Successfully reported this slideshow.

History of NC Colonial and Continental Port of Bath and its Colonial Customs Service

2

Share

1 of 87
1 of 87

History of NC Colonial and Continental Port of Bath and its Colonial Customs Service

2

Share

Download to read offline

A slide deck from presentation made at the November annual conference meeting of the NC Maritime Council in Elizabeth City NC

A slide deck from presentation made at the November annual conference meeting of the NC Maritime Council in Elizabeth City NC

More Related Content

Related Books

Free with a 14 day trial from Scribd

See all

History of NC Colonial and Continental Port of Bath and its Colonial Customs Service

  1. 1. 1300th Anniversary
  2. 2. 2 Letter to the Governor of North Carolina Charles Eden From the Lords Proprietors August 1st 1716: …We have consented that Bath Town according to the Petition sent by you shall be made a Sea Port Town, and we have given our Secretary Orders accordingly. But how or after what manner it shall be made a Corporation we have taken time to consider of. We wish you all happiness and success in your Government and are, Your very loving Friends, CARTERET Palatin, JA: BERTIE for BEAUFORT, FULWAR SKIPWITH for CRAVEN, M. ASHLEY, J. OLLETON, J. DANSON
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. 7 Barnwell’s 1717 map of NC and SC, showing towns, Indian trails, Indian villages, Forts. COPY 1744
  8. 8. 8 Homann’s 1714 map of Virginia, Maryland and Carolina, Courtesy of Tryon Palace, New Bern NC
  9. 9. 9 BRIEF PORT BATH DISTRICT TIMELINE
  10. 10. 10 BATHTOWNE
  11. 11. CarolinaCharters 1663 and 1665 •Note the original southern boundary of the Virginia Charter which originally included most of the populated Albemarle County. •The 1665 southern border of the Carolina Charter included all of Georgia North Florida below Spanish St. Augustine south down to Dayton and west along the Gulf Coast 11 BATHTOWNE
  12. 12. 12 Moseley’s 1708 map sent to Lambeth Palace. Map was delivered by a missionary petitioning the London Bishop for a new Edenton church . Note Landgrave Gov. Daniel on Archbell Point & Leigh the customs. Collector on the south shore. 350 tytheable adult white males 16 + yo vs. 1250 males Albemarle County.
  13. 13. 13 733 map, drawn urtesy of ECU rary 4th Floor
  14. 14. 14 1729 1704 1702
  15. 15. Thereareports, littlep … and ThenThere Are PORTS…. CAPITAL P In early 18th c. There were ports and landings on every navigable creek and river. The Port of Bath was much more than just a small peninsula town with five wharves. This map shows the boundaries of the later 1730 Port Bath district as well as shows the vast region Bath County covered down to the Cape Fear River. 15 1. N. CAROLINA FIVE COLONIAL PORT REGIONS 1733 - 1775
  16. 16. 16
  17. 17. 17 1766 map of Bath showing five Water St.wharves 1807 copy John Forbis Bath town plan by John Lawson 1706-1710, no wharves only sandy landings , vessels anchor out in the creek or tie mooring lines to trees
  18. 18. 18 The 1766/1807 Forbis Map showing 5 wharves in old Bath 1. Marsh 2. Scott’s 3. Adams 4. Willis 5. Oden’s Town Point
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. 20 Great Britain, the mother country followed economic principles of Mercantilism, the predecessor to Laissez Faire/Free Market Supply and Demand…. Mercantilism was also known as bullionism
  21. 21.  All the Navigation and Trade Acts of Parliament with approval of British royal sovereigsn (below King Charles II, Queen Anne, King George )mandated by were accepted in theory but defied in practice by most New England and Carolina planter-merchants selling surplus crops, livestock, and lumber. Planters, merchants, common farmers and pirates all knew full well avoiding Customs could result in fines, penalties like jail or hanging, at best seizure and sale of both vessel and cargo if caught. 21
  22. 22. 22 Navigation Acts of 1650— Trade conducted on English vessels with English captains only Navigation Acts of 1660—Crews had to be ¾ English (or American), enumerated products (tobacco, sugar, etc)could only be shipped from colonies to England Navigation Acts of 1663— all raw goods and commodities shipped first to England. Ships continued to violate shipping directly between British colonies and Holland, Spain, Venice and other foreign ports..by 1671 The first royal customs officer was appointed by King Charles to Virginia 1673 – The Act of 1673 detailed new duties for enumerated goods levied by the Commissioners of the Customs under the Authority of the Lord Treasurer, or Commissioners of the Treasury. The first customs officers were assigned to only Maryland, the Carolina, Virginia, Bermuda and a few West Indies Islands. 1696 -The Act of 1696 re-organized the Colonial Customs Service and new Vice- Admiralty courts established in 11 districts. New powers of enforcement were granted, proceeds from seizure one-third to the king, one third to the governor and one third to the prosecuting agent.
  23. 23. TheLONDON CUSTOMS HOUSE All customs service officials ultimately reported to a branch of the British Treasury and all reports of vessels and cargo clearing customs were submitted quarterly. The London Customs House located on the north shore of the Thames River just east of the old London bridge and near the Tower of London . 23Colored Engraving of London by Probst 1740 Courtesy Tryon Palace, New Bern North Carolina
  24. 24.  Mercantilism, British economic theory of the day:  The amount of gold in the world is essentially fixed  A nation increases its power by increasing stockpiles of gold  Gold supply at home is increased by minimizing imports (importing or bartering for raw goods) and maximizing exports (selling finished or manufactured goods )  Colonies and building an empire best way to supply raw materials to the mother country  The mother country can reduce sending gold payments to a foreign country by making all colonies buy English products  Mercantilist Policies—making sure through the Navigation and Trade Acts that port officials monitor trade involving North America and Caribbean Island colonies to the benefit of England 24
