Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Capt. Best

Captain James Best (1791-1846) and his wife Nancy Howard Best (1801-1857) are buried in the old George Howard cemetery near the British Cemetery.

On October, 1846, a public sale was held to dispose of Capt. Best's property, and to pay bills due. The sale brought in $136.98. Following are a select few of the items sold, and their sale prices.

2/3 Bbl Pork......$4.37
one old stove......$0.25
1 grappling......$0.30
1 pair oyster tongs......$0.70
1 canoe......$5.55
3 dead lights [protective covers fitted over portholes on a ship]......$0.06
1 rocking chair......$0.55
1 spy glass......$5.00
1 warshing bors......$0.30
1 sow & pigs......$4.50
1 Beaurough......$11.75 [This was the most expensive item.]

Much of the rest included household items (furniture, stoves, linens, kitchen utensils & crockery), livestock, tools, and nautical items (2 "Beuys," blocks, and a lead line).

During his lifetime Capt. Best was owner and captain of a 54 ton schooner, Louisa, and, later, the owner and master of the schooner Little John.

(Most of the information above came from Ellen Fulcher Cloud's publication, From Whence We Came, the History of the Original Ocracoke Names.)

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of whale and porpoise fishing on the Outer Banks. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082115.htm.


  1. Marie from PA2:25 PM

    If I am reading this correctly, Capt. Best preceded his wife, Nancy in death. It appears everything was sold after his death. What happened to Nancy?

    1. According to Ellen Marie Fulcher Cloud, "In November 1846 Nancy Best petitioned the court for one year's provisions, and the court ordered the...sale." Ellen Marie goes on to say that Capt. Best's widow was the "major purchaser."

    2. Anonymous12:01 PM

      Thirty cents for a warshing bors, can't beat that. By the way what is a warshing bors?? Now a Beaurough, I suppose is now what a 21st Century homemaker would consider a chest of drawers or a chester drawers -- depending upon which part of the country one was raised. a Bureau is that the modern day spelling? credenza in the office, buffet in the dining room bureau in the bed chamber my goodness, a rose is a rose is a rose
      by any other name would smell just as sweet......

    3. A warshing bors...a washing board, I guess.