People frequently ask me if there was ever a Native American village on Ocracoke Island. I explain that we occasionally find artifacts (pipe bowls and arrowheads) along the ocean or soundside shoreline, but no evidence of a permanent settlement has ever been discovered. On the other hand, a number of Indian villages have been identified on Hatteras Island. I have always anticipated the discovery of a pre-European settlement on Ocracoke.
Yesterday, for the first time, I began reading a transcript of the account of the 1584 voyage of Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe to "Virginia" [North Carolina] that was compiled by Richard Hakluyt, Elizabethan historian, in 1589. It records the first voyage to find a place for the English to settle a colony on American soil.
I was fascinated by the following paragraph (from "Grenville & The Lost Colony of Roanoke" by Andrew Thomas Powell, copyright 2011, p. 45):
"Towards the sunset, some days journey, is situated a town called Sequotan, which is the westernmost town of Wingandacoa, near unto which, five and twenty years past, there was ship cast away, whereof some of the people were saved, and those were white people [most likely Spanish mariners] whom the country preserved. And after ten days, remaining in an out island unhabited, called Wocacan [Ocracoke], they with help of some of the dwellers of Sequotan, fastened two boats of the country together, and made mats unto them, and sails of their shirts, and having taken into them such victuals as the country yielded, they departed after they had remained in this out island three weeks but shortly after, it seemed they were cast away, for the boats were found upon the coast, cast aland in another island adjoining [most likely Portsmouth Island]."
So, there you have it...if Hakluyt is to be trusted, Ocracoke had no permanent Native American settlements.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the autobiography of Frank Treat Fulcher. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news052111.htm.