  25. 25. 25
  26. 26. 26 Albemarle County Bath County
  27. 27. 27 Customs Collectors, Comptrollers, Naval Officers, Tidewaiters, Riding surveyors, Ocracoke pilots, stevedores, slaves, navigation apprentices and port tradesmen In 1715 A packing and shipping inspection system was set up for pork, beef, pitch and tar . Initially the warehouses were near Core Point, by `1743 they moved to Bath and upstream to Red Banks. The commodities warehouse also stored the powder and lead duties payments, sometimes paid in powder or swanshot, sometimes paid in equivalent commodities. In 1723 The General Assembly set up a self-perpetuating Port Bath Board of Commissioners. They were instructed to take duties collected on powder and lead entering the district, use the money marking channels between Ocracoke Inlet and Bath with buoys and beacons. In 1739 “powder money” was used to hire people to mark routes from Edenton, Bath and New Bern to Ocracoke. Two boats were to be outfitted and the pilots were to bring ships through the inlet and lead them to port and report changes in the channel. In 1750 additional inspection items were added: hemp, flax, flax seed, rice flour, butter, turpentine, indigo, tanned leather, deerskins, staves, shingles, lumber1752 a tonnage duty, was imposed on clearing ships. These funds were used to stake and mark channels. The governor appoint pilots but they were paid by the sea captains who used them. Michael Coutanche, a Boston captain and merchant, built the Palmer Marsh house around 1751. He married the daughter of a successful Bath Merchant and by 1758 operated two stores to sell merchandise. owned 7 Bath lots, 600 acres and other properties along the Pamlico River and Pantego Creek
  28. 28.  James Lee/Leigh 1703 Customs collector to Port Pamtico Source Beaufort Co. Deed Book Vol. I  Wm. Barrow 1704 Appointed deputy customs collector by James Leigh  BelowPort Bath official names from Alan D. Watson’s 2005 book about Historic Bath:  Wm. Alexander To 1724 Also served Port Currituck  Isaac Ottiwell 1724-1731 Council papers Apr15 1724  Wm. Owen 1731-1735 Exec Council Minutes, Oct 17 1732  Roger Ormond 1735-1736  John Rieusset 1736-1739  George Gould 1739-1753  Robert Palmer 1753-1772  Wm. Palmer 1772-1776  Wm. Brown Last Royal Collector appointee  Nathan Keais 1776-1790 Appt’d by NC Gen Assembly 28
  29. 29. 29 Example of Customs Operations Record keeping 1767 INCOME Revenue collected 20 Pound Sterling GB EXPENSES: Customs Collectors Salary 40 Boats and Workers 10 Stationary 20 Postage 1 Office rent 10 Total Expenses 81 Pound Sterling GB
  30. 30.  The practice is, so soon as Ships arrive, the Commanders first wait on the Governor, then go to the Secretaries Office and give Bond and Security … after which they go to the Comptroller of the Customs to pay a fee of 6s 3d: from thence they go see the Naval Officer and lodge their Cockets (cargo lists), they receive two certificates, one directed to the Collector, the other to the Receiver General who grants a permit and then the Ship is allowed to deliver her cargo. This process generally takes three days. 30
  31. 31. 31 Imports ledger Jan 1-March 8, 1790 includes columns for vessel name, master name, from whence, cargo, duties paid Type merchant vessels: 6 sloops, 4 schooners, 1 brig. Total Duties collected, ledger sheet in pounds, shilling, pence L 288 s 14 p 3 ½. Eight From Where ports: Martinique, Boston, Norfolk (4), Demerara, Baltimore, Cape Francais, Barbados and Guadeloupe.
  32. 32. 32 Data source St. Eustatius* and Port Bath: a state archives bar chart dated 16 July 2004 by Richard Lawrence, retrieved Raleigh state archives and history 7/7/15. Percentages of top six ports listed in Port Bath’s 1761-1790 records, based on vessels clearing Port Bath customs inbound/outbound by city: New York 18.3/12.2% Philadelphia 16.5/14.2% Baltimore 8.6/ 7.7% Charleston 6.2/11.4% Boston 4.4/ 2.4 % St. Eustatius 2.5/ 6.0% * The Penny University: A History of the Coffee- Houses. London: Seeker & Warburg, 1952.
  33. 33. 33
  34. 34. September 1773 The Brig Elizabeth Col. Robert Palmer, the former Port Bath CustomsCollectorand formeraideto GovernorTryon. chartered from the London merchantThomas Walters, theowner, and was to sail from London to Bath Townwhereshewasto takeonacargoof tarand turpentineon joint account of Palmerand Walters. Brig Elizabeth, 160 tons burden, crew of 8. Captain Scott master. Sailed from London in ballast. Forced by bad weather into Isle of Wight. A Cowes merchant consigned cargo of hoes, axes, canvas, strong beer to be bartered for NC Tar. Temporary Repairs from storm damage made in Beaufort Dec 1773-Mar 1774, five day sail to Bath. Captain executed a bottomry bond witnessed by two Bath merchants Richard Nassau Stephens, formerly of NY, and William. Tyler Kilby. .Departed Bath June 12 1774, arrived Plymouth Aug 13. Arrived London Aug 29. Significance: Robert Palmer after moving back to England in 1772 still was cooperating in trade with his son William, who by then had inherited both the Port Bath collector post and his father’s home, the Palmer- Marsh House. The events were recounted in English High Court Admiralty 1775-1778 in a dispute related to the captain selling the goods to pay for repairs, versus using letters of credit as instructed to William Palmer of Bath, son of “Robert Palmer of London, Merchant.” 34 PILOT SCHOONER GUIDING A MERCHANT BRIG
  35. 35. 35 9 June 1755 the “Dunluce” under Captain William Palmer, son of Col. Robert Palmer, arrived in Whitehaven England from Edenton with cargo of naval Stores , rice, staves, and black walnut logs. The “Dunluce” was of 120 tons and carried a crew of 12. William Palmer lived in the Palmer Marsh house and served as Port Bath customs collector 1772-1776 after his father moved back to England. William Palmer died in 1786 leaving a wife and five children.
