and vast numbers of cattle and swine were raised. As winters were very short and mild, the planters provided fodder for their stock at little or no expense, in comparison to northern colonies. Large numbers of cattle were driven to Virginia to be sold yearly. About 1704, the manufacture of tar began in the Pamlico section. Turpentine was sold in the crude state, as there was no available way of distilling it. Among the exports were shingles and staves which were sent to New England and foreign markets. These were made from the bountiful supply of juniper and oak found in the forests around Bath Town and the Pamlico Section.
Among the plantation owners were people who lived as nearly like their relatives in England and Scotland as conditions in a thinly settled part of the country would permit. Some of these people came here in official capacities, as deputies of the Lords Proprietors, bringing along their friends, retainers, and tenants. The Governor brought their kinsmen, supporters, and political friends. It can be seen from a perusal of the records of early Colonial days in the Secretary of State's Office in Raleigh, that the wills were signed and had seals which bear imprinted thereon crests and coats of arms of signers, showing that many of the leading men of Carolina belonged to the gentry of England and Scotland. Many of them were highly educated and were classical scholars of great learning. “The drafts of ancient laws, State papers, wills, and letters of that day in expression and elegance of diction, compare most favorably with the works of the best scholars of today”, is the statement of Col. J. Bryan Grimes, former Secretary of State.RELIGION
The Church of England doubtless had the largest number of early inhabitants of Bath, enrolled. The ministers were paid from taxes levied on the people, amounting to 50 pounds per annum. This amount was sometime not collected, making the minister's lot hard.
The French Huguenots were connected with the French Huguenot Church which has a service similar to the Church of England; but later they became a part of St. Thomas’ Parish.
There were also Quakers at Bath and in the vicinity. Some of these people came from Pennsylvania and elsewhere.WHITFIELD CURSE
George Whitfield, a minister, came to Bath and preached in Colonial days. But he was not favorably received, so he did not tarry long there. It was said that on account of his not being received very cordially, that he left the town, shaking the dust from his feet, thereby
placing a curse on the town, and that was supposed to be why the place did not prosper. But others have decided that Washington was the desirable location, in early days, as the flat-bottomed river boats from up the country and the ships could meet at Washington—hence the reason that town outgrew Bath.CARY'S REBELLION
Carey's Rebellion was known as the Quaker War.
Owing to the fact that the Quakers, on account of their religious scruples, refused to take oaths, so a law had been passed that they could make declarations instead.
When Queen Anne ascended the throne a new allegiance was required; but as usual the Quakers refused, so they were expelled from office in the Council, the Assembly and the courts.
Just after this, an Act was passed that none should have any office or place of trust without taking such oaths.
The resentment became so great against Gov. Daniel that it caused his removal and Col. Thomas Cary was sent from Charleston to take his place. He also refused office to the Quakers who would not take the oath as before. So John Porter was sent to England by the Quakers to present their grievances to the English authorities. He met with success in securing a new commission, thereby causing the suspension of Gov. Johnson of South Carolina, and the removal of Gov. Cary, his deputy.
Several new deputations of councillors were furnished him, with authorization to select a president from their own number. Porter was considered the cleverest politician then in North Carolina. He now possessed power also, and so determined to use it. He called an informal gathering of a few of the councilors, but not a legal meeting, and chose William Glover as President of the Council—Glover, thought himself permanently in office and so adopted the policy of his predecessors. Thereafter a formal and regular Council meeting was held and the election of Glover was declared illegal: thereupon Cary was elected President of the Council. Cary had learned the sentiment of the people and had become one of them. It might have been possible that his father-in-law, former Governor Archdale, of South Carolina, had influenced his views. Glover refused to give up and so there were two governments for a while, though only one councilor upheld Glover. Eventually both parties in 1708, agreed to submit their claims to a new Assembly, to be called by both. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of Cary. Two precincts were the only ones out of eight precincts that declared in favor of Glover. Edward Moseley who later succeeded Porter as the great leader of the colonists, was made speaker. Glover would not yield which caused some
difficulty, consequently he fled to Virginia from where he had previously come to Carolina.
Cary held office until 1710, though matters were not quieted, when a relative of Queen Anne's, Edward Hyde came to the province, claiming to have been sent to Carolina as deputy governor. He was not commissioned; but the Council elected him president, hoping thereby to end confusion, notwithstanding his ineligibility to that office. Everything might have been well, if he had not taken up the quarrel. He called a meeting of the Assembly favorable to himself, having members who held grudges and wished to revenge themselves against the Cary party. The battle was renewed. Both parties armed themselves. Cary was succeeding, when Hyde sent an appeal to Gov. Spottswood of Virginia, for aid. Without authority in North Carolina, but with a “true spirit of a sycophant” bearing in mind Hyde's kinship to the Queen, he declared that he would not suffer Hyde to be imprisoned by a plebean route. Thus Governor Spottswood's armed intervention thus ended the rebellion.
Just at this period the Tuscarora massacre began. The enemies of John Porter and Col. Cary charged that they started the outbreak. Their arrest followed and they were sent to England and tried. Mr. Tobias Knight was the only witness sent to testify against them. A year was allowed for proof to be lodged against them. This was not sent so they were discharged and the colonial authorities were rebuked for sending them.INDIAN TRIBES AROUND THE PAMLICO COUNTRY AND
THE INDIAN NAME FOR BATH TOWN
Pampticough was the Indian name before the white settlers came, for the ancient village. The town and the Pamlico country was occupied by the Tuscaroras, Corees, and Matchapungo tribes of Indians, when the first white people came to settle. Core Point was named for one tribe and Pungo River, originally Matchapungo River, was named for another tribe.
Hand drawing of a Tuscarora Tribesman]
John Lawson had incurred the disfavor of the Indians as he had journeyed through the region inhabited by them, with a view of locating an interior road from the southern settlements to Virginia. He had also been prominent in colonizing the Palatines and Swiss at New Bern and in laying off plantations, thereby becoming an object of marked resentment among the Indians. The savages were becoming jealous lest the whites would drive them away and take possession of their land. It had been said that the opposing factions in the Cary Rebellion incited the Indians, on account of the colonists’ political bickerings, and the strife was thought to have hastened the Tuscarora War. The bitterness of the Indians was strong when, in September, 1711, two months after the dispersion of Cary's forces, Lawson, Christopher Gale, and Baron de Graffenried planned an expedition up Neuse River to locate the best place for the proposed road. Gale was detained by his wife's illness, which afterwards he described as a “happy sickness,” as he was saved from the Indians, by remaining at home. The Baron and Lawson went by boat from New Bern, taking provisions for fifteen days. The Indians discovering them on the evening of the second day, became alarmed at their exploration and, thinking the Baron was Gov. Hyde, they seized them and carried them to their king's town, on the Cotechney. They speedily assembled a council of Indians, who condemned them to instant death, both the Baron and Lawson. The Baron escaped death by declaring himself an Englishman. Lawson suffered a horrible death.
The day after the execution of Lawson, the Indian chieftain informed the Baron that they had determined to wage a war on the English. The particular object of their disfavor were the people on the Pamlico, Neuse, and Trent Rivers and Core Sound, for settlers had already established permanent settlements there. The upper
towns of the Tuscaroras near the Virginia line, declined to participate, but the Cotechneys, the Pamlicos, the Cores, and the Neuse Indians were the chief instigators of hostilities.
Five hundred warriors from each Indian tribe on the southern frontier gathered at Hancock's town on Contentnea Creek in Greene County, and, forming in small bands, went forth as if in a friendly way throughout the settlement.
Tradition says that the Indians held war dances and powwows on Indian Island, just prior to battles. It was said that they conferred on the eve of the Tuscarora War there. This island is sixteen miles below Bath, in Pamlico River.
On the morning of September 22, 1711, they rose upon the unsuspecting colonists, in their scattered homes, to begin a horrible slaughter. One hundred and thirty persons fell victims to their murderous attack. On some plantations all men, women, and children were slaughtered, while on others men only were massacred and the women and children were held as slaves in captivity. The Indians savagely slew, burnt, and pillaged, and the entire region south of the Albemarle was a scene of riot and desolation. At Bath and on the South side of Pamlico River the French Huguenot settlers suffered heavy loss by tomahawk and torches which were applied to homes and stores alike. During the hours of horrible calamity, the persons fortunate to escape the furious attack, escaped in dismay to nearby points of refuge. The refugees came to Bath and barricaded themselves in the rude fort there to escape the Indian attacks. This fort was erected back of what is now called the Joseph Bonner home on Bonner's Point. For many years the excavations bearing evidence to the existence of this fort could be seen in the rear of the Bonner home. There were ten other places where they hastily fortified themselves against attack.
