sailors from other colonies were reluctant to come inside the shallow and tricky but protected waters of the
Pamlico Sound. In the 18th century hurricanes and storms caused inlets from the Atlantic to open and close.
Ocracoke was considered the only usable inlet in 1731 in Colonial Records, vol. 3, p. 210; Many pilots and
supporting trades lived on Ocracoke back then including slaves and free people of all races and mixed races. To
have an idea of early 18th century maps sold in London and Carolina with directions that Miles might studied
with his father you can look at two good colonial period description examples below.
Okerecock. Make towards the Bar and You’ll see a flag staff or a flag hoisted which the Pilots generally do on the W
End of the Island when they see a ship off then make towards Okerecock I , bring Beacon I to Bear W by N. that
Course will lead you close to the Breakers in 17 fe. For Beacon Island keeping close to the said Island till you come
towards the N. End.Then steer away E NE for Teache’s Hole in 4 fathom. Come to an Anchor & take in a Pilot. This
Harbour serves for Albemarle Sound as well as for Pamlico. All the rest of the Bars shift often and are not to be
trusted by those who are not well acquainted with them. ..The tide runs in till half ebb where the Tide rises 5 ft on all
the bars. Winds generally blow from Nov till March NWly from March til May, SWly May to July, NEly July to Nov
SEly 20 leagues from land the current sets NE 4 Miles hour, along shore. Source 729 Wimble Map: The Chart of his
Majesties Province of North Carolina , drawn by James Wimble in 1729 for the Lords Proprietors, using scale of
15 leagues per inch.
As a child navigation apprentice Miles might also have grown up knowing his father’s friend Colony surveyor and
Bath Town Clerk John Lawson who was also a partner in his father’s horse drawn grist mill. Both Miles and his
father would have carefully studied Lawson’s earlier 1709 map of Carolina with its instructions to come into
Hatteras. As you come into the Inlet keep close to the South Breakers, till you are over the Bar, where you will have
two Fathom at Low-Water. You may come to an Anchor in two Fathom and a Half when you are over, then steer over
close aboard the North-Shoar, where is four Fathom close to a Point of Marsh; then stir up the Sound a long League,
till you bring the North-Cape of the Inlet to bear S. S. E. half E., then steer W. N. W., the East-point of Bluff-Land at
Hatteras bearing E. N. E. the Southernmost large Hammock towards Ocacock, bearing S. S. W. half S. then you are in
the Sound, overthe Bar of Sand, whereon is but six Foot Water; then your Course to Pampticough (Pamlico) is almost
West. Source: John Lawson, History of North Carolina, p 64.
R is for Robert and Richard - Two Young Merchant Apprentices of Bath
In January of 1708 young Robert Alderson age 25 and Richard Walker age
unknown had articles of apprenticeship recorded one day apart by Merchant
Sparrow in old Bath Towne. Did you know that much of the town of Beaufort
and nearby Harker’s Island were once owned by planter-merchants from
Robert came from Virginia and Richard may have been much younger since
his father signed his paperwork. We don’t know much about what happened
to Sparrow’s two merchant apprentices although the older young man’s
articles of indenture were transferred to Governor Thomas Cary after a short
period of time. By 1716 Robert would have been 33 years old, three years earlier he would have finished his four
year apprenticeship period with his second master Governor Cary and moved on to better himself.