  36. 36. 36 Northerly and Southerly routes to Britain relied on trade winds and currents. Bath to Boston to London was the shorter route, a 7-12 week voyage.
  37. 37. 37 Vessels from Port of Bath passing through Port Roanoke 12 April 1704 The Pamtico Adventure under Captain Levi Truewhite bound from Maryland To Port Roanoke with cargo of meat, lard, and feathers. 9 May 1704 brig Martha under Captain Henry Munfort bound from Boston to Port Roanoke with cargo of rum, molasses, and ships rigging. She was registered At North Carolina in 1699, was of 40 tons burden, and carried a crew of 2…. Also 25 August 1704 Brig Martha under Captain Jeffry Bedgood bound for Boston with cargo of furs and skins. 3 August 1704 sloop Tryall under captain Joseph Mind bound for Maryland. 1751 Michael Coutanche Bath Merchant bought the 100 ton New Bern, frequently sailing between Liverpool and Bath with hundreds of barrels of tar.
  38. 38. 38
  39. 39. 39
  40. 40. 40
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. 43 Flour, 8s. 9d. to 9s. per C. White Bread, 15s. per C. Middling, ditto 13s. Brown, ditto 10s. to 11s. Tobacco, 9s. to 10s. Moscovado Sugar, 25 to 35s. Turpentine, 9s.to 10s. Rice, 14s. to 15s. Ginger, 18s. to 20s. Rum, 2s.4d to 2s.6d.p.Gal. Melasses, 1s.3d. to 1s.4d. Salt, fine, 14d. to 18d.per Bush. Ditto, Course, 1s. Wheat, 3s.2d. to 3s.6d. Rye, 2s.3d. to 2s.6d. Indian Corn, 20d. to 21d. Barley, 1s.8d. to 2s. Pale Malt, 2s.9d. Ditto, High-colour'd, 2s.6d. Pork, 25s. per Barrel. Beef, 30s. Pitch, 13s. to 14s. Tar, 10s. Gun-Powder, Bohea-Tea, 25 to 30s.p.Pound Whalebone, 3s.6d. to 3s.9d. Pipe-Staves, 3 l. per Thous. Hogshead, ditto, 45s. Barrel, ditto, 22s.6d. Pine Boards, 3 l. Mad. Wine, 19 to 22l.p.Pipe The American weekly Mercury Gazette 1722, Philadelphia market prices
  44. 44. 44 Ho ho ho RUM and SPIRITS, kegs, barrels, glass and ceramic containers Surviving Port Bath records from the years from September 1761 – September 1769 162 vessels entered Port Bath bringing alcoholic beverages of some type: West Indian rum, Madeira wine, French brandy, English, Irish and Scottish gin and whiskey . Tariffs were collected on 41, 848 gallons of rum alone. Rum duties alone supposedly paid for the building of Tryon Palace and funded the North Carolina government in general in the decade before the American Revolution.
  45. 45. 45 The main small craft work vessels were shallops, periaguers, rafts, skiffs and canoes. Colonial sailing vessels with cargo passing through Port Bath were primarily sloops and schooners, less than 50 -70tons. Less frequent were brigs, snows, pinks and larger merchant ships of maximum 200-250 tons. Colonial Merchant Sailing Vessels 1768-1790 PORT BATH RECORDS Vessel Size # Tons Burden Count Percent % min avg max sloop 1080 0.44 10 33 95 schooner 1006 0.41 6 41 126 brig/snow 335 0.14 40 80 178 ship 22 0.01 90 136 250 2443 sloop schooner brig/snow ship
  46. 46. 46 Danish merchant ship with Spanish pink Merchant ship, Brig, Sloop
  47. 47. 47Drawings courtesy of Michael Alford
  48. 48. 48 Merchant Ship, Brig, Sloop Port of New York 1790 South Street City Seaport Museum, NYC
  49. 49. 49
  50. 50. 50 Governor Daniel- Brig Martha Edward Salter- Brig Luke Col Robert Palmer-Brig Elizabeth John Gray Blount –Brig Tulley Chesapeake Sloop- Governor Cary name unknown built by Shipwright Harding Sloop Adventure 1718 Blackbeard’s Jamaica Sloop Brig or brigantine
  51. 51. 51 La Chaleur, 1768, 2 masted Schooner Sloop with Oars
  52. 52. 52
  53. 53. 53 According to records in Raleigh approx. 2443 known vessels paying customs going through Port Bath: 1080 sloops, 1006 schooners, 335 brigs/snows, and 22 merchant ships. Smaller sloops and schooners were equally common clearances at Port Bath, representing together approximately 85% of vessels recorded and averaging under 33 and 41 tons respectively. Larger brigs and ships averaging 80 and 136 tons respectively were the exception. Although large brigs and ships over 150 ton were rare, large brigs as large as 186 tons and at least one ship as much as 250 ton could and did sail over the Ocracoke bar and up to Port Bath. The few early 1700-1730 early era Port Bath sloops whose specs this editor was able to identify, approx. 25 vessels, seem very much at the small end of the sloop and schooner range, varying from 7 tons to 30 tons. Tonnage was an important feature to capture because customs duties were paid based on 3 shillings and 4 pence per ton for example, called “powder duties” because the taxes were collected in powder and ammunition to protect the ports.
  54. 54.  Non customs house legal records reveal at least twenty one known vessels with either names, size or ton burden specifics mentioned in the 1700-1730 period with respect to likely Port Bath clearances . They are as follows: Town Clerk Levi Truewhitt’s Sloop Pamlico Adventure (1704) 30 tons, Capt. James Beard’s The James of New York 10 ton sloop, (1704) , Governor Daniels’ brig Martha (1709) which held 100 barrels of Tar, each 250 pounds, the sloop Speedwell 7 tons, (1710), Governor Cary’s nameless sloop 46 feet length built by Harding with an 8 foot hold (1709/1710), Fowler’s Eagle 13 ton sloop, (1725/26) , John West’s large sailing periaguer built by a local shipwright Harding named The Adventure (1725). Edward Salter also had a larger brigantine named The Happy Luke (will probate 1734). For small craft we also know that Edward Teach (1718) and Edward Salter had unnamed two masted sailing pirogues, Thomas Morris had an unnamed 17.5 foot shallop (1707). Teach also had a 64 foot sloop named Adventure with 8 foot draft. Other names of sloops known to have passed through Bath with diligent owners or master leaving records include Batchelor, Content, Fortune, Frances, Rachel , Thomas and John, Tryall…. and schooners Ranger, Seaflower, and Virginity. 54
