Friday, November 16, 2018

Tavern on Portsmouth

What may have been the very first tavern on the Outer Banks was established by Valentine Wade in 1757. In 1753 the North Carolina Colonial Assembly had passed a bill "appointing and laying out a Town on Core Banks, near Ocacock [Ocracoke] Inlet, in Carteret County." In 1756 Wade purchased lot number 21 in Portsmouth village. He was soon named Justice of the Peace, but in 1759 a number of citizens of Portsmouth and Ocracoke were disturbed by the influence of the tavern. John Bragg, an inlet pilot operating from Ocracoke, and Joseph Ryall, a soldier stationed at Fort Granville on Portsmouth (see yesterday's blog post) filed a formal complaint against Wade.

The complaint charged that "Valentine Wade, one of his Majestys Justices of the Peace for the county of Carteret, and who keeps a Tavern in the Town of Porstmouth in said county, Permits, suffers and encourages disorderly persons to dance and play at cards and dice in his house upon the Lords Day."

1700s Tavern Scene

Wade was ordered to appear before the Council and explain his conduct in view of his official position, but he failed to show up to defend himself, and was "struck out of the Commission of the Peace."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is Lachlan Howard's essay about the Fresnel Lens and its use in theater, solar ovens, cameras, and industry, as well as lighthouse illumination. You can read it here:

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