Friday, June 30, 2017

17th Cenutry Transportation in North Carolina

Transportation in eastern North Carolina during the colonial era was often fraught with difficulties. Roads were poor, bridges and ferries non-existent or unreliable, and inlets shallow and dangerous to navigate.

The following paragraph is excerpted from Cultural Resources Studies, Eastern North Carolina above Cape Lookout, prepared by: Wilmington District U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, in cooperation with: N.C. Division of Archives and History, Archeology and Historic Preservation Section, May 1986 (image added): 

"Water transport [in eastern North Carolina in the 17th century] encompassed a wide variety of boats among which the canoe, the rowboat, and the perriauger were the most popular.

Perriauger, 1862

 ["This drawing of the Hatteras lightkeeper’s boat is likely the only extant image of a North Carolina perriauger. The early perriauger was built much like the split-log canoe but was larger and might have decking. It typically carried two masts. (Drawing by Edwin Champney, 1862, courtesy of the North Carolina Outer Banks History Center)” (From]

"George Fox [founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)], in his travels in 1672, used a canoe and rowboat. Legislation passed by the Albemarle Assembly in 1673 to regulate trade with Virginia, principally by means of Currituck Inlet, required entrance and clearance fees for decked vessels but exempted open boats. Larger craft, having to contend with shallow inlets [including Ocracoke Inlet] and narrow rivers, consisted of sloops, shallops, ketches, and barks. Shallops and sloops, which were light, two-masted vessels, were especially popular. They were used for trade principally with New England (primarily Rhode Island and Massachusetts) and the West Indies.... The shallow inlets and shifting sands at Ocracoke militated against the use of deep draft vessels engaged in trans-Atlantic trade."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a recording of Rex O'Neal telling about the time he fell overboard when he was gigging for flounder. The story was recorded for Coastal Voices, an oral history project about the maritime heritage of the Outer Banks and Down East region of coastal North Carolina. Click here to listen to Rex telling his story:  

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:41 AM

    This may be slightly off topic but we often read about the mail boat Aleta and how the post office is a meeting place for the community.....July First is National Postal Workers Day. What I have learned from reliable sources via the internet -- it was the idea of a Seattle letter carrier back in 1997. Not that long ago and not much I would say has been done to "advertise " this opportunity to thank your letter carrier and stress the importance of the relationship you have with this person. A friendly wave and a warm hello makes the day go by and helps the letter carrier build a sense of commitment to you as you acknowledge the effort put forth. It is not a desk job as preparing the letters and packages to be delivered safely is not seen by the public. Physically demanding, dehydrating and suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune on a weekly basis the postal workers of America remain committed to a job well done. Also let Congress Know how important the USPS is to you!


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