Many incidents of the barbarous slaughter were heart-breaking. At the home of John Porter, Jr., Sarah Lillington, his wife, upon seeing an Indian about to dash her baby's brains out against a tree, rushed upon him and snatched her child from his clutches. Dr. Patrick Maule being there, he and Col. Porter grabbed their guns and protected the women so they could escape to the landing where they took a boat and launched out in Pamlico River and escaped, while seeing their homes in the distance being destroyed by fire. The savages murdered and pillaged, and on the third day the plantations were deserted, the Indians loaded with spoils and carrying eighty women and children, went back to the fort at Contentnea.
The dead laid in that hot September sun, food for buzzards and prey for wild animals. Many bodies were horribly mutilated, others were mockingly arranged, as was the family of Mr. Neville, who lived
Attorney General and Chief Justice. His home in Bath was
used as a chapel of the Church of England, several years
before St. Thomas’ Church was erected. He was a member
of an English family famous for its scholars and ministers.
on Pamlico River, and for whom Neville's Creek was named. He was laid on the floor with a clean pillow beneath his head, which was decorated with his wife's head dress, his body was covered with new linen. Mrs. Neville was placed on her knees in the chimney corner, her hands uplifted as if in prayer. Their son was laid out in the yard with a pillow under his head and a sprig of rosemary under his nose.
Gov. Hyde and the Albemarle leaders took every precautionary measure of safety. Messages were hastily sent to Governor Spottswood, who ordered the Virginia militia to gather near the Indian towns which were close to the Virginia line. They tried to enlist the upper Tuscaroras in quelling the hostile Indians. He offered six blankets for the head of every Indian they would bring in and “the usual price for the women and children as slaves.” They asked for a month to consider, and then decided to remain neutral.
Christopher Gale was sent to Charleston, to ask for aid. The South Carolina Assembly quickly sent assistance which took some time to assemble. Gale hurried back on his return, with a large supply of ammunition, but the French took him prisoner and kept him for several months. In the meantime, the North Carolina government received no information regarding him or supplies. They again sent for assistance which was promptly sent. Col. John Barnwell marched a detachment of troops, composed mostly of Indians of South Carolina. As they marched up the Santee River they were joined by a detachment from the tribe along the stream near the present site of Charlotte, N. C. He marched eastward to the Waxhaw; then to Cape Fear above Fayetteville following the river near the Haw. Next he went northeastwardly to an Indian town, Torhunte on Tar River. On January 28, 1712, he reached the Pamlico country, the section along Pamlico River. It was a long tiresome journey through the wilderness, with no roads and very little provisions. His band had suffered from inclement weather. His force consisted of eight hundred friendly Indians and fifty whites. Barnwell attacked the savages about twenty miles above New Bern, killed three hundred and took more than one hundred prisoners; but as soon as the victory was won, half of his forces, satisfied with their loot, deserted him, and went back to South Carolina, taking the prisoners who were sent to the West Indies and sold for slaves. His army greatly reduced, he nevertheless chased the enemy until they retreated to a bluff which was difficult to reach. This section overlooked the Neuse and was inaccessible. He thus withdrew his friendly troops about thirty miles east of New Bern, where he attacked the Core Indians and drove them from their village and many were killed. He was reinforced when he came back with two hundred and fifty whites from Albemarle under Captains Brice Boyd and Mitchell. They attacked Hancock's fort near Snow Hill but were repulsed. People were gratified by their presence and did everything possible to carry on
the war, and tried unsuccessfully to secure reinforcements from Gov. Spottswood of Virginia. But the Virginians disliked the governor so much that it was impossible for him to render assistance.
Barnwell planned another attack in April on Hancock's fort, as Baron de Graffenried suggested. The Indians had recently released him. Cannon had been carried on long shafts through the forest with a horse in front and one in the back. These were placed so as to bombard the stronghold from the correct position. The cannon were fired and hand grenades thrown into the forts at the same time. Terror-stricken the Indians begged for a truce. Barnwell and his officers held a council of war with the Indians, and a truce was granted, with the understanding that all white prisoners should be released at once, and it was expected a lasting peace would follow.
Barnwell's Indians were disappointed at the peace negotiations, which deprived them from capturing and selling more slaves. Barnwell withdrew to New Bern where he could secure provisions. A few weeks later he lured the Eastern Indians near Core village where his army took women and children captive. The South Carolinians hastened home with their prisoners, and Barnwell raised white companies in the Albemarle to fight, as breach of faith had caused hostility. Barnwell was wounded July, 1712. He then returned to Charleston promising to use every effort to send more assistance. As long as Barnwell's force was on the Pamlico the enemy was subdued. But after their departure, hostilities broke out afresh, on account of the treacherous breach of the truce. Again the hostile Indians began to be active and warfare began anew in the section south of the Albemarle. Farms were deserted, the crops were left uncultivated, and the inhabitants gathered in the garrisons for protection, while prowling bands of Indians scalped all who unfortunately fell in their hands. A small band of Yamassee Indians under Captain Mackey rendered good service near Bath. The savages went through the forests and destroyed plantations and caused people to remain in the forts. So another summer went by without any crops being raised. The Pamlico and Neuse settlements remained in a state of siege. This condition alarmed the Assembly, so to fill the ranks quickly, the rule was that all who would not enroll as soldiers were to pay five pounds for maintaining the struggle. Although the necessity of defense was urgent, many people were displeased with the strenuous measures of the government, so much that some of the inhabitants left the Pamlico section and fled to Virginia.
To add to the present difficulties, yellow fever broke out in the colony. Col. Hyde who was commissioned as Governor only that May, died September 8, 1712, after a week's illness, a victim of this dread disease. Col. Pollock, President of the Council, continued the administration.
Gov. Craven, of South Carolina, offered to send to the colony another force of friendly Indians, their services were to be paid for with North Carolina bills. Col. James Moore marched a new army of thirty-three white men from South Carolina, finally arriving on the Neuse. Col. Moore traversed about the same route generally in his march as Col. Barnwell. Later he was reinforced by his brother, Col. Maurice Moore, with a band of friendly South Carolina Indians. The South Carolina Indians were taken to the Chowan to receive supplies and they stayed there until January, 1713. About the middle of January, they prepared to attack the savages. Provisions were sent by water, and January 17th, Colonel Moore marched from Chowan to Fort Reading across Pamlico River from Bath Town where he remained inactive until February, on account of a heavy snow-fall. During this time the Indians had fortified themselves at two forts, one at Cohunche and the other Fort Nohoroco on Cotechney.
After much preparation and reinforcement by a large number of whites, March 20th, Col. Moore surrounded Fort Nohoroco and took it after three days of fierce fighting. He lost forty-six whites and ninety-one friendly Indians. There were 392 prisoners and 192 scalps taken, 200 others were reported killed and burned in the fort, while 166 were killed and taken outside the fort. The Indian loss totaled about 800. Probably this was the severest battle, up to date, ever fought with the Indians. This broke the powers of the Tuscaroras. After making peace, they surrendered all their prisoners and delivered up 20 of their chiefs to Col. Moore. Very soon after this, the larger part of this powerful tribe and also those in Fort Cohunche, went up the Roanoke and moved to New York and become the sixth nation there.
As September 22, 1711, was the day of the terrible uprising and massacre in the Pamlico country and elsewhere, by legislative enactment September 22, was set apart as a day of fasting and prayer by the people of the Colony of North Carolina, and was so observed for forty years thereafter.
COLONIAL FORTS ON PAMLICO RIVER
To subdue the enemy, and restore peace and safety to the troubled Pamlico Section, in addition to the garrisoned plantations, two forts of considerable size were erected. One was located at Core Point, and was named Fort Hyde for Gov. Edward Hyde, who entered four thousand acres with the Surveyor-General. This grant covered the location of Core Point. After his death his widow sold this land to John Lovick. This land was never surveyed until after Hyde's death, on account of fear of Indian attacks.
Another fort was at Lyonel Reading's plantation, and was called Fort Reading. Local historians have not agreed as to the exact location. However, it was on the south side of Pamlico River. Some thought it was just above Core Point, others say that it must have been on the farm owned by the Peytons and now in the possesion of Mrs. W. M. Butt, near Durham's Creek.
There was an understanding between the people at Fort Hyde at Core Point and the ones at the Fort at Bath, that in event of an Indian attack a signal from across Pamlico River, would summons help from the other. There was some complaint that the signals had not been regarded, so that they would have been left to their fate, if attacked.FIRST FREE SCHOOL IN COLONY OF NORTH CAROLINA
WAS AT BATH TOWN
Mr. E. C. Brooks wrote in North Carolina Day Book, 1904:
“The object of establishing schools was for the purpose of preparing the children for church worship. Notwithstanding the fact that the religious and educational standing of the colonists had been greatly neglected, and were in consequence in a very low state, the chief aim of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel was for the purpose of teaching the Indians and negro slaves in the principles of the Christian religion. Since education was the handmaid of the church, the larger efforts at education were directed toward the Indian and negro slaves, and the first free school was endowed by the society and established at Bath about 1720, for the purpose of teaching Indians and negroes. Mr. Rainsford, the missionary, urged the home society to pay Mr. Marshburn a salary in order that he might be able to teach the Indians free. The society established at Bath, like that established in New York by the same society, was not a success, and the attempt was soon abandoned.”
BLACKBEARD, THE PIRATE
Edward Teach, was commonly known as Blackbeard, the pirate of the Pamlico section. He lived at Bath and showed his shrewdness by the selection of the site for his home. He lived on a point of land between the bay just beyond Bath Town and Pamlico River. No ship could pass going to or from Bath, without being closely inspected from this vantage.
He was born in Bristol, England, and according to the records, never was a landowner in the colony. His living was made by piratical ventures, attacking vessels, taking loot, and, no doubt, causing some of his victims to walk the plank, while others were allowed to go free. His companion in crime, was Major Steed Bonnett, a well educated man who was captured by pirates and then decided to become one himself. Pirates preferred to go in pairs.
Blackbeard was a favorite with the feminine sex, so much so that it was said that he had eight wives, and some even claimed that
Hand drawing of Blackbeard and crew]
he had thirteen. He drank hard and reveled in riotous living, and was especially fond of luxuries. He possessed great physical power, a strong will, and an ungovernable temper. His black beard, which he always wore, won for him the nickname, Blackbeard. He would not hesitate to put a person to death, who dared oppose him.
He spent much time in the Pamlico section and was friendly with some people. He boasted that he could dine with any one he chose; but he found to the contrary one day, for when he invited himself to dinner with the prominent Swann family living at Bath, he was told by Col. Swann, with shotgun in hand, that he would shoot if he came any nearer. This spirit of Col. Swann's was shared by most of the
gentlemen who loved the colony and had its welfare at heart.
Blackbeard, after his piratical cruises, would go to Pitt County and rest for a week at the home of his sister, Susie White. It has been said that there is an old cypress tree in the river lowgrounds in Pitt County, with iron spikes driven in it, that served as steps for Teach to climb and see that all was well and that he was not about to be molested.
Blackbeard ruled the waves, along with other pirates, off the Atlantic coast, and made life miserable for sailors and merchantmen. His ravages greatly affected the trade of Charleston, South Carolina, as well as that of North Carolina.
The government appealed to the pirates to surrender which they did two or three times. Some of them each time, retired to honest living and scattered to Pennsylvania, New York and various colonies. Blackbeard faked reformation; but when his money dwindled, his thirst for the notorious, shameful life became such a temptation that he was unable to resist. He would at once gather a crew and steer his ship for the sea. While living at Bath, his crew were such rough fellows, the Governor would often have serious disturbances quelled.
On his last voyage his destination was St. Thomas Island in the West Indies. He robbed two French vessels, August 22, loaded with cocoa, sweetmeats, cotton, and sugar. He arrived with his stolen cargo, in Ocracoke Inlet, Sept. 13, 1717. After reaching the harbor at Bath, Teach rowed his periauger to the home of Tobias Knight, Secretary to Governor Eden. It has been said that Tobias Knight had an underground passage which led from Bath Creek to the rear of his home, so goods could be stored without detection. Teach, at this time, carried a gift of four kegs of sweetmeats and other spoils, leaving his friend's home just before dawn. On his return he met a boat, which he robbed, loaded the cargo and landed, hiding the sugar, cotton, etc., under the fodder in Tobias Knight's barn. After unloading the French ship, which he took in the Bath harbor, he burned it. The news caused a wave of great indignation among the people and general distress among the merchants, so they called on Governor Spottswood of Virginia, for help. Gov. Spottswood used the utmost secrecy in taking steps in the matter, as some of the colonists in Virginia sympathized with pirates, and might send word. Only his commanding officers were aware of the plans. Two British sloops were hired for the undertaking. Lieutenant Maynard, a British naval officer, was in command. They sailed November 17th, on this perilous voyage. Being taken unaware, Blackbeard was not prepared to fight. His vessel was not properly equipped and not sufficiently manned. But he fully realized the effort to capture him. He spent his last night drinking heavily. Next morning preparing his craft for the conflict, he keyed himself for the fray. Maynard's vessel approached;
but Teach had the advantage as he knew the narrow channel and his adversary did not. Finally after the vessels had grounded and pushed off several times, Teach's vessel became firmly grounded on a shoal. Maynard's ships drew up, and tried to lay his two vessels alongside the Queen Anne's Revenge, Teach's vessel. Blackbeard did not flinch; but reserved the fire of his heavy guns which had double shots, until Maynard was close at hand, so as to deliver a fearful broadside upon them. He succeeded so well in the defense that at the first broadside twenty-nine of Maynard's force were killed or wounded, and one of his sloops, was so badly damaged that it had to be abandoned. Maynard was a man of courage and was determined to accomplish the purpose he had undertaken. After the decks had been cleared of the dead and wounded, he prepared in detail for a renewed fight. His ship alone was fit for action, and the Revenge was fast grounded, making manoeuving impossible so the fight became one of physical power. Seeing that his ship drew so much water he could not easily reach the Revenge, he threw overboard whatever could be spared to lighten the ship, and then undertook to grapple with the enemy. For their protection he had them to stay below, while he heroically seized the helm and steered straight for the Revenge.
Blackbeard was equally as resolute as Maynard, and was determined to make the enemy pay as dearly as possible for his life. He had one of his bandits instructed to blow up the powder magazine and cause a castastrophe rather than allow his capture.
Maynard skillfully steered his vessel and so prevented a broadside similar to the one that had disabled his other ship. He remained alone on deck, as the bow of his vessel struck the quarter of the stranded corsair.
At once, Blackbeard and his men threw hand grenades which he had made. This enveloped the pirate and his crew in a thick foul smoke, which served as a screen while they leaped over the bows and attacked the gallant Maynard who was the only one seen. Instantly the men below ran on deck and leaped to his assistance and a furious hand-to-hand conflict followed.
The pirates fought furiously but despairingly. Blackbeard was cut down; but with seeming superhuman strength he rallied and his violent temper flared and his frenzy was terrific. His men fought with equal passion, desperately and caused severe loss before they were subdued. Finally Blackbeard mortally wounded, fell while in the act of cocking a pistol, after fainting from the loss of blood, and falling, died.
The rest of the crew, who were mostly negroes, were arrested and taken to Virginia where the royal government had jurisdiction for trials of piracy. The following March, they were tried. To Capt.
Maynard belonged the glory and honor due a victor, but, notwithstanding, it was not without a high price, as many heroic lives were given in exchange.
After Blackbeard's death, his head was cut off and placed on the bowsprit of Capt. Maynard's ship. It is said that he came to Bath with this gruesome sight and landed at a wharf near what used to be a railway for ships up Bath Creek to the right of Mr. J. B. Williams’ residence, which is now the Episcopal rectory.
Tobias Knight, upon being questioned, claimed to have no knowledge of the stolen goods of Teach; but finally admitted that they had been stored in his barn, and they was there at that time. He stated in defense, that Teach had found this French ship at sea, with no one on board, and that the goods rightfully belonged to him, as the finder. He consented for them to be stored in his barn, until the owners called for them later. The story failed to convince Capt. Brand, so the goods were taken to Virginia and sold, and the money was turned over to the French owners.
Although Tobias Knight, Secretary of the Colony, lived at Bath, the public papers were kept at John Lovick's, the deputy Secretary at Sandy Hook, Chowan County. Previously, Governor Eden had lived at Bath, but now resided at Edenton, N. C. Governor George Burrington sneeringly called Lovick “Eden's affidavit man.”
In order to find if there was any evidence to throw any light on this sordid affair, which was a blot on the history of the colony, Edward Moseley, who had more influence than any other man in the Colony, with Maurice Moore, his brother-in-law, from South Carolina, who had helped fight the Indians in the Tuscarora War, was greatly esteemed by the colonists, forced their way in the Secretary's office, and for twenty-four hours searched the records and public papers. They were doubtless trying to find evidence regarding pirates or their colleagues. This was lawful as the Lords Proprietors had so instructed that all records should be open for public inspection. This record searching occurred December 27th; but the Governor and his friends were greatly excited and a crowd gathered to arrest Moseley and Moore, for high crime and misdemeanor.
