9 months ago


November 2015

Northeast North Carolina

Northeast North Carolina Family History - A “pyrate” story… By: Irene Hampton - Last month I promised you a family pirate story and I will conclude with it but first I have something of importance to our northeast North Carolina history. The Underground Railroad consisted of “a series of escape routes and hiding places that fugitive slaves used to escape the South before and during the Civil War.” It also included those black and white that assisted them. The Pasquotank River and the Dismal Swamp have both been designated as parts of the Underground Railroad by the National Park Service. Recently a group of interested individuals formed the Northeast North Carolina Underground Railroad Foundation with Wanda Hunt-McLean as president. She has been the force behind these designations as well as having the Roanoke River, Halifax Historic Site, Neuse River and Washington waterfront also designated. Of fifteen Underground Railroad sites in North Carolina, ten are located in our northeast part of the state. We seek to increase awareness of the enslaved people of our area and those both black and white who helped. We are holding a logo contest for anyone 12 and up for our foundation. Please include an image of the state of North Carolina as part of the logo. The contest runs until Thursday, December 10 with a cash prize of $50 and gift certificates from a number of local businesses. Upload your logo by messaging our Facebook page, Northeast North Carolina Underground Railroad foundation, fax it to 1-800- 817-3585, mail it to P.O. Box 1809 or email it to our webpage, As secrecy was an essential part of the process, we don’t expect to find artifacts, but ask that anyone with family stories or anything that can be connected to the local Underground Railroad experience contact us. Our future plan is to open a museum in downtown Elizabeth City to tell this story. We are also looking for financial donations and a building downtown. We are a non-profit making any donations tax deductible. Thank you to the community in advance for your anticipated support! As for the “pyrate” story. My husband has a Bell line from Bells Island in Currituck that currently ends with Caleb Bell who died in 1788. Although I have yet to make a definitive connection to William Bell, it is likely they are related. A report dated May 27, 1719 from the “Minutes from the North Carolina Governor’s Council” gives William asking to have a silver cup and other stolen articles returned to him that were taken while he was moored in the Pamlico River near Bath on September 14, 1718. He recounts that a man boarded his boat asking if he had anything to drink but it being so dark Bell responded he “could not well see to draw any.” The man who had boarded Bell’s periauger then called for his sword from his periauger which had pulled up alongside and ordered Bell to be tied up. Bell “asked who he was and whence he came to which said Thache replied he came from Hell and he would carry him presently.” The two men struggled but Thache’s men “laid hold upon him, his son and an Indian he had with him.” He demanded his pistols which Bell stated were locked in a chest. Bell entreated him not to break it open but allow him to unlock it. Thache took the pistols and Bell’s cash, a bolt of 58 yards of material, a box of pipes, half a barrel of brandy and several other goods. He also stated he was robbed of a silver cup of “remarkeable ffashion” resembling a chalice, “which cup (Bell) has been informed has been found on board Thache’s sloop…” Thache and his men then threw Bell’s sail and oars overboard. He added that while beating him Thache “broke his sword about a quarter of a yard from the point which broken piece of the sword (Bell) found in the periauger and now produces in Court…” Bell also states that he believes Thache had been informed he had money and goods aboard his ship or he would have sailed past him that night. Edward Teach spelled Thache in this record, died two months later when his was attacked aboard his sloop the Adventure by Lt. Robert Maynard, who became rather famous for defeating the pirate Thache – better known as Blackbeard. Irene Hampton earned a Certificate in Genealogy from Brigham Young University and worked as the Genealogical/Local history Researcher for the Pasquotank-Camden Library for over 12 years. She has also abstracted and published “Widow’s Years Provisions, 1881-1899, Pasquotank County, North Carolina”; “1840 Currituck, North Carolina Federal Census” and “Record of Marriages, Book A (1851-1867) Currituck County, North Carolina”. You may contact her at 26 Albemarle Tradewinds November 2015

All Hallows Eve, or Halloween as we call it today, finds its roots deeply planted in the supernatural as its origin comes from the ancient Celtic Festival of The Dead. This year, Next Evolution Wrestling brought to Elizabeth City their very own “Feast of Fears” on October 31 at the National Guard Armory. Featuring the 2nd Annual Tag Team Invitational Tournament, 5 tag teams fought to claim the trophy and the glory. In the end, NEW Tag Team Champions Geordie Bulldogs came out on top to take the Win. AIWF Heavyweight Champion Damien Wayne fought Next Evolution Champion Beau Crockett in a trick or treat title match. Four bags filled with treats and tricks. Weapons, pain and cheating seemed to be the theme for this match. Back and forth the blows flew..who was going to come out on top? Well, you had to be there to see it, or, you can join me next month to read the rest of the results from The Feast of Fears! For now I would like to extend an invitation. Join us December 12, Elizabeth City National Guard Armory, for our annual charity show to benefit The Angel Tree Project through The Salvation Army. Bring an unwrapped toy and get in for only $5. Please join us for some great family entertainment while helping local children have a very merry Christmas. Join us on Facebook to see match and show updates. Albemarle Tradewinds November 2015 27