  55. 55. 55 Sarah Depuis a French widow, William Christopher Gale Fur Trader, Seth Pilkington,Merchant and father in law of Michael Cotanche Col. Robert Palmer Port Collector and Merchant, his son William Palmer, Port collector and Merchant
  56. 56. 56 That your petitioners with Gods blessing on their hard labours have made such improvements in their said respective plantations that they are able yearly to supply her majesties shipps with great stores of victualling stores and of pitch and Tarr and with great quantities of Extraordinary good masts and Plants of Oak. And had your petitioners Iron there and by her Majesties Countenance and Assistance they could carry on a very considerable trade there and much increase her Majesties’ customs and had Immediate Government and protection they could be enabled to pay their duty to her Majestye in diver other perticulars of Publick importance.
  57. 57. 57 August 5, 1703 Vol 22, p 732-735 Hon’d Father…. I cood wish Bro. Miles were with me just now, for Tomorrow’s light I sett out upon an Indian Voiage, in ord’r to follow a shallop’s load off Indian goods, w’ch I sent away about 2 months ago for Cape Fare River. W’ch Voiage wood make him an expert Carolina Coaster, & inure him soe far to ye Customes & Language off ye Heathen, as to make him a well qualify’d Ind. Trader, by w’ch Imploym’e he may secure for himself a Comfortable being in ye world. If he comes, he shall not want Imployment, butt I wood advice y’u to lett him marry before he comes away, provided he can marry a Fortune that wood encounter ye dangers off ye Atlantick Ocean, one penny in England is 3 w’th us, iff well laid out, & iff he cood butt bring w’th him 2 or 300 ll w’th a wife, I cood putt him in ye way to live as happy as ye day is long. Marriage att ye best is butt a happy or unhappy chance . … Christopher Gale, Bath resident, First NC Chief Justice
  58. 58. 58 Gentlemen, Here so many disappointments attend this trade that it’s enough to discourage any person that has a fortune …. Here’s such swarms of N.E. pedlars, running from house to house, that I am afraid these lazy planters will not easily be reconciled to any other way of business. … enclosed you will find account of what I have sold…the scooner is fitted as well as our country will admit, but could not put any oak plank aboard without great loss in storage. I will dispatch her in about 12 days, with beef, pork and tallow. I shall keep a periaguer running to collect and bring to a storehouse I have rented.
  59. 59.  This fall has proved hotter than usual made me afraid to kill beef till October, then Rantree (his captain) has been sick, or the Negroes running away continually, which has given one more uneasiness than you can imagine. This three months past I’ve been hurried about to pick up this little modicum (and lumber for the sloop). However, I’ve brought the better sort to despise N.E. stinkabugs, which gives me encouragement. …I’ve provided an able seaman and artist to bring you the new scooner which I hope you will have the pleasure of seeing next May. If you send again, please send 5 hhds rum, 3 hhds malt, 4 carls sugar, 5 bolts ozenburg, 3 ps garlix, 3 ps, checks, and 1 ream of paper. I’ve sent your peas in carls. That will serve for rum and be more handy than hhds. I am, gentlemen, your most ob’t humble serv’t,  S P  P.S. I should have sent you more livestock of the feathered kind but Rantree would not carry them.  To Messrs. Pilkington & Wilson  At St. Christophers, per Capt. Rantree 59
  60. 60. 60
  61. 61. 61 Firstly Firsts of Bath Town  First town in NC established 1705, earlier known as Pamticoe named after local Indians  First official port of entry 1715/1716  First lending library  First free school  First Indian school  First church  First Post Road  Second oldest county in the state of North Carolina created 1696  Second oldest surviving courthouse built 1787  Included the largest inland body of water in the 13 original colonies, Pamlico Sound. The old Extinct Bath County
  62. 62. 62
  63. 63. 63 PSA please do come to this year’s May 28th merged event Port Bath 300th/BathFest where Art meets History . Also July’s Pirates in the Port held annually on Bonner Point
  64. 64. 64  He that keeps a Plantacon Custom house  One year, may bee a man, the next a Mouse.  Your Brother Dyer hath the Divell played, Made the New Yorkers at the first affraide,  He vapoured, swagger’d hector’d (whoe but hee?)  But soon destroyed himself by Villanie.  Written by Bostonians welcoming Edward Randolph as Port of Boston royal customs collector.  Dyer was a disgraced Port of New York customs official  Gillian Hookway Jones  My Email: gillian1007@hotmail.com  THANKYOU!!
  65. 65. 65
  66. 66. 66 PORT BATH TIMELINE – Proprietorial Era Port Officials Through 1729 1715 - After biennial Assembly meeting Governor Eden carries new laws to the Lords Proprietors for approval and a petition to London seeking a new port 1716, August 1 - Lords Proprietors’ decree from St. James Palace creates Port Bath, part of the British Colonial Customs Service under the Treasury 1720, Nov 23 – On NC trade, Joseph Boone and John Barnwell, agents for South Carolina in a letter to the Lords Proprietors.... “Trade is carried on by small sloops from New England who bring them cloathing and Iron wear and exports Port and Corn. Of Late they made about 6000 barrells of pitch and tarre which the New England sloops carry first to New England and then to Great Britain. “ (Col. Rec. of NC Vol. 2, p. 3, 96) 1723 - John Dunston received his commission as naval officer for North Carolina, including everything north and east of Cape Fear. 1724 - Isaac Ottiwell was deputized and empowered as “Collector of all the Rates and Duties and Impositions at Bath Towne in the Province of North Carolina.” 1729, July 29 - The proprietary period ended, making North Carolina a royal colony and Port Bath a royal customs district.