Moseley was the leading lawyer in the colony and had been Speaker of the House, and when the mob came to arrest him, he tried to reason with them, and told one of the men that it was frivolous business, and that he was surprised at their coming in such a manner to arrest him, and that the Governor and ones in authority should allow armed men to come and disturb quiet, honest men; but instead they could have easily raised such a number, which would have been sufficient to destroy Teach instead the pirate had been allowed to go on in his villainies. This scandalous accusations stung the Governor to the quick. Moseley was indicated for his crime, and pressure of the
whole government was brought to bear for his conviction. He was fined five shillings for detaining records and scandalous language, at the November, 1719, term of court, and was declared incapable of practicing law or of holding any office in the colony, for a period of three years. He was allowed to appear in all the important cases pending, by the application of the Chief Justice, as he had previously been employed. He later put on record that his language about the Governor had been hasty and passionate. At the expiration of his three year sentence he was at once elected to the Assembly and chosen Speaker of that body, for he had great influence with the people. His sentence was not remitted, as reported.
When the pirates were tried in Virginia, the evidence implicated Tobias Knight so positively that a copy of the testimony was sent to the Governor of North Carolina, with a request that he be sent to Virginia for trial. Tobias Knight's associates of the council board had no idea of this being done. He was asked to answer this charge, which he did, filing a statement May 27, 1719, with an affidavit of Edmund Chamburlane, a young man who lived with him. The Council complacently resolved that Knight was innocent, though he never attended another meeting of the board, and two months later he “had the grace to die.”
Years afterward, Teach is said to have had a grandson to go to Raleigh and sit in the legislature of the State as a member.CAPITOL
The General Assembly met at Bath in 1744 and 1752. When it was determined to have a permanent capitol, the General Assembly voted to make Bath the permanent seat of government, but “by management” Governor Gabriel Johnston secured the selection of New Bern.COLONIAL GOVERNORS WHO LIVED AT BATH
Bath is proud of the fact that no less than four governors have resided in this ancient town, and another one was born there, who was governor elsewhere later.
Sir Robert Daniel lived at Bath. His home was on Bath Creek near Archbell's Point. He came to the Colony and was appointed Deputy Governor and served for the years 1704-1705, and was turned out after great resentment.
After Sir Robert Daniel was removed from office, Col. Thomas Cary came to take his place. William Glover was deputy governor at the time. Both claimed the governor's place, and for a while there were two governments. When a meeting of the Council took a vote Cary was elected.
Cary held office until 1710. (See Cary's Rebellion for further details).
In 1709, Col. Edward Hyde was appointed deputy governor of North Carolina. He was a grandson of the Earl of Clarendon and a first cousin of Queen Anne. He was opposed by Cary. Governor Hyde fortified his home near Bath and with his followers attempted to defend himself. Later he equipped an armed brigantine which was abandoned and captured. He then fled.
He died with yellow fever, September 8, 1712.
Governor Charles Eden was born 1673 and resided at Bath duriage a part of his administration. He became governor in 1714.
His home was on the southwest side of Bath Creek and a rock wharf was located in front of his house. At low tide the remains of this pier can be seen.
He was a member of an ancient family seated in Durham in the north of England. To this family also belonged Sir Robert Eden, last colonial governor of Maryland, and many other men of note.
His wife was a widow, Mrs. Penelope Golland. This lady had no children by her marriage with Gov. Eden; but one of her two children by a former marriage, named Penelope Golland, was four times married, her last husband being Gabriel Johnston.
He was a trustee of the library, and vestryman of St. Thomas Parish.
Gov. Eden sent troops to South Carolina to repay her for assistance in the Tuscarora War. He died March 26, 1722.
On January 15, 1724, George Burrington was sworn in at Edenton as governor. According to the Colonial records, he lived, while governor, a short time at Bath.
During his administration there were two factions—one adhered to the interests of the Lords Proprietors whose leader was Chief Justice Christopher Gale, and the other was more interested in the welfare of the colony and its people and its leaders were John Baptista Ashe, Edward Moseley, and Maurice Moore.
Being friendly with the Ashe family in England, caused Burrington to side with the popular party of which Ashe was one of the leaders. But owing to a violent temper he never sided with any party, without giving expression to bitter opposition to the other party. This caused him to have quarrels with Chief Justice Gale, and so he threatened the chief justice with violence and also his property. The Lords Proprietors were against him, as he planned starting a revolution similar to the one in South Carolina, and to change North Carolina
from proprietary to a crown colony. Gov. Burrington was soon removed from his office.
Burrington had a wonderful capacity for work and would go to distant settlements to inspect roads, bridges, etc., and had new roads cut. He suffered privations and once narrowly escaped drowning.
He returned to England and many years later, was robbed and murdered in London.
Gov. Samuel Ashe was born at Bath in 1725. He came of a prominent and influential family. Also his brother, John Ashe who became a general later in the Revolution, and his sister, Mary Ashe, who became the grandmother of George Davis, who was Attorney-General of the Confederacy. They were children of John Baptista Ashe, Speaker of the Assembly.
LOCATION OF BLACKBEARD'S HOME
This view was taken from Bonner's Point. Plum Point, seen
in the distance, extending out, on the left-hand side, was the
site of Blackbeard's home. On the opposite side, across Bath
Creek on the right stood Sir Robert Daniels’ home. Further
up Bath Creek, on the same side, Governor Charles Eden
lived. Both were colonial governors.
EARLY INHABITANTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS
Many prominent families of the province lived at Bath Town in early colonial days, among whom were the Porters, Gales, Moores, Ashes, Lord and Lady Palmer. Former Secretary of State, J. Bryan Grimes and Mrs. Macon Bonner state that it is safe to say that in honor, character, virtue and accomplishments, they were not excelled by any families on the American continent They were people of education, refinement, culture, and abundance. Without great wealth they lived in comfort and plenty. With lands, slaves, books, silverware, horses and carriages, massive solid mahogany furniture, cut glass and costly wearing apparel, they were leaders in a social life that rivaled the best in the adjoining colonies.
The people of the ancient capitol were courteous. The ladies of that period danced the stately minuet, clad in brocade and wearing powdered wigs, the gentlemen proved gallant and chivalrous escorts in knee breeches with silver buckled shoes. Bath had a large hotel which, tradition tells us, was the gay scene of balls in those days.
Hand drawing of a dancing couple]
The golden era for Bath started with the beginning of the administration of Gov. Gabriel Johnston and lasted until the Revolution.
The Pamlico section was noted for its hospitality and generous living. Weddings were great festivities, the feasting and merry-making lasting for several days. The women were splendid housekeepers and skillful with the needle and the spinning wheel.
The following owned property in Bath and many of them lived there:
Christopher Gale, Attorney-General, First Chief Justice of the Colony; Col. Maurice Moore who led the colonial troops successfully in the Tuscarora War, and later moved and laid off Wilmington; Dr.
Patrick Maule, practicing physician of the family for which Maule's Point was named (this point is on Pamlico River across from Bath); Nicholas Daw, “Parson” Alexander Stewart, John Baptista Ashe, Maurice Llewellyn, Daniel Matthews, Thomas Worsley, James Beard, Nattie Wiersdale, James Walsh, John Worsley, Richard Odeon, Jr., John Porter, Thomas Peterson, George Birkinhead, Thomas Sparrow, Otho Russell, Thomas Roper, Henry Davidson, Edmund Pearce, Letitia Margaretta Llewellyn, Edward Worsley, Rhoda March, Joseph Morgan, Edward Travis, John Drinkwater, Daniel Richardson, Gov. Charles Eden, William Ledley, Isabelle Lawson, daughter of John Lawson, Mary Clark, Edward Porter, John Clark. Thomas Hennan, Judith Hennan, John Lillington, Matthew Rowan, Elizabeth Mearsdon, Patrick Carvan, William Flannikin, John Weatherby, Thomas Harding, John Adams, Gyles Schute, Thomas Cary, Nicholas Roach, Lyonell Reading, Esq., Patrick Flannikin, Lord Robert Palmer, Lady Margaret Palmer and Matthew Rowan.
John Lawson wrote the first history of North Carolina and was Surveyor-General. He willed his two lots to his daughter. He made the first map of Bath in 1701, and also made the first map of New Bern. And surveyed and laid off both towns.
Christopher Gale, Dr. Maurice “Luellyn” and John Lawson owned jointly a horse-mill and house which was located on Major Gale's lot in Bath and it was understood that it was to remain there during their partnership. They signed an agreement October 23rd, 1707, that no owner should go in the mill, with any grain except for his own family's use or consent to allow any one else to grind there, unless all three of the owners gave consent.
THE MARSH HOUSE
Built by Michael Cautanche, a Frenchman. Later owned over one hundred
years by the Marsh family. Mrs. Michael Cautanche's granddaughter, Mary
Evans’ grave is in the rear yard here.
COLONIAL HOMES NOW STANDING
Hand drawing of a couple entering the Marsh House]
The Marsh house as it is known was built in 1744 by a Frenchman, Monsieur Michael Coutanche. Later this home was bought by Jonathan Marsh, a wealthy ship owner, about 1776, and remained in that family for about one hundred years.
