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Home North Carolina Beaufort County City of Bath Historical Markers Historic Bath

Historic Bath

State Historic Site Visitor Center, Bath, NC, USA
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
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Large marker with map and text which follows:

     Bath, the oldest incorporated town in North Carolina, was established in 1705. By the 1708 the town consisted of twelve houses and a population of fifty people. Among the early inhabitants were John Lawson, Surveyor General of the colony and author of A New Voyage to Carolina, the first history of North Carolina; Christopher Gale, the first Chief Justice of the colony (1712-17,1722-24, 1725-31); Governors Thomas Cary (1705-06, 1708-11) and Charles Eden (1714-1722); and the pirate Edward Teach, known as “Blackbeard.”

     The early history of Bath was disturbed by political rivalry, yellow fever epidemics, Indian wars, and piracy. After this period of turbulence ended, the town entered an era of peaceful development. It was a trade center, exporting naval stores, furs, tobacco; seat of government for Beaufort County; and in 1744 and 1752 the meeting place of the General Assembly. The political and economic importance of Bath declined after the Beaufort County seat was moved to the town of Washington in 1785.

Taylor Lewis and Joanne Young, The Hidden Treasure of Bath Town (1978)
Herbert Paschal, A History of Colonial Bath (1955)
Alan Watson, Bath: The First Town in North Carolina (2005)
C. Wingate Reed, Beaufort County: Two Centuries of its History (1962)
Bath State Historic Site web page: