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In 1663, North Carolina was granted to eight of the political friends of the recently restored King Charles II of England. These men, known as the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, promoted the settlement of this colony.  Settlers from Virginia began to push into the Albemarle region of eastern Carolina.  As this area became inhabited some of the more adventurous settlers pushed southward and by the 1690's settlers had begun to appear on the Pamlico River.  In 1696, the county of Bath was established and in 1705 the present Beaufort County was established as Pampticough Precinct, the present Hyde County was established as Wickham Precinct, and the present Craven County was established as Archdale Precinct.  In 1712, these three precincts were renamed to their present names and became counties.

A History of Colonial Bath
by Herbert Paschal Jr.
Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards and Broughton Co., 1955.

Bath was the first nominal capital of North Carolina, but the colony had no permanent institutions of government until their establishment in New Bern. Three subjects loom large in Bath's history. In chronological order, they are:

  • Blackbeard the pirate, who figured prominently during the town's earliest days.
  • The curse of Methodist evangelist George Whitefield.
  • Edna Ferber's novel Show Boat, and its subsequent film and Broadway adaptations. Ferber's inspiration came from her time aboard the "Showboat" James Adams Floating Theatre when it visited Bath Creek during the spring of 1925.

Newspaper article about the original Carolina Charter.
Newspaper article about early Bath history.

Where on earth was Bath, NC? Map     [Note: Click on the map to enlarge.]

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Last updated: Jan. 12, 2013
Jo Branch <bjcb.xx ATgmail.com>
County Coordinator
NCGenWeb Board