It has a very large chimney seventeen feet wide and four feet deep. Mrs. Mary Evans, tradition says, died of a broken heart on account of the loss of her husband at sea, is buried in the rear yard of this home. She was the granddaughter of Mrs. Michael Cautanche who was Mrs. Lillington, a widow, before her marriage to Michael Cautanche.
The Palmer family who were quite prominent in Bath, once lived here.
The colonial Williams house is quite interesting. Various families lived here. It has a hand-carved mantel and a large front door. This is the Rectory.
The Vandevier house is another interesting old Colonial home. It is located on the north side of the town and can be seen from the bridge which is on the west of Bath. It is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Bowen.
The Bonner home is located on Bonner's Point. It was built in Colonial days and has hand carved mantel, window facings, front door facing and staircase. Various familiies have lived here, Joseph Bonner among the number. From this home there is a splendid view of Plum Point where Blackbeard formerly lived.
The Buzzard Hotel is another interesting old building which dates back in the past. It derives its name from a former owner.
The Henry Bonner home is quite quaint and has very dignified lines, with a large chimney at the side of the house. It once had a carved mantel, and is located in the Jackson Swamp section a few miles from Bath.
The Gaylord home is still standing a short distance from Bath. It was pretentious in its day, and was the home of a prominent family, the Gaylords.
THE JOSEPH BONNER HOME
In colonial days there was a fort in the rear yard here,
which defended the Bath inhabitants during the Tuscarora
War. The interior is hand-carved extensively.
COLONIAL ROADS AND FERRY
First Road in the State from Bath to New Bern
Hand drawing of a full coach of people]
Pamlico River served as a boulevard in Colonial times, as the country was not cleared. Very few roads had been laid out, so travel
through the wilderness was difficult, hazardous and tedious.
Consequently, most all settlements and plantations of the white people were first made along rivers or other streams.
In 1722, an Act was passed for a Colonial road from Core Point to New Bern. It is said to have been originally an Indian trail. It was the first road in the Colony. Governors, statesmen, and their ladies traveled this route, from Bath, the oldest town, to New Bern, the next oldest.
This road started at Core Point, opposite Bath and came by what is known now as the Blount's Creek section, a short distance from Aurora.
Mr. Benjamin Peyton, Aug. 9, 1740, brought in a bill for an Act for appointing a ferry from Bath Town to Core Point. This ferry served the people of Bath so that they could easily travel the road from this point to New Bern. This Act also prevented any other ferry to operate within ten miles of the said Town of Bath or Core Point, on the same sides of the river.
“Of course all roads in the northern counties, if not all in the colony led to Virginia, the general point of convergence being on the Nansemond River, at or near where the town of Suffolk is situated. Going southward from Albemarle, the route was from Edenton across the sound to Mackey's Point, some ten miles below Plymouth, a distance of about nine miles, thence to Bath, thence across the Pamlico River, and across the Neuse to New Bern, and there to Wilmington the distance, as the road ran, was near two hundred miles, with three long ferries to cross. To compel northern members to go to Wilmington was a great hardship, as it was also to compel southern members to go to Edenton. Hence the Assemblies came to meet at Bath, as half-way house and then at New Bern. Indeed a strong effort was made to establish the permanent seat of government at Bath, not contemplating, as it were, any extension of the settlement to the westward. But try as much as might be, it was found impossible to make a town at Bath, although it was the first chartered town in the colony.” (Taken from Colonial Records, Vol. III,p. 18.)PORT BATH ON THE PAMLICO
Ships sailed the seas from this Port and brought commerce from various countries across the ocean. It was an age of hope, for the Pamlico country, and promised to become the commercial metropolis of the Colony. In 1715 Bath was made a port of entry.
Mr. John Baptista Ashe was one of the Receivers of the Powder Money for the port of Bath, from Dec. 21, 1723, to Jan. 22, 1725-6, the sum of One Hundred Sixty Pounds, Sixteen Shillings and two Pence, was delivered to Col. Edward Moseley, “Publick” Treasurer. This port was the receiving point for powder for a long time.
There was provision for a Custom House and Collector.
Col. William Palmer was the collector of rum duties at the port, Feb. 22, 1776.
Hand drawing of a boat ship vessel under full sail]
A bill was brought in June 12, 1746, by Mr. Coutanche and Mr. McLewean and introduced by Mr. Ormond to erect beacons, set up stakes and marks to make known and point out the several shoals and channels from Ocracoke Inlet over the shoals to Bath Town, New Bern, etc., it was tabled; but was later passed.
To the sea captains of the early colonial days, should go much credit for playing their part in the game of planting an infant nation in a new world. Although they have the reputation of natural ruggedness, still beneath their coarse clothing beat hearts that were sympathetic and kind as could be found. Many of the first settlers had the title captain, showing that they sailed the seas, and in that way found their way to the Pamlico Section.
EARLY MINISTERS OF ST. THOMAS’ PARISH
In 1699, Henderson Walker was president of the Council. He was a very zealous churchman, owing to his great ability, he became the highest officer in the colony. It was while he was in this office that he reported a need for missionaries in the colony. He stated the need for missionaries “besides one lately sent thither.” Dr. Bray sent over a library to Bath, St. Thomas’ Parish in Pamlico.
The Colony of North Carolina was a difficult field for the early missionaries, as the population was exceedingly scattered. There were swamps and no roads, making it burdensome to make their way over rivers and through forests. “In none of the states did the missionaries undergo greater hardships from the dearness of provisions, the great extent, of their cures, and the indifference of hostility of the people.
Blair said that “the new colony of Pamlico is from the rest of the inhabitants of the country, for any man that has tried it would sooner undertake a voyage from the city of Holland than that, for beside a pond of five miles broad and nothing to carry one over but a small periauger, there are about fifty miles desert to pass through, without any human creature inhabitating in it.”
“In 1704, a petition was addressed to Parliament by the Queen's Majesties most distressed subjects near Pamplico River in the County of Bath.” The signers say that depending upon the royal assurance for the encouragement of the exercise of the Protestant religion, they settled themselves and their families upon the aforesaid river, going through incredible difficulties from the Indians, and at vast labour and expense recovering and improving great quantities of land; but they have been unable to have a minister appointed them, although they offered with cheerfulness to be at the charge of maintaining him. Hence they have been deprived of “the means of grace which their souls earnestly longed after,” and nearly two hundred of their children are unbaptised.
A second act establishing the Church of England was passed in the colony, 1704, and aroused considerable opposition. The dissenters considered it an effort to saddle an established Church with which they had no sympathy. A representative was sent to England to protest against the law, and the act was disallowed. A period of political agitation set in, during which the Church of England was on the defensive.
Chief Justice Gale wrote his father, a clergymen in England, that religion was imperiled, and the little stock which the settlers
had brought over would be lost without sending missionaries. All the children under eighteen continue unbaptised, “of which many have been cut off by a late massacre.”
Governor Charles Eden was anxious to promote the best interests of the Church and felt sure the inhabitants would respond better if provided with an adequate number of ministers. To the Secretary of the Society, May 10, 1716, he states that “these poor people are not so black as they have been painted but as willing as any of his Majesty's subjects on the Continent to contribute to the utmost to the subsisting of Ministers that are Gentlemen of good lives and affable behaviour and conversation. Are unfortunate to be without instructors. But if they could procure ministers would they please send Schoolmasters qualified as mentioned in their most excellent rules. Inhabitants would willingly pay them the largest part of their salaries for reading the Services and Catechising the Children reserving the overplus to any of your Missionaries who should visit them twice or thrice in the year.”Rev. John Urmstone
Rev. John Urmstone for a number of years was the only missionary of the English Church, in North Carolina. He traveled all over the colony, preaching in all places regardless of their obscurity or inaccessibility. His was an impossible task as the field was such a vast territory, and the Indian War was waged in Bath County, slaying numerous parishioners and a large number of unbaptised infants, thus reducing the number of people to be served.
He had a brilliant mind and good education and gave vivid descriptions; but had a gloomy way of observing his surroundings and expressed it in writing of his work.
Mr. John Urmstone left North Carolina in 1721, without notice.Rev. Ebenezer Taylor
Rev. Ebenezer Taylor came to the southwestern shores of Chowan, and spent the first year and while there instructed negroes and Indians, “till he was stopped by popular prejudice.” He went to Perquimans and then to Bath and the country to the south. “The irreligion of the people filled him with distress; he was unable to induce his congregations to partake of the Lord's supper.”
He came to a tragic end, and died while on a missionary tour from Bath to Core Sound, Feb. 20, 1720. He was exposed in an open boat for ten days in severe weather, according to the early records. It was thought that he was murdered by his crew, as his watch and 290 pounds in money had been taken.
