With England and Spain at war (the War of Jenkins' Ear, 1739-1748 & King George's War, 1744-1748) Spanish privateers appeared off the coast of North Carolina, and terrorized inhabitants of Ocracoke a number of times. Sailing vessels were captured, and cargo confiscated. A Spanish tent city was established on Ocracoke Island in June of 1741. In addition to controlling ship channels, the Spaniards burned several island homes and killed a large number of cattle. Shortly afterwards the tents were set on fire and the intruders were driven off the island. Depredations were sporadic for several years.
In the summer of 1747 the Spaniards returned to Ocracoke and "killed all their Cattle and Hogs, and done a great deal of mischief."
By 1748 the Colonial Assembly made plans to build a large fort on Ocracoke, but it never came to fruition. With the signing of a peace treaty between Great Britain and Spain, relations between the two countries (and their colonies in the New World) gradually improved.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of slavery on Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092111.htm.