Of course, Pamlico Sound is the name of the lagoon or estuary that is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the chain of barrier islands called the Outer Banks. It is approximately 80 miles long and 30 miles wide, making it the largest lagoon on the east coast of the United States.
|NASA Photo of Pamlico Sound|
The Pamlico River, formed by the confluence of the Tar River and Tranters Creek, is a tidal river in eastern North Carolina that flows into Pamlico Sound.
Following are the various spellings I located on a dozen early maps (mapmakers' names in parentheses):
Pamxlico River, 1657 (Comberford)
Pemptico [River], 1672 (Ogilby)
Pamticoe Sound, 1733 (Moseley)
Pamticoe River, 1770 (Collet)
Pamticoe Sound, 1775 (Mouzon)
Pamtico Sound, 1808 (Price-Strother)
Pamplico Sound, 1833 (Mac Rae-Brazier)
Pamplico Sound, 1861 (Colton)
Pamlico Sound, 1861 (Bachman)
Pamplico Sound, 1865 (US Coast Survey)
Pamlico Sound, 1882 (Kerr-Cain)
Pamlico Sound, 1896 (Post Route Map)
Roger L. Payne, in his book Place Names of the Outer Banks, lists one other spelling, Pamticough, and writes that "the lagoon is named for the Pamlico or Paquiac Indians who inhabited its shores...."
Payne adds, "Paquiac is the Algonquian word for shallow area and actually referred to Pamlico Sound but was misapplied by early mapmakers [to 'portions of Hatteras and Pea islands']."
Out latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of a 1948 article about the Mail Boat Aleta, "Boat Hauls Mail, More." You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032114.htm.