Rev. John Blacknall
The Rev. John Blacknall, gentleman, was among the first Episcopal ministers to officiate in North Carolina. His lineage runs back through English country gentlemen of record to the Blacknalls of Wing, Buckinghamshire, whose armorial bearings date two centuries prior to the time Columbus sailed to discover the new world.
Rev. Mr. Blacknall served a short time in North Carolina and then moved to Virginia.
He has many descendants living in North Carolina.Rev. John Garzia
Rev. John Garzia came to North Carolina from Virginia, prior to January, 1733. He began his ministry in Bath, 1733. According to Governor Gabriel Johnston, he was a worthy and religious minister, and was indefatigable in going from Parish to Parish, preaching the Word of God and baptising as it appears according to his report, from 1733 to 1738, 279 males and 242 females. Upon recommendation he was eventually appointed to succeed Rev. John Boyd, who had been an itinerant missionary.
“On March, 1735-6, Mr. Garzia wrote to the Secretary of the Society of the Propagation and the Bishop of London, Dr. Edmund Gibson, and asked for a Bible, Prayer Book and Communion Service for the use of the new Church.” This was sent by the Society of Propagation of the Gospel.
He lived at Bath, and in a letter dated April 16, 1741, he regretted that many books from the Parish Library had been lost.
When he was appointed an itinerant missionary, “It was reported to the Governor and the House ordered him to have passage Ferry free over ye several Rivers and Creeks.”
Mr. R. T. Bonner found that the Rev. John Garzia was granted 1,280 acres of land in 1739, thereby becoming a large land owner. This land is now the finest farming land on South Creek. This grant is recorded in the Secretary of State's Office in Raleigh, Book 4, page 4.
A number of years after this land was granted, it was sold by Rev. John Garzia's son who styled himself, John Garzia, mariner, of Rhode Island. He stated in the deed that he acquired the land by inheritance from his father, John Garzia.
Rev. John Garzia died October, 1744, from a fall from his horse. He left a wife and three children.
His widow reported that the cup reached Bath, in 1747.
Rev. John Boyd
The Rev. John Boyd was an itinerant Missionary.Rev. Thomas Newman
Rev. Thomas Newman was a missionary to Bath County and visited Bath Town, according to the Society of Propagation of the Gospel. In 1734, St. Thomas vestrymen were Marr, C. W. Moore, John Lillington, Thomas Worseley, John Adams and John Porter.
In 1748, the church wardens, vestry and others of St. Thomas’ Parish wrote to the Society telling how they had applied through Governor Gabriel Johnson to the Bishop of London to secure a resident minister, but received no answer, they therefore applied to the S. P. G. and promised their future missionary 50 lbs. proclamation money per annum, a glebe, house and 20 lbs. as a present when he arrived. This petition is signed by Dan'll Blin, Abraham Duncan, (Church Wardens), Edward Poyner, Edward Salter, James Ellison and James Adams, Vestry; Seth Pikington, Michl. Cautanche, Richard Newman, Jno. Barron and John Odeon.Rev. Alexander Stewart
Rev. Alexander Stewart was born in Scotland. He had every educational advantage and graduated from University of Dublin, October 4, 1739, with Bachelor of Arts degree in 1744.
In 1754, he came to America as chaplain to Gov. Arthur Dobbs. After working untiringly in his parish, his health became impaired. It was Mr. Stewart's intention to return to Great Britain; but it seemed to be destined that he should not.
Rev. Mr. Stewart was married five times. One of his wives was a daughter of Benjamin Peyton, a son of Sir Robert Peyton. All of his descendants are descended from Rose Stewart, a granddaughter of Benjamin Peyton. Some of his descendants still own and live at the old Rev. Alexander Stewart homestead.
After suffering from rheumatism for a number of years, he partially recovered and resumed work in his parish. During a hurricane in eastern part of the colony, Sept. 7, 1769, he received an injury while attempting to save some of his property and he was forced to go to New Bern for relief. He lost 600 pounds worth of property as a result of this storm.
In 1761, Rev. A. Stewart estimated and reported to the Society of the Propagation of the Gospel, that there were 1,000 white people in the Parish of St. Thomas. This was reported after Bath County was divided. Rev. Mr. Stewart served St. Thomas Parish and St. Michael's Parish in Pitt County. He occasionally visited Hyde County—the former parish.
He preached two Sundays per month at Bath.
ST. THOMAS EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The oldest church in North Carolina. Edward Moseley gave the
lot on which the church is located.
ST. THOMAS EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The restoration of St. Thomas Episcopal Church at Bath, should be near and dear to the hearts of every true North Carolinian, regardless of any denomination. It is the oldest Church and probably the oldest building of any kind now standing in North Carolina.
In 1715, an Act of the Provincial Assembly of North Carolina, was passed providing for “the remaining part of Pamlico River and the branches thereof, commonly called Beaufort precinct, to be one parish by the name of St. Thomas parish.”
The first vestrymen of St. Phomas Parish were the Honorable Chas. Eden, Esq., Col. Christopher Gale, Tobias Knight, Esq., Mr. Jno. Porter, Danl. Richardson, Esq., Mr. Thos. Worsley, Capt. Jno. Drinkwater, Capt. Jno. Clark, Mr. Jno. Adams, Dr. Patrick Maule, Mr. Jos. Harding and Mr. Jno. Lillington.
The following is the oath that vestrymen were required to take:
“I, A. B., do declare that it is not lawful upon any pretence whatever to take up arms against the King and that I will not oppugne the Liturgy of the Church of England as it is by Law established.” This is taken from the Laws of North Carolina, MSS. Revisal of 1715, Chapter 8.
A few years after the creation of St. Thomas Parish, the glebe lands were laid off. In 1734, St. Thomas Church was erected in the Town of Bath which was the county-seat of Beaufort County at that time. Several years afterwards, the colonial rector, Rev. Alexander Stewart, began his ministry there (October 6, 1762), in a letter to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, he referred to his parish, saying: “I have the pleasure to inform the society that it is well attached to the Church of England. The parishioners have not only finished their church in the best manner they are able, but have now likewise a neat glebe house (the first ever built in this province), with outhouses, almost finished, with a glebe of three hundred acres of good land, continguous to the church, so that I expect to move into it, if it pleases God that I shall live till Easter next.”
This ancient church is still used for divine worship, being now a parish under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of East Carolina. The Right Rev. Thomas C. Darst, D. D., is Bishop of the Diocese and Rev. A. C. D. Noe is vicar, and is very much interested and is working untiringly to raise funds for the restoration of this old church. He is ably assisted by his wife in this great undertaking, and his brother, Rev. W. R. Noe, Executive Secretary of the Diocese.
The late Mrs. B. F. Mayhew gave a description in detail of the old St. Thomas Church, before it was remodeled after being wrecked by a violent storm. In 1905, Mrs. Mayhew said: “In the town of Bath is the oldest church in the state, built in 1734, of very hard durable
brick. Deeply indented in one of the bricks, is the date of the building of the church. The walls are quite thick, proving that the people of those days built for future generations. I can remember, thirty-five or forty years ago, the high box pulpit to which the minister gained access by a flight of small steps. The ‘sounding board’ over the pulpit was in the shape of a huge unbrella and painted red. On the right-hand side of the chancel, and let in the wall, is a stone or slate slab containing the following inscription: ‘Here lyes ye body of Mrs. Margaret Palmer, wife of Robert Palmer, Esq., one of His Majesty's Council and Surveyor-General of ye lands of this Province, who departed this life October 19, 1765, aged 44 years. After laboring ten of them under the severest bodily afflictions brought on by change of climate, and though she went to her native land, received no relief, but returned and bore them with uncommon resolution and resignation to the last.’ The old church has been well preserved, the walls and floor of brick tile.”
The church is constructed of brick, said to have been brought from England. The walls are two feet thick and of Flemish bond workmanship.
Inside the church, on both sides, are old wooden pews, cut by hand. These are on platforms above the floor. Underneath are graves of early settlers, buried inside for fear of Indian raids outside. Wooden tomb markers used to be there; but they were placed in the church yard. Later they were carried off by souvenir hunters. Hanging lamps are still used in the Church.
The doors and window frames are mortised and pegged and are the original ones. The bricks that form the floor, are square. Designs were formerly on them, but the passing of many feet, has almost effaced them. Here and there are still faintly visible traces of dragons, flowers, and other designs.
The Bishop of London, sent to the Rev. John Garzia a silver chalice in 1738, and it is now in use at St. Thomas Church.
On the Altar of St. Thomas Church, are handsome three-branched candlesticks given by King George II of England. The bell, known as the “Queen Anne Bell”, bears the inscription, “Cast in England in 1732, Recast in New York 1872,” this being 18 years older than the Liberty Bell which was cast in 1750. Visitors are permitted to tap the bell so as to hear its tones.
