Executive C 1664-1734). Quary was Surveyor General of Customs installing James Leigh or Lee collector of
Her Majestie’s customs in Pamtico & Neuse Rivers by London commission dated 2 November 1703. Leigh’s
oath of office was administered before Christopher Gale in Bath 16 November 1704.
Bath and Albemarle merchants also imported and re-exported finished goods or lumber and commodities like
pork, beef, whale oil, tallow, and salted fish to rural merchants in other colonies and in the British West
Indies…(Port Roanoke and Port Bath shipping records, NCSA) and they did so by both receiving and extending
credit (examples below). Credit fueled sales and bartering of commodity pork and beans, lumber, staves, and
cypress shingles combined with land o’ the long leaf pine naval stores, (tar, rosin, turpentine) often without any
pieces of eight tendered, or at least limited, silver or gold moneys outlaid. Correspondence from key
government officials of the era elaborate on this as well as writings by naturalists John Lawson and John
Brickel, and writings by missionaries from the SPG, Society for Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
Conclusions about Carolina and Bath merchants and financing their transactions
Enterprising provincial leaders used their European connections to tap into networks of credit from England,
Scotland, Ireland and other West Europe investors, even in isolated rural areas. Not surprisingly, extending
debt meant collecting debt, so Higher Court Records reveal a great deal of trouble taken by foreign and regional
merchants to attempt to recover debt from smaller merchants and individuals.
More examples appear in twenty 1706 NC Higher Court cases with above mentioned plaintiff Micajah Perry
of London in partnership with the Pensylsvania Company (co-owned by Col. Robert Quary) and represented by
Nicholas Peterson of Albemarle. The twenty were debt defaulting merchants and individual furtraders…four at
least of the twenty were from Bath, (Daw, Fraley, Lawson and his father in law R. Smith, noted with *).
Andiver, Thomas, v, Armour, William, v. Barr, Robert, v. Brother, William and Sarah, v. Collins, Thomas, v.
Bishop, John, v. Davis, Samuel, v. Daw*, Nicholas, v. Fraley*, William, v. Hewett Bartholomew, v.
Holmes,Thomas, v. Keele, Robert, v. Kingly, George, v. Lawson*, John, v. Meads, John, v. Peggs, Joseph,
v.Rice, v. Smith*, Richard, v. Wayman, Christopher, v. White, Robert, v. Willoughby John.
Colonial Carolina merchant debt default was common. For example, on the March court docket 1706 forty
percent of the attachments from the past October session, 6 of 15, were debt cases. Of the March Court almost
sixty percent, 25 of the 42 cases, were debt cases, many of the defendants receiving attachments against their
estate. Most of the plaintiffs were merchants but interestingly two of the 1706 cases were filed by a local
doctor, one James Feillett, who was collecting commodities in lieu of payment for services “for medicines,
phissick visits and Attendance”, for example a request of five pounds half in porke and the other halfe in
corne” with ten pounds damages. In another case John Jenings Defendant was billed 21.5.0 for services payable
in commodities and the suit also asked for 42.10.0 damages. The jury found for the plaintiff fifty shillings plus
the defendant had to pay 4.10.0 court costs.
Limitations to this chapter’s closer look at trade practices
There are no extant 1700-1730 official customs shipping records for Port Bath. Surviving land and merchant
transaction records are used as they appear in colonial proprietary old Bath/Beaufort County records or state
colonial record archives. They are not inclusive of all sales transactions whether personal, business or charitable
in nature so only serve as a snapshot.
It is assumed that 100% cash sales with immediate payment in full may not be recorded for plantation, farm or
household transactions although for merchant transactions and bond posting before port clearance and setting
sail a higher percentage would be expected to be recorded. Also this study did not have the benefit of any 1700-