  67. 67. 67 By the 1750s, Gov. Dobbs said “Port Bath so declined that it was of small importance. “Governors George Burrington and Arthur Dobbs often suggested that a port of entry be established at Ocracoke, (because all shipping to or from Albemarle or Pamlico sound passed there) and that ports of New Bern Bath and Edenton be abolished. (Crittendon, 1936). The five ports continued on as before. 1753 Successful Scottish Bath merchant Scottish Col. Robert Palmer held the customs collector office in the eighteenth century and served nearly two decades. The Palmer-Marsh House where he lived and conducted business still stands. Originally built by Channel Island merchant Michael Coutanche in 1751, the impressive colonial home is part of the Bath State Historic site and is open to the public today. 1755 The Assembly met after county inhabitants complained Bath “the place where Court is held is very inconvenient … and the Court House is being very ruinous.” A commission was appointed to build a courthouse, pillory and stocks on the land of Thomas Bonner on the north side of the Pamlico. 1758 – Gov. Dobbs ordered a shipping embargo due to trouble with France, French- Indian War.
  68. 68. 68 1760 Pitt County was divided from Beaufort County. 1764 General Assembly through influence of Col Robert Palmer Surveyor General, swayed court to be moved back to Bath. Effective Jan 1, 1765 inhabitants of Pitt, Beaufort, Craven, Dobbs and Johnston counties were notified “all entries for land would be taken 1767, Jan. 30, Gov. William Tryon reported to the Board of Trade that shipbuilding was not considerable, the largest built vessel not exceeding 200 tons burden. 1771 – Nov. 30, Major James Bonner petitioned for a town to be established on his plantation, sixty lots on 30 acres of his farm were laid out but a bill was not passed. 1776 The center of colonial commerce moved upriver as evidenced in the Journal of the Council of Safety, Halifax, minutes from Oct 21st 1776: Resolved That…The Armed Brig, General Washington now lying at Washington do proceed with all possible dispatch to Ocracok Bar and to remain within the said Bar in order to protect the Trading vessels which may be coming into or going out of the port…. 1777 Capt. Nathan Keais, who served in the Second Regiment of the NC Continental Troops, was last known Port Bath collector . He and family, the Bath courthouse and the customs officials moved to Washington. He and his wife bought a lot and built a house beside John Gray Blount a Port Bath commissioner and one of the most successful Beaufort County Merchants of the late 18th c.
  69. 69. 69 1782, April 13 Hillsboro, Town of Washington incorporated (State Records XXIV p. 458). 1783 – Act of Navigation and Pilotage: “Whereas the commerce of this state has been greatly injured by the insufficiency and negligence of pilots and for want of staking out channels.” Nathan Keais, Thomas Alderson, Richard Blackledge, John Bonner and John Gray Blount of Washington were appointed Commissioners for Port Bath...”to contract with proper persons to examine situation of the swash and keep channels from Occacock bar to Washington, staked out. Said taxes at Port Bath were 20 s[hillings] per 50-100 tons, 30 s[hillings] for vessels above 100 tons.” 1784 - an Act passed to set pilot fees in Washington: “to establish in the towns of Edenton, Washington, New Bern and Wilmington, courts for speedy decisions of Mercantile Transactions with Foreigners and Transient Persons and Maritime Affairs.“ 1785-1787- Shipping lists and Accounts of Duties Received Submitted by Nathan Keias, Port Bath Collector 1788 - Jonathan Loomis Esq. appointed “Judge for Marine court” in Town of Washington. 1790 - Congress declared Washington a federal Port of Entry. First quarter of 1790 is the last time Port Bath appears in use on Continental impost collection shipping lists and correspondence. In 1794 Keias submits a document settling up fees collected from 1790. Keias is buried at St. Peter’s Church in Washington.
  70. 70. 70
  71. 71. 71 1730’s Port of Philadelphia
  72. 72. 721739 Charleston
  73. 73. 73York Virgina 1755
  74. 74. 741756 Port of Philadelphia
  75. 75. 75Charleston 1767
  76. 76. 76Boston 1768 by Paul Revere
  77. 77. 77 Model of a colonial merchant ship loading at a wharf
  78. 78. 78Salem Mass
  79. 79. 79 Sketch of Charleston’s Tradd St. Wharf 1793
  80. 80. 80William Hogarth “Sent to Sea” 1748
  81. 81. 81 HMS Frigate Squirrel, Port of Charleston
  82. 82. 82 From Frye & Jefferson Cartouche Map of Virginia and MD
  83. 83. 83 John Gray Blount, Port Bath Commissioner’s house on Water Sreet. Washington NC. Capt. Nathan Keias Port Bath Customs Collector bought a next door lot and built a home Nixonton Customs House, built 1820, photo taken 1940, Pasquotank River. Perhaps the Beaufort County Customs Houses in Port Bath and Port of Washington looked similar?
  84. 84. 84
  85. 85. 85
  86. 86. 86
  87. 87. 87 The naval ensigns of both lack the blue and Scottish saltire element in the upper quadrant, which may just be an unfinished detail. A naval lugger (possibly a launch or longboat) is in the foreground.. The ship on the left flies the red ensign often signifying one on independent commission, while the white one suggests the frigate on the right is from a command under a flag officer of the white squadron. This vessel also shows a rare example of the use of a long square driver (sail) hoisted in a following wind to the peak of the lateen mizzen yard, which normally carries a fore-and aft sail. PT2030 © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London Two small British Royal Navy frigates, 1775 watercolor by Gabriel Bray. The ships mount 11 guns per side, small frigates carried approx 26-28 guns.

