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During the 17th century, North American colonial merchants were responsible for conducting coastal trade and assumed all responsibility for shipping, storing, and selling trade goods. While this system fell out of practice during the 18th century in many North American colonies, it remained the primary trade system in Carteret County. The town of Portsmouth is one example of this system. Established in 1754, town residents facilitated handling and transportation of merchant cargoes throughout the Outer Banks. A customs official was stationed in Portsmouth to inspect and tax goods coming in and out of the county.
Leonard Day was a Morehead City native who enlisted with the U.S. Navy on April 9, 1917. Assigned to the USS CYCLOPS, Day worked as a 1st class fireman aboard the vessel. In February, 1918, CYCLOPS was travelling from Brazil to Virginia when it vanished off the coast. Several other North Carolinians were onboard with Day. The vessel and crew were declared missing in June, 1918 and are considered “killed in accident.”
Bryan Salter worked for the Grit newspaper as a paperboy during his youth. Popular in southern states, the newspaper hired teens and pre-teens to deliver the paper to local residents once a week. Salter recalls various local teens employed by the paper; many of their customers were relatives or family friends. Eventually, the newspapers circulation declined and today it is no longer delivered to a subscriber base.