Recently St. Thomas was the recipient of a valuable Bible, a gift from the late Capt. Samuel Ashe of Raleigh. It is possibly one of the oldest in private possession in the State, being printed in England in 1703. A letter was sent with this Bible by Capt. Samuel Ashe stating that his grandfather, John Baptista Ashe lived here from 1719 to 1729, when he moved to the Cape Fear, taking the Bible with him. And since it was printed about the time the town was incorporated,
to be used in Churches, he was reasonably certain it was the Bible used in the first services here.
Knowing of the Englishman's fondness for flower gardens, and that England furnished the major part of the early settlers for this locality, it is quite fitting that a Colonial garden should be a part of the plan for the restoration of old St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
A rock wall is to enclose the St. Thomas Church property. These rocks are being recovered from the waters of Bath Creek, and were used as ballast by the captains of colonial days after they brought in ship loads of goods and had to have weight to hold the ships in proper position. These rocks were thrown over board and came from various parts of the world.
It is said that the people of the South make history, but hardly ever preserve it. People of North Carolina should be an exception in this case, and should rally to this cause and give of their means to restore this old church, and make it a beauty spot so that it will be a splendid exhibit, to any visitor to the good old North State.THE SHRINE OF ST. THOMAS
By REV. ALEX. C. D. NOE,
- Vicar of St. Thomas Church.
- The fathers might have raised a shaft,
- Of bronze or brass or stone;
- With every name cut deep and large,
- That all men might be shown.
- Who settled here and owned the soil,
- And manned the halls of fate;
- They might have built a monument,
- Proclaiming they were great.
- The fathers might have anchored here,
- A shrine to fame and sword,
- But better still, they builded well,
- A temple of the Lord.
- They majored faith and courage here,
- And pledged the twain their troth,
- And every brick is sacred to
- The memory of both.
- Aye, every brick and board and beam,
- Through years that are to be;
- Will be a monument to faith,
- And stalwart piety;
- And pilgrim bands from near and far,
- Will follow trail and path,
- To where their sires put first things first,
- St. Thomas’ shrine at Bath.
THE EPISCOPAL RECTORY
The former J. B. Williams Home. This colonial residence has a valuable
hand-carved mantel, an interesting old door lock, and many other notable
features. It is located next to St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church.
THE EARLY PLANTATIONS IN THE PAMLICO SECTION
The planter's home was called the Manor or Manor House, The House, the Great House, etc. It was customary for the planters to live on their estates with homes more pretentious than the town houses. A few of these homes were built of brick, in the Pamlico Section, but were mostly framed houses. Though even after the planters became wealthy they preferred wood on account of its lack of dampness.
Drawing of woman at a spinning wheel]
There are several homes standing today in and around Bath and also across Pamlico River which were built prior to 1750. And there are brick foundations left which show there were more, that have burned. Some had cellars. The family servants lived nearby while the overseer's home and quarters were some distance away.
The estates were generally named for the family or the estates in England previously owned by the family. The large landed gentry prided themselves on being “gentlemen,” with others to toil for them. He was “lord of all he surveyed.”
The master of these plantations settled disputes, ministered in time of illness and rendered assistance in time of need. The very position of the head of an estate carried with it position, and inherited dignity and influence almost as great as the inherited title which he bore in the mother country.
Each family owned its periauger, canoe, sloop, or brigatine as the waterways were the chief means of transportation. Many substantial families owned vessels that traded with New England, the Barbadoes, and sometimes made trips to Europe.
It has been stated in early Colonial days that four houses burned on plantations near the mouth of Durham's Creek.
The following families lived on plantations in the Pamlico country in early days: John Trippe, James Neville, Rev. Alexander Stewart, Benjamin Peyton, Lyonell Reading, Richard Smith, Dr. Patrick Maule, practicing physician, Mr. Rouhlac, John Porter, Robert Tripp from Rhode Island, Chief Justice Christopher Gale, his plantation was named Kirby Grange, and Col. Thomas Bonner who had a brick mansion and a ferry to Bath from his home near Thistleworth, and Gov. Charles Eden's plantation on the South side of Pamlico River, bore the name Thistleworth.SPOOKY AND WEIRD SIDE OF BATH
Mysterious Light, Called Teach's Lights
Bath and vicinity, abounding in history and legend, has its weird and spooky side also.
Dr. T. P. Bonner who spent his childhood days in this ancient village, was the son of Joseph Bonner. He was a University of North Carolina graduate took, postgraduate work at Yale University, and was a practicing physician. In an article on Bath republished in 1898, he said: “There have been seen many strange phenomena at the mouth of Bath Creek, incomprehensible to all who have witnessed it. I, myself, am not superstitious. I have seen the smoke of battle for four years, and my limbs bear an eternal witness to the fact; and am not frightened at a myth; but I must admit that a feeling of awe possessed me, as with my father and a dozen other men, of reputable reputation, I have stood in my father's piazza during a violent storm, when the river and even the creek was a mass of foam, and the spume was seathed like a snow storm. A ball of fire as large or larger than a man's head, sailed back and forth from Plum Point (location of Teach's home) to Archbell Point all that night without any deviation from a direct line, while the wind was blowing at the rate of 40 miles an hour. No phosphorescent or jelly mass could have withstood the gale without being swept out of existence. There are men living today who will substantiate all I write. This occurred during every violent storm.”
These lights have been seen by others, among the number the Rev. J. W. Sneeden, who formerly was pastor of the Bath Methodist Church, who corroborated this fact, and stated that during his residence in Bath that he, too, had seen these mysterious lights.
Representatives and Revolutionary Officers
Bath was for many years county seat without a court house. Court was held at the home of Thomas Bonner who was the first sheriff of the county. In 1766 an Act was passed to build in Bath a court house, prison and stocks, and Lord Robert Palmer, John Barrow, Thomas Respess, Wyriot Ormond and Thomas Bonner or a majority of the commissioners were given authority for their erection.
Later in 1785, an Act was passed to move the court house to Washington, and it has since remained there.
Bath County in 1696-7, was represented by only two members in the General Assembly—both were citizens of Bath and vicinity—Richard Smith, who owned a plantation near Bath and Nicholas Daw, one of the first commissioners of the ancient town.
The citizens of Beaufort County, were noted for espousing the cause of liberty and proved to be loyal to the colony when the call came just prior to the Revolution.
In 1774, Beaufort County was represented at the first Congress which met in New Bern, N. C., by Roger Ormond, Thomas Respess and William Salter.
This Congress appointed the following officers to command the Beaufort County regiment which served in the Revolutionary War: James Bonner, Colonel; Thomas Bonner, Lieutenant-Colonel; Roger Ormond, 1st Major; and Wm. Brown, 2nd Major.
Reading Blount was Major in the regular Continental line. John Patton was Colonel and was present with his regiment at the battle of King's Mountain.
John Barrow, Thomas Respess, Francis Jones, Thomas Respess, Jr., and Robert Tripp were the delegates to the Congress of 1776, which met at Halifax and formed the Constitution of the State of North Carolina. They represented Beaufort County at this time.
During the Revolution, Simon Alderson was captain of a Troop of Horse, and was a daring cavalryman.
Charles Crawford was a captain in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Capt. Crawford is buried on the south side of Pamlico River on the farm owned by W. J. Whitley.Horse Track Near Bath.
The horse tracks have been heard about for years, far and wide. There are many versions of this happening; but after one hundred
and twenty-three years, a verbal story handed down without a written account, is not to be wondered at, if it varies.
But the story says that there had been horse racing at or near Bath on the Sabbath, and some minister of that locality, had preached a sermon denouncing it and other Sabbath-breaking. Upon hearing this, a man named Elliot, cursing, said defiantly that he would race his horse and win or go to hell. So that Sunday afternoon, he went to this place about seven miles or a little more from the village of Bath, and started to race his horse when the horse gave a lunge and fell against the tree, killing both himself and the man, instantly. One-half of this tree died and the remainder lived for many years. All the tree is dead now; but the rotten stump is still there. Mrs. H. L. Spruill of Bath, says that her great grandmother, Mrs. Cutler, was the first woman to reach this gruesome scene. Her grandmother was three years old at the time and told her, this story when she was a small girl.
It is said that these horse tracks have been here ever since. They are marks which closely resemble horse tracks. And it has been said leaves will not stay in them and that it is impossible permanently to destroy them, as a hog pen has been made over the place, but after its removal the marks came back. Also stobs have been driven in the tracks with the result that they reappeared.
Perhaps, it was a warning to all then and in the future. Be it what it may, the marks are still there for inspection.PRINCIPAL TOWNS IN BEAUFORT COUNTYWashington
Washington is the present county seat of Beaufort County. It is the first post office in the United States to bear the name Washington and was laid off on the farm of Col. James Bonner, the founder, who was an ardent patriot in the American Revolution, and he was given the credit for naming the town. Many prominent families settled here in colonial times, Blounts, Harveys, Leroys, etc.
It has a population of about 12,000 people. It is located on a river which changes its name at the county bridge, being Tar River above and Pamlico River just on the other side of this bridge.
There are many attractive homes, three hospitals, and a very nice business section. In colonial days it became the leading business section. Its citizens are prosperous, energetic people who are willing to extend the hand of courtesy to the visitor or business man who may seek a home here. There are factories, for pickles, lumber, etc., tobacco warehouses, splendid schools, clubs for both men and women, and churches.
There is a splendid county bridge of concrete which is a thing of beauty. Paved highways extend in every direction from Washington.Belhaven
Belhaven is the next largest town. The Cooperage Company has a very large lumber mill located here. This furnishes the main business for this locality. The highway from Washington to Hyde County passes through this town. A crab factory is doing a thriving business there, during the season.
There is a good school here. Also various clubs for both men and women.
Agriculture is practiced on a large scale around Belhaven.Aurora
Aurora is located on South Creek, seven miles from Pamlico River, and is the largest town in Richland Township, and has both rail and water transportation.
There are about 600 in population, with a consolidated school of 700 white pupils and also a colored consolidated school.
The town is in the center of a vast agricultural section with the finest farming lands in Eastern Carolina, with every type of soil which will grow any crop. There are over one hundred acres of shrubbery, flowers, and bulbs in cultivation, in the county. Cattle, hogs and poultry are in abundance. Vegetable gardens flourish the year around. One thousand four hundred and ninety freight cars of Irish potatoes were shipped in 1938 from Richland Township.
There is a good business district, that can serve the needs of customers, and a moving picture theatre with modern equipment and up-to-date pictures.
A bank is located here which weathered the storms of depression, without failure.
The health of the people, is excellent and only two practicing physicians live within a radius of twenty-five miles. Pure water from numerous artesian wells, furnish a good water supply.
The people are friendly and noted for hospitality to strangers, and enjoy the better things of life and have social contact and work for the good of all through the Woman's Club which has 50 members, an Eastern Star Chapter, Parent and Teachers’ Association, Masons, and Junior Order. Three churches for the white people and two colored churches, take care of the spiritual needs.
Manufacturers, farmers and general, wide-awake men are invited
to visit the town and talk with the people. They will find matters of interest.Pantego
Pantego is another pretty little town located on the highway leading from Belhaven to Washington. It is a live, wideawake town with a splendid school and its residents take an active interest in the welfare of its children. The homes are neat and attractive. It, too, is located in the agricultural district. Around Pantego and that section of the county, poultry raising is done on a large scale and the methods used of the very latest type. Tobacco is extensively raised, as well as Irish potatoes, cotton and corn.Chocowinity
Chocowinity is located just across the river from Washington, and is a fast growing town. It has just had a very fine brick school building completed for its children. Real estate is in great demand here for building purposes. This, also, is a tobacco section.
Here is located old Trinity Episcopal Church which has been recently moved to where the town has built. This was also the location of Trinity School which was in charge of the Rev. N. C. Hughes and served its day and generation faithfully, and many were instructed here who might have gone untutored, as graded schools were unknown in those days.Villages
Other villages in the County are: Leachville, Ransomville, Winsteadville, Pinetown, Terra Ceia, Bunyan, Woodard's Pond, Everett's Cross Roads, Old Ford, Edward, Core Point, Blounts Creek, Small, South Creek, Campbell's Creek, Royal, Whealton's Point and Yeatesville.BEAUFORT COUNTY
Soil, Climate, Highways, Crops, Educational Advantages, Etc.
Beaufort County, where the oldest incorporated town is situated, was named for Henry, Duke of Beaufort, and was once a part of Bath County. It is one of the oldest sections historically in the State.
In the matter of soils, it is quite fortunate, as it has many types from the black swamp, which is exceedingly fertile, to different grades of sandy loam which is excellent for the culture of tobacco, sweet potatoes, watermelons, fruits of all kinds, cotton, corn, soy beans, shrubbery, flowers and narcissus bulbs, etc.
It is noted for having large shipments of Irish potatoes, Aurora and vicinity being the center of this product.
The climate is very mild in winter and is delightful the year around. The Gulf stream flows near the Carolina coast and tempers the climate. Former U. S. Senator F. M. Simmons says that it is comparable to that of Florida and when the Northern tourists realize this fact, that they will come to Eastern North Carolina to escape the rigorous winters of the North. It will eventually become one of the winter playgrounds for the United States.
Dr. Emmons says “middle and Eastern North Carolina correspond to middle and southern France.
The late Col. J. Bryan Grimes, former Secretary of State of North Carolina, said “the soil of Eastern North Carolina in variety and fertility, is unsurpassed, ranging from the black or sandy loam to the most retentive clays—our rich swamp soils show ‘a greater capacity for endurance than the prairie soils of Illinois’.”
“For agricultural and stock-raising advantages, the climatic and soil conditions in tide-water North Carolina are unequalled. With a mean temperature of 61 degrees Fahrenheit, and a precipitation of 55 inches, everything can be raised that can be grown in the north temperate zone. So varied are her agricultural products that North Carolina is the only State that fills every divisional column of the census reports. One viewing the State with a critic's eye must exclaim with Hon. W. D. Kelly, of Pennsylvania, ‘North Carolina is the fairest portion of God's earth on which my feet have ever rested’.”
In Barlowe's account of his first voyage to North Carolina, he says: “The soil is the most plentiful, sweet, fruitful, and wholesome of all the world.”
Lawson tells us that in 1700, an extensive traveler assured him that Carolina was the best country to which he could go.
Eastern North Carolina and particularly Beaufort County, is noted for hospitality and friendliness. Strangers are made to feel at home. Democracy is carried out here in every respect.
Several hard surfaced highways transverse the County in various directions, making travel easy.
The school system is excellent under the guidance of Mr. Frank B. Edmondson, one of the best County Superintendents in the State, according to the opinion of some of the educational authorities.
The dial telephone system in the rural sections, keeps individuals in touch with the outside world both day and night.
Beaufort's fresh and salt water streams furnish a veritable fisherman's all year around paradise. Wild game abounds in its forest and attract many hunters from the North and other regions.
BATH OF TODAY AND TOMORROW
Bath is a village of four hundred people. Its chief industries are two lumber mills and crabbing by the local fishermen. It has a neat business section, three churches—Episcopal, Methodist and Christian.
The town is surrounded by fine farm lands. Its proximity to Pamlico River causes its truck and flowers to be ten days earlier than inland farms and hence can be shipped to northern markets, when prices are good.
The school is consolidated and had eight hundred children the past session with about twenty-three teachers.
There are live organizations in the town, namely the Colonial Book Club, The Parent-Teachers’ Association and the recently organized Garden Club and which have the betterment of town at heart—civic beauty, culture and interest of its children.
The planting of shrubs and flowers in profusion and the neat, well-kept lawns make the village a charming spot which is very pleasing to the eye.
It is looking forward to the development of the restoration with eagerness and pleasure.BATH MONUMENT
Mr. R. T. Bonner, a member of the State Literary and Historical Society of North Carolina, now deceased, suggested through the Society, that a tablet be placed at Bath commemorating the fact that Bath was the first incorporated town in the State.
It was understood that the Historical Commission of Raleigh, would give fifty dollars for this marker, if Beaufort County would raise the same amount. Mr. R. T. Bonner undertook the work of securing funds, and with the assistance of Mrs. T. A. Brooks of Bath, this sum was raised. Most of this amount was given by the people of the ancient capitol.
The boulder on which the marker was placed was given by Mr. W. T. Ragland, of Raleigh. Mr. T. Harvey Myers, Washington, N. C., Mr. J. S. Carr, Raleigh, N. C., and Mr. J. F. Tyre, Bath, rendered great assistance in the erection of the marker. Mrs. T. A. Brooks worked untiringly to make the day one of perfection.
About 4,000 people attended the unveiling ceremony which took place, June 19th, 1924. The Hon. Lindsay Warren, of Washington, N. C., was the speaker of the occasion.
A barbecue dinner was served and the day was a joyous event to all who were fortunate to be present.
The citizens of Bath worked tirelessly to make the unveiling a great success.
Presenting this sketch of the history of the foundation of Bath and the Pamlico Section, the writer thinks that it has been time well spent if it serves the purpose for which it was intended—to enlighten present and future generations about the citizens, their joys, sorrows, mode of living, religion, means of travel, political dealings, governors, statesmen, social life, piracy, weird stories, elegant homes, plantation life of the pioneers, government of the first incorporated town and the Pamlico Section.
How well have they builded, notwithstanding the hardships endured, and their spirit and influence still remain with the people and their blood still courses in the veins of numerous descendants in Beaufort County, North Carolina, the most homogeneous State in the Union!