Editor's Notes

  • Hi everybody. My name is Gill Hookway-Jones, I live in Washington, learned to sail and canoe at Camp Leach and Camp Hardee as a child, and have always been interested in Beaufort County’s early maritime history. Most of you know my mother so I have absorbed info about the history of Bath second hand for decades. When I heard about the pending 300th anniversary of Port Bath I wanted to learn more about the history so last year got busy digging into resources and visiting the Raleigh State Archives. I also became a Bath Historic Site volunteer and a volunteer with the Historic Port of Washington Museum Project group. This slide deck is from a slide show presentation about the History of Port of Bath made in November to the NC Maritime History Council’s annual meeting in Elizabeth City. Most of the information I gathered last year in the process of researching info for a couple of grant projects I created for the Historic Bath Foundation about Port Bath in preparation for this year’s 300th anniversary of the creation of the Port of Bath. I hope you will enjoy it. My contact info is on the last slide if you have any questions or comments you’d like to share with me.
  • – Governor Eden Sailed to London in 1716 to hand deliver the fall 1715 biennial laws passed in North
    Carolina. The state colonial governments usually met only in spring and fall, before planting and after harvest. Similarly, typically more merchant ships sailed to London from the colonies following autumn harvests. Merchant ships usually sailed in convoys escorted by one or more British warships. Eden returned to Bath with Port Bath’s decree signed at St. James Palace.
  • Are Port Bath and the now expired Bath County together two forgotten history lynchpins? Look how many counties in blue grew out of Bath County linking the old Albemarle to newer towns and counties
  • This graphic is in this slide show twice because I felt it is so important to stress that Port of Bath was a British North American Customs Service district…and part of its empire building network with checks and balances to encourage trade and fair practices consistent from port to port for British , inter-colonial and foreign merchants. So much more than a small town river port with a few wharves with local workboats and sailing ships loading and unloading. Hopefully by the end of this presentation you will see the lasting legacy that the old Bath County and the old Port of Bath left behind. By the end I hope you will feel as I do that Port Bath was a Port with a capital P!
  • The top Port Bath imports were 1 rum 2sugar 3assorted merchandise4 molasses 5salt 6coffee 7wine 8linen 9tea woolens in ballast….
    The top Port Bath exports in order according to surviving shipping records 1761-1790 were
    1 shingles, 2naval stores (masts and shipbuilding supplies), 3staves, 4 lumber,5 pork, 6 rum (NC and re-export), 7tobacco, 8skins, 9assorted merchandise (re-exports probably), 10 tar, 11 sugar (re-export), 11scantling, 12corn, 13salt,14 peas, 15hides (tanned)
  • Barnwell’s 1717 map of NC and SC with town and Indian Forts copied 1744
  • the old county seat of expired Bath County lies approx 50 miles west of Ocracoke Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean. My old paper Pamlico River sailing charts shows 7-8 foot creek depths approaching Bath. Finally the port officials moved up river and a customs house was built on Respess Street Washington. The last Port Bath shipping reports submitted by Continental Captain Nathan Keias were dated March 1790 fourteen years after the American Revolution.
  • Port Bath was created to join an already existing network of Colonial Customs Service districts in the North American British Colonies - like all other customs house officials throughout the British empire Port Bath appointed officials were sworn into office and expected to enforce maritime trade law passed by the British Parliament and Board of Trade. Offenses were punished with either civil law or vice-admiralty law depending on the nature of the offence. Penalties could be monetary or result in confiscation of both vessel and goods.
  • I like this map for a number of reasons drawn by Moseley in 1729 and printed in London in 1733… it shows not only Bath County’s three precincts but it shows key plantation landowners of the era as well as the post road coming down from Edenton to Bath then continuing on from Core Point down to New Bern. Note Leigh’s plantation on the south shore of the Pamlico near today’s PCS and his deputy Barrow’s plantation on the north shore. Also note Ottiwell’s plantation at the entrance to Bath Creek. Note the location of Pilkington’s plantation in 1729 in the vicinity of today’s Washington and Reading Blount’s plantation in the vicinity of Chocowinity. Also note the former pirates now gentrified planter-merchants on Bath Creek’s plantation row, especially the cooper Edward Salter and Capt. Kenyon.
