Monday, February 27, 2017

Josiah Martin

The last Royal Governor of the Province of North Carolina was Lieutenant-Colonel Josiah Martin (1737 – 1786). He served as Governor from 1771–1775. When the Revolutionary War erupted, Martin was living in New York City, although he still claimed to rule in North Carolina.

Josiah Martin Image from the State Archive of NC

In the winter of 1777-1778, the British having occupied Philadelphia, General George Washington went into winter quarters 23 miles west of Philadelphia, at Valley Forge. It was a severe and difficult winter, and supplies were running out. "Now the value of Ocracoke became still more apparent," explained Samuel A'Court Ashe in his History of North Carolina: From 1584 to 1783.

In fact, Ocracoke Inlet had long been an important entry port for supplies to the Continental Army. Former Governor Josiah Martin penned the following Tory sentiments in January, 1778: "The contemptible Port of Ocracoke ... has become a great channel of supply to the Rebels....They have received through it and continued to receive at that inlet ... as lately as the beginning of this month very considerable importations of the necessaries they most want for the purpose of carrying on their Warfare from the Ports of France and the French West Indian Islands."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Electrification of Ocracoke Island. You can read it here:

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