  • When Port Bath was created in 1716 there were only two counties above Cape Fear Albemarle and Bath counties each with a few towns in eastern NC: Edenton, Bath, New Bern and Beaufort. We know the two county populations from a 1708 map owned by Lambeth Palace and drawn by Edward Moseley that there were 350 tythable adult white males 16 yo and over in Bath County compared to 1250 in Albemarle County. This map showing the five colonial ports along the North Carolina coast was drawn by Mark Moore. The caption says: While North Carolina’s maritime commerce grew steadily throughout the colonial period, a number of merchants believed Britain’s mercantile policy inhibited free trade. Port Brunswick and Port Roanoke were considered the state’s busiest ports and Port Beaufort Port Bath and Port Currituck were the smaller of the five. The original 1716 PORT BATH DISTRICT WAS CUT IN HALF IN 1730 . At that time the Neuse River basin and Port Bath’s secondary collection center in New Bern were all re-assigned and became a part of the Port Beaufort district.
    –SEE DOTTED LINE between Port Bath and Port Beaufort
  • Perhaps the banks of Bath Creek and Bonner Point once looked like this. Full of one masted sloops, workboats and the occasional larger brig or merchant ship. The Bonner Point Ferry going across the Pamlico River to Core Point may have been the same sort as this cattle ferry . We know that ferries and rafts deliveries livestock and passengers routinely and there were taverns and inns in Bath and a tavern at Core Point on the old post road to New Bern.
  • Maps of all existing cities worth defending ordered by Governor Tryon. Note the artist misplaced the Pamlico Sound! Also note the palisade fence is still surrounding the town, and main entrance and post road comes in at the Edenton gate. Supposedly there were two gates, one large one for carts and carriages, a smaller one for pedestrians and horses. The Sauthier map doesn’t show any wharves other than opposite Col. Palmer’s house where there appears to be a storage compound or town pen of some sort.
  • Expanded system of Customs Collectors in each new North American British Colony:
    Efforts to stop smuggling would lead to new official Port towns and new Customs Collectors as North American and Carolina maritime trade expanded. As early as 1700 former SC Governor Col. Robert Quarry had a plantation outside Bath near Rumley Marsh and was commissioned Customs General over all North American Customs. James Leigh/Lee was commissioned first Bath County naval and customs officer in 1703 several years before town of Bath incorporated 1705. Port of Bath customs district established August 1715/1716 to monitor sailing vessels, cargo and crew, and all things maritime trade between the Albemarle Sound, Pamlico River, Neuse River and Pamlico Sound region.
  • “Colored Engraving of London.” By Georg Balthazar Probst. 1740. The London Custom House is the long building to the right of the bridge, number 65 painted on its blue roof. Courtesy Tryon Palace. New Bern North Carolina.
    Note Ed. Customs duties were taxes on imported and exported goods. The Custom House in each colonial collections district was the office to which shipping agents and sea captains/masters would bring vessel and cargo documents to customs officials. British-American port customs officials and naval officers were charged with enforcing Navigation and Trade law passed by English Acts of Parliament. Periodically colony officials submitted reports of vessels and cargo in/out, customs duties and taxes collected, to both London officials and provincial leaders. Shipping record reports sent from Port Bath and other colonial port officials were sent in duplicate (on different ships for safe keeping) with lists and periodic summaries of vessels, hailing port, burden in tons, crew, cargo carried, and number of guns on board. In the case of Port Bath extant records, only late 18th c. Shipping records and a few others survive in the North Carolina state archives.
  • By 1731 NC had five official British ports of entry. Secondary collection centers in other port towns (port with a little p) over time supported the five official ports for ex. in North Carolina besides Port Roanoke (Edenton), Port Currituck (Pasquotank), Port Bath, Port Beaufort and Port Brunswick vessels could have ships registration and cargo bill of ladings paperwork also inspected in New Bern , Halifax, or Swansboro.
  • The district was hard to monitor so split in half in 1730. Customs duties collected did not go to the London Customs House, only records in duplicate were sent. Funds went towards wages, rent, and boats for the Ocracoke pilots and to maintain channels, setting buoys and beacons between Oc racoke and Bath. Duties were often paid in gunpowder, often called powder money. Donations were also collected per ship and sent to the Greenwich Seamen’s Hospital .
  • The significance here on this slide is the image of the London investors waiting for news at the coffee house on prices buy and sell from St. Eustatia.
    Of the six top ports clearing Port Bath more ships were sailing out to Philadelphia New York Charleston Baltimore and St. Eustatius… In terms of inbound with imports from other colonies or countries the higher percentage of vessels were from New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
  • Port Bath was part of the British Customs Service organization in Colonial America reporting to the Treasury in London. The British Customs Service was designed to monitor trade activity and enforce trade law passed by Parliament, the Navigation Acts and Trade Acts. The customs house operations in rural districts typically had more expenses than revenues collected. In 1716 Port Bath was one of three official ports of entry in NC and by 1760 it was one of five official NC ports of entry. In 1710 there were only 34 official British American ports of entry along the coast and including Bermuda and the Bahamas. The 42 Customs officers were divided into districts from Newfoundland to Charleston. BY 1760 there were 45 districts with 58 port officials. Small districts had only a collector, others had a collector and comptroller, others had riding surveyors watching bays and inlets or tidewaiters who actually boarded vessels to prevent unlawful unloading. The largest concentration of officials were along the coastline of Maryland and Virginia. Supervising the officials in each port were two North Atlantic surveyors general with the northern district of Newfoundland through NJ, the southern district covered Pennsylvania through the Carolinas and Bermuda and Bahamas. Each surveyor general was paid 495L annually which included their salary of 20 shillings a day, 50L for a clerk, and 80L for a boat and four boatmen.
    The lower paid port collectors had annual salaries ranging from 35-180L depending on the size of the port and if a boat was included or not. Port collectors also received a percentage of duties and fees collected
  • The top Port Bath imports were 1 rum 2sugar 3assorted merchandise4 molasses 5salt 6coffee 7wine 8linen 9tea woolens in ballast….
    The top Port Bath exports in order according to surviving shipping records 1761-1790 were
    1 shingles, 2naval stores (masts and shipbuilding supplies), 3staves, 4 lumber,5 pork, 6 rum (NC and re-export), 7tobacco, 8skins, 9assorted merchandise (re-exports probably), 10 tar, 11 sugar (re-export), 11scantling, 12corn, 13salt,14 peas, 15hides (tanned)
  • The easiest way to tell the ships apart usually is by the number of masts and the type of rigging (square rigged versus fore and aft rigged) Larger ships and brigs or brigantines tend to be square rigged and the smaller schooners and sloops tend to be fore and aft
  • Line drawings of coastal Carolina sailing vessels in the colonial period courtesy of Michael Alford.
  • Both shallops and periaguers could be rowed with oars or sailed. Other small craft typically used by farmers and merchant planters were kunnars, canoes, rafts, scows and local ferries.
  • Letter 1703
    August 5, 703
    Vol 22, p 732-735
    Hon’d Father…. I cood wish Bro. Miles were with me just now, for Tomorrow’s light I sett out upon an Indian Voiage, in ord’r to follow a shallop’s load off Indian goods, w’ch I sent away about 2 months ago for Cape Fare River. W’ch Voiage wood make him an epert Carolina Coaster, & inure him soe far to ye Customes & Language off ye Heathen, as to make him a well qualify’d Ind. Trader, by w’ch Imploym’e he may secure for himself a Comfortable being in ye world. If he comes, he shall not want Imployment, butt I wood advice y’u to lett him marry before he comes away, provided he can marry a Fortune that wood encounter ye dangers off ye Atlantick Ocean, one penny in England is 3 w’th us, iff well laid out, & iff he cood butt bring w’th him 2 or 300 ll w’th a wife, I cood putt him in ye way to live as happy as ye day is long. Marriage att ye best is butt a happy or unhappy chance .
  • Letter 1703
    August 5, 703
    Vol 22, p 732-735
    Hon’d Father…. I cood wish Bro. Miles were with me just now, for Tomorrow’s light I sett out upon an Indian Voiage, in ord’r to follow a shallop’s load off Indian goods, w’ch I sent away about 2 months ago for Cape Fare River. W’ch Voiage wood make him an epert Carolina Coaster, & inure him soe far to ye Customes & Language off ye Heathen, as to make him a well qualify’d Ind. Trader, by w’ch Imploym’e he may secure for himself a Comfortable being in ye world. If he comes, he shall not want Imployment, butt I wood advice y’u to lett him marry before he comes away, provided he can marry a Fortune that wood encounter ye dangers off ye Atlantick Ocean, one penny in England is 3 w’th us, iff well laid out, & iff he cood butt bring w’th him 2 or 300 ll w’th a wife, I cood putt him in ye way to live as happy as ye day is long. Marriage att ye best is butt a happy or unhappy chance .
  • Letter 1703
    August 5, 703
    Vol 22, p 732-735
    Hon’d Father…. I cood wish Bro. Miles were with me just now, for Tomorrow’s light I sett out upon an Indian Voiage, in ord’r to follow a shallop’s load off Indian goods, w’ch I sent away about 2 months ago for Cape Fare River. W’ch Voiage wood make him an epert Carolina Coaster, & inure him soe far to ye Customes & Language off ye Heathen, as to make him a well qualify’d Ind. Trader, by w’ch Imploym’e he may secure for himself a Comfortable being in ye world. If he comes, he shall not want Imployment, butt I wood advice y’u to lett him marry before he comes away, provided he can marry a Fortune that wood encounter ye dangers off ye Atlantick Ocean, one penny in England is 3 w’th us, iff well laid out, & iff he cood butt bring w’th him 2 or 300 ll w’th a wife, I cood putt him in ye way to live as happy as ye day is long. Marriage att ye best is butt a happy or unhappy chance .
  • Are Port Bath and the now expired Bath County together two forgotten history lynchpins? Look how many counties in blue grew out of Bath County linking the old Albemarle to newer